In a fiery interview that aired Tuesday, Queen Rania of Jordan sat down with veteran journalist Christiane Amanpour and lambasted what she described as the “glaring double standard” in Western mainstream media coverage of the Israel-Gaza war.
“It has been very disappointing to see the double standards in the world today, to see the strong condemnation of what happened on Oct. 7, but very little condemnation of what is happening today,” the Jordanian royal said on Amanpour & Co, in a video interview from the capital city of Amman, Jordan.
“Why isn't there a call for an immediate ceasefire? We are seeing staggering human suffering happening today, so why is the narrative always skewed towards the Israeli side? The Western media and policymakers are quick to adopt the Israeli narratives. When Israel attacks, Palestinians ‘die,’ but when Israelis die, they are ‘killed,’ murdered in cold blood.”
Although the 53-year-old queen has long advocated for the rights of the Palestinian people, her interview with Amanpour struck a particularly searing tone not often seen among royals. She called Israel’s bombardment of Gaza “butchery at a mass scale,” and went so far as to criticize U.S. President Joe Biden’s public statements about the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel—even taking aim directly at CNN.
“When the President of the United States is told that he has evidence he has seen evidence of children beheaded, only to retract it because the IDF said that there's no proof of that. That is confirmation bias. Even at your network Christiane, the CNN website, at the beginning of the conflict reported a headline about Israeli children found butchered in an Israeli kibbutz. And when you read through the story, that’s not hasn’t been independently verified. Now, my question to you is would you publish such a damning yet unverified claim made by a Palestinia—”
Amanpour then interjected, “Queen Rania, I just need to stop you right there because there have been pictures shown by the Israelis and our journalists have been down there. I’m not talking about beheadings, I’m talking about babies bodies riddled with bullets,” before changing the subject.
Speaking about the Arab world’s reactions to the airstrikes that have been pummeling Gaza in recent weeks—killing some 5,000 Palestinians, according to the enclave’s health minister—the queen said there was a feeling among many that the Western world is “complicit” in the mass death of civilians.
“We are being told that it is wrong to kill a family, an entire family at gunpoint, but it’s okay to shell them to death… . And it is just shocking to the Arab world,” she said, later adding: “This is the first time in modern history that there is such human suffering, and the world is not even calling for a ceasefire. So the silence is deafening.”
During the interview, Amanpour warned the queen that she will “come under a lot of criticism from Israel and its supporters” for calling Israel an “apartheid” state. The royal responded: “Let me just emphasize that, that apartheid is a designation that was given not by Arabs, but by Israeli and international human rights organizations.”
“This is a 75-year-old story, a story of overwhelming death and displacement to the Palestinian people,” the queen said, referring to the Israeli occupation and the “dehumanization” of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza through “daily indignities and human rights violations.”
“There is a hyper fixation on Hamas now, because of what happened the last couple of weeks. But this is a problem that far precedes Hamas, and will continue after Hamas. This is a fight for freedom and for justice.”