“About five to six rockets hit our building. I am really surprised to see that we journalists are being attacked. What do they want? Do they want to silence us and stop us telling the truth? No, we will continue our work unabated and will not fear their strikes.”
~Hussein al-Madhoun, journalist for Al-Quds in Gaza
If you can get past your ADD – you really should watch the 10 minutes of actual journalism above. There were some reports by CNN regarding claims that Israel is attacking journalists like this one HERE. Israel has two different answers to explain this.
#1 – They’ll claim that they first warned these journalists that they would be targeted; I’m sure the journalists are comforted by this.
#2 -They’ll claim that the people they ended up killing were really Hamas militants.
Now Hamas is the elected government of Gaza although they haven’t had an election in 6 years. They currently run things there. In Gaza – journalists are paid by the government to report on things. I’m sure there is a tremendous anti-Israel slant; I feel it’s safe to probably presume this. Israel claims they were attacking Hamas’ communication facilities and that’s why they attacked. To suggest that Israeli media or American media is any less biased than that of Gaza … well that’s laughable to me. And it is so much easier for the Israelis to just claim that the people who were killed were either Hamas militants or somehow used as human shields by Hamas; Israel is lying to you.
First – 3 Palestinian journalists were killed by an Israeli missile that targeted their van clearly marked PRESS in neon letters on their roof (source).
In the captivating video below – Al Jazeera interviews Mark Regev – a spokesperson directly for the office of Israel Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu; he says clearly that not only was he unaware of any foreign journalists being injured … he says very clearly that Palestinian journalists who work for Al Aqsa don’t count as journalists. The fact that they are critical of Israel is all they need; newsflash for Israel – if they don’t have guns … they’re not terrorists. There were several international journalists in the buildings where Al Aqsa and Al-Quds attacked for a total of 5 times between the two buildings (source). In total – 8 journalists were injured.
In fact – the following media organizations were in those two buildings:
Here is another response from Avital Leibovich, IDF spokesperson who conflates media antennas with being a Hamas military facility.
“Journalists are civilians and are protected under international law in military conflict. Israel knows this and should cease targeting facilities housing media organizations and journalists immediately.”
~Committee to Protect Journalists Deputy Director, Robert Mahoney
Here is what happened to one of those Palestinian journalists - Cameraman Khader Zahar. The National Union for Journalists based in Britain wasn’t happy; they called for a full inquiry for the “reckless and dangerous” attacks by the Israelis (source).
Israel knows exactly what it was doing. These were not isolated incidents and they were not taking out military equipment; they were trying to stop Palestinian media from reporting on Israeli war crimes. This has been an ongoing issue where Israel is raiding Palestinian tv stations and stealing their equipment to shut them down. We wrote about that HERE; the Palestinian Centre for Media Freedoms and Development says that this has occurred 14 times since 2008 (source). From 2001 to 2009 – 10 Palestinian journalists were targeted and killed by the Israelis according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (source).
It has gotten so bad that Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that Netanyahu is isolating Israel from the rest of the world (source); and he’s right.
Thomas Friedman writes this about Israel HERE:
Today, alas, not only is the Israeli peace camp dead, but the most effective Israeli “bastard for peace,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak, is retiring. As I sat with Barak in his office the other day, he shared with me his parting advice to Israel’s next and sure-to-be-far-right government.
Huge political forces, with deep roots, are now playing out around Israel, particularly the rise of political Islam, said Barak. “We have to learn to accept it and see both sides of it and try to make it better. I am worried about our tendency to adopt a fatalistic, pessimistic perception of history. Because, once you adopt it, you are relieved from the responsibility to see the better aspects and seize the opportunities” when they arise.
If Israel just assumes that it’s only a matter of time before the moderate Palestinian leaders in the West Bank fall and Hamas takes over, “why try anything?” added Barak. “And, therefore, you lose sight of the opportunities and the will to seize opportunities. … I know that you can’t say when leaders raise this kind of pessimism that it is all just invented. It is not all invented, and you would be stupid if you did not look [at it] with open eyes. But it is a major risk that you will not notice that you become enslaved by this pessimism in a way that will paralyze you from understanding that you can shape it. The world is full of risks, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a responsibility to do something about it — within your limits and the limits of realism — and avoid self-fulfilling prophecies that are extremely dangerous here.”
Then there are the others who weren’t even journalists who died. Not only did over 100 Palestinians die in the most recent Israeli attack on Gaza, but as we wrote HERE - the 11 month old child of this BBC Journalist died because of Israeli airstrikes. The journalist was not surrounding himself with Hamas militants.
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