Israel responds to media “Please explain”

ifj-slogalIn times of war, the line between winning and losing can come down to the public relations battle as much as the military offensive itself.  (CNN 14 January)

The Israeli miitary machine is coming under increased pressure from news organisations to expain its reasons for limiting reporters’ access to Gaza.

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontieres) reports that more than 100 media organisations have signed its petition urging the Israeli government to lift the ban, which has been in place since November.

So far no Australian or New Zealand media organisations have signed the petition. This is very disappointing considering that the list includes news outlets in Afghanistan,  Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan,  the Netherlands, Nigeria and Norway.

Perhaps activists in countries whose media have not yet signed up can put some pressure on local editors.

It’s simple really; there’s only one demand. “Let my people go!”

Surely that’s something the Israelis can sympathise with.

The text of the RSF petition is below. I’ve also included the RSF email address so that any editors who read this can have no excuse for not signing up.

We, the news media of the entire world, join the international press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders in urging the Israeli authorities to allow our reporters back into the Gaza Strip.

In view of the scale of the military operations and the repercussion they are having throughout the world, we believe the Israeli government’s decision to exclude the press from the Gaza Strip is untenable and dangerous.

It is incomprehensible that Israel is preventing the press from providing independent coverage of events that concern us all.

There is only one solution to this situation: while taking the necessary security measures, the Israeli authorities must grant immediate access to the Gaza Strip to the media personnel who have been sent to cover this conflict.

You, international medias want to sign the appeal, please contact us at:
gaza@rsf.org

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is also campaigning for media access to Gaza and is carrying some interesting reports about the impact of Israeli military censorship. Two Palestinian journalists – who are trapped in Gaze along with everyone else – have been charged with breaching the censorship rules.

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5 Responses to Israel responds to media “Please explain”

  1. ASH says:

    Why woul Israel allow journalists?

    If you are going to commit a crime in the name of fake self-defense would you allow a reporter to come in see the victim and describe the horrific acts you commit; or would you commit the crime then let them see what you did afterwards so that you could cook up another fake story explaining why it was necessary to be so inhumane?

    Here is evidence :

  2. This is a long video, 1hr 19 mins, but if you want some good historical background, it might be worth watching.

    Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites–oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others–work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

  3. [...] important that these stories are getting out, despite heavy attempts at censorhip. News reporters are now beginning to get their heads around this story, but I continue to wonder [...]

  4. macklamm says:

    how long will it take the american media to wake up and stop being controlled by israel. tell me what is the response of the americans now that once again israel called your state dept to get them out of another UN resolution just see http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21779.htm

    first olmert then this second one in public too – so it means that nothing will change in the states until the reporters in the usa have the courage to say the truth and dig out the truth instead of always listening and taking at face value israeli media. for a democratic country the states sure acts more like a democratic dictatorship

  5. Sidney says:

    So we will never know what is really happening in Palestine. By not letting reporters to enter Gaza Israel is behaving like dictatorships and comunists states. Don’t journalists feel like they are giving a running commentary of a football match from outside the stadium? Don’t they feel humiliated? If so why don’t they express their indignation? I have not heard any of them show stern disapproval about it. I am really surprised that CNN’s reporters are not reacting against such assault on their right to report.

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