Two Fairfax journalists held in Israel after flotilla attack. RSF calls for an end to censorship

June 1, 2010

Two Fairfax journalists from The Sydney Morning Herald are among the detainees taken into Israeli custody after the bloody attack on the Freedom Flotilla yesterday. According to the SMH, the pair are unharmed, but shaken by their experience.

It is understood Geraghty and McGeough are in an Israeli detention facility at Ashdod and were expected to be taken to another detention facility, about 70 kilometres away, in Beersheva. Herald editor Peter Fray said the Israeli government had not confirmed this. “We have had no direct communication with Paul or Kate since 11.53am Sydney time yesterday,” Fray said, adding he was grateful for the consular help provided by Australian and Irish authorities in Israel. “We are obviously very eager to make contact with Paul and Kate, who entered Israel as working journalists to do a legitimate job. “We hope that the authorities respect their right to do that job. And of course the welfare of Paul and Kate is of paramount concern to us at this stage.”

Earlier McGeough, who has more than 25 years experience as a foreign correspondent and was due to Skype with AUT journalism students yesterday, reported live to the Herald website as the Israeli military closed in on the aid convoy.

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Israeli’s media blackout and the detaining of journalists who were put in harms way by the attacks yesterday.

Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the censorship attempts that accompanied today’s deadly assault by Israel on a flotilla that was carrying humanitarian aid, 750 pro-Palestinian activists and several journalists to the Gaza Strip.

“We deplore this assault, which left a heavy toll of dead and wounded,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The journalists who were on the flotilla to cover the humanitarian operation were put in harm’s way by this disproportionate reaction. We urge the Israeli authorities to release the detained journalists and allow them unrestricted access to the Gaza Strip. The international community needs accurate information about this Palestinian Territory.”

However as RSF points out the Israeli military and government has form on this issue and constantly harrasses journalists trying to cover the Gaza story and the occupied territories.


The world is unbalanced: Zionist murders vs rancid butter – where’s justice?

June 1, 2010

Sea Shepperd activist Pete Bethune is fighting a potential 15 year jail sentence in Japan for throwing a bottle of rancid butter at a whaling ship illegally “fishing” in international waters.

On the high seas, Israeli commandos kill a dozen unarmed activists and the Zionist propaganda machine goes into hyper-drive complaining that the dead and injured humanitarians had the temerity to fight back with iron bars and hockey sticks against heavily-armed and heavily-disguised storm troopers.

Go figure! The world is unbalanced.

“]”]

Protestors in LA [LA Times photo

The Zionist state has been roundly condemned by everyone except the United States for the callous and unnecessary carnage inflicted on a flotilla of vessels attempting to break the Israeli’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.

Obama’s weak statement falls well short of condemning the Israeli’s murderous actions and instead calls for all the “facts” to be made public:

“The President expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals,” the statement said.

“The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible,” the statement added.

This is Washington beltway code for giving the Zionist state time to get its story straight.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the incident “murder committed by a state” and said Israel had “lost all legitimacy”.

But Israeli UN representative Daniel Carmon told the Security Council that some on board the ships had motives other than providing humanitarian assistance, and had tried to lynch Israeli soldiers. [BBC]

Hang on…”tried to lynch Israeli soldiers”. WTF? This sounds preposterous. In the middle of a raid and with activists hoisting the white flag of surrender, they tried to lynch soldiers. It doesn’t make sense, but it scares the children.

The Guardian: Israel accused of state terrorism That’s more like it.

Surely if there is to be justice then Pete Bethune should be home in New Zealand very soon and the Zionist state should be charged with crimes against humanity; piracy and murder most foul.

Don’t hold your breath.

There’s also a Kiwi woman in custody in Israel after taking part in the flotilla. According to the New Zealand Herald, the woman has not been named. Another detainee is an Irish political activist, Caoimhe Butterly.

But, we haven’t heard the last of the Israeli attacks. There are already protests globally and I would imagine that Israeli embassies in Turkey and other nations will be targets.

Burn, baby, burn.


Gaza appeal creates row in UK media

January 27, 2009

The refusal of the BBC and Sky TV to broadcast a charity appeal for victims of  Israeli ground and air attacks in Gaza earlier this month (Jan 2009), is causing outrage in Britain.

Church leaders and MPs have joined in calls for the BBC and Sky TV to join Channels Four and Five in broadcasting the appeal video, produced by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

The whole fracas raises some very interesting questions about the line between news and advertorial and the editorial independence of news organisations reporting on the controversial conflict between Israel and the Hamas organisation, which controls Gaza and has been firing Qassam rockets into Israeli settlements.

The video is available on the Guardian’s website.

The BBC’s Director-General, wearing his “editor-in-chief” hat, argues that broadcasting the appeal would compromise the organisation’s impartiality in the coverage of an ongoing news story. This seems, at face value to be a persuasive argument.

Read the rest of this entry »


CNN and BBC reporters enter Gaza

January 17, 2009

CNN reporter Ben Wedeman crossed into Gaza from Egypt.
Defiance amid destruction

RAFAH, Gaza (CNN) — Bloodshed, fear, privation and anger were all clearly visible in Gaza as we finally managed to enter the territory. Unsurprisingly, there were also displays of fist-shaking defiance, but what I had not expected was the high morale.

The BBC’s Christian Fraser is also in Rafah

…on Friday we finally made it into Gaza to see first-hand the destruction.

Rafah has been pounded throughout this conflict, the Israelis dismantling the network of smuggling tunnels that run beneath the border.

But there is plenty more that has been destroyed, too. [BBC]

Read the rest of this entry »


Why defending the Palestinians is not anti-semitic

January 16, 2009

In a recent post – my first on the Israeli’s attacks on Gaza – I mentioned my reluctance to get into the debate because of the tendency of defenders of the State (and territorial borders) of Israel to equate any criticism with anti-semitism.

This is just nonsense, but it strikes a chord because the Zionist propaganda machine has done a good job of guilting us into soft-shoeing criticism of Israel lest we be seen to be being racist, or religiously intolerant.

First of all being Jewish is not a racial thing, secondly not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jewish. Third what part of the phrase “war crime” don’t these people understand?

The logic of the “attacking Zionism is anti-semitic” position is that if you are against the existence of Israel as a geographic and political entity in the Middle East you are of the same political ilk as the Nazis.

Bullshit!

Read the rest of this entry »


A war crime by any other name – Israel’s “shake and bake” attrocities

January 16, 2009

UNRWA Director John Ging said UNRWA’s headquarters — located in a densely populated neighborhood — was hit repeatedly by shrapnel and artillery, including white phosphorus shells — the use of which is restricted under international law.

“It looks like phosphorus, it smells like phosphorus and it’s burning like phosphorus,” Ging said. “That’s why I’m calling it phosphorus.” (CNN 16 Jan 2009)

Under international law, technically, white phosphorus (WP) is not banned as an “obscurant” – but the Israelis know full well that the “secondary” effects are deaths and horrific burns for anyone caught in the hot, burning rain.

Does the use of WP in Gaza constitute a war crime. I think it might.

Read the rest of this entry »


Israel responds to media “Please explain”

January 15, 2009

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.

Read the rest of this entry »


Reporters sans Frontieres calls for Johnston release

April 21, 2007

The global media watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Palestinian Authority to pressure those holding BBC reporter Alan Johnston to provide evidence that he is still alive.
A few days ago the previously unknown group, the Tawhid and Jihad Brigades, said they had killed Alan, but later Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he had evidence that Johnston was still alive.

On the 40th day since BBC correspondent Alan Johnston’s abduction in Gaza, Reporters Without Borders today called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to urge his kidnappers to produce evidence that he is still alive.

“We continue to be worried about Johnston’s fate and we call on President Abbas and Prime Minister Haniyeh to coordinate their efforts to obtain his release as soon as possible,” the press freedom organisation said.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,236 other followers