Sunday, January 11, 2009
Should Israel Allow International Journalists into Gaza?
By John W. Lillpop
Despite a deafening crescendo of outrage from the international community as well as a recent ruling issued by Israel's Supreme Court, the Israeli military continues to enforce a rigid ban on foreign journalists entering Gaza.
A ban on the press?
To patriotic Americans, freedom of the press is inalienable, unless the subject happens to be the Constitutional eligibility of a non-citizen (alleged) African-American to serve as President of the United States, in which case any inquiry is seen as blatantly racist and the media obediently avoids even the hint of journalistic objectivity and responsibility.
From Press TV, comes this report (1) concerning Israel's ongoing battle with the press in Gaza:
"Israel has maintained its ban on international journalists entering the Gaza Strip in defiance of a recent Supreme Court ruling.
"Foreign journalists and reporters were refused entry into Gaza on Friday when Israel opened the crossing to allow some 300 Palestinians with foreign passports to leave the coastal strip.
"The Israeli rejection comes after a recent court ruling that allows groups of up to 12 foreign journalists to cross the border whenever the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza is open for humanitarian cases.
"We call on the Israeli government to immediately honor the will of the court and allow foreign journalists access to Gaza," the Foreign Press Association said in a statement.
"The authorities' position that there was not enough time to coordinate and allow the journalists to enter does not seem reasonable," it added.
"Israel imposed the media ban to limit coverage of the happenings in Gaza, a move that has largely been successful. Some journalists argue that the media blackout on Gaza is mainly aimed at downplaying the Israeli blockade on the strip.
"The ban on foreign journalists prevents news networks from assessing the extent of damage from the saturation bombings, the number of civilian casualties or the seriousness of humanitarian problems such as shortages of food and medicine."
Question: Why no mention of the fact that the ban also frustrates journalists eager to seek out and chronicle the tragic wounds and death visited upon Israeli soldiers during the incursion?
One prominent argument made by those oppose Israel's media blackout is that, because of the ban, the only news coming from Gaza is from Al- Jazeera and other enemies of the Jewish state.
A counter argument might be that anti-Israel bias among foreign journalists is not that much less onerous than that of Al- Jazeera.
At least Al- Jazeera is a known quantity, openly recognized as THE network for terrorist-favorable stories and commentary.
Should Israel remove the ban and allow foreign press into Gaza? Or should they continue to prosecute the war in order to end the onslaught of rockets fired into their homeland by Hamas?
Self-defense or suicide?
Posted by John W Lillpop at 11:31 AM