Israel's War on Truth-Telling Media and Journalists
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Time and again, truth-telling journalism as it should be is a casualty of all things war and related violence.
Big Lies, mass deception, and censorship are weapons of war by other means — in support of the official falsified narrative.
In their book titled "Guardians of Power," David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today's media are in crisis — free and open societies at risk.
It's because press prostitution substitutes fiction for fact — notably in the US, other Western countries and Israel.
Their state-approved sanitized reports stick exclusively to the official falsified narrative in support of wealth, power and privilege over full and accurate reporting.
In the US especially, news consumers are fed a daily diet of managed news misinformation, disinformation, junk food news and infotainment — at all times.
Notably in times of war, their reports regurgitate state-supplied talking points.
Whatever diverges from the official falsified narrative is filtered out and suppressed.
Adopted unanimously by Security Council members in December 2006, SC Res. 1738 affirms protection for civilians and journalists in war theaters — calling their safety and security "urgent and important."
Condemning intentional attacks on fourth estate members, the resolution demands accountability for responsible parties.
At all times, especially at times of war and under occupation, civilians are protected persons. So are journalists — under international law.
Throughout at least most of its history, Israel waged war on truth-telling Palestinian journalists.
They're at risk of arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, and/or assassination.
According to the Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists, "(t)he Israeli occupation tries to muzzle the Palestinian journalists' mouths and prevent them from unmasking its barbaric practices in the occupied Palestinian territories to the international media."
Palestinian journalists covering Israeli violence against legitimate protesters risk serious injury or death.
Anyone wearing a flak jacket labeled press is vulnerable, their unprotected areas vulnerable to Israeli sniper attacks by live fire — including use of exploding dum dum bullets able to leave fist-sized existing wounds in individuals struck.
They're designed to inflict disabling damage to internal organs or death — even though banned by the 1899 Hague Convention.
Since IDF terror-bombing and shelling of Gaza began on May 10, silencing truth-telling media has been a prioritized Netanyahu regime aim.
The same objective is sought in all Israeli preemptive wars, as well as at all other times on whatever conflicts with official falsified Israeli talking points.
On May 15 in Gaza, Israeli terror-bombing turned the 11-story Al-Jalaa building to smoldering rubble — its occupants given one hour to vacate the premises.
It's unknown so far if some remained inside and perished.
Along with residences of Gazan families, the building housed international media offices.
According to DW News, AP News, AFP, Al Jazeera, other international media operations, and local Palestinian news agencies had offices in the building.
The IDF defied reality by falsely claiming that the building included Hamas "military assets (sic)," adding:
"(O)ffices of civilian media outlets (were) use(d) (by Hamas) as human shields (sic)."
According to AP News, the Netanyahu regime and IDF "did not provide evidence for the claim" — because there is none.
On its Saturday newscast, senior Al Jazeera (AJ) political analyst Marwan Bishara minced no words in debunking the thinly veiled IDF Big Lie.
Gaza-based AJ journalist Al Kahlout said the following in response to Israel's destruction of the Al-Jalaa building with three missiles:
"(N)o one can understand the feeling of the people whose homes have been destroyed by such kind of air attacks," adding:
"It's really difficult to wake up one day and then you realize that your office is not there with all the career experiences, memories that you've had."
Separately on Saturday, IDF terror-bombing destroyed a Gaza City area refugee camp three-story residence, massacring eight children and two women.
The above buildings had no military significance. Israel defied reality by claiming otherwise.
In response to its destruction of Gaza's Al Jalaa building, AP News president and CEO Gary Pruitt said the following:
"The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today."
"We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP's bureau and other news organizations in Gaza."
"This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life."
Separately, AP reported:
"For 15 years, the AP's top-floor office and roof terrace were a prime location for covering Israel's conflicts with Gaza."
Now it's gone, along with scores of massacred Gazans, including women and children.
NY-based Committee to Protect Journalists' executive director Joel Simon said the following:
"This latest attack on a building long known by Israel to house international media raises the specter that the IDF is deliberately targeting media facilities in order to disrupt coverage of the human suffering in Gaza."
Silencing coverage of its high crimes of war, against humanity, and other human rights abuses is longstanding Israeli policy — in flagrant breach of international law.
On May 10, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reported the following:
It "condemn(ed) escalating attacks of the occupation forces against journalists and media workers in Palestine…"
MADA noted what's going on in "occupied…Jerusalem…aim(s) (to) block the transmission of the violations to the world."
"This was accompanied by widespread violations of freedom of expression committed by social media companies to serve the goal of the occupation state by obscuring the attacks implemented by its soldiers and settlers."
In early May alone, "Israeli attacks against journalists during their field coverage of events, as the occupation army targeted a number of journalists while they were" reporting on what's going on.
At least "10 (Palestinian) journalists" were targeted and "injured."
"(I)mpunity of the Israeli occupation forces over the years for their almost daily crimes and violations of media freedoms in Palestine, including the killing of more than 40 journalists during the past two decades, is what encourage them to continue committing more crimes and violations, which requires serious action to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, as the only way to reduce it."
Facebook, Twitter, and other "social media companies…deliberately blocked and suspended the accounts of many Palestinian citizens, including many journalists…"
MADA called their action "a severe violation against freedom of expression (in cahoots with) the occupation state (by) blocking facts and suppressing media freedoms and freedom of expression."
At the same time, they freely allow hostile-to-truth-telling Western and Israeli propaganda on their "platforms."
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
"How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War"
"Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"