Perhaps it would be a joke if it wasn’t so sad. Media advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders released their annual list of 39 predators — “presidents, politicians, religious leaders, militias and criminal organizations that censor, imprison, kidnap, torture and kill journalists and other news providers” and Israel’s military was named to the 2013 list. Yes, indeed the only true democracy in the Middle East is deemed a “predator.”
One wonders if Reporters without Borders watches any of the Israeli TV shows which on a daily basis attack the government – or read Ha’aretz which is at times Anti-Israel. Every military has a need to protect her citizens – the State of Israel’s soldiers even more so with enemies bordering the Jewish State devoted to her destruction.
As CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR firm, I wonder how anyone could possibly name Israel to this list, yet remove Hamas and the Palestinian Authority security forces. Hamas, a terrorist organization which blows up buses and lynches their own citizens with impunity encourages press freedom? How many Jews are permitted interviews in the territories controlled by Hamas or the Palestinian Authority? None is the answer.
The “free” media of Hamas issued an order in December 2012 which said “”The government has decided to bar co-operation or work with Zionist media due to its hostility. The prohibition applies to all Palestinian reporters and journalists.” Therefore, Palestinian journalists cannot work in Israel – and don’t give interviews to Israeli media. How many reporters are scared to be kidnapped in Israel? How about Gaza?
Even a recent Human Rights Watch report said “Journalists in the Gaza Strip have … faced arbitrary detention, assault, and other forms of harassment from the Hamas authorities.” To call them free would be absolutely absurd.
Contrast that with the State of Israel which has true freedom of the press – so free in fact that the government on a daily basis is attacked. Journalists in Israel aren’t tortured. As an earlier report of Reporters without Borders said “journalists in Israel “enjoy real freedom of expression.”
“The problem of journalism is simple. Journalists are rarely in a position to establish the truth of an issue themselves, since they didn’t’ witness it personally. They are entirely dependent on self-interested sources to supply their facts. Every part of the news-making process is defined by this relationship; everything is colored by this reality.” Jay Epstein