Free press advocates advise newspaper to ignore such censorship, but incident raises larger questions in debate over coverage of ongoing conflict
Following its reporting of the latest events in the Gaza Strip on Friday, including available details about an IDF soldier captured by Hamas soldiers early in the day, the New York Times was contacted by Israel’s military censor and told that future reporting related to the capture would need to be run through its office before publication.
The Times updated their original story by adding:
“…the military’s censor informed The New York Times that further information related to the soldier would have to be submitted for prior review. Journalists for foreign news organizations must agree in writing to the military censorship system to work in Israel. This was the first censorship notification The Times had received in more than two years.
Israel’s policy of placing ‘gag rules’ over foreign correspondents is well known to reporters who have worked in the country, but rarely acknowledged by U.S. outlets.
In response to the notice given to the Times on Friday, the Freedom of the Press Foundation—which advocates on behalf of journalistic freedoms—tweeted its advice to the newspaper:
The New York Times has received a censorship notification from Israel. They should refuse to comply. http://t.co/y7RjoZcYU4
— Freedom of the Press (@FreedomofPress) August 1, 2014
Writing on his Pressing Issues blog, freelance journalist and media critic Greg Mitchell notes, “that the Times has been criticized in the past for agreeing to what they call ‘gag orders,’ including by its public editor, when it revealed that it had buckled under to Israeli censorship in the past. Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren defended that when it was exposed. “The Times is ‘indeed, bound by gag orders,’ Ms. Rudoren said. She said that the situation is analogous to abiding by traffic rules or any other laws of the land.”
Noting that he had not seen an Israeli objection mentioned by other large outlets that reported on the captured soldier—including an Associated Press article published within a similar time frame—Mitchell wondered: “Was NYT singled out for this (despite very favorable coverage from Jerusalem bureau in past?) because of its importance? Or did compliant Times reporters just mention it as explanation to the Israelis that this story had already appeared before the censorship demand?”
The episode comes amid increased criticism of how many U.S.-based news outlets—including outlets like MSNBC and the Times which are often categorized as “liberal” by many—skew and bend their coverage in order to offer a narrative more friendly towards Israeli government and military policy.
In a pointed essay on the Guardian, written by correspondent Chris McGreal on Friday, the veteran journalists asks “if evolving conversations on the ground” in Gaza demand probing questions for U.S. television news audiences, “Why does [American] TV news look like a Netanyahu ad?”
For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:
The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine
- Special Topic – All Israeli Massacres on Palestinians
- iRemember… – Confirmed Names of Martyrs Occupation (*)
- Special Topic – Ethnic Cleansing
- Israeli escalation in Gaza – A cover-up for settlement activity
- “Slow Death” -International report: Collective punishment of Gaza has reached critical stage – Incl Full Report PDF
- A “Leaflet” to the World about it’s own “forgotten” Extermination Camp called Gaza
- Gaza Siege Harshness Continues. Israel’s committing slow-motion genocide ~ by Stephen Lendman
THE LEGAL RIGHT OF RESISTANCE
81 Notre Dame Law Review1275(2006). Conducting an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, this article details the inadequacy of many of the international community’s response to genocides, such as “targeted sanctions” or international peacekeeping forces. Examining international legal authorities such as the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Court of Justice, the article demonstrates that groups which are being subjected to genocide have a legal right of self-defense. International treaties, Security Council arms embargoes, or national gun control laws cannot lawfully be enforced in a manner which prevents self-defense resistance to a genocide in progress, because under international law, the prohibition against any form of complicity in genocide takes legal precedence over lesser laws. With Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen. In PDF.
- The Palestinian Right of Self Defense
- Brayer: The Absolute Right of Palestinian Resistance – Source
- No. Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory – Source
- If Jews in WWII Warsaw would have had rockets: They would have fired them too – by occpal
MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT THE ROCKETS FROM GAZA
- The “Rocket” from Gaza Myth – Photography
- More facts about the Rocket from Gaza Myths – Storify
- Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Israel and #Gaza: Context Behind Projectile Fire ~ by @yousefmunayyer
- Truths and lies behind Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its whining about rockets ~ by @AliAbunimah
- Israel is not looking for peace. Nor talks. But: This
* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.
Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.
How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.