I think that if this particular critic of Israel took his analysis one step further (and actually thought about what Israel’s other options are, as opposed to just whining about the current policy), he would have to re-title this Opinion piece: Israel’s unwinnable media war.
Here is the link to the LA Times Op Ed: Israel’s losing media strategy.
The writer asserts that:
During Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah, reporters had the run of
southern Lebanon, restrained only by their tolerance for the great
personal risks involved.
I seem to remember more than a few posts at LGF debunking this particular misconception and pointing out that the media were only allowed to film with Hezbolah “escorts” who determined where they could and couldn’t go. The predictable result: Many “real” reporters turned into mouthpieces for Hezbolah propaganda. Presumably something similar would happen in Gaza, considering that they already imposed complete censorship before this conflict.
Some links to LGF posts on the subject (there are many other examples not included here – let’s not forget green helmet guy):
United Nations Presides Over Barbaric Photo Op
TIME Reporter – Hizballah Has Our Passports
Hizballah’s Media Relations Department
Hizballah Sheikh in Newsweek-WaPo Whitewash
CNN Reporter Admits Being Hizballah Tool
So his concluding statement is almost funny:
But just outside Gaza, dozens if not hundreds of journalists are in place and ready to go. Israel should let them do their jobs.
“Their jobs” being what? Surely their job isn’t to go into Gaza and have Hamas tell them what to say. (Because that’s Al Jazeera’s job).
CNN, The Washington Post, Newsweek and TIME couldn’t manage to “do their jobs” in Lebanon in 2006 when Israel had nothing to do with their access to the war. They all pretty much decided that Hizballa propaganda is an acceptable substitute for news.
Do people actually believe that if only Israel would just provide these people rides into Gaza, that they would be doing anything other than turning themselves into Hamas mouthpieces?
Israel can’t win this fight. The war with Hizballa in 2006 showed us many times over that allowing journalists into a war zone does not equal revealing the truth – especially when you are dealing with parties who categorically reject the idea of a free press (or free speech at all for that matter) and use the media strictly as a propaganda tool.
If, in 2006, the mainstream media outlets had been willing to accept nothing rather than Hezbolla propaganda, or at least had the integrity to label the propaganda for what it was instead of trying to pass it off as actual news, then this would be a different discussion.
It is true that Israel isn’t letting the foreign press into Gaza – but does that make Israel guilty of obscuring the truth about what is going on here? I’m not so sure.
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