Yesterday, I blogged the uproar after an Israeli journalist smuggled a gun into the Knesset and pointed it at Prime Minister Netanyahu. Channel 10 sought to raise awareness for undetectable guns that can be made by 3-dimensional printers.
I pointed out that this would revive a conflict between the prime minister’s security detail and the foreign press corps. The prime minister’s bodyguards can’t be happy that a reporter managed to point a gun at The Big Guy.
So last night, when Prime Minister Netanyahu and other VIPs attended a 4th of July celebration at the home of US ambassador, it’s quite possible Bibi’s guards had already decided to make an example of some unlucky journo. Either that, or Samer Jallad, a cameraman for the US-funded Al-Hurra TV, somehow raised suspicion at a very bad time.
Whatever the reason, you can imagine what happened next. Haaretz/AP writes:
The Arab satellite channel had coordinated with the Israeli prime minister’s office to cover the event on behalf of the international media. But when cameraman Samer Jallad arrived, he said he was detained for questioning, ordered to remove his shoes and sit in the sun for more than half an hour, and then taken to a room where he was forced to remove his pants for a body inspection. He said he was held for more than 90 minutes before he was permitted to enter . . .
Jallad, who said he has covered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on many occasions, is a Palestinian from East Jerusalem who holds full Israeli residency rights and has a government-issued press card.
The rest of the story is a familiar dance: The Foreign Press Association slammed the security detail and the Prime Minister’s Office said it’s “ascertaining what happened.”
I hope we’re not turning back the clock to two years ago, when things got so bad, reporters threatened to boycott the Prime Minister.
If so, it’s time for journos to start practicing their “Don’t touch my junk” speech.
(Image via YouTube/elimand1)