Journalism Union Expels Israeli Chapter

The International Federation of Journalists expelled its Israeli chapter.

Relations between the union and Israeli journalists nosedived during the Second War in Lebanon when the IFJ condemned the IDF for attacking Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV network. The Israeli chapter responded to the IFJ by temporarily suspending its membership and withholding dues.

The Israeli chapter (a.k.a. National Federation of Israeli Journalists) was further angered by the IFJ's response to the Gaza war. The Jerusalem Post explains:

In January, the International Federation began issuing a series of letters condemning Israel for refusing to allow journalists to enter Gaza to cover Operation Cast Lead. The International Federation also published a report [pdf format] criticizing Israel's actions in Gaza and urging International Federation members and affiliated organizations to speak out against Israel's treatment of foreign journalists during the war.

According to Shibi, the International Federation report about Gaza was compiled without any Israeli input.

"No one called us to hear what we had to say," he said. Israeli journalists had things to say about the balance of rights of journalists to cover the war and the pressures coming from the army and the state, but the report was compiled without consulting a single Israeli source, he said.

The biggest irony is that the Israeli chapter is the only one in the Mideast with any real press freedom and due process.

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