Israel and the Jewish people around the world have been celebrating the Passover festival. The news cycle continues, however, bringing with it some issues and stories that you may have missed during the past week.
WASHINGTON POST: PAYING TERRORISTS?
The Washington Post gave op-ed space to Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar. To the paper’s credit, a staff-ed the same day explained the paper’s distaste for Zahar and Hamas. However, HonestReporting has previously criticized the Washington Post as well as other papers such as the New York Times and LA Times for giving Hamas a platform and we stand by this position.
Steve Emerson now points out that if the paper compensated Zahar for the commentary, the Washington Post would possibly be in breach of federal laws prohibiting money transactions to designated terror organizations. The Post pays a minimum $200 fee for op-eds; various factors can increase the amount. According to Emerson, the Post refuses to confirm what, if anything, it paid for the commentary.
HAMAS CONTINUES TO SPIN FUEL ‘CRISIS’
In the past week or so, more headlines have appeared implying that Israel is responsible for cutting off fuel supplies to Gaza and creating a humanitarian crisis. Some media, such as the UK’s Observer, have recognized that this is not a black and white issue, noting that:
The immediate fuel crisis has been caused by a strike of Palestinian distributors, who claim that the small amounts of fuel being allowed into Gaza by Israel are not enough to distribute without causing civil unrest.
However, the same report fails to mention Hamas attacks against the very crossing points that supply Gaza with fuel and humanitarian aid, most recently an April 19 attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing that injured 13 Israeli soldiers. This followed an infiltration attempt on April 17 that also saw the forced closure of the Nahal Oz fuel depot, which was fired on by Palestinian snipers.
Despite Hamas attempts to manipulate the situation, Israel continues to allow humanitarian aid and fuel into the Gaza Strip even if the media fails to report it.
REUTERS CAMERAMAN KILLED IN GAZA: ISRAEL ACCUSED
The death of any journalist who risks his or her life to bring stories from a combat zone is tragic and that of Reuters’ Palestinian cameraman Fadel Shana is no different. Israel has initiated an investigation into the incident but this has not prevented Human Rights Watch and some Palestinian sources from accusing Israel of deliberately targeting Shana. Writing in The Jerusalem Post, Calev Ben David addresses some salient points:
Gaza – all of it – is a war zone. This is not Israel’s doing, but that of its Hamas rulers, who have chosen to use every inch of it as a staging ground for indiscriminate terrorist acts specifically aimed at Israeli civilians.
The death of Shana came on a day of fierce gunfights in this part of Gaza, begun earlier when IDF forces detected Hamas gunmen attempting to penetrate the border fence, and moved in to intercept them – with the result being the death of three soldiers, a fact that several subsequent media accounts of the incident have failed to mention.
Almost all of the articles do mention that Shana was wearing a vest marked “Press,” as was his vehicle parked next to him – one of the reasons HRW claims his death may have been deliberate. As it turns out, Shana actually succeeded in filming the tank as it fired near his position right before he was killed. In the frames of that footage available on the Internet, it is not easy to make out any of the details of the tank, which reportedly was some 1.5 kilometers away. Thus, it would certainly have been difficult for the tank crew to make out “Press” markings from that distance with the naked eye.
But even if they had, there is no guarantee they would have held their fire if they believed there was Palestinian shooting emanating from that particular area. And unfortunately, Gazan terrorists have also utilized vehicles disguised with “Press” markings, including in an attempted car-bombing attack on a border position last June.
FRANCE 2 RUSHES ON YOUTUBE
The 18 minutes of raw footage France 2 screened in court last year (out of the full 27 minutes that France 2 allegedly has in its posession) were posted on YouTube. The same person also posted what’s billed as “the 10 seconds never shown by France 2.” Click on the images below to view the 18 minutes of rushes in two parts.
TERROR AWARDS REVOKED
Following up on our previous communique, The Jerusalem Post reported that Mahmoud Abbas informed Israel that awards for two Palestinian terrorists were withdrawn. This is an example of how media exposure can affect the behavior of the Palestinian Authority. Equally, if the media continues to focus solely on Israel at the expense of holding Palestinians accountable for their actions, it does a disservice to it
s readers, viewers and to the Palestinians themselves.
HR CANADA LAUNCHES FRENCH MONITORING UNIT
HonestReporting Canada is pleased to announce the launch of a Montreal office and expansion of its monitoring efforts to include French-language Canadian media coverage of Israel.