Palestinian Authority vs. Freedom of Media
In what is seen as yet another bid to restrict freedom of the media, the Palestinian Authority government has announced that journalists who wish to report "accurately" on Palestinian life are urged to do so directly with Palestinians.
The Palestinian government's decision is aimed at sending a warning to journalists who dare to report anything that may reflect negatively on its reputation.
It is not clear why representatives of the foreign media have not protested against the new restrictions directed against them.
The Western-funded Palestinian government is actually telling foreign journalists that from now on they should report only on matters that shed a positive light on the Palestinian Authority and its leaders.
By insisting that foreign journalists arrange their visits to the Palestinian territories only through Palestinians, the Palestinian government is proving that its attitude toward freedom of the media is not much different that that of Hamas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Bashar Assad.
Foreign journalists covering the conflict in the Middle East should not allow a situation where anyone would threaten them or tell them what to write. Foreign journalists should be allowed to work freely both inside Israel and in the Palestinian territories; they should also have the right to consult with whomever they wish and visit any place through anyone they feel comfortable working with.
The government's announcement came in response to a plan by the Jerusalem-based Media Central organization to arrange a tour to Jericho for foreign journalists based in Israel.
Upon learning about the tour, Palestinian government officials rushed to warn the organizers that journalists who come to Palestinian territories through "Israeli organizations dedicated to propaganda in support of the Occupation" are not welcome.
"All journalists are welcome at any time to approach the Palestinian Government Media Center directly, as we build our capacity as an institution of government, rather than feel it necessary to go through an organization promoting the Occupation and denying the reality," the Palestinian government explained.
In light of the warning, Media Central was forced to cancel the tour to Jericho. Palestinian officials who were supposed to meet with the visiting journalists backtracked, apparently at the request of the Palestinian government.
The decision, according to informed Palestinian sources, came in the aftermath of a news story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times and which obviously embarrassed the Palestinian government.
The story, which was related to a ceremony marking 10,000 years for Jericho's birthday, said that many Palestinians and foreign dignitaries who were invited to the party did not show up.
Obviously, the Los Angeles Times correspondent had failed to "coordinate" his visit to Jericho with the Palestinian government spokesman's office.
Otherwise, he would have avoided mentioning embarrassing facts about the poor planning and attendance, as the Associated Press and other media outlets did.
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by Burak Bekdil
In Turkey however, the protests were not peaceful. They included smashing a sculpture than was neither Jewish nor Israeli.
It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
"North Korea's ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. ... Steady progression in their program is not harmless." — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.