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.
Comment on this item
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
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Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
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