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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/13/10

Israeli Prohibitions Against Free Expression and "Enemy Alien" Contacts

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According to I'lam: Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel:

The Israeli media focused "on military prowess, military successes and the uncritical self satisfaction at having conducted a 'surprise' attack on the Hamas enemy. Rather than covering the human cost of war or questioning the legitimacy of striking densely populated civilian areas, (they) chose to praise the military's operations and its stated objectives were taken as fact. (They violated their) role as the fourth estate, that of keeping government power in check and reinforcing ethical and humanistic values in (their) work."

Journalists who reported accurately, or tried to, were intimidated, denied free access, and in some cases attacked and arrested. I'lam reported that on December 29, 2008, Israeli police assaulted and arrested two Palestinian journalists:

-- Jamal Amara, Editor of the online news website Radar; and

-- Raed Dellasheh, reporter for the Fasl al-Maqal newspaper and the online news site arabs48 - in his case so severely he was hospitalized.

They were both accosted while covering an anti-war demonstration in Kufr Kanna, an Arab Israeli town, then forced to sign a document stating they wouldn't return there for the rest of the war.

Also on December 29, photojournalist Saja Kilani was filming an anti-war demonstration at Jerusalem's Hebrew University when a settler approached, tried but failed to seize her camera, while police stood aside and did nothing. Three days later she was arrested on bogus charges of attacking a settler.

Israel's award-winning journalist, Amira Hass, was also arrested earlier on returning to Gaza where she lived and reported. On December 12, 2008, Haaretz reported that "Sderot police (arrested her) last night for having entered the Gaza Strip (by sea) without a permit. By order of the army, Israeli journalists have been barred from entering Gaza" since mid-2006.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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