A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|03/22/02 at 02:22:26|
|1) This painful footage of the murder of a mother of five is |
the kind that
Israel censors. This one slipped through the cracks and yet is not
the US media. See this report from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on
Because of this airing, Isreal will not allow any more television crews
to go with the army on incursions.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, March 20 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - The
Israeli government has banned the filming of Israeli incursions into
Palestinian territories after a TV channel broadcast Israeli soldiers raiding a
Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem.
Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer has instructed the
Israeli occupation army not to ban television crews from accompanying
soldiers during their offensives on civilian Palestinian populations in the
occupied territories, according to the daily Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.
"This new order follows the harsh criticism of the callous behavior of
soldiers featured in a broadcast last weekend on Channel Two," the
The broadcast of television images the Israeli army wanted censored has
raised concerns that Israelis are getting a sanitized view of the
conflict with Palestinians, reported the Canadian daily Toronto Star.
Ben-Eliezer told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee
about this new policy in response to a question from Knesset minister Yosef
Lapid about why the army allows TV crews to accompany soldiers on such
missions. Lapid said these same crews later broadcast reports that
"damage Israel's reputation".
"Particularly embarrassing from the IDF's [Israeli Army] perspective
was an interview with a soldier lounging in a Palestinian family's living
room in the Al-Ayida refugee camp near Bethlehem," said Haaretz.
"I don't know what a Hebrew kid is doing so far from his homeland," the
Israeli paper quoted 20-year-old Ori Yaniv as saying.
"This not the first time that the Israeli government attempts some form
of media censoring, not only for local but also international coverage.
There were similar attempts during the first Intifada," said Dr. Naela
Hamdy, a mass communication professor at the American University in
"It is obvious that any government who behaves in this way must feel
that if the public were to view such TV footage, they may sympathize with
the 'other side'," said Hamdy. "Media has been known to be powerful
enough to at least influence public opinion in the long run."
Responding to a question on whether controlling the media would work in
shaping public opinion, Hamdy said that although Israeli citizens do
have access to alternate sources of news, it was unlikely that they would
change their perspectives. "Most people in any country tend more not to
deviate from mainstream thinking partially fed through media messages
rather than seek alternate perspectives," she said.
However, Hamdy said that governments tend to be particularly sensitive
during "war times".
"The Al-Aqsa Intifada is really almost a war. So, these are times when
you see behaviors as such, and worry about negative images both
internally and abroad," she added.
"The controversy brkke out yesterday after Israel's private Channel 2
network broadcast rare footage of a recent Israeli army raid of a
Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem," reported the Star.
"The Israeli army insists that by broadcasting the shocking scenes —
Palestinian children watch their mother bleeding to death after soldiers
stormed their house — Channel 2 broke a deal that allowed the army to
censor the images.
"Channel 2 was the only station to broadcast the images, while other
networks abided by the army's demand to delete the scene. An Israeli
camera operator, working on a 'pool' basis for all the networks, was
allowed to enter the camp with Israeli soldiers on condition that the army's
public relations office had final say on the images broadcast.
"The footage, broadcast Friday and Saturday by Channel 2, showed
Israeli soldiers being briefed on how to break down doors in the camp. After
a sledgehammer failed to knock down a door, the soldiers followed
instructions and used explosives.
"The soldiers entered and found the mother wounded on the floor, and
her frightened children choking back tears. The father tries to call an
ambulance, but it can't get past military checkpoints.
"The young daughter begs the soldiers not to break down a wall to enter
the adjoining house, but they do so anyway.
"Another family member asks the soldiers a question and is loudly told
to shut up.
Then, one of the soldiers turns to the camera and says: 'I don't know
what we're doing here. Purification; apparently it's dirty here. It's
not clear to me what a Hebrew soldier is doing so far from home.' The
Palestinian woman later died of her wounds," the Star concluded.
However, Aviv Lavie, a Haaretz media critic said that the "footage
showed only the tip of the iceberg of what is really happening in the
territories when the IDF comes in contact with Palestinian civilians."
"Many civilians, women and children, have died since the beginning of
this month in the West Bank and Gaza, and practically none of it has
reached Israeli TV screens," Lavia wrote.
"The Israeli public — partly by choice — is living with a complete
information blackout with regard to the extent of the damage and death
taking place only a few kilometers away from their homes. Maybe the public
doesn't want to know, but the media has a responsibility, which it has
shirked," the Israeli media critic added.
Israel has a military censor, which has a legal right to delete any
material from local or foreign journalists, usually on the grounds that it
imperils the country's security. But in the Channel 2 incident, Israeli
networks agreed to have their footage censored by the army's public
relations unit, the Toronto Star said.
With additional reporting by Lamya Tawfik, IOL Cairo bureau
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