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Israel Murders Journalists

by Stephen Lendman Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 at 4:56 AM


Israel Murders Journalists

by Stephen Lendman

Israel threatens press freedom. Repressive Knesset legislation targets speech, assembly, association, and the right to dissent. So does Kafkaesque justice.

Military censorship bans, buries or sanitizes information about its crimes of war and against humanity it wants suppressed.

It willfully suppresses what everyone needs to know. It does so on the spurious pretext of national security.

It gags foreign correspondents. It forces them to abide by a Censorship Agreement. Its main provisions are:

• preventing publication or broadcast of what's called security related information;

• permitting news and analysis of political issues except when they include what Israel calls classified information; and

• informing the media which issues demand approval; they're subject to change; they include two main issues - state security and Jewish immigration from nations hostile to Israel.

Interpretations are crucial. Israel's hardline government wants things its way.

Free expression is eroding. Protests are prohibited for political reasons. Patriotism is stressed over truth.

Nonviolent resistance is suppressed. Academic freedom is endangered. Historian Ilan Pappe moved to London.

He's notably anti-Zionist. Israel made him feel like public enemy number one. He received death threats. He left for his own safety.

Fundamental freedoms greatly eroded under Netanyahu's government. Hardliners want Jewish and Arab citizens to swear loyalty to a "Jewish, Zionist, and democratic state," as well as its emblems and values.

Historical revisionism is rife. History books are rewritten. Nakba teaching and commemoration are banned. The term is verboten.

Netanyahu once called it anti-Israeli propaganda. It's Palestine's defining issue.

Israeli thought control targets dissent and uncomfortable truths. Journalists are especially vulnerable.

According to the Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA):

July was "unprecedented" in the commission of Israeli crimes against Palestinian journalists and media freedoms.

MADA general director, Mousa Rimawi, said it'll be remembered "as the most violent and bloody month in the history of the Palestinian press."

Nine journalists were killed. So was media activist Najaia Hai. By early August, Israeli forces killed six more.

At least a dozen others were injured. The homes of 16 press members were destroyed. Eight media outlets were shelled.

The IDF disrupted broadcasts of various TV and radio stations. It targets truth-telling web sites.

In July, MADA noted 76 media freedom violations in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Rogue states operate this way. They want control over what's reported. They want their message alone getting out.

In times of war, they want information about their crimes of war and against humanity entirely suppressed.

They call aggressive wars defensive ones or defending the homeland against existential threats.

They want media scoundrels regurgitating what activist Larry Pinkney calls "vomit." It substitutes for truth. It's systematically buried.

They target non-compliers with death. Sixteen corpses during Operation Protective Edge through early August attest to Israel's barbarity.

MADA believes journalists wouldn't be targeted if it was held "accountable for its previous crimes against (the press), which are considered war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions which protect all civilians in (time) of war."

"(S)o far nobody has been held accountable" for murdering journalists during Cast Lead (2008-09), Pillar of Cloud (2012) and Protective Edge.

"The circumstances of the Israeli crimes and attacks against journalists and media outlets during the Gaza assault indicate that some were deliberately committed to silence them."

"Israel did not hide the fact that it deliberately shelled the media outlets it accuses of being Hamas propaganda mouthpieces, such as Al-Aqsa TV and satellite channel."

Western support for Israeli genocide permits mass slaughter and destruction with impunity.

Israel invents pretexts to commit unspeakable crimes. It operates extrajudicially. It justifies the unjustifiable.

Crackdown isn't limited to Gaza. MADA reported a 71% percent increase in West Bank/East Jerusalem media freedom violations.

They included "arrests, physical abuses, shooting of live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas grenades, prevention from coverage, expulsion and detention, and confiscation and damage of equipment."

At least five West Bank journalists were arrested. The home of one was raided, searched and ransacked. A summons for interrogation followed.

At least 17 journalists were injured in the West Bank. Most were by Israeli rubber-coated steel bullets and other instruments of state terror.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Israel is a lawless, racist, apartheid rogue terror state.

Operation Protective Edge is Exhibit A. Genocidal war continues. It's been ongoing for seven weeks.

The Palestinian death toll exceeds 2,100. More than 10,550 were injured. Around 80% of Palestinian casualties are civilians.

Israel considers them legitimate targets. International law calls killing them in cold-blooded murder.

Collective punishment is official Israeli policy. It commits virtually every crime imaginable and then some.

Rogue terror states operate this way. Israel and America are the world's worst. They're democracies in name only.

They're partners in crime. They threaten world peace and security. State sponsored terrorism is official policy. So is war on humanity.

Netanyahu and other Israeli hardliners consider Palestinians "foreigners." They call them "infiltrators."

They want them denied all rights. They abhor peace, stability, equity and justice. They treat children like adults.

Age and gender make no difference. Torture is official policy. On average, Israel arrests and detains two children each day.

It's the only country trying them in military courts. They do so on spurious charges.

Media scoundrels turn a blind eye to what demands headlines. Managed news misinformation substitutes. Big Lies repeat ad nauseam.

Israeli aggressive wars are called defensive ones. Western leaders support Israeli genocide. Palestinian rights don't matter.

Genocidal war continues. Early Saturday, Israel murdered five Palestinian family members.

The victims include two women and two children. Their home was lawlessly targeted.

An airstrike leveled it. At the same time, Israeli gunboat fire struck non-military related agricultural areas.

Multiple daily war crimes terrorize defenseless Gazans. According to Maan News, "(b)omb disposal experts" said Israeli "dropped the equivalent of six nuclear bombs" on an area the size of Las Vegas.

A Gazan Interior Ministry explosives engineering police statement said Israel used 20,000 tons of explosives so far.

"Flechette shells, fuel-air bombs (which explode twice, including after impact), dime shells, and flechette shells saturated with uranium were fired at Gaza," the statement added.

Weapons used "affect the environment, soil, and water and will affect the next generations by spreading diseases especially cancer."

Khuzaa, eastern Rafah, Shujaiyya, eastern al-Mughazi, al-Bureij and Juhr al-Dik took "the lion's share of Israeli shells and missiles."

Drones, helicopter gunships, F15s, F16s, so-called vertical warplanes, artillery, mortars and other weapons targeted civilians. Entire families were wiped out.

More than 60,000 artillery shells alone were used so far. Enormous damage was done. Israel's dirty war continues.

Palestinian casualties mount. Accountability is nowhere in sight. Conditions are dire. Human suffering extreme.

Palestinian activists in Israel are targeted. They're vilified, beaten and subjected to other forms of abuse for opposing Israeli aggression.

Some are arrested. Others lost jobs for posting critical Facebook and other social media comments.

An Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel press release explained one incident reflecting others, saying:

"A crowd of right-wing Israeli Jewish counter-demonstrators attacked the al-Jabha (political party Hadash) protestors with stones and empty bottles, while police fired tear gas and water cannons to quell the protests; four people were subsequently taken to the hospital."

Right-wing protesters chanting "Death to Arabs!" and "Go to Gaza!" weren't arrested.

Nadim Nashif heads the Palestinian advocacy group Baladna. Israeli "fascists are much more organized than in previous years," he said.

"They always know when the Palestinian demonstrations take place and show up."

"This violence comes from the Israeli politicians…"  They urge "violence all the time."

"The right-wing fascists translate it into action in the streets, while the police have been given a much freer hand to arrest and beat Palestinian protesters."

Israeli courts deny justice. Silencing dissent matters more. So does supporting Israel's worst crimes.

Traumatized children don't understand. Hundreds killed and maimed perhaps best reflect Israeli barbarity.

A UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported a Palestinian child murdered every hour over one three-day period.

Israel considers them legitimate targets. They're killed at play, in school or at home.

Death or serious injuries haunt all Palestinians. Israel's killing machine shows no mercy.

Netanyahu promised greater mass slaughter and destruction "until the goals of Operation Protective Edge (are) reached."

Perhaps he has in mind extinguishing all Gazan life. Israel has the firepower to do it and then some.

Washington offers full backing and encouragement. One rogue state supports the other. They're partners in crime.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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