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How Palestinians Intimidate Journalists

Israeli police and journalists take cover (Photo: flickr/farshadebrahimi)

It's a fact that facts about Israel's conflict with the Palestinians rarely make it to the rest of the world, and Gatestone Institute's Bassam Tawil explains why. Because the Palestinian Authority's leadership intimidates, censors, threatens, and assaults Palestinian journalists, the truth is never reported, and thus never reaches Western media:

In the view of President Mahmoud Abbas and his PA, Palestinian journalists exist to write stories slamming Israel or praising PA leaders. Media, for them, is defined as a mouthpiece for Abbas, the PA leadership and the Palestinian cause.

Any journalist who dares to think outside this checkpoint is subject to severe punishment. Under Abbas and the PA, there is no room for an independent media.

The three major Palestinian newspapers -- Al-Quds, Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda -- are controlled, directly and indirectly, by the PA...

Abbas's policy of intimidation seems to be working. Palestinian journalists living under his rule in the West Bank are afraid to report stories that are not favorable in the eyes of the PA leadership.

As the international media relies heavily on Palestinian journalists and "media assistants" in covering Palestinian affairs, this intimidation of Palestinian journalists heavily colors the reporting of Western journalists. The stories Palestinian journalists tell their Western colleagues are limited to ones that will not endanger their own lives.

This censorship, whether by the Abbas's security forces or self-imposed, explains why one rarely reads or sees a story in Western mainstream media about negative things happening in the PA-controlled territories.

The Palestinian journalists, like their leaders, give Western journalists only the dirt on Israel. Many Western journalists, for their part, have adjusted themselves to this reality and are willing partners in the bash-Israel campaign...

Tags: Palestinian Authority , Media

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