Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We Can See Why Palestinian Journalists Tow The Line, But What Explains The Mainstream Media?

In The Palestinians: The Real Traitors, Khaled Abu Toameh recalls a comment made by Ali Kazak--former PLO representative to Australia--that any Arab journalists who writes about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority is "traitor" who should be executed in the same way that collaborators were killed by the French Resistance:
The threat reminds journalists like me how lucky we are that we live in Israel and not under the jurisdiction of the PLO or Hamas.

We are also fortunate that Kazak and his radical supporters are sitting far away in Australia and not in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where they would be lining up journalists and critics against the wall and shooting them like the "traitors who were murdered by the French Resistance."

The PLO, like most of the Arab dictatorships, has a long history of targeting journalists who refuse to "toe the line."
This clampdown is one of the main reasons why the Palestinian media is still far from being independent and free.

One of the first things the PLO did when it entered the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1994 was to wage a campaign of intimidation and terror against Palestinian reporters and editors.

Another photographer had his two arms broken by members of Fatah's armed wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, apparently after he had been heard bad-mouthing senior officials associated with Arafat.

A photographer who took a picture of a donkey strolling along the beach of Gaza City was arrested and beaten by Palestinian security agents on charges of "defaming the Palestinian cause" by distributing a picture of the animal instead of documenting the "suffering" of his people.

A newspaper editor who failed to publish a story about Yasser Arafat on the front page of his newspaper found himself thrown into a Jericho prison for a week.

The offices of a newspaper in east Jerusalem were torched after the editor published an editorial denouncing financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority.

The director-general of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation was gunned down in Gaza City, and it's widely believed that Arafat had ordered the assassination.

Earlier this year, the Palestinian Authority leadership instructed all Palestinian journalists and editors to refrain from publishing allegations of rampant corruption made by Fahmi Shabaneh, the former head of the anti-corruption department in the Palestinian security forces.

The absence of a free and independent media in the Palestinian territories has driven many Palestinians to seek work in the Western media, including Israeli newspapers and radio and TV stations.
So it's not surprising that Arab journalists write what the Abbas and the PA want. But the question remains as to what has driven the mainstream media the world over to become exactly the kind of unquestioning puppets that the PA wants?

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