'Foreign media coverage in Gaza a disgrace to the profession'
Government press office chief Danny Seaman ripped the foreign media
on Sunday over their coverage of Operation Cast Lead (Hat Tip: Noah Pollak
Branding foreign journalists "spoiled crybabies" unwilling to make "a little effort" to get into Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, Government Press Office head Danny Seaman denied Sunday there had been any ban on their entry into the Strip during the battle.
"There was no ban," Seaman declared, "Israel did not want to endanger the lives of the workers at the crossings so we didn't open them, not for humanitarian reasons and not for foreign journalists."
"Those spoiled crybabies just didn't want to put a little effort in [to getting into Gaza]," he said "We never arrested anyone who went in, nor are we running after them now," which proves that it wasn't an actual Israeli policy.
"In hindsight, next time we should make it an actual policy. This week proves it. All of the reporters have been let in and they are accepting everything everyone says at face value. Maybe 3% are calling and asking for an Israeli response, or talking to the IDF spokesman. They are a fig leaf for Hamas.
"Their coverage right now is a disgrace to the profession. Instead of reporting, they are settling scores. Reporting without both sides, without a context is an abuse of the profession," he declared.
That sounds like a fair description to me. You wouldn't believe the emails I am getting over 'atrocities' that the IDF supposedly committed. The experts agree with Seaman.
A week after a fragile cease-fire went into effect, media experts the Post spoke with agreed that the decision had been a good one.
"It was definitely the correct decision. If foreign journalists had been killed, and in such a close quarters urban combat environment that was inevitable, then Israel would have immediately been blamed," Zvi Mazel, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt and now a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) maintained.
"At the very least, the journalists would have interfered with IDF operations in ways which would have put at risk more soldiers' lives," he added.
Mazel was unconcerned about Al Jazeera's apparent boost.
"It is time the world realized that Al Jazeera is not just another neutral news channel. They have a nationalist, Islamist agenda which they have had from their inception. The network is under the oversight of the Islamic Brotherhood. They have an anti-US, anti-Israel agenda. In the Second Lebanon War, they became spokespeople for Hizbullah. Now they were spokespeople for Hamas," he said.
Dr. Yariv Ben-Eliezer, director of Media Studies, The Lauder School of Government, IDC, was even more vociferous in his approval of the ban.
"In Lebanon, they let every journalist have whatever access he wanted and there was chaos, which interfered with the fighting. They changed the concept for this operation.
"I don't think the US took journalists into Grenada, or the British into the Falklands. It is our right to decide not to let them in if we believe it will help the operation," he said.
Neither Mazel nor Ben-Eliezer seemed in the least bit concerned with the negative press Israel has been receiving as reporters moved into Gaza.
Ben-Eliezer attributed the complaints about the ban to a general anti-Semitic attitude in the world.
"There is a tendency in many countries to view the Jews as the beaten, downtrodden ones. If the Jew does the beating, then that is deemed unacceptable. I would rather be accused and alive than be the favorite of the British and the others and be dead," he declared.
The media is really good at feeling self-important. They're not. The IDF did a great job handling the public relations this time. And does anyone outside the Arab world really believe al-Jazeera? Outside of the Arab world, how many of those viewers were real and how many were watching al-Jazeera out of a morbid sense of curiosity?