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Israel Vows to Ban Al Jazeera - Poster of the Week


Yes to Freedom of the Press

Abu Al-Nun

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Offset, Circa 2009

Gaza (Palestine)

42817


Text Translation:

Banner: Yes to Freedom of the Press

(top right mine): the invasion

(middle left mine): partisanship

(ground mines, right to left, top to bottom):

Absence of union body

Absence of rule of law

Lack of Security

Trespassing professional ethics

Self-censorship

(bottom left white text): A project to promote freedom of expression and journalistic work in the Gaza Strip, funded by CARE International

(bottom right white text): Al Mezan Center for Human Rights


Although CSPG's Poster of the Week seems to highlight recent legislation in Israel to Censor foreign news agencies, this 15-year-old poster reveals that freedom of the press has been under attack in Israel for years.


On April 1, 2024, Israel's Knesset passed a law allowing the Israeli government to shut down foreign news outlets deemed "dangerous" to national security. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly vowed to shut down Qatari-based Al Jazeera for being a "bullhorn of Hamas." Four days later, Haaretz, one of the main Israeli newspapers, published an editorial titled: "Hard as Al Jazeera is to watch, shutting it down in Israel is wrong." This law is a blatant act of censorship.


Al Jazeera is one of the leading news outlets in the Middle East with a massive global audience. The agency, as with any media organization, is not immune from controversy, but since October 7, it has been one of the only international news outlets to provide on-the-ground, critical coverage of the ongoing genocide from inside the Gaza Strip. Their coverage is essential for holding the Israeli government and IDF soldiers accountable. Many Al Jazeera reporters and their families have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. Indeed, more journalists have been killed by Israel's assault on Gaza since October 7 than in any other armed conflict in recent history. The targeting of journalists, and the shutting down of foreign news outlets critical of Israel, is intended to silence the Palestinian experience.


Israel is often hailed as "the only democracy in the Middle East." Yet the murder of 33, 000+ people on occupied land, the religious-ethnic cleansing nationalism built upon the fear of others, and now the crackdown on freedom of the press challenge this.


Half of Gaza is on the brink of starvation, and the killing continues. Preventing coverage of this mass murder allows it to continue. And we must not forget that President Biden continues to send the weapons that the U.S. taxpayers are paying for.


If the Israeli government desperately fear this coverage, what does that say about their actions?


Immediate Cease Fire

Release all Hostages

Stop the Arms Shipment to Israel


 

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