World Jewish Congress: Hamas Intimidation Has Cowed Foreign Media in Gaza, Why No Photos of Hamas?
The World Jewish Congress on Thursday said Hamas had cowed foreign journalists in Gaza through intimidation and threats of violence, resulting in a one-sideed portrayal of the war in Gaza that featured a glaring lack of any published images of Hamas militants in action.
E.J. Kessler, spokeswoman for the World Jewish Congress, the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations, said that by not standing up to Hamas, the international media “has produced a one-sided anti-Israel narrative in the mainstream press.”
Kessler said, “The growing number of reports from journalists testifying to Hamas intimidation are troubling and call into question the veracity of some accounts of the fighting.”
“The media has not adequately explained why it has not been able to broadcast or print many pictures of Hamas terrorists firing rockets from civilian areas or handling weapons, when thousands of rockets have been fired and weapons used,” she said.
“It was considered a big scoop when, many weeks into the conflict, an Indian TV crew this week released footage of Hamas terrorists firing a rocket in a civilian area. How is that possible? What are editors telling their reporters? The media must be held responsible for caving in to the totalitarian pressure of Hamas censorship.”
Kessler referred to several examples, including a story by Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati, who said he was able to report that Hamas, not Israel, was responsible for shelling in Shati, but only after leaving Gaza, and two tweets by correspondents for The Wall Street Journal that highlighted Hamas operating its headquarters from the Al Shati Hospital and showing how Hamas rockets, not Israel’s likely hit the hospital, but were quickly deleted.
Media watchdog CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, also expressed concern, specifically, as to what inspired the WSJ to delete such damning evidence.
Other stories from the front included one by a Finnish journalist who said she reported that Hamas was firing from the parking lot of Shifa hospital because it was true, but she was disappointed when international readers seized only upon that confirmation of fact, rather than show interest in the narrative she hoped to convey, about child victims of war.