Israel Uses Intimidation Against the Media

"The Israeli army has taken harsh action in recent days against news media covering its campaign in the West Bank, employing intimidation and other drastic measures to keep journalists away from its largest offensive in a generation," reports MSNBC. The Israeli government press office has announced that no "foreign citizens (including members of the media) are allowed to be in the closed zone," and that "anyone found in the closed zone henceforth will be removed." Israel threatened unspecified legal action on Tuesday against CNN and NBC for ignoring military orders and broadcasting from the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, and revoked the credentials of two Abu Dhabi TV journalists after their network broadcast a story alleging that Israeli troops executed a group of young men in Ramallah. "Journalists' groups have united in their condemnation of the Israeli authorities for failing to protect press freedom in the West Bank town of Ramallah," reports Jessica Hodgson. Some information, however, is coming out through non-traditional, activist media. For the Palestinian side of things, check out the Electronic Intifida, which includes an eyewitness report from Ramallah by Tzaporah Ryter, a Jewish peace activist from Minnesota, titled "How to Get Food While Getting Shot At.". Useful historical background about the current conflict appears in Robert Friedman's December article from the Nation, "And Darkness Covered the Land," or read Charles Yost's "Israel and the Arabs: The Myths that Block Peace" (written in 1969). Also, the Guardian of London has assembled a roundup of recent perspectives from both Israeli and Middle Eastern newspapers.