So That Explains It

"Something very bad has been taking place in the relationship between the Israel Defense Forces and the media in recent days," says Amos Harel, a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. Harel is critical of the IDF's exclusion of journalists from its war zones in the West Bank, but is skeptical of reports that the restrictions were intended to cover up a massacre. In fact, he says, blocking journalists was a mistake that Israel will come to regret: "Infantry officers there felt that there was no reason to be embarrassed of the fighting and claimed that it was the exclusion of the press that led to the soldiers' portrayal as war criminals seeking to hide their actions." (As the Mideast war heats up, the British paper the Guardian offers a number of resources, including a weblog page with resources, and a list of media links. For more direct access to more Mideast papers, go to ABYZ Newslinks.)