Correspondent for the Rachel Maddow Show, Richard Engel says that he was told by an Israeli government official that right now, Israel does not want foreign journalists in the Gaza strip reporting on the humanitarian crisis, mostly because it would reflect poorly on Israel’s image. Furthermore, he quotes the Israeli official as saying that this has been timed so that by the time Israel allows foreign journalists into Gaza, it will be Obama’s inauguration and no one will care about Gaza anymore.
And there you have it. Listen at 4:30.
RACHEL: If you or any of the drones over at MSNBC are reading this, please read Ted Swedenburg’s critique of your Gaza coverage. You have dumbed down the conflict and refer to it as a “cycle of violence” and a “war between Israel and Hamas.” A war implies two armies fighting each other. If you will look at the death tolls, you will see that there is no equality here: Nearly 700 Palestinians killed versus fewer than 10 Israelis. One population starving and dying from blockade, the other living with free access to developed nation goods and services. Ted writes,
I consider it more dangerous than Limbaugh and O’Reilly and the rest of the right-wing commentators, because Rachel is such a hero for the liberal left. And deservedly so. But she needs to have her feet put to the fire on this issue.
And if you get this far, mention Israel’s use of white phosphorous. Please.
ENGEL: Every single day, reporters have been petitioning to the Israeli government to ask for access. I have called every day and said, “When are we going to be allowed in?” And one Israeli official had an interesting explanation of this. He said that right now, Israel doesn‘t want foreign journalists or journalists in general inside the Gaza Strip reporting about the humanitarian situation in there, reporting about the military activities, partly for tactical reasons. They don‘t want anyone giving away battle details—which is understandable—but mostly to try and manage the image.
And the Israelis have timed this out. This official told me that he expects this operation, while negotiations are taking place, will last several more days and that after that, reporters would eventually be allowed in. But at that stage, Israel is assuming the United States will mostly be focused on all of the coverage around the inauguration and that viewers simply won‘t care at that point.
[Tarboush Tip: Quiqui]Filed Under 2008 elections, Emily, Gaza, human rights, israel, media, white phosphorous