July 7, 2006, - 11:42 am
I never thought the next bullet might come from a Palestinian.
–Majdi Arabeed, owner of Al-Hurriya, Palestinian radio station in Gaza
You can always count on Islamo-fascists to go after each other. This time, it’s HAMAS issuing death and dismemberment threats against Palestinian media outlets. Which begs the question: Why does the world expect any peace with them if they can’t even get along with each other?
And there’s another question that should be asked: Where is the Mainstream Media (with the exception of USA Today) in exposing HAMAS’ death threats to Palestinian “journalists”? You know–the same Mainstream Media, which constantly attacks Israel.
You’d think they’d feel some sort of solidarity with their precious Palestinian “journalists.” But you’d be wrong. Their respect and awe of HAMAS and Islamofascism is greater than their phony devotion to freedom of the press. We exposed this, previously, when a Hezbollah-inspired Assad Syrian hitlist of Lebanese journalists was published in a Lebanese newspaper. No outcry from the media on that either. Not a peep.
More details on HAMAS vs. the hardly-heroic Palestinian media (Note that Israel never did such things to these Palestinians):
In 20 years in journalism, Majdi Arabeed says, his only weapon was his mouth. “Now I have a gun,” he says, reaching behind his chair and dropping an AK-47 rifle on his desk.
[DS: Note he never needed a weapon when the Israelis were in control and allowed him to engage in his “journalism.”]
Arabeed, owner and editor of the Gaza radio station al-Hurriya, says he has received phone and e-mail death threats from people claiming to be from Hamas, the militant group that now controls the Palestinian government. He suspended the station’s news broadcasts in May, armed himself and hired two bulky bodyguards. News broadcasts have resumed on a limited basis, but Arabeed remains wary. . . .
Arabeed and other Palestinian journalists say Hamas is trying to control news coverage.
Intimidation tactics compelled some media outlets, such as al-Hurriya, to suspend news coverage. Frightened columnists put down their pens. Hazem Abu Shanab, a communications lecturer at Gaza’s Al Azhar University, stopped writing his column for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and other newspapers.
Those tactics include:
* Death threats to journalists or outlets perceived as biased against Hamas, according to Arabeed and Reporters Without Borders, an advocacy group for journalists.
* Raids on radio and TV stations, including the sacking of Palestine TV’s bureau in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis by gunmen claiming to be from Hamas.
* Sharp public criticism from Hamas officials.
The Palestinian media do not have a tradition of independence. Before the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, Palestinian news outlets were subject to Israeli censorship. When Palestinian – and Fatah – leader Yasser Arafat returned from exile in 1994, after the Oslo peace accords with Israel, he used government-run outlets such as Palestine TV to mold coverage. He jailed dozens of journalists and dissidents who criticized his rule or the accords with Israel. Arafat died in 2004.
For more than a decade, Palestinian media outlets were the domain of Fatah, says Basem Ezbidi, a political science professor at Birzeit University in the West Bank. . . .
Up to 70 death threats a day
Dozens of Palestinian journalists, primarily in Gaza, have been threatened . . . .
Four of Arabeed’s 32 staff members quit after receiving threats by phone or e-mail, he says. As many as 70 death threats a day filled Arabeed’s own voice mail. So in early May, he directed his staff to suspend its news coverage. . . .
By June 1, al-Hurriya’s news reports were back on air, but with a significant change: It now omits any reference to Hamas. For example, if the Hamas government issues a decree or meets with foreign officials, al-Hurriya will not report about it. The station’s workers believe they are less likely to anger Hamas if they don’t report on it. . . .
“I never thought the next bullet might come from a Palestinian,” he says in his cramped office. . . .
A skeptical public
Muhammad Dahody, director-general of Palestine TV, says his phone began ringing after Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused the station of fomenting civil war in an interview May 22 with the Qatar-based Arabic satellite network Al-Jazeera.
Dahody says he received 20 calls a day from Hamas militants threatening to dismember him if he didn’t change the station’s allegedly biased reporting. After his wife heard a sermon fulminating against him on the radio last week, he changed his phone number.
On June 4, militants [DS: That means terrorists.] ransacked the station’s bureau in Khan Yunis.
Palestine TV is a branch of the Information Ministry – which is now run by Hamas. Complaints about the death threats to Dahody’s superiors at the ministry were met with advice that he should be more favorable to Hamas, he says. He says he appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also Fatah’s leader, and was told just to keep his head down. . . .
There “is no such thing as an independent Palestinian media outlet.”
Welcome to elections, democracy, and free press in the Islamic Mid-East–the focal point of President Bush’s Mid-East foreign policy.
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