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Israel Muzzles Foreign Press
O'Dwyer's Public Relations News O'Dwyer's Public Relations News
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Benjamin Netanyahu

Biden stiffs press, kowtows to Netanyahu… White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it’s “concerning” that Israel wants to boot Al Jazeera satellite TV network from the country because it dislikes its coverage of the destruction of Gaza.

That’s bunk. What’s concerning is the lack of US action in support of a free press and its ability of journalists to do their job in covering the Israel/Hamas war.

Israel’s Knesset approved a bill allowing for the temporary shutdown of foreign media deemed to be a threat to national security.

Al Jazeera has provided tough round-the-clock coverage of the carnage in Gaza, which hardly presents Israel in a good light.

So how does Israel respond? It attacks the messenger.

Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Al-Jazeera a “terrorist channel” and accused it of participating in the October 7 attack on Israel.

His attacks recall the slanders spread by the Bush II administration about the Qatar-based TV station’s coverage of the US invasion of the Iraq war.

Al Jazeera has accused Netanyahu of waging a “frantic campaign” against it composed on nothing but “dangerous” and “ludicrous” lies.

“Netanyahu could not find any justifications to offer the world for his ongoing attacks on Al Jazeera and press freedom except to present new lies and inflammatory slanders against the network and the rights of its employees,” said a April 2 statement from the Qatar-based media company.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has blasted Israel’s crackdown on foreign media as a threat to all international media operating in Israel.

“This contributes to a climate of self-censorship and hostility toward the press, a trend that has escalated since the Israel-Gaza war began” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, in New York.

CPJ says 95 journalists have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank since the beginning of the Israel/Hamas war.

“Concerning” is the best that the Biden administration can do.

It gets worse. “The United States supports the critically important work of journalists around the world and that includes those who are reporting in the conflict in Gaza,” said Jean-Pierre in her “off-the-shelf” response about freedom of the press.

That’s pathetic and lets Israel off the hook. When does the US stand up to Netanyahu?

The embattled Israeli prime minister claims the horrific attack that killed seven members of World Central Kitchen on April 1 was a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people.”

There’s no question about it being a tragedy, but it’s hard to swallow the line about the slaughter being unintentional.

Netanyahu is responsible for the deaths of at least 25K Palestinian women and children since Israel invaded Gaza.

The vast majority of those victims were as innocent as the Polish, British, Palestinian, Australian and American/Canadian relief workers who were delivering food to people starving in Gaza.

They are starving because of the famine conditions that were triggered by Netanyahu’s blockade of food shipments to the people of Gaza. WCK has now suspended operations in Gaza. Bibi chalks up another victory in his famine strategy

Or as the US-based WCK puts it: Netanyahu has turned food into a weapon of war.

Its relief team was traveling in a “deconflicted” zone in two armored cars branded with the WCK logo and a soft skin vehicle in a movement that was coordinated with the Israel Defense Forces.

The Financial Times reports that Israel hit the WCK vehicles in separate attacks along a more-than-one-mile stretch of road along the Gaza coast.

Israel has promised yet another investigation into its latest atrocity. The investigative team should spare its energy, and focus its attention on its desperate-to-politically-survive prime minister.

Hope returns… Former White House communications director Hope Hicks is expected to testify at Donald Trump’s criminal trial alleging the payment of hush money to actress Stormy Daniels.

Hicks was press secretary for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign at the time news broke about Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s payment to the porn star to buy her silence about an affair with his boss.

Hicks has already testified to a grand jury probe into Trump’s interference in the 2020 election.

Jury selection for the hush money trial will begin April 15.

Hicks, Cohen and Daniels rank among the star witnesses for the high-profile case.

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