Friday, August 1, 2014

Hamas fighters and journalists in Gaza (updated PS)

In the ongoing media reports of the Gaza fighting, I have wondered, why have we not seen any pictures, still or video, of the Hamas fighters in Gaza while journalist have had visuals and audio of Israeli soldiers in Israel and lots of photos, videos and audio of injured and killed in Gaza?

And then I received the following in an email late on 7/29/14. I can not verify its validity though the original source is cited at the end.

Because of the unusual nature of this report I let it speak for itself.

"A Spanish journalist told Israeli filmmaker Michael Grynszpan   that the reason television news does not broadcast images of Hamas fighters in action is because of fear of immediate execution.
Grynszpan  , who directed the film‘Forgotten Refugees  ‘, about the 800,000 to 1 million Jews expelled   from their homes in the Arab world in the 1950s, posted his interview with the unnamed Spanish journalist on Facebook   on Wednesday.
“I met today with a Spanish journalist who just came back from Gaza. We talked about the situation there. He was very friendly. I asked him how come we never see on television channelsreporting from Gaza any Hamas people, no gunmen, no rocket launcher, no policemen. We only see civilians on these reports, mostly women and children.”
“He answered me frankly: ‘It’s very simple, we did see Hamas people there launching rockets, they were close to our hotel, but if ever we dared pointing our camera on them they would simply shoot at us and kill us.’”
“Wooh, impressive. Then I asked him ‘Would you mind saying that on camera? I can film you explaining this…’”
“For some reason I cannot really understand, he refused and almost ran away. I guess my camera is as dangerous as Hamas threats…”
“So just for you to know, the truth will never appear on the images you see on television.”
Grynszpan  ‘s interview was flagged on Thursday by blogger Elder of Zion   who compared the many reports of the dangerous intimidation endured by journalists from Hamas in Gaza to what was reported in 2006, at the hands of Hezbollah, in Lebanon.
“CNN’s Nic Robertson dutifully accompanied Hezbollah on a planned tour of a bombed out building, repeating Hezbollah’s talking points about not seeing any military targets there and not telling viewers that it was staged entirely by Hezbollah. Only when he was safely back in the U.S., and challenged on TV about his report, did he admit the truth,” the blogger said  .
Robertson, as reported by Newsbusters  , said on air: “Hezbollah has ‘very, very sophisticated and slick media operations,’ that the terrorist group ‘had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn’t have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath,’ and he even contradicted Hezbollah’s self-serving spin: ‘There’s no doubt that the [Israeli] bombs there are hitting Hezbollah facilities.’”
But Elder of Ziyon also quoted the reporting of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who he credited as being “the only one of scores of journalists who exposed the facade of impartiality while he was in Lebanon  .”
“As the video showed a group reporters and photographers interviewing asingle woman on a blanket, Cooper explained, ‘Civilian casualties are clearly what Hezbollah wants foreign reporters to focus on. It keeps the attention off them — and questions about why Hezbollah should still be allowed to have weapons when all the other militias in Lebanon have already disarmed.’”
“After letting us take pictures of a few damaged buildings, they take us to another location, where there are ambulances waiting.”
This is a heavily orchestrated Hezbollah media event. When we got here, all the ambulances were lined up. We were allowed a few minutes to talk to the ambulancedriversThen one by one, they’ve been told to turn on their sirens and zoom off so that all the photographers here can get shots of ambulances rushing off to treat civilians. That’s the story that Hezbollah wants people to know about.”
“These ambulances aren’t responding to any new bombings. The sirens are strictly for effect.”
source cited is: 

After posting the above, received the following from a reader:

Here are the conclusions:

"What the Times and other mainstream news outlets seem determined to hide from their readers is that their photographers and reporters are hardly allowed to roam freely. In fact, they are working under terribly difficult conditions under the effective control of a terrorist organization which–as the war itself indicates–doesn’t hesitate to maim, kidnap, and kill people that it doesn’t like.

How does being dependent on Hamas for your daily access–not to mention your life–potentially impact coverage? Well, the fact that the Times has only two distant, grainy, unusable images of Hamas gunmen from Tyler Hicks tells you all you need to know, doesn’t it.
If your imagination needs more help, here’s Liel Liebovitz’s column in Tablet:
In recent days alone, we’ve heard the account of Gabriele Barbati, an Italian journalist who, once leaving Gaza, tweeted  : “Out of #Gaza far from #Hamas retaliation: misfired rocket killed children yday in Shati. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.” We’ve also heard from Radjaa Abou Dagga, a former correspondent for France’s Liberation whose attempts   at practicing honest journalism got him summoned by Hamas thugs, accused of collaborating with Israel, and told to stop working as a reporter and leave the strip at once.
By playing coy with readers about the reasons why coverage is so imbalanced, the Timesmay think that it’s defending the work of its reporters and photographers. In fact, it’s making them and the paper look foolish–while serving as the propaganda arm of a terrorist organization. Someone at the paper needs to devote some serious attention to the reasoning that has transformed difficult working conditions on the ground into a glaring editorial failure."