Foreign journalists based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have for years refused to report on the financial corruption and human rights violations that are rife under the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas regimes.
Palestinian “suffering” and the “evil” of the Israeli “occupation” are the only admissible topics. Another Ramallah-based colleague shared that a few years ago he received a request from a cub correspondent to help arrange an interview with Yasser Arafat. Except at that point, Arafat had been dead for several years.
Fresh out of journalism school and unknowledgeable about the Middle East, the journalist was apparently considered by his editors a fine candidate for covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Two Western journalists recently asked to be accompanied to the Gaza Strip to interview Jewish settlers living there.
No, this is not the opening line of a joke.
These journalists were in Israel at the end of 2015, and they were deadly serious.
Imagine their embarrassment when it was pointed out to them that Israel had completely pulled out of the Gaza Strip ten years ago.
You have to have some pity for them. These foreign colleagues were rookies who aimed to make an impression by traveling to a "dangerous" place such as the Gaza Strip to report on the "settlers" living there.
Their request, however, did not take anyone, even my local colleagues, by surprise.
These "parachute journalists," as they are occasionally called, are catapulted into the region without being briefed on the basic facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sadly, correspondents such as these are more the rule than the exception. A particular clueless British reporter springs to mind:
When Israel assassinated Hamas's founder and spiritual leader, Ahmed Yassin, in 2004, a British newspaper dispatched its crime reporter to Jerusalem to cover the event. To this reporter, the region, as well as Hamas, were virgin territory. His editors had sent him to the Middle East, he said, because no one else was willing to go. Read it all here.............