Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Palestinian Christians Living in Fear


Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,
Father Raymond J. De Souza writes in the National Post:

There is no free press in Gaza. Outside reporters, whether Israeli or foreign, cannot move about freely and pursue such stories. Foreign reporters in particular need extensive handlers, as they do not know the local language, the local geography or the local leaders. It is much easier to stay in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem and rewrite press statements about the visit of the latest foreign dignitary.

Even if the reporters came, what would they be told? It is well known that Christian Palestinians who have been subject to firebombings, seizures of homes and businesses, assaults and death threats still tell foreign visitors that they have excellent relations with their Muslim neighbours. After the foreigners go home, these Christians must remain, and are loath to give any reason for jihadist extremists to think that they are stirring up trouble.

And so it goes -- news trickles out about one outrage or another, but it gets lost if it gets noticed at all. Meanwhile, Christians in Gaza and the West Bank try to live quietly, never knowing whether a newspaper in Denmark or a papal speech in Germany or nothing in particular might be the pretext for violence coming to their doors.

It is an awful way to live. It is more awful still that so few know, or care about it.
Read the full article here.

We commend the National Post for addressing this issue and HonestReporting will continue to highlight those stories that the mainstream media fails to properly acknowledge.

GUARDIAN READER'S EDITOR RESPONDS

Following HonestReporting subscribers' success in getting a one-sided video removed from The Guardian's website, the newspaper's reader's editor Siobhain Butterworth has responded in a column explaining the decision:

The video didn't include comment from Israeli sources because the Reuters package, available at the time, did not include any. This was not, a senior website editor told me, a deliberate attempt to give a one-sided response to the event; it was an editing error. There had been a fatal attack inside Israel and it was a mistake to post a video that only included responses from Palestinian sources - it could and should have been edited. "You needed to hear the voice of the victims' representative," he told me.

While we respectfully disagree with The Guardian's defence that the video should have been treated as part of the overall package of coverage (which did include Israeli voices), we nonetheless thank Butterworth for listening to the comments she received and for treating this issue with the seriousness that it deserved.

Contribute to the debate and discussion on our Backspin blog.
BBC APOLOGIZES FOR EQUATING MUGHNIYEH, HARIRI
Is the BBC unable to tell the difference between terrorist leaders and legitimate national politicians? The Corporation was compelled to issue an apology after arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh and assassinated former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri were both described as "great national leaders." The Jerusalem Post explains:

The BBC took the unusual step after Don Mell, The Associated Press's former photographer in Beirut, lambasted the parallel, drawn by BBC correspondent Humphrey Hawkesley in a BBC World report last Thursday, as "an outrage" and "beyond belief."

American journalist Mell was held up at gunpoint by Mughniyeh's men as his colleague Terry Anderson, AP's chief Middle East correspondent, was kidnapped in Beirut in March 1985....
Contacted by the Post, the BBC issued a statement Friday acknowledging that "the scripting of this phrase was imprecise" and apologizing to anyone who was offended by the item.
Hawkesley made the comments near the end of this video.

24HR - AND THE WINNER IS...

Thank you to all of those who downloaded the latest version of our 24HR Megaphone. We asked leading Middle East media analyst Tom Gross to draw the winner of $200 of Amazon vouchers. The lucky recipient is Dr. Ronald Cohen M.D. of Great Neck, New York.

Tom Gross will be speaking exclusively to HonestReporting next week. With the Paris court case potentially reaching its final stages on February 27, Tom will be analyzing the al-Dura affair in a video overview, while HonestReporting and Take A Pen will have someone on the scene in Paris to provide the news as soon as the judge delivers any verdict.

It's not too late to download the 24HR Megaphone to ensure that you will be the first to hear the breaking news. Click on the button below to download the latest version.

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