17 March '16..
Amidst a wave of stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks against Israelis, the IDF shut down “Palestine Today,” a Palestinian Islamic Jihad radio/television station that had been broadcasting incitement to violence. The International Federation of Journalists had this to say:
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which represents 600,000 journalists across the globe, stands by its affiliate the Palestinian Journalists Union (PJS) in condemning this brutal attack against free press and ask for UN immediate reaction to the escalation of attacks against the press in the occupied territories.
The IFJ further accused Israel of a “wave of violence targeting journalists.”
What did the IFJ choose to ignore?
An organization of journalists should appreciate the importance of balance and context. Which is why it is particularly galling that the IFJ didn’t mention in its statement that Palestinian Islamic Jihad is designated as a “terror organization” by Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
By way of background, the IFJ might also have mentioned that this is the same designation those countries apply to groups such as Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda and Boko Haram.
An organization of journalists should also appreciate the importance of research, which is why it is especially hypocritical that the IFJ didn’t disclose that the broadcaster does in fact glorify and encourage the killing of Israelis, such as in this example of Palestine Today’s “journalism”:
Israeli Member of Knesset and long-time professional journalist Yair Lapid explained in a statement to the IFJ that:
Freedom of the press does not extend to terrorist propaganda and to those who incite to murder. The content on Palestine Today would not pass the editorial guidelines of any of your members. I was a journalist for over three decades; this isn’t journalism. This isn’t free speech, this is hate speech. You are not defending press freedom; you are defending incitement to murder.
Not all “journalists” are actually journalists.
This is not the first time the IFJ has attempted to treat terrorists as if they were bona fide journalists. The Newseum, a museum dedicated to media, in Washington, D.C. commemorates journalists who have been killed “in the line of duty.” In 2013 the Newseum initially commemorated Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama, who had officially claimed to be journalists. When it came to light that the two were actually Hamas operatives engaged in terror activities, the Newseum defied pressure from the IFJ and others, and removed the two terrorists from its commemoration list.
Defending terrorists, betraying journalists.
When terror organizations hijack the designation “journalist” for their own nefarious ends, they tarnish the profession as a whole. The IFJ might have objected to this practice, but instead it chose to defend it. In its misguided support for terrorists, the IFJ does a disservice not only to hundreds of recent Israeli victims, but also to the thousands of actual journalists whom they claim to represent.
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