27th November 2012
“Targeting journalism has become a trend, and now the people who are harassing and killing journalists include governments as well as the people you would expect,” said Mr. Rusbridger, who, along with others, was honored at the gathering in New York.
Well, then, what you have to ask yourselves is, ‘Why do they hate us?’
On the same day as the Waldorf event, three employees of news organizations were killed in Gaza by Israeli missiles. Rather than suggesting it was a mistake, or denying responsibility, an Israeli Defense Forces spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, told The Associated Press, “The targets are people who have relevance to terror activity.”
And there you have it. So-called journalists aren’t just objective collectors of facts and reporters of news; they have an agenda and their activities are in support of that agenda. So it’s not a surprise that those on the receiving end of that agenda treat them like any other enemy, especially when they act as the propaganda arm of thugs, mass murderers, and terrorists. There’s nothing about being ‘employees of news organizations’ that makes you bullet-proof, or gives you diplomatic (or any other kind of) immunity. News organizations are notorious for picking a side and then employing adherents of that side as Friendly Native Guides; is it any wonder that doing so almost always gets them in trouble with the other side?
Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama worked as cameramen for Al-Aqsa TV, which is run by Hamas and whose reporting frequently reflects that affiliation. They were covering events in central Gaza when a missile struck their car, which, according to Al-Aqsa, was clearly marked with the letters “TV.” (The car just in front of them was carrying a translator and driver for The New York Times, so the execution hit close to our organization.) And Mohamed Abu Aisha, director of the private Al-Quds Educational Radio, was also in a car when it was hit by a missile.
Human Rights Watch spoke up in protest, saying in a statement, “Civilian broadcasting facilities are not rendered legitimate military targets simply because they broadcast pro-Hamas or anti-Israel propaganda.” Reporters Without Borders, another advocacy group, called the killings a “clear violation of international standards.”
Bullshit. If you want to be treated like a neutral observer, act like a neutral observer. Don’t act like a partisan and then act shocked, shocked when you’re treated like any other partisan.