Culture, Politics

International Federation of Yellow Journalists

I Want My Hezbullah TV!
There are many topics to debate about in Israel’s war against Hezbullah.  Both morally and strategically.
But what is not (I would hope) up for debate is the legitimacy of Hezbullah itself. 
Having said that, Hezbullah TV itself is clearly part of the democratic free press community that the fundamentalist Islamic world is known and admired for.
Take Al-Manar.
Certainly you shouldn’t expect a leader of the International Federation of Journalists to recognize a qualitative difference between a mouthpiece for a terrorist organization and say, CNN.
And they do not. Not one bit.

“The bombing of Al-Manar is a clear demonstration that Israel has a policy of using violence to silence media it does not agree with,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “This action means media can become routine targets in every conflict. It is a strategy that spells catastrophe for press freedom and should never be endorsed by a government that calls itself democratic.”

Shockingly, “press freedom” for Al-Manar has been denied by staunch Zionist Entity supporters such as…France.   Which IFJ dismisses by noting, along with their ties to Hezbullah. Al-Manar’s, not France.
Some have expressed anger that the IFJ has not seen fit to condemn Hezbullah for targeting Israeli journalists with rockets.
But that’s ridiculous. Al-Manar never claimed to be pro-Democracy or a bastion of free speech!
It simply isn’t constructive for Israelis to get so upset about one little double standard and focus on applying hurtful labels, such as who is or isn’t a terrorist organization.  Bombing is not the way to express a different opinion to that of a “media organization.”
Especially during war time!  We should agree to disagree.
Clearly if the Israelis knock out the communications mouthpiece of Hezbollah, Hezbollah has already won.
At least in the U.S., let us not give the terrorists victory.  We should be offering Al Qaeda a public access show in all major metropolitan areas, and allow them to explain their side, as well as attempt to recruit Americans, and instruct them why and how to create bombs, gas subways, and destroy tall buildings.
Anything to make the IFJ happy. 
Tragically, some misguided Israeli journalists do not understand that IFJ is merely trying to build a better tomorrow for all media everywhere, and six immediately submitted their resignation.

15 thoughts on “International Federation of Yellow Journalists

    Saturday, July 22, 2006 · Last updated 3:52 p.m. PT
    Missiles hit a Lebanese TV station hard
    BEIRUT, Lebanon — Israel has been unable to silence Hezbollah’s television station, its powerful voice at home and in the Arab world, despite 11 days of bombing. But warplanes on Saturday did knock a Lebanese station often critical of the guerrillas off the air in parts of the country.[…]
    LBC was an unusual target for Israel to hit. The private station – mainly Christian-owned and once the mouthpiece for the Lebanese Forces, a powerful Christian militia during the 1975-1990 civil war – is often critical of the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah. An LBC comedy show caricaturing Hezbollah’s leader raised protests in June.
    The criticism continued in the early days of Israel’s offensive against Lebanon, launched July 12 after Hezbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers. But even on LBC it has been increasingly overshadowed by national solidarity as casualties grew in the bombardment.

  2. xisntox,
    I am by no means claiming this is correct, but you missed a critical part of this story.
    “An Israeli military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Al-Manar and LBC may have been sharing an antenna.
    LBC’s terrestrial transmission was knocked out to homes in the surrounding portion of north-central Lebanon, though homes with satellite dishes received it without interruption.”
    This was not a direct hit on LBC. It appears that the target motivation was solely Al-Manar.

  3. Who cares about the opinion of some media organization. It’s not like they hold the security of Israel in their hands.

  4. John Brown,
    I wouldn’t always agree with that, but once a war is on, it’s anyway not only about self-defense. Wars are not won through self-defense alone. It’s about attempting to win the war, and shutting the enemy down. Blocking or destroying an enemy’s communication and propoganda ability has always been a part of warfare.

  5. David Kelsey – so you would agree then that the Lebanese would be justified in blowing up Israel’s Channel 1, or the Israeli Army radio? or the Iraqis would be justified in blowing up FOX news headquarters in NYC ? Personally I don’t see how that could be justified but I’m curious as to whether you think that is OK

  6. John Brown,
    I think that it would make perfect sense for Hezbollah to attempt to hit the Israeli Army’s radio if they are going to be at war with Israel. It isn’t a childrens’ hospital. It aids the Israeli advance and military objective.
    This is different than targeting reporters or a free press (even if limited), which is frequently on the side of an enemy that has no free press, such as was the case for the Vietnamese.
    What makes less sense to me is for Hezbollah to desire war with Israel at all.

  7. David – I’m surprised that you don’t seem to differentiate between attacking combatants and non-combatants, because it’s a slippery slope from there that jusifies all kinds of horrible things

  8. John Brown,
    I would say that I don’t truly see Israeli Army Radio infrastructure nor Hezbullah’s TV station’s infrastructure as non-combatant in the same way I would the LBC or Haaretz, or targeting actual reporters.

  9. Kelsey — I didnt miss that, but I was skeptical about it. these folks hate each other, and the LF station broadcasts anti-Hezbollah stuff — seems weird they’d be sharing equipment, no? possibly Israel made a boo-boo and is coming up with excuses. If they really shared the equipment, why did it only affect the LF station?

  10. xisntox,
    It’s a good question. I remembered that Jordan and Israel had such an arrangement in the very early 90’s, but that isn’t a good answer, since they were really at peace (and allies) since ’73. Maybe the owner is a business before politiics kinda guy. That’s the best alternative explanation I can think of. Please let me know if it is clarified.

  11. Kelsey, I agree with you 100%. I guess, as a journalist for the last 45 years, that I may have learned something about the use of TV and radio installations to do all kinds of stuff militarily, even on “regular” stations, such as giving directions in code to people who are listening…but today’s young folks are too stupid and ignorant to understand how the airwaves can be so dangerous. It’s all about freedom…to kill, to give secrets away–and in the case of Arabs and Islamists, to use those airwaves from the day a child is born to teach every Muslim that every single Jew on the face of the earth, along with the rest of the infidels and dhmimmis, that every single one of us who refuses to become a muslim and kiss Arab ass must die.
    So bomb those fing antennas and radio stations right off the earth ve garmarnu.
    I have been begging them to do that since the early 1990s.

  12. Text of report in English by Iranian news agency IRNA website
    Tehran, 24 July: Iranian Journalists’ Guild Association on Monday [24 July] condemned Zionist regime’s devastating war against the Lebanese nation, voicing sympathy with the victims, particularly journalists.
    “The regime of Israel has, in well-organized attacks on Lebanon, ruined the country’s infrastructure of the society and, in an unprecedented move, destroyed al-Minar network and the antennas of satellites stations. Based on incoming reports, two of our journalist colleagues have also been killed in the offensive,” read a statement issued by the Association.
    The statement said that based on international conventions, striking information dissemination centres in wars and restricting the activities of journalists are among war crimes, and the agents responsible for such acts should be prosecuted by related institutions.

    IFJ Issues New Warnings Over Safety After Lebanese Photographer Dies in Bomb Blast
    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today renewed its call to combatants on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict to protect journalists after a Lebanese photographer was killed when an Israeli missile exploded near her taxi.
    “The tragic death of this young journalist illustrates once again the priority that must be given to protecting media staff covering armed conflicts,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “This conflict is daily becoming more dangerous for media staff. Again we appeal to all sides to recognise that journalists are non-combatants who must be allowed to do their jobs safely without fear of being targeted.”
    Layal Nejib, aged 23, was killed on Sunday in southern Lebanon after a missile explosion. She worked for Al-Jaras magazine as well as other media outlets. She is the second media staffer to be killed in the region since tensions reignited.
    Israeli air raids on Saturday hit transmission stations used by several Lebanese television channels and killed media worker Suleiman Chidiac, a technician working for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC). Two others were wounded in the strikes when relay stations for Future TV, Hezbollah-run Al-Manar television and LBC, the nation’s leading private network, were attacked by Israeli bombs.
    Last week, Israeli forces fired on a news crew of TV satellite channel Al Jazeera and injured technician Wael Tantous.
    “We are calling on both the Israelis and Hezbollah to respect the rights of journalists to cover this story and to make sure that no other media staff will lose their lives for reporting on the conflict,” White said. “The Israeli government must make a full investigation into recent attacks on journalists, to ensure that this does not happen again and that anyone targeting journalists is held accountable.”
    For further information please contact +32 2 235 22 00
    The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries

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