Hamas admits intimidating foreign press but NY Times correspondent disputes it (& UK shop removes kosher food for fear of attack)

August 18, 2014

The cars of Israeli tourists in Spain

 

Staff clear up some of the damaged “Israeli” goods at Tesco

 

Police protecting a branch of the British supermarket Tesco from pro-Hamas demonstrators on Saturday

 

* Haaretz: “Some reporters in Gaza received death threats [from Hamas]. Sometimes, cameras were smashed. Reporters were prevented from filming anti-Hamas demonstrations where more than 20 Palestinians [who objected to Hamas use of forcing people to serve as human shields] were shot dead by Hamas gunmen.”

* Furious row between New York Times Jerusalem correspondent Jodi Rudoren and other journalists after Rudoren casts doubt on claims by many foreign journalists that they were restricted by Hamas from telling truth.

* Frontbench British Labour MP Shabana Mahmood, who called on activists at the weekend to take “direct action” against British shops, took part in an aggressive protest in Birmingham which shut down a Sainsbury’s branch for five-and-a-half hours on Saturday.

* Kosher meats, cheeses and sauces were all removed from a Sainsbury’s branch in London’s West End were not from Israel but from Britain and Poland.

* And on a lighter note… spike in demand for “top quality” IDF soldier sperm donations.

***

You can see these and other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia.

 

CONTENTS

1. Hamas admits intimidating foreign press
2. Haaretz: “Some reporters received death threats” from Hamas
3. Bewilderment as New York Times correspondent seems to stand up for Hamas
4. “Entire family” of dead Palestinians found alive
5. In UK, Sainsbury’s removes kosher food after anti-Israeli mob trashes Tesco’s
6. In Spain, Israeli tourists’ tires slashed, “murderers” painted in red on cars
7. Anti-Semitic flyers put on Jewish-owned business in Los Angeles
8. Calls for Glasgow politician’s resignation after he waves Israeli flag
9. And on a lighter note… spike in demand for IDF soldier sperm donations


[Notes below by Tom Gross]

HAMAS ADMITS INTIMIDATING FOREIGN PRESS

A Hamas official has acknowledged what has long been known to media insiders: that Hamas intimidates journalists into reporting what it wants.

In an interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV on Thursday, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the head of foreign relations in Hamas’s Information Ministry, Isra Al-Mudallal, in effect admits that Hamas placed many foreign journalists in Gaza under surveillance and expelled from Gaza those who sought to film the launching of rockets at Israel from built up civilians areas, next to schools and hospitals.

Al-Mudallal says journalists who tried to “film the places from where missiles were launched… were deported from the Gaza Strip.”

“Some of the journalists … were under security surveillance… we managed to reach them, and tell them that what they were doing was anything but professional journalism and that it was immoral.”

As I noted in my dispatch last Tuesday, the Foreign Press Association, the group that represents foreign journalists working in Israel and the Palestinian territories, issued a strongly-worded condemnation of Hamas’s intimidation tactics against its members:

“The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month. The international media are not advocacy organizations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.”

The FPA statement continued, “in several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.”

 

HAARETZ: “SOME REPORTERS RECEIVED DEATH THREATS” FROM HAMAS

In an article in Haaretz last week, seasoned Middle East correspondent Matthew Kalman wrote that “Hamas repeatedly demanded a list of the names of correspondents … in order to draw up a blacklist of individuals and networks.”

“Some reporters received death threats. Sometimes, cameras were smashed. Reporters were prevented from filming anti-Hamas demonstrations where more than 20 Palestinians were shot dead by Hamas gunmen.”

Kalman continued: “Hamas began firing mortars right next to the location of foreign reporters, in what may have been an effort to draw Israeli retaliatory fire.”

 

BEWILDERMENT AS NEW YORK TIMES CORRESPONDENT SEEMS TO STAND UP FOR HAMAS

New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren has disputed the FPA statement’s calling it “nonsense” in a tweet.

According to Haaretz, Rudoren’s tweet “was followed by a furious email exchange with the FPA, in which Rudoren denounced the statement as ‘dangerous.’”

Rudoren made her bizarre statement even though she admits: “I was not in Gaza during the height of the hostilities.”

Even more intriguing, Rudoren’s deputy at the New York Times Jerusalem bureau, Isabel Kershner, was one of the FPA board members who approved the FPA statement. (Both Rudoren and Kershner are subscribers to this list.)

Some brave reporters working in Gaza broke ranks once they had left Gaza and revealed Hamas’s intimidation, as I documented here, including reports from Indian and French TV.

Meanwhile, media such as the BBC continue to mislead their audiences. We are now seeing a wave of protests and attacks in the UK and other countries (see below), which are not entirely unrelated to the BBC’s utterly misleading reporting about Israel.

 

“ENTIRE FAMILY” OF DEAD PALESTINIANS FOUND ALIVE

The print edition of the British magazine The New Statesman carried a 4,000 word report from Gaza by well-known British newspaper journalist Donald Macintyre, published on August 10, with graphic details about how the “entire family” of ten-year-old Mohammed Badran were killed in an Israeli airstrike. (He has 8 brothers and sisters.)

However, at the very end of the online version of Macintyre’s piece, an update has been placed on August 12, telling readers that Badran’s family were not, in fact, killed in the Israeli airstrike (although some had been injured).

This illustrates the unreliability of western journalists who rely on Hamas’s misinformation and distortion of casualty figures – and that includes information given by some doctors at Shifa hospital (from which Macintyre was reporting), which is a key Hamas’ command and control center in Gaza. Doctors are not liberty to tell the truth if they don’t want to be “punished” by Hamas.

In this case, The New Statesman has run a correction. But in how many other cases are journalists misleading the public?

They should, of course, do their job and report on what is happening in Gaza. But they should not swallow whatever propaganda Hamas puts out, especially when it comes to the significant exaggerations of the numbers of Palestinian civilians who have been killed – exaggerations which the BBC and others are continuing to broadcast every day even though the BBC’s own head of statistics has said they are unreliable.

 

IN UK, SAINSBURY’S REMOVES KOSHER FOOD AFTER ANTI-ISRAELI MOB TRASHES TESCO’S

A central London branch of one of Britain’s biggest food stores, Sainsbury’s, has admitted emptying its kosher food shelf after the manager feared anti-Israeli protesters outside would attack it. The incident happened after anti-Israeli activists wreaked havoc at a Birmingham branch of Tesco on Saturday.

Meats, cheeses and sauces were all removed from a Sainsbury’s branch in Holborn in London’s West End. Many of the removed kosher goods were not from Israel but from Britain and Poland.

There was further shock when shoppers said they heard a member of staff saying, “We support Free Gaza, we won’t sell Jewish food,” according to British press reports.

The (London) Daily Mail reports that one disappointed shopper said he told the Sainsbury’s manager, “I presume you are also removing Halal food in protest against the Islamic State slaughtering Yazidis. Clearly not – therefore you have blurred the line between political statement and hate crime.”

The incident comes in the context of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain and elsewhere.

As I have noted in previous dispatches, Tesco stores in the British cities of Birmingham, Rochdale, Sale, Blackburn and Luton have also been attacked. Police were injured outside the Birmingham Tesco as they tried to protect the store. Some of the anti-Israel crowd chanted that Tesco’s was founded by a Jew.

Unlike Sainsbury’s though, Tesco’s (which is now a public company) have brought in police to protect their stores.

Whereas several Labour MP have supported the strong-armed tactics of anti-Israeli protesters, former Tory MP Louise Mensch called anti-Israeli protesters “racist b*******”.

Following the outcry, Sainsbury’s Holborn has now replenished its kosher food shelf.

 

There are so many “anti-Israeli,” or anti-Semitic, incidents around the world, that is hard to keep up.

Here are a few more, picked out at random:

IN SPAIN, ISRAELI TOURISTS’ TIRES SLASHED, “MURDERERS” PAINTED IN RED ON CARS

The Spanish paper, El Periódico, reports that a group of Israelis “suffered acts of vandalism in the Leridana village of Sort (Pallars Sobirà). Specifically, the vehicles of this group of tourists have been painted with the word “murderers,” and the tires were slashed.”

“The police have opened an investigation. Catalunya is considered a top destination for tourism from Israel, with about 15,000 visitors a year, 18% of the foreign tourists visit the Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes.”

You can see a photo here:

http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/sociedad/pintadas-ruedas-pinchadas-sort-contra-grupo-turistas-israelis-3447808

 

ANTI-SEMITIC FLYERS PUT ON JEWISH-OWNED BUSINESS IN LOS ANGELES

CBS2’s Juan Fernandez reports that a Jewish storeowner near the UCLA campus in Los Angeles has received flyers with swastikas along with the words “Wanted” and “Warning” underneath the door of his business.

Similar Swastika-marked leaflets were left in stores in Westwood, North Hollywood and Valley Village in June.

Report and photos here:

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/08/14/only-on-cbs2-anti-semitic-flyers-surface-at-jewish-owned-business-near-ucla/

 

CALLS FOR GLASGOW POLITICIAN’S RESIGNATION AFTER HE WAVES ISRAELI FLAG

After many Scottish politicians and town halls have waved Palestinian flags (without any disciplinary action being taken), Glasgow city councilor David Meikle waved a small Israeli flag from city hall balcony, and in response, there are calls for him to resign.

Report and photo here:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.610159

 

AND ON A LIGHTER NOTE… SPIKE IN DEMAND FOR IDF SOLDIER SPERM DONATIONS

A hospital in Haifa says it has seen a surge in requests for sperm donors who served in combat roles in Operation Protective Edge, as women seek “top quality donors”.

Report here:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4557200,00.html

[Notes above by Tom Gross]


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.