The international media continues to complain about the Israeli government’s decision, contrary to their own Supreme Court‘s ruling, not to allow any foreign journalists to enter the Gaza Strip nearly two weeks into their attacks. The Israeli Foreign Ministry, already struggling to deal with all the attacks on civilians and aid workers in Gaza, is frankly sick of hearing about it.
The Foreign Press Association will continue to file complaints, but the military says that its escalations in the Gaza Strip give it discretion not to allow in foreign journalists during the more dangerous situation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor sees no need for actually journalists on the ground, noting that “news reports from Gaza haven’t stopped flowing for a minute.”
True enough, but the western media is increasingly ignoring the conflict, and those reports are coming chiefly out of Arabic language channels like al-Jazeera, where they are immediately dismissed as Hamas propaganda by an “outraged” Israeli government, or from UN and aid officials who are condemned as “extremists.”
Yet the strategy is largely effective, and is unlikely to change according to former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman. “It is obvious the army is still operating according to its original plan, the international community is still giving us the space to conduct the campaign, and our hasbara efforts are doing very well.”
And truly, while there have been plenty of protests organized against the continued killings, the stonewalling tactic has kept the story far enough away from the public consciousness that US officials have had little trouble in maintaining virtually universal support of the Israeli attack, much to the delight of AIPAC.
In the end, the complaints may continue, but so long as the war escalates Israel will likely choose to keep their policies of heavy censorship as a safer alternative for protecting the official narrative than having scores of credible reporters on the scene when the Israeli military attacks a school full of civilians.