Israel’s ruling coalition has been keen to try to ban al-Jazeera outright, and has talked up the idea of revoking the credentials of all journalists affiliated with them. The first such move, however, appears to be a test case of one single reporter, just to see how it goes.
Officials say al-Jazeera’s Elias Karram, an Israeli citizen from Nazareth, will have his credentials revoked on the grounds that he is biased in favor of the Palestinians. The move is likely to fuel international criticism, as previous calls to close down al-Jazeera did, from free press organizations.
The ban on Karram is based on an interview he gave on the obscure Dar al-Iman television network, in which he referred to journalism in general as “an integral part of the resistance” to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and said he considers himself a “Palestinian journalist in an occupied territory.”
Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) insisted support for the Palestinians was wholly incompatible with “rules of journalistic ethics,” and that he cannot both take an active part in political struggle for the Palestinians and act as a reporter.
Israel’s Union of Journalists was already quick to criticize this move, noting Karram was never accused of doing anything that violated incitement laws or infringed on national security in any specific way, and was being targeted exclusively because of personal beliefs he espoused in a single interview.