While the Qatari outlet aired a totally false claim that Israel kills journalists, Western outlets spread the lie that Israel arrested an Al Jazeera reporter for “no reason.”
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
The Al Jazeera network appears to be pulling out all the stops in a bid to discredit Israel with fake news.
After Israeli security forces briefly detained Al Jazeera journalist Givara Budeiri on June 5, the Qatar-funded outlet claimed that “Budeiri was ‘assaulted and arrested’ for no reason, which was then parroted by Associated Press and The New York Times,” reported media watchdog Honest Reporting.
Honest reporting noted, “Video footage shows that Budeiri pushed a border police officer after failing to present a valid press card. Only then was she taken into custody. Al Jazeera made no mention of this.”
Al Jazeera also recently interviewed a supposed human rights activist named Adam Shapiro who claimed Sunday that Israeli commanders are ordering security forces “to take out journalists … [and] kill them.”
Shapiro works with an organization based in Ireland called Front Line Defenders, which says it advocates “on behalf of human rights defenders at risk.”
Contacted at his home base in New York, Shapiro, who serves as Head of Communications & Visibility for the organization, claimed with no proof that Israeli security forces are actively targeting foreign journalists, especially Palestinian journalists.
“The message being sent by the commanders in Israel [is] to take out journalists – to arrest them, to remove them – or in worst case scenario to hit their buildings or kill them,” Shapiro said, citing no proof.
He went on to say that all networks should speak out and file complaints with Western governments “that it’s also their networks, their journalists … who are subject to this kind violence and this kind of intimidation.”
In reality, Israel is one of the only places in the Middle East with a free press. In contrast, journalists who operate in areas controlled by the Palestinians are jailed, beaten, tortured, and intimidated.
Even the international organization Reporters Without Borders, which has an anti-Israel agenda, admits that “the Israeli media are free to be outspoken, which is rare in the Middle East.”
The biggest complaint against Israel is that “journalists are exposed to open hostility from members of the government” – yes, politicians get angry with journalists, but even the world’s top journalist watchdog doesn’t think Israel is trying to “kill” reporters.
When it comes to the Palestinians RWB ranks them a miserable 132nd place in the world. No, not as dismal as Iran (174th) or North Korea (179th), but says “for [Palestinian] journalists, the price of the political rivalry between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian territories includes threats, heavy-handed interrogation, arrest without charge, intimidatory lawsuits and prosecutions, and bans on covering certain events.”
Al Jazeera doesn’t cover the arrest of Palestinian journalists in Gaza or in Ramallah.
Several Al Jazeera officials claimed that Budeiri’s arm was broken and later Sunday pictures started appearing on social media of Budeiri with her left arm in cast and supported by a sling.
The problem is that shortly after being released by Israeli police Saturday night, Givara Budeiri was interviewed by a fellow Al Jazeera journalist and can be seen adroitly holding her smartphone in her supposedly injured hand.
Later in the interview, she waves the same hand around and actively gestures with it showing full motion and no pain at all.
The next morning she was interviewed with the arm in a cast in a sling.
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