Elias Karram

An Arab journalist who abused his press credentials to act against Israel will now have those credentials revoked.

Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) Director Nitzan Chen on Wednesday decided to revoke the GPO card of senior Jerusalem-based Al Jazeera correspondent Elias Karram pending a hearing, effectively preventing him from working in Israel.

Among other tasks, the GPO is the official government body that accredits and maintains contact with the vast corps of foreign reporters based in Israel.

Karram’s press credentials are being revoked following his unprofessional anti-Israel reporting which he said is “an integral part of the resistance.”

In a 26 May 2016 interview with the Muslim Brotherhood television channel Dar al-Imanby, Karram stated that “as a Palestinian journalist in an occupied area or in a conflict zone, media work is an integral part of the resistance and its educational political activity. The journalist fulfills his role in the opposition with the pen, voice or camera because he is part of this people and he carries out resistance in his unique way.”

Palestinians usually use the word “resistance” to refer to terrorism and violence against Israel.

Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara and Ofir Gendelman, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman for the Arab Media, submitted the inflammatory contents to the GPO this week, along with additional material.

“These remarks call into question the ability of Karram, the representative of a foreign network, to cover – as a professional journalist – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which, according to his own words, he is taking an active part,” The GPO stated in explaining its move.

Karram, 40, an Israeli citizen from Nazareth, has carried a GPO card on behalf of Al Jazeera since 2011. At the hearing, he will be requested to explain whether or not he is part of the “Palestinian people’s resistance to the Zionist occupation,” as he stated in the interview, and if so, how this affects his work as a journalist according to universal ethics.

Chen said that “the whole issue of GPO cards is bound up with journalist’s rules of ethics and universal fairness regarding news reporting. It would seem that an Al Jazeera correspondent, who serves as a senior field correspondent vis-à-vis news and security events, made the sharp and far-reaching comment that “any Palestinian journalist should see himself as an integral part of the resistance to the occupation

“Whoever takes an active part in a political struggle should do so in the framework of the law, but without press credentials from the state of Israel,” he said.

It should be noted that Kara recently contacted Chen and requested that the press cards of all Al Jazeera personnel in Israel be revoked on the grounds that the network was inciting violence in a way that harmed the security of the state.

Regional Supporter of Terrorism

Earlier this month, Israel announced it planned to ban Qatar’s flagship Al-Jazeera network from operating in the country over allegations it incites violence, joining Arab nations that have shut down the broadcaster amid a separate political dispute. The news organization, in turn, said it will take legal action.

Al-Jazeera, a pan-Arab satellite network funded by the Qatari government, already has been targeted by Arab nations now isolating Qatar as part of a months-long political dispute over Doha’s politics and support of terrorism.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have recently closed Al-Jazeera’s local offices, while the channel and its affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

“Lately, almost all countries in our region determined that Al-Jazeera supports terrorism, supports religious radicalization,” Kara said. “And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al-Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State (group), Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that then something delusional is happening here.”

Israeli officials have long accused Al-Jazeera of bias against the Jewish state. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has likened its coverage to “Nazi Germany-style” propaganda.

By: United with Israel Staff