75% of all journalists killed across the world in 2023 were killed in Israeli war on Gaza, says CPJ

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Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

A protest against the killing of journalists in Gaza. Photo: International Federation of Journalists/X

A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists said that 78 journalists and media workers were killed in Gaza in the first three months of Israel’s war. The report added that the circumstances leading to the killing of these media professionals were difficult to ascertain due to Israel’s refusal to cooperate

Nearly three fourths of all journalists and media workers killed in 2023 were Palestinians who were killed in the first three months of the Israeli war in Gaza, said the annual report of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released on Thursday, February 15.

According to the CPJ, at least 99 journalists and media workers were killed in 2023. This is the highest number of journalists and media persons killed in a year since 2015 and was a 44% increase from last year when the figure was 69.

Among the 78 journalists and media workers killed in the Israeli war on Gaza, 72 were Palestinians, three were Lebanese and two were Israeli journalists.

The report stated that the details of the circumstances leading to the killing of most of the journalists and media workers in Gaza were difficult to obtain due to Israel’s refusal to cooperate. A large number of family members of those journalists and media workers were also killed in the Israeli bombings and ground offensive which made the task of investigating the circumstances of their killing difficult.

A total of more than  28,700 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 69,000 others have been wounded in the Israeli war in Gaza since October 7. Many journalists have lost their entire families in Israeli attacks.

CJP claimed that at least 78 of the journalists and thirteen media workers were killed on duty in 2023. It also claimed that there were eight more journalists killed last year but the investigation into the circumstances in which they were killed was still not complete.

CJP claimed that a large number of journalists in Palestine were killed deliberately and it has raised the issue with the Israelis.

Most of the Palestinian journalists killed on duty in Gaza were in full gear and easily identifiable when they were targeted in air strikes or during Israeli ground offensives.

Deliberately targeting and killing journalists on duty is a war crime as per international law. Israel often claims that journalists killed in Gaza were members of “terrorist groups” without providing any evidence.

The numbers are much higher, say other groups

Several more journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza by Israeli forces since December, including Al-Jazeera journalist Hamza al-Dahdouh who was targeted and killed by a missile attack on the car in which he was traveling with another freelance journalist Mustafa Thuraya.

Hamza was the son of prominent journalist Wael Dahdouh, most of whose family members were killed in Israeli strikes earlier. Wael himself was injured in one of the attacks carried out by the Israelis while on duty.

According to estimates by other organizations, the number of Palestinian journalists killed is higher. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) claimed at least 95 journalists or around 8% of all registered journalists in Palestine have been killed by Israel between October 7 and December 19.

According to Palestinian Authority’s media office, the total number of media workers killed in Palestine since October 7 is 126.

PJS claims that most of the journalists killed in Gaza were deliberately targeted by Israeli forces with the intention of “assassination and murder.” Some of the journalists were also threatened by Israeli forces before they were actually killed for covering the Israeli genocide, PJS alleged.

In addition to killing Palestinian journalists, Israel has also resorted to other means of shutting down the spread of information, including media gags, denial of visas to foreign journalists, and repeated shutdowns of the internet and telecommunication services, sometimes for weeks.

“The war [Israeli war in Gaza] is unprecedented in terms of threats to journalists” Jodie Ginsberg, Chief Executive Officer of the CPJ, told Al-Jazeera.

Israel has a long history of targeting and killing journalists. In 2022, Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed when she was reporting the Israeli military raid on Jenin. CPJ claims there were at least 20 such cases before the current war in Gaza but no one has ever been charged or held responsible for these killings.

Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Continue Reading75% of all journalists killed across the world in 2023 were killed in Israeli war on Gaza, says CPJ

‘Eradication of Journalism in Gaza’ Continues as Israel Kills Two More Reporters

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Original article by JAKE JOHNSON republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

A press helmet is placed over the grave of Hamza Dahdouh, a Palestinian journalist who worked for Al Jazeera and was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah on January 7, 2024. (Photo: Mohammed Talatene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The international community must “hold Israel accountable for its heinous crimes,” said the Al Jazeera Media Network.

An Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday killed two Palestinian journalists and seriously wounded a third, adding to the war’s grisly toll on media workers.

The Al Jazeera Media Network said in a statement that the Israeli military targeted the journalists’ car as they were driving through the northern part of Rafah. The strike killed Hamza Dahdouh, the 27-year-old son of Al Jazeera‘s Gaza bureau chief, and Mustafa Thuraya, a freelance videographer working with Agence France-Presse. Hazem Rajab was injured in the Israeli strike.

“The assassination of Mustafa and Hamza, Al Jazeera correspondent Wael Dahdouh’s son, whilst they were on their way to carry out their duty in the Gaza Strip reaffirms the need to take immediate necessary legal measures against the occupation forces to ensure that there is no impunity,” the network said, imploring the international community to “hold Israel accountable for its heinous crimes.”

Hamza is the fifth member of Wael Dahdouh’s family killed in Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip. Earlier in the war, Israeli strikes killed Dahdouh’s wife, younger son, daughter, and grandson. Wael himself was wounded by an Israeli drone strike that killed Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abu Daqqa.

“Hamza was everything to me, the eldest boy, he was the soul of my soul,” Wael said in anguished remarks from the cemetery where his son was buried. “These are the tears of parting and loss, the tears of humanity.”

Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, expressed “shock” in response to news of Dahdouh and Thuraya’s killing.

“This unbearable massacre must stop,” Deloire wrote on social media. “Israel must be held accountable for this eradication of journalism in Gaza. We will continue to refer to the International Criminal Court so that maximum priority is given to crimes against journalists. Justice must be served.”

(Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Since October 7, Israeli forces have killed dozens of media workers in the Gaza Strip, where around 1,000 journalists were working before the assault. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), more journalists were killed in the first 10 weeks of the war “than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year.”

“CPJ is particularly concerned about an apparent pattern of targeting journalists and their families by the Israeli military,” the group said last month. An investigation by Reporters Without Borders concluded that Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah and his colleagues were deliberately targeted in October 13 strikes in southern Lebanon.

Reporters Without Borders has filed two war crimes complaints with the International Criminal Court since early October. The second complaint, submitted last month, accuses the Israel Defense Forces of intentionally killing seven Palestinian journalists.

“Targeting reporters is a war crime,” the group wrote in a social media post on Sunday.

Original article by JAKE JOHNSON republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

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Continue Reading‘Eradication of Journalism in Gaza’ Continues as Israel Kills Two More Reporters

Stunning Atrocities in Gaza Funded by US Taxpayers

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Original article by RALPH NADER republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Children crying following the Israeli bombing of Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 15, 2023.  (Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

Congress is poised to send $14.3 billion to Israeli militarism—a “genocide tax” on U.S. taxpayers—without public hearings. What can be done to stop this madness?

The unstoppable Israeli U.S. armed military juggernaut continues its genocidal destruction of Gaza’s Palestinians. The onslaught includes blocking the provision of “food, water, medicine, electricity and fuel,” openly genocidal orders decreed by Netanyahu and his extreme, blood-thirsty ministers.

The stunning atrocities going on day after day is being recorded by U.S. drones over Gaza and by brave Palestinian journalists directly targeted by the Israeli army. Over 66 journalists and larger numbers of their families have been slain. Israel has excluded foreign and Israeli journalists for years from Gaza.

This no-holds-barred ferocity came out of the Israeli government’s slumber on October 7th which allowed a few thousand Hamas and other fighters to take their smuggled hand-held weapons and attack soldiers and civilians before being destroyed or driven back to Gaza.

Seventy-five years of Israel military violence against defenseless Palestinians and fifty-six years of violently and illegally occupying their remaining slice of the original Palestine provides some background for Israel’s Founder, David Ben-Gurion’s candid statement: “We have taken their country.” (See, his full statement here).

The overwhelming military superiority of Israel – a nuclear armed nation – in the Middle East has produced a more aggressive Israeli government. Being more secure than ever before doesn’t seem to temper the expansionist missions of right-wing Israeli colonies in the West Bank.

Presently, the narrow Netanyahu majority in the Parliament believes that “nothing can stop us.” Presently, they are right.

Joe Biden and Congress are vigorously enabling the annihilations. The UN is frozen by the Joe Biden administration’s vetoes in the Security Council against ending the carnage in Gaza. The Arab nations either lay in ruins – Syria, Iraq – or are too weak to cause Israeli generals any worry. The rich Arab nations in the Gulf want to do business with prosperous Israel and, other than Qatar, care little about their Palestinian brethren.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are no obstacle. Israel, along with Russia and the U.S. do not belong to the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian Authority is a party, but the practical difficulties of investigating Israeli war crimes in Gaza and apprehending the accused are insurmountable. The ICJ’s jurisdiction requires a country to bring Israel before the Court for war crimes or genocide. In any event, the Court’s lead-footed procedures trespass on eternity. So much for international law and the Geneva Conventions. Netanyahu rejects the moral authority of seventeen Israeli human rights groups, including Rabbis and reservist soldiers. Their open letter to President Biden in the December 13, 2023 issue of the New York Times on “The Humanitarian Catastrophe in the Gaza Strip” was ignored by the media despite the truth and courage it embodied.

In the U.S., protests and demonstrations are everywhere. Many are organized by Jewish human rights groups such as Jewish Voice for PeaceIf Not NowStanding TogetherVeterans for Peace and various student organizations. Everywhere Biden travels there are people from all backgrounds protesting.

A few days ago, the first protests by labor union members occurred in Oakland, California. Union activists could turn their attention to why, for years, union leaders put billions of dollars into riskier lower-interest Israeli bonds rather than U.S. Treasuries or bond funds investing in America. Like U.S. weapon deliveries, purchases of Israeli bonds by states, cities and unions have surged since October 7th.

Pope Francis, informed of the Israeli attack on the only Catholic Church and Convent in Gaza, which housed people with disabilities, killing and injuring Christians sheltering there, sorrowfully said: “Some would say, ‘It is war. It is terrorism.’ Yes, it is war. It is terrorism.”

In 2015, over 400 Rabbis from Israel, the USA and Canada called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop the practice of demolishing hundreds of Palestinian homes as being contrary to international law and Jewish tradition. Their successors Rabbis for Human Rights are being ignored by the regime.

The Head of the U.S. Bishops Conference and the National Council of Churches, representing millions of parishioners, condemned the bombings but received little coverage.

There is only one institution that could stop Netanyahu’s mass military massacres of the Palestinian people. That is the U.S. Congress. As long as over 90% of the politicians there automatically support AIPAC, the Israeli Government Can Do No Wrong Lobby, even a peace-loving Joe Biden cannot deter Netanyahu. Bibi (his nickname) could simply say to a hypothetically transformed Biden “Joe, take it up with OUR Congress.”

How has AIPAC achieved such domination on Capitol Hill? By years of relentless lobbying and the smear of “anti-semitism” to anyone defying them. AIPAC and its chapters don’t bother with marches or demonstrations. They personally focus on the legislator – one by one. Carrots or sticks. Praise, PAC money and junkets are the Carrots. The Sticks are smears and money for selected primary challengers in their Districts or States. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) called AIPAC “a Hate Group.”

There are about 300,000 citizens spending significant time back in the states working Congress in AIPAC’s favor. They know the doctors, lawyers, accountants, clergy, local politicians, donors, golf champions and other friends of the Senators and Representatives, and forcefully promote Israeli expansionism backed to the hilt by the U.S. government.

AIPAC is proficient in part for lack of any organized opposition. It is also practicing state-of-the-art non-stop grassroots lobbying.

Congress is poised to send $14.3 billion to Israeli militarism—a “genocide tax” on U.S. taxpayers—without public hearings. While growing public opinion in the U.S. is against unconditional backing of the Israeli regime, it has not changed a single vote in Congress. Someday, more organized support for America’s national interest will.

(For calls to your legislators, the Congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121.)

Original article by RALPH NADER republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingStunning Atrocities in Gaza Funded by US Taxpayers

Starmer’s Labour abstains on vote to protect journalists from state persecution, allowing Tory win

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Original article republished from the Skwawkbox for non-Commercial use.

Yet another shameful episode from ‘long-time servant of the security state’ Starmer

Image of Keir Starmer, thanks to The Skwawkbox

The UK’s lurch toward fascism continued last night with yet another shameful – and shamefully unsurprising – episode of cowardice and betrayal by Keir Starmer and the shell of the Labour party under his control.

With the Tories’ repressive ‘National Security Bill’ in the Lords last night, the Green party tried to rally support to protect journalists – and investigative journalism and therefore the interests of the UK people – from persecution under a bill widely recognised to be a measure to give the government freedom to act without scrutiny or accountability, turning the UK into a mini-US in its treatment of journalists for doing their job.

Even a handful of Tories in Parliament have pointed out that such vital revelations as the ‘Panama papers’ would not have been possible under the new bill and that the rights of women, minority groups and the wellbeing of citizens are under severe threat from the proposed new law.

So the Greens in the Lords called a vote to protect journalists – for the sake of all this country’s people. It was defeated, because Keir Starmer whipped Labour peers to abstain.

Keir Starmer has been called a ‘long-time servant of the British security state’ and his affiliations have been expressed in votes to protect state agents from even such crimes as rape and murder, his attacks on environmental and human rights protesters, his support for immunity for soldiers who murdered civilians in Northern Ireland and more. So his action in the Lords vote last night should surprise no one, but his decision to whip for abstention and engineer the defeat of the motion rather vote against it directly is another manifestation of his fundamental spinelessness.

He is avidly helping push this country along the road to fascism, but doesn’t have the moral courage even to nail his colours to the mast, instead hoping that telling Labour representatives not to vote at all will lessen the backlash against his betrayal.

Original article republished from the Skwawkbox for non-Commercial use.

Continue ReadingStarmer’s Labour abstains on vote to protect journalists from state persecution, allowing Tory win

Commentary and analysis of recent political events

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Mandela’s funeral dominates the news today.

Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected the advice of his advisor Nadhim Zahawi that child benefit is only paid for the first two children. Why mention it then?

Pope says that he is not a Marxist but does not consider it an insult.

Illiberal benefits cuts increase evictions of poor families.

MPs to be given honesty training. MPs are apparently the most mistrusted profession – ahead of bankers, journalists, estate agents and second-hand car salesmen!


Continue ReadingCommentary and analysis of recent political events