Originally Posted by Josh Salah al-Din
A democratic state that makes it impossible for foreign reporters to do their job and goes as far too shoot at them. Smells like censorship...
Israel is mined with foreign reporters. Few other countries can bolster such a massive international media presence. And few other countries are scrutinized to the same degree. Even by native Israeli papers, Haaretz being an example. Israel has both freedom of press and freedom of expression, two cornerstones of democracy.
To say that it is 'impossible' for foreign reporters to do their job is flat-out wrong. You can open just about any newspaper or turn on your tv to attest to that. I've seen thousands of reports from the West Bank and Gaza. Shootings, demolitions of houses, daily scenes from checkpoints, interviews with local residents etc. Many of those reports are extremely critical of Israel. If they have made it impossible for foreign journalists to report, it's certainly not showing. Just think of the Jenin "massacre" - and how that was reported by some media outlets.
You have to keep in mind that this is an armed conflict. Covering something of that nature from close range is extremely dangerous. Yes, Israel has sometimes put unreasonable hindrances in the way of journalists working in the Palestinian areas, especially those from the local population. I'm sure you can cite examples of that. I can as well.
But have they been involved in the confiscation of tapes - which the PA has done on occasion? That would make the censorship charge somewhat relevant, but I don't think they have. For the record, I do not agree with their boycott of the BBC.
Yes, there have been some very tragic killings of journalists since the second intifada broke out. These are in no way endorsed by even the tiniest fragment of Israeli society. Such cases are internally investigated to see if any breach of regulations have taken place on part of the soldiers. Such killings typically happen during firefights or at night. Even the harshest critics usually stop short of accusing Israel of deliberately shooting reporters.
A democratic state that is building a 21st century version of the Berlin Wall...
Ah, now a GDR comparison. This is getting good, I wonder when Stalin will pop up. It's a security fence, intended to keep out terrorists and stop people from entering Israel illegally. Have a look at U.S.-Mexican border for reference.
Unlike the Berlin Wall, the purpose is not to prevent people from leaving their country. Israelis are free to do so.
No democracy is perfect but if you wanna be called a democratic country, you also have to act like it.
That's true, and on most accounts Israel does so. But they are certainly not perfect. Had they lived in the same neighbourhood as Iceland, things might have been different. But alas.