Some thoughts on the situation

Since the Gaza war [can we even call it a war?] started, the Israeli government barred foreign correspondents from entering the Gaza Strip to cover the war.

AP now has a good story about how Al Jazeera, who were one of the few media outlets to have reporters inside Gaza, were the big winners of the war in terms of holding a monopoly over news and images coming out of the Strip during the 22 days of Operation Cast Lead.

AP: “American viewership of Al-Jazeera English rose dramatically during the Israel-Hamas war, partly because the channel had what CNN and other international networks didn’t have: reporters inside Gaza.

“Having reporters in Gaza — which others did not have — that’s what made Al-Jazeera stand out and that’s important on the Internet,” said Jeff Jarvis, who teaches journalism at the City University of New York and writes about media on his blog.

Ethan Bronner of the NY Times offers an interesting take on this:

“Israeli officials and their backers declared that keeping reporters out of Gaza was the right move because no independent journalism could possibly occur in an area run by Hamas, which controls every utterance here. Have any of these people ever read Taghreed’s work? Or any of our work out of here?”

Holocaust Memorial Day is on Tuesday, and there has been so much Gaza-Holocaust parallels going on during and after Operation Cast Lead, that I wonder how this year’s event will go down. Holocaust Day is being hijacked by anti-Israel groups. Last week I was interviewed by Turkish TV and Radio and was asked if what the IDF was doing in Gaza was the same as the Holocaust.

With so many examples lately of the Holocaust parallels, and people calling for boycotts of Israel, I feel as if there is a steady deligitimization of Israel going on. How did we become the bad guys? Haven’t we been hit by rockets for the past eight years? All the talk of Israel’s public diplomacy working well this time, as compared to the Second Lebanon War, seem very hollow to me now.

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