by Stephen Lendman
(RINF) – Israel is a lawless police state. Military censorship bans or sanitizes material it claims harms national security – true or false.
It prohibits information the public has a right to know – despite its High Court rulings limiting content suppression to “tangible (or) near certain” instances of public endangerment.
Official policy is hardline. Fundamental rights are systematically violated. Palestinian protests, demonstrations, marches and gatherings are prohibited.
Free expression is compromised. Classroom materials are rewritten. Criticism of state policy risks recrimination.
Nakba denial persists. Academia is affected. Historical revisionism legitimizes horrific crimes too grave to ignore.
Israel has no constitution or laws guaranteeing free expression, a free press, intellectual freedom and right to challenge government abuse of power, especially on issues mattering most – notably in times of war.
Journalists challenging official policy are intimidated, assaulted and at times arrested. Palestinian journalists are most vulnerable. So are foreign ones. More on this below.
The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) “promote(s) and defend(s) media freedoms and freedom of expression.” Free societies can’t exist without them.
It issues monthly reports on multiple Israeli violations. Journalists are ruthlessly targeted for doing their job – especially during wartime when state authorities want high crimes against peace suppressed.
Jerusalem Day commemorates Israel’s June 1967 forceful annexation of East Jerusalem and illegal control of the entire city.
On Sunday, an RT International Arabic crew covered a march through the Old City. They had documents permitting them to do so.
It didn’t matter. Israeli security force thugs attacked them. According to reporter Dalia Nammari:
“After a terrible time we had to pass through checkpoints that they erected everywhere along the Old City, they asked us to move away from the Damascus gate point.”
“They didn’t do it gently. They pushed us and broke our camera.” Other journalists covering the event were treated “brutal(ly).”
An RT statement said:
“Representatives of the Israeli army attacked a correspondent and a cameraman of RT Arabic during coverage of Jerusalem Day. Serviceman damaged the camera and forbade to continue the shooting.”
Nammari and her cameraman Muhammad Aishu were filming a settlers march. They continued reporting using a smart phone.
They broadcast live via Skype. Security force thugs attacked them again. “They took away my earpiece,” Nammari said. “They are demanding from everyone, even journalists, to evacuate the area.”
“Even Palestinians who live in the city can’t be present here because of the settlers march.” Thousands participated.
Racist ones carried posters saying “Jerusalem for Israelis.” Security force thugs attacked protesting Palestinians. Some threw stones in response.
RT’s crew filmed some of the clashes before being blocked. Human rights worker Sarit Michaelli said Israeli assaults on peaceful demonstrators are commonplace.
They’re “rare to be filmed, but not rare to happen.” On Saturday, a Palestinian journalist was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet. He was filming a Nakba commemoration.
Palestinian physician, political activist, former presidential candidate, human right champion and Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) co-founder secretary-general Mustafa Barghouti told RT what happened on Sunday is standard Israeli practice “against journalists and against peaceful nonviolent Palestinian demonstrators.”
During summer 2014 Operation Protection Edge “the Israeli army killed 18 journalists including an Italian journalist in their attack on the Palestinian people,” he explained.
“So this violation of the freedom of expression and violation of the right of journalists to cover what happens is a frequent behavior of the Israeli army which respects nobody.”
Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is “considered illegal by every international law,” Barghouti added.
In 2014, Israeli security thugs raided Ramallah offices of several media organizations – including RT’s Arabic channel.
They “broke down the doors…destroyed some of the equipment and confiscated records,” said RT.
Police states operate this way – notably Israel and America.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.