While the recent Human Rights Watch report about torture and human rights violations under the PA and Hamas touches on the topic of intimidation of journalists, as far as I can tell no one has really reported on the depth of the problem, and what it means for any desired “State of Palestine.”
As in many autocratic nations, there is an official Palestinian news agency, Wafa. The writers are anonymous but are certainly on the PA payroll – paid by the governments of the world.
They regularly write what they are paid to write, much of which are anti-Israel screeds.. They talk about “the occupation” and “Jewish extremists” and “Jewish fanatics” who want to visit holy sites and the articles fawn over the wonderful leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies.
There are no bylines. There is no way to write a letter to the editor. There are no means to correct errors.
No one would consider this to be journalism – it is pure naked propaganda.
To the tune of dozens of articles every day.
Palestinian newspapers and news sites regularly reprint Wafa articles verbatim. They treat the propaganda factory the way American newspapers treat Reuters. Everyone knows it is propaganda – except for the audience.
When real journalism is forbidden, something has to fill the vacuum – and that is the propaganda of the PA, paid for by your tax dollars. They don’t only decide what stories to cover up by intimidating and jailing journalists, but they also decide what lies to propagate.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.