Israeli cartoon shames biased Foreign Press Assoc reportage, eliciting grumbles

By William Booth in Washington Post 6/15/2015 

Israel’s Foreign Ministry released an animated short video Monday that mocks foreign journalists who covered last summer's war in the Gaza Strip. The hacks are portrayed -- horrors -- as clueless.

The short clip, produced in-house by the ministry, was prominently featured Monday on the home page of the diplomatic service.

Israel Foreign Press Assoc photographers (Photo:JNS.org)
The release of the cartoon by the government comes a day after Israel issued a broad defense of how the country waged the war in the Gaza Strip last summer, making a case that Israel sought to minimize civilian casualties as the Islamist movement Hamas put its people in the line of fire and cynically used the ensuing death and destruction to stoke anti-Israel propaganda.

The Times of Israel reports that the clip drew a harsh condemnation from the Foreign Press Association in Israel.

The Foreign Press Association in Israel said that it was “surprised and alarmed” by the clip “mocking the foreign media’s coverage of last year’s war in Gaza.

“At a time when Israel has serious issues to deal with in Iran and Syria, it is disconcerting that the ministry would spend its time producing a 50-second video that attempts to ridicule journalists reporting on a conflict in which 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed,” the FPA said in a statement Monday.

“Israel’s diplomatic corps wants to be taken seriously in the world. Posting misleading and poorly conceived videos on YouTube is inappropriate, unhelpful and undermines the ministry, which says it respects the foreign press and its freedom to work in Gaza,” the statement said.

But the Foreign Ministry said the cartoon should be taken as a lighthearted jab.

“The film mocks many journalists with a gentle wink, too many of whom are blind to what is happening around them,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told reporter Noga Tarnopolsky.

Quite a few journalists who were in Gaza did not report the rocket fire in residential areas in proximity of public buildings. Only after the operation and after leaving Gaza were these materials released and was real information about what they saw revealed.

“Thus, these journalists admitted they did not report what they saw. What is the reason for this? Fear of Hamas? A lack of willingness to tell the truth?” he added, according to Tarnopolsky, who quoted the statement in a series of tweets Monday evening.


How are Obama's strategies losing the Middle East? Watch Bret Stephens of the Wall St. Journal, live with Josh Block

Under the presidency of Barack Obama the Islamic State (ISIS) is spreading into Iraq and Gaza, Iran trifles with Obama's nuclear sanctions lifting, and Islamism is growing in global socio-political influence.  Wall St. Journal columnist Bret Stephens analyzed the US' interests under the Obama administration's Middle East policies- in conversation with The Israel Project's Josh Block at Congregation Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills,  Sunday evening June 7, 2015.  

Enjoy some of Mr. Stephen's analysis in 21 minutes of video and 30-minutes of preceding audio from the presentation.