Journalists fleeing a country out of fear of arrest, media workers being “attacked and detained” by people who enjoy the full backing of the state, and soldiers accused of attacking journalists? Sounds like Iran’s post-election scene, but this time it’s Israel.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has a good report on the case of Anat Kam:
“Israel has held a journalist under secret house arrest since last December based on allegations that during her military service she leaked classified documents suggesting that the Israeli army violated laws dealing with targeted killings.
Anat Kam, 23, was arrested last December and charged under Israel’s espionage and treason laws, JTA has learned.
Prosecutors are seeking a 14-year sentence, which is considered severe by Israeli standards.”
Richard Silverstein, who has been blogging on this case, wrote today that an “unconfirmed report” indicates that the Haaretz reporter, Uri Blau, who wrote the story that caused Kam to be arrested has left Israel in fear of being arrested.
Also today, YNet reports on the case of a Dutch TV reporter who said he was “attacked and detained for two hours by settlers who tried to prevent him from documenting the working conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank settlement of Gilgal, near the Jordan valley.”
And two days ago, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement on a late January incident in a village south of Nablus.
From the committee:
“A group of Palestinian journalists were assaulted on January 28, 2010, while reporting on olive tree planting in Burin village, south of Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), Israeli forces assaulted Rami Swidan, a photographer for Ma’an News Agency; Ashraf Abu Shawish, a cameraman for Palmedia, and Reuters photographers Abdel Rahim al-Qusini and Hassan Titi.
According to Swidan, Israeli soldiers told the journalists they were not allowed to take pictures because the area was a closed military zone. When the journalists refused to stop, soldiers hit them and attempted to take their cameras before throwing teargas canisters and stun grenades, Swidan said.”
Think of these cases the next time Israel says it’s “the only democracy in the Middle East,” or the next time Hillary Clinton says Israel and the United States share “values of freedom, equality, democracy.”