The journalists claim to know exactly what they're doing. But
when they go into a closed military area (and then) are eventually
shot or injured as a result of the combat going on, who do they
turn around and accuse? The Israelis.
The moment they're shot -- and most times they're not shot
by Israelis -- they turn around and accuse the state of Israel.
They're sort of playing this game that they have to be allowed
access. All right. They're allowed access.
But when comes the time of combat, a country has its first
and major goal as coming out victorious. Later on the truth
will tend to itself. I'm not worried about that, especially
in a country like the state of Israel. There are no secrets
in this country. We have freedom of the press. The foreign press
here have more access to anything than any other country in
the world, including in the United States.
If you ask the Foreign Press Association, the Committee to Protect
Journalists, the head of AP, Reuters, AFP, they all say it's
the worst they've seen, that there's an erosion of press freedom.
Excuse me, but bovine feces. That really irritates me. They
know there is (no erosion). But they also know that Israel is
a country that is very concerned about its public image. When
we're in a fight for our lives, sometimes we're going to have
to limit some of these freedoms they were given, only for a
period of time. We're not cracking down on journalists, we're
not arresting journalists, we're not keeping them from going
to these areas ... .
(What about) the journalists who have been arrested?
Who? You're talking about Palestinians we know to be collaborating
with the Palestinian Authority. Those who we found that there
was nothing to these accusations were released. (But those who
do) not work in a professional way will not be treated professionally
by the state of Israel. I'm not talking mistakes, everybody
makes mistakes -- even people in the government, surprising
as it may sound.
So I don't challenge every journalist for everything that
they are going to write or report. But if you look over a period
of time and you see that they are not objective and they have
an agenda -- and you can see this after a while working with
them -- then it's in our rights not to cooperate and not to
work with them.
(With) the Palestinians, we have no cooperation with them
at all. We have no reason to work with people who are not objective
journalists, who deliberately use freedom of the press against
the state of Israel.
People at the news bureaus here feel that the bigger problem
is the suppression of the press on the Israeli side, not (from)
Absolutely ridiculous. They should look into the fact: Why
can't Israelis work (in Palestinian-controlled territory)? Because
the lives of Israelis have been threatened by the Palestinians
over the past five years, not only since the violence began.
Yet nobody in the foreign press stood up against this ... .
The second thing is that their so-called journalists have
not been upholding any of the principles of professional journalism,
but have succumbed to the pressures of the Palestinian Authority.
But it's been inconvenient for the members of the foreign press
(to acknowledge this) because they had Arab-speaking people
who have access in the Palestinian areas, and they cost them
one-sixth of the price (it) would cost to bring in somebody
With all due respect to the members of the foreign press here,
I'm really angry at the fact that they would even question Israel's
democracy, the fact that they roam around here freely, that
they have access to everything and they never look at themselves
in a critical way.
I think it's the intimidation ... .
(Being) shot at ... .
Only in areas where there was combat, and they were not supposed
to be there.
Gideon Levy's car was shot at.
He's not foreign press, (so) I don't have to answer
that ... .
I'm not saying that there weren't any (incidents), but if
you look at the number of points of friction and at the access
the journalists have here, compared to other locations in the
world, there is more press here per capita than anywhere else
in the world.
If you go to the cases investigated by the Committee to Protect
Journalists or other organizations, out of the 40-some cases,
until this year, there were about 11 with members of the foreign
press. Eleven cases! And you're talking about tens of thousands
if not hundreds of thousands of locations. I don't want to belittle
it. But I think in all fairness you should look at that. If
you compare it to other points of friction in the world and
you compare this to the number of press here, I think it's really
(at a) minimum.
Back to Gideon Levy. He says that soldiers can shoot at
journalists and they're not investigated.
I don't agree.
He says he was shot at, (and) it was as easy as lighting
In his particular case, it was a problem. But there was a
reason why it happened. The chain of command was not followed.
But the soldier behaved according to the order that he had at
Levy said, "The truth is that none of these shootings of
Palestinians are investigated -- whether they are journalists
or not journalists."
I don't know about nonjournalists, but in journalists' cases,
yes, they are investigated ... .
Gideon Levy also says that unlike the first intifada, there
are (now) no serious investigations into shootings.
I don't want to say "first intifada," "second intifada" --
"intifada" is another nice term meant to beautify what the Palestinians
are doing. There's a war against the state of Israel. There's
a war on the survival of the state of Israel by the Palestinians.
There's no comparison between the Palestinian uprising or violence
of 12 years ago and what's been going on in the past two years.
The past two years has been an assault against the state of
Israel. It's combat. And in this combat almost every Palestinian
is engaged in one way or another, either deliberately or (being)
used by the Palestinian Authority.
They take advantage of everything that we uphold as dear and
sacred in the Western world and they use that to manipulate
it against us. So to come and try to impose the values of Western
principles on the values of combat going on right now, (that's)
not the situation. I'm sorry. This is not a civilian uprising.
This is not a police situation. It's war.
next: Naylor's interview with Gideon Levy
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