Monday, 26 August 2013

Why is a BBC journalist on an expenses-paid propaganda junket to Israel?


Dozens of young journalists, including at least one working for the BBC, are in Israel this week for a government-backed junket designed to give them “a more positive attitude” toward Israel’s policies.

The journalists are attending the Media in Conflicts Seminar (MICS) at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya (IDC Herzliya).

Now in its fifth year, the seminar is the brainchild of the advocacy group StandWithUs.

The Media in Conflicts Seminar is “hasbara for foreign media personnel, diplomats and youth from all over the world,” according to the website of Israel’s Ministry for Public Diplomacy (which was recently absorbed into the prime minister’s office).

Hasbara is a Hebrew word that literally translates as “explaining” but is used specifically to describe government propaganda and outreach efforts to gain support for Israel’s policies.

According to the ministry, the Media in Conflicts Seminar specifically targets non-Jewish Europeans. more

Gaza families visit relatives jailed in Israel


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A group of 94 Gaza residents visited their relatives in Israel's Nafta prison on Monday, the International Committee for the Red Cross said.

ICRC spokesman Nasser al-Najjar told Ma'an that 94 family members, including 22 children, left Gaza via the Beit Hanoun, or Erez, crossing to visit 48 jailed relatives in Israel.

Israel banned visits to all prisoners from Gaza in 2007 to pressure Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was freed in October 2011.

Prison visits were reinstated after a mass hunger strike in Israeli jails. more

Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians in Qalandia camp


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli undercover forces killed three Palestinians overnight Sunday in Qalandia refugee camp in Ramallah, locals said.

Robin al-Abed, 32, was shot in the chest and died instantly, medics said. Younis Jihad Abu al-Sheikh Jahjouh, 22, was also shot dead.

Jihad Asslan, 20, died Monday morning from his injuries after being pronounced brain dead at a Ramallah hospital.

All three men were killed when Israeli forces opened fire on a crowd during clashes with camp residents following an arrest raid.

At least 15 Palestinians were injured by live fire, with six said to be in a critical condition. Most of the injured were shot in the head, chest and upper body, medics said.

Mohammad Abed Badran, Mohammad Mteir, Abdo Mteir, Ali Adawi, and Samer al-Mansour were identified as some of those wounded.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces dressed in civilian clothes raided the camp at around 5 a.m. and arrested recently released prisoner Yousef al-Khatib, who had spent 10 years in an Israeli jail. more