Hamas threats don’t account for the relentless ignorance and stupidity of the coverage of the Gaza hostilities, but they account for some of it. Reporters and their media employers cooperate with Hamas not only in suppressing stories that do not serve Hamas’s purposes, but also by failing to report on the restrictive conditions under which they are working.
By email alert disseminated last night CAMERA alerts us to two examples deriving from Wall Street Journal reporters. This week Wall Street Journal reporters posted on Twitter statements and photos implicating Hamas, but then quickly deleted their tweets. CAMERA notes in the message: “Editors have not responded to repeated inquiries asking why and at whose request tweets are apparently being censored.”
The first deleted tweet, posted by Wall Street Journal Middle East correspondent Nick Casey on July 21 (below, noted here yesterday), referred in passing to Hamas’s use of the Shifa Hospital in Gaza as a shield against Israeli attack. The Algemeiner performed the service of running the photograph below with the informative caption: “Nick Casey, The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East Correspondent, posted a photo to Twitter of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed on camera at Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, which Hamas uses as a base. The photo has since been removed. Photo: Nick Casey / Twitter.”
Now why might that be?
A second deleted tweet, posted yesterday by the Journal’s Tamer El-Ghobashy, suggested
Hamas was likely responsible for a strike that hit the Shifa Hospital (screenshot below, click on it to expand). El-Ghobasty observed: “Low level damage suggest [sic] Hamas misfire.” The tweet was later replaced by one in which El-Ghobasty refrained from mentioning Hamas.
Now why might that be?
The Wall Street Journal’s credibility hinges on it being transparent about what information is being withheld from readers, and why. If information that casts Hamas in a negative light is being censored for the safety of journalists…then readers must be informed that they are only getting a partial story. If readers aren’t informed, or if such information is being deleted for any other reason, the newspaper does not deserve to be seen as credible.
CAMERA’s observation applies, of course, not just specifically to the Journal, but generally to the media reporting from Gaza. The Times of Israel reports on the phenomenon in the story “Hamas threatening journalists in Gaza who expose abuse of civilians.”
Khaled Abu Toameh may be the bravest journalist I have ever met. He puts it this way in his excellent Gatestone column what is going on here, and he has the standing to make the point stick: “Journalists who are afraid to report the truth should not be covering a conflict like the Israeli-Arab one. They should go back to their editors and demand that they be reassigned to cover sports or the environment. As long as such journalists continue to operate in the region, Hamas will feel safe to bomb as many mosques as it wants and to kill as many Palestinians as it wants.”