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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Troubling Israeli Media Censorship

Jameel has an interesting post up about a media blackout in Israel on election day. Apparently, a Katushya missile attack was shot from Gaza and landed in Ashkelon on election day. Jameel was wondering why the incident was not reported until later in the evening, and he found out from a matter-of-fact admission in an article from Haaretz (emphasis mine):
Although some of the media knew a Katyusha had been fired, the military censor did not allow publication of the report until 8 P.M., thus lessening any possible effect on voting patterns. Israeli right-wingers had been warning of Katyusha rockets from the Gaza Strip for a long time.
Wow. I can totally understand military censorship being necessary in Israel when it is regarding issues affecting national security. But for Israel's ostensibly apolitical military to hold back news coverage of an event that transpired because of a fear that reporting the truth will affect voting patterns is, in the eyes of this blogger at least, plain wrong.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ostensibly the idea is not to encourage the terrorists to act up in an attempt to influence the election. We Americans simply can't understand the security and anti-terrorist decisions Israelis have to make because, thank God, we don't have anything like it here.

4:47 PM  
Blogger YMedad said...

Maariv newspaper reported that the delay was ostensibly due to the several hours the IDF needed to identify exactly what type of ballistic this was. I find that hard to believe. It doesn't take hours to find these rockets and a Katyusha (the more deadly type) is different from the Kassams.

1:38 AM  
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