Sanctions on Al Jazeera’s Israel Operations

According to Haaretz:

The government will impose sanctions on Israel-based employees of the Al Jazeera network in response to the closure last month of the Israeli trade office in Qatar, which hosts and funds the network. Qatar had closed the office in opposition to Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Following the closure, the Foreign Ministry, in conjunction with the newly-formed national information directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office, considered declaring the station a hostile entity and closing its offices in Israel. After submitting the idea to legal review, however, concerns emerged it would not be permitted by the High Court of Justice.

Instead, it chose to limit the network’s activity in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. First, Israel will not renew the visas of Al Jazeera’s non-Israeli employees or grant visas to new employees. Second, station representatives will have reduced accessibility to government and military bodies, and will not be allowed into briefings or press conferences.

Israeli officials have recently criticized Qatar’s warming relations with Hamas and Iran. Foreign Ministry director-general Aharon Abramowitz told attendees at the Herzliya Conference on Monday that Qatar is moving toward a “radical axis.”

The supposed “democratic” Israeli government has little care for democratic principles, here trying to reduce press freedom. Clearly banning Western journalists from Gaza wasn’t enough to prevent images of Israeli acts of massacre being transmitted globally.  This is a problem for the Foreign Ministry and the propaganda outfit the national [dis-] information directorate and their solution is further unfreedom: try and ban those responsible, namely Al Jazeera.

Fear not as the BBC explains all:

Continue reading “Sanctions on Al Jazeera’s Israel Operations”

Israeli Ministers to be Dispatched on Propaganda Missions Abroad

The National Information Directorate is a new Israeli spin body set up less than a year ago following the recommendations of the  Winograd inquiry into Israel’s failures in Lebanon.  According to Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office website the directorate is coordinating a new campaign of lobbying and spin across Europe, directed at politicians and the media, focussing on Israeli “security” issues.

15/01/2009

The National Information Directorate and the Cabinet Secretariat, in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry, have decided to dispatch Government ministers on information missions abroad, starting in the coming days.  In the framework of the information efforts, it was decided to send ministers on diplomatic and media activity in various European countries.  Each minister will go on a short mission to one or two countries, including Belgium, Austria and Ireland.  The possibility of sending abroad residents of the south in order to give firsthand accounts of the security reality in which they have lived for years.  Israeli embassies will formulate agendas for the ministerial visits, including meetings with political officials and media interviews.