Israel to Let Journos into Gaza – Sorta Maybe
Foreign journalists have had a hard time getting into Gaza for quite a while and their access has been blocked completely since November 4th. At that time, the international press complained, won a few day respite and then were banned again. Today, after a complaint was brought by the Foreign Press Association:
Israel’s supreme court today ordered the government to allow the international media into Gaza to report on the effect of the air strikes on Palestinians…
However, the supreme court told the government it must allow up to 12 journalists to enter whenever it opens the Erez crossing, a passenger gateway, for humanitarian reasons.
The Foreign Press Association (FPA), which represents foreign journalists and began a legal battle to open the crossing to the media last month, said it had been "left with no other choice" than to accept what is a limited victory.
There is no word on when Israel may again open the Erez crossing – or how they will select the 12 allowed in. They have until tomorrow to appeal the ruling.
Meanwhile, we need to rely on other accounts which Israel then claims are distorted. The disconnect imposed leads to a disconnect about the real impact of the current attacks – or as Gideon Levy writes for the Israeli paper Ha’aretz in his stunning article The IAF, bullies of the clear blue skies
In any event, from an altitude of thousands of feet the picture looks as sterile as a Rorschach inkblot. Lock onto the target, press the button and then a black column of smoke. Another "successful hit." None see the effects on the ground of their actions. Their heads must surely be filled with Gaza horror stories – they themselves have never been there – as if there aren’t a million and a half people living there who only want to live with a minimum of honor, some of them young like themselves, with dreams of studying, working, raising a family but who have no chance to fulfill their dreams with or without the bombing.
Video: One of the Israeli Defense Force youtubes: "The blogosphere and the new media are basically a war zone in a battle for world opinion," said IDF spokeswoman Major Avital Leibovich said.