Israel bans reporters from covering its war on Gaza.
If your looking for NBC’s Richard Engel to be reporting from inside Gaza, forget it.
It isn’t happening.
“The Israeli forces have killed nearly 50 journalists in 45 days in the Gaza Strip, including 11 in the course of their work. This is one of the deadliest tolls in a century. International journalists are banned from entering Gaza. Reporters there have no safe refuge and no way of leaving. They are being killed one after another. Since 7 October, the Palestinian territory has been subjected to a veritable eradication of journalism.
And journalism is barely pushing back.
In early November it was reported that the Los Angeles Times had banned reporters who signed a letter protesting the Israeli response to the October 6 attack by Hamas from covering Gaza.
The Los Angeles Times is prohibiting staff from covering the Gaza war for at least three months if they signed a strongly-worded open letter criticizing Israel’s military operations in the region.
Earlier this month, nearly a dozen staffers at the LA Times signed the open lettercondemning the Israeli government’s bombing of Gaza, and saying the military operations were harming journalists and threatening newsgathering. The letter also called on newsrooms to use language including “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “genocide” when referring to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
Two people with knowledge of the situation told Semafor that staffers who signed the letter have been told by the paper’s management that they will not be allowed to cover the conflict in any way for at least three months.
NPR has reported that journalist covering Gaza have been doing it from a distance because Israeli authorities won’t let them in.
"In my experience of covering conflict and violence in Gaza — which I've done since 2001 — there has never been a period like this in which international journalists were prevented from entering and from covering events inside Gaza even during major military operations by the Israeli military," says Jo Floto, deputy editor for the Middle Eastern bureaus of the BBC.
Of course most media outlets were already doing one-sided reporting on the conflict prior to October 6th.
Like the violence that’s made headlines since October 7, the erasure of Palestinians by establishment news outlets in the United States is nothing new. To assess how U.S. news readers have been “encouraged to think about Palestinians,” historian Maha Nassar, the author of Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World, examined 50 years of editorials, staff columns and guest opinion pieces published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic and The Nation. Nassar found that the most prominent U.S. news outlets “hosted thousands of opinion pieces on Israel-Palestine over 50 years,” but “hardly any were actually written by Palestinians.” For example, less than 2 percent of the 2,490 opinion pieces that TheNew York Times published from 1970 to 2019 were authored by Palestinians. As a result, Nassar observed, “readers’ views were shaped by columnists whose copious opinion pieces about Palestinians ranged from the annoyingly condescending to the outright racist.”
A rare exception is an excellent op-ed piece by noted professor and writer, Rashid Khalidi in the Los Angeles Times.
Rashid Khalidi is the author, most recently, of “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler-Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017” and a professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University.
Check Khalidi’s column out.