As a “ProPal” activist from the West I’ve come to understand that western media’s coverage of the Middle Eastern affairs should be taken as a pinch of salt (lightly). Since ISIS “suddenly” exploded with slaughters and crusades around the in different countries the terrorizing of the Palestinian population was “forgotten”. I’m sorry to the crew on the Floatilla 3, “Marianne” , but I was happy because I thought that would bring Palestine back on the poster. Two Norwegian journalists was taken to Israeli prisons, and that would make big headlines…. I thought! But I was wrong It seems the media is more loyal to Israel than to the ethical rights of journalism ~ What a shame!
One of the arrested crew members is Ammar al-Hamdan
As and activist who use the media, and sources like statistics and report and legal document I’ve become very aware of how the journalists who reports from Palestine is victimized not only under the international law of journalism, but also under the law of basic human rights. The Palestinians have journalism listed as a high risk profession- because they are a targeted by Israeli security forces.
It might seem lame but I had a feeling that because of his ethnic looks, al-Hamdan had a bigger risk of experiencing the “Arab treatment” in an Israeli prison, and we would get a first hand witness statement from a Norwegian citizen. And after his release it turns out that feeling was correct. “After Israeli being kidnapped by the Israeli troops kidnapped me, they took naked pictures of me naked. And then I got threats that if I didn’t give them the memory card with my recording they would spread those pictures around the internet.”
Operation Mockingbird was a conspiracy theory that roamed around in America in the 1950’s that’s been proven to be true. A political activist today use social networks like an arena, which means we depend on honest and comprehensive coverage in the news, something I’ve experienced first hand is non-existing in my country. The way some of our news Communicators show clear signs of being “bought” to paint a false picture of specific society groups and conflicts they are covering, and one (Vårt Land (VL)) of those wrote an article about Ammar al-Hamdan after he was released from Israeli prison.
One of my status updates on Facebook today was “Running around Facebook looking for Norwegian news broadcasters, reminding them of what day it is today… Seems what beaches is the best and the condition on the tiers you choose to drive with are more important! 👿” And when I finally came over some news about Palestine the Kidnapping of the Floatilla 3 crew was the issue. I’m gonna translate the article and discuss the content- you tell me what you think!
Accusing Israel for assaults
Norwegian journalist said the Israeli authorities took naked pictures of him and tried threatening him to silence being after he was arrested on the Ship to Gaza.
By Kaja Skatvedt Published 08.07.2015
“Israeli elite soldiers kidnapped me from the boat while it was in international waters and took me to prison. they undressed and took a picture of me naked, said Ammar al-Hamdan.”
He is a Norwegian journalist, employed in the the Arab media group Al Jazeera.
“They threatened me that if I did not give them the memory cards with my footage, including images from the capture which shows how they used violence and electroshock against the activists they would spread the nude pictures online.”
As I said the day we got the message that “Marianne” was captured, this man got the “Arab treatment” and he had footage that Kaja must have seen. As a journalist at that point she should skip the critical attitude towards the victim and turn 100% of the criticism towards Israel.
Now he is back in his office in Oslo. The reporter was one of two Norwegians on board the boat to the activist group Ship to Gaza and was released last week. The activists wanted to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The boat was halted in international waters by the Israeli army, which brought the boat to arrest.
Al-Hamdan says he knew in advance that he could be incarcerated after seeing what other reporters have experienced. Abuse and threats, however, he was not prepared for.
I was not on the boat as an activist but as a reporter on the job and that makes me neutral in the conflict, said al-Hamdan.
Right here I feel that the journalist is twisting the truth a bit. Even I know that torture is usual in Israeli prisons and footage of both killed journalists and reporters being targets when Israeli police fire rubber covered bullets at reporters when Palestinians are demonstrating is all over the internet. I bet al-Hamdan researched that, and so should Kaja.
Al-Hamdan tells us that people that worked in the prison thought he swallowed the memory card in the camera and used a metal detector in an attempt to verify the suspicion.
“I was naked and they took the detector right up my ass. It is a sexual assault,” said al-Hamdan.
If any of the other reporters onboard received a similar treatment, he has no idea. He himself has Arabic and a Muslim background. He believes that one of the reasons why the naked pictures were taken.
The journalist (VL) know that the Ship For Gaza was from Norway/Sweden. I guess since the media in other occasions stay quiet about the blockade and battle that goes on between freedom fighters and Israel, the readers will be in need an update.
– Why did you cover this voyage?
“I am working for Al Jazeera and the office is located in Norway. Why it made sense I should cover the this operation with a Norwegian-Swedish boat. I have made issues from a number of conflicts, like in Libya, without it having anything with my background to do,” he says.
Al-Hamdan is known for his cover of the Libyan war, where he also was imprisoned and tortured in 2011. But was finally released after pressure from Norwegian authorities.
Another thing the journalist should know is that al-Hamdan was published a opinion in February, where harsh critique on how the “democracy” in Israel was the subject! This is your colleague, Kaja! You have a right to be subjective in articles were your rights as journalists AND human beings has been violated!
The Israeli Embassy in Norway denies al-Hamdan story.
“That a democratic country has threaten a northern European man with publishing his naked photos of the web is nothing more than absurd. It is ridiculous,” said Dan Poraz, acting ambassador at the Israeli Embassy in Norway
“You mean he’s lying?
Poraz don’t believe al-Hamdan was on the boat as a journalist.
– Unfortunately, we often find reporters crossing a line from journalism and become activists, said Poraz.
Okay to arrest
– But is it okay to arrest reporters?
“Yes, when they violate the law. The boat the reporter was aboard wanted to cross the blockade. A UN report in 2011 showed that the blockade is legal according to international law. Breaking it wanted to therefore be breaking international law.”
– They had probably not breached blockade when the boat was halted?
“No. But they would do that. They did not have humanitarian purposes but political. If they crossed the border, it would hurt Israel and the situation of the civil population in Gaza,” says Dan Poraz.
This is where you see halfhearted journalism! A JOURNALIST knows that the “legal” blockade of was retracted in 2005, and who just found out one of her fellow, MALE journalists was RAPED ON DUTY! This is a man working as a much more successful journalist than you Kaja, give him some credit!!
This was the end of the article, no form of denouncing the false validation of the arrest, no pressure towards the Israeli Embassy!
Is this journalism or is it keeping the world from the truth it the truth is damaging the Zionist Movement?