Coffee House

Hamas censors British journalists. Why don’t we care?

3 August 2014

8:46 PM

3 August 2014

8:46 PM

I wonder if any readers have an answer to this question: Has anybody, throughout this whole conflict around Gaza, heard any reporter inside Gaza, at any time, preface or conclude their remarks with ‘reporting from Gaza, under Hamas government reporting restrictions’?  I don’t watch television news all the time and so may have missed it, but I don’t think I have heard this said even once.

Which is strange. When reporting from a dictatorship like Gaza it used to be the norm that reporters would preface or conclude any report with some variant of this formula.  Doing so was a neat way to send the warning to viewers that you were reporting from a place where the authorities were censoring what you could say.


Before the 2003 war in Iraq, for instance, reporters broadcasting for television or radio from inside Iraq nearly always made reference to the fact that they were reporting under restrictions imposed on them by Saddam Hussein’s government. This often meant a Hussein goon was standing nearby checking that nothing untoward was said.

In the same way, Hamas takes great care to ensure that the ‘wrong’ message does not come out. Indeed they recently expelled a reporter from the Putin propaganda channel Russia Today because he mentioned that Hamas were launching rockets from Gaza.

Yet I can think of no example during this conflict when reporters for any major broadcaster have told the truth – which is that if they stay in Gaza they are only able to tell Hamas’s account of this conflict (complete with ‘deliberate’ Israeli targetting and only ever ‘innocent’, never ‘guilty’ victims). There will be those who think this a small technical point.  But I suspect this is one major reason why some surprising Western observers seem to have become so rancidly pro-Hamas during this conflict.

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Show comments
  • David

    Paxman interviewed Hezeltine in his luxury home in the country, you could see from his window rolling fields as he sat in his luxurios front room, Hezeltine commented that it made him shudder when he heard some of the comment made agaist immagration.
    Perhaps if he lived in the real world he might realise what British people had to put up with.

  • David

    Just before the ceasefire we were told that a Muslim child
    had been killed by Israel, the grieving father was crying. After the ceasefire
    was over, again we were told that another child was killed in fact the first
    after the ceasefire, what surprised me was the same father was on lamenting
    just as before. I had recorded both incidents and they were the exact same Father same scene, are the BBC running out of deaths to report.

  • David

    The World condemns Israel but how come if they are so evil why
    do they take Palestinian people into their hospitals for treatment. When the Israelis
    moved out of Gaza they left acres of Greenhouses full of tomatoes. They had a
    promise from Hamas no more Rockets. What actually happened was the greenhouses were
    bulldozed and the rockets were still firing. To have peace you need for both
    sides to be willing.

  • Stephen Green

    Yes-On TV plenty of pictures of human civilian victims but non of Hamas soldiers or rocket launches on Israel. Still we mustn’t let truth get in the way of sensationalism and in the case of the BBC the output has also got to be pre-approved by the antisemitic Grauniad editorial team located within the BBC newsroom.

  • Robert Withers

    I’m a little confused on this whole affair. If both the Egyptians and Israelis are blockading Gaza, why are the Hamas terrorists just launching missiles at the Jews?

  • David

    How can anyone blame Israel, people say make peace, how can
    anyone make peace with Arabs/Muslims they cannot make peace with each other. As
    for land grabbing by Israel what a joke the Muslims are trying to take over the
    World and I might add succeeding, so wake up before it’s too late, sorry I
    think it already is.

  • Mister35mm

    The UK, has, in my opinion, not only become pro Hamas, but the UK media has become incredibly LAZY about checking the authenticity and accuracy of it contributors (No point using terms like journalist any more). There are stories going around of professional jounalists being harassed and threatend by Hamas. Like this one:- I find both amusing and tragic that jounalists reported things like a shortage of building supplies… do you not suppose that this not due to the 30+ concrete lined attack tunnels? This concrete, intended for reconstruction and development, is this not paid for US and EU money?

    As for BBC accuracy, what happened to the suppressed ‘Balens report’ about bias in BBC reporting?

    It’s funny how iran and syrian supplied arms don’t reach the UK media:-

    Or practices like this:-

  • Dave Cockayne

    An Indian reporter has filmed Hamas setting up a rocket right outside the journalists hotel and firing it. He openly states that reporting on it from inside Gaza would have had ‘serious security implications’ for them.

    Wonder if the BBC will be picking this up? Oh wait, no I don’t need to wonder…

  • Ritch Ritchloui

    Mohammed bonked a corpse.

  • Joanne

    Actually, didn’t foreign journalists on the West Bank have to sign an agreement never to write anything negative about the PLO? I think that was a precondition for their having access to PLO sources.

    I remember there was a small scandal years ago when an Italian journalist referred to it openly, which was a no-no.

    So, this being hemmed in by Palestinian authorities is nothing new.

  • AlbertNW
    • lookout

      The journalists can go to court or report from outside Israel, as the article states, the difference being there is no Hamas court, if you go outside to report and Hamas finds out, your dead, Israel’s restrictions on journalists is based on a free press not fully reporting on going military strategy, to rescue a kidnapped. soldier, in Gaza, the so-called reporters are self restricting and hoodwinking the public, it’s a disgrace. New York Times, a joke of a newspaper.

      • Jacob_UK

        […] “in Gaza, the so-called reporters are self restricting and hoodwinking the public, it’s a disgrace. New York Times, a joke of a newspaper.”
        Couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying. I call such ambidexterians and duplicitors churnalists.

  • Ilya Grushevskiy

    I don’t believe that the media is interested in telling the facts – that hasn’t been done since the 1980s. A free market system where everyone competes for sales and/or clicks encourages publications to send out that which wants to be most heard.. People want to get outraged and they don’t mind bias. Everyone also loves an underdog and most people, especially in a herd, ignore facts that go against their belief system.

    There’s nothing particularly special about this as everyone feels “involved” in some way. You want unbiased reporting? Read the Japanese press – they don’t care for the Jews, the Muslims, or a patch of dirt next to the Mediterranean sea.

  • Max Peters

    About time this was commented on. The media bias towards Hamas is ridiculous. It is feeding the outright antisemitic outpourings on a daily basis in our national press.

  • CrashDive

    British journalists are so gullible!

  • Jacob_UK

    Many Western journalists subscribe to the idea that “one man’s truth is another man’s lie.” It’s become the one meme that journalists put under their respective pillows before they go to sleep every night. And risin’ and shinin’ every morning with that mantra resounding like a church-bell behind their frontal lobes makes for wonderful reporting. Swedish Television (SVT) has a documented heavy leftward twist to their staff – about 70% of the employees are diehard communists, greenies, and extremist feminists. To balance this off about 20% of Social Democrats are thrown in for good measure to get the sum total of 90% lefties out of the total number of SVT news journalists. By the way, since all Swedish journalist training camps are cultural marxist hotbeds this composition of political allegiances is at the core of all Swedish news media.

    It shouldn’t surprise any intelligent person that the Gaza reporting by Swedish Television is even more vicious than that broadcast by the Beeb. Indignated journalists keep repeating the mantra, “Israel attacking another UN school today”, and “Israel goes on killing Palestinian children”, and so on, ad nauseam. Once in a while people get to hear that “Homemade primitive rockets were fired into Israel today but no one was hurt.” Note the passive “were fired…” because SVT often can’t bring itself to say that it was Hamas who fired them…

    Someone might ask him-/herself whether these leftist journalists really do believe that the only civilized state in the entire MENA would wilfully attack schools and children hell-bent on murdering as many innocent civilians as possible. The answer is no, of course. After all their own journalists reporting from Gaza are able to watch Hamas putting up rocket ramps in school-yards, in the midst of school-kids and their parents, and storing weapons and missiles in the basement of UN labelled institutions. Even the UN had to concede that.

    How long will this charade of lies and duplicity and doubletalk go on. Probably for as long as there is a so-called Council of Programme Ethics led by a former leftist and party member. Grown-up people are expected to consult with this “council” when in doubt what to broadcast and what not to broadcast. But there is a bunch of real journalists at SVT who want to be objective but they face the consorted wrath of the Backroom Boys and Girls every time they voice a dissident opinion of how to report about the world.

    • Damaris Tighe


    • Augustus

      Yes, and the really sad part about all this is that while the West and their journalists are obsessively concerned with news reporting from Gaza Al-Qaida continue conquering new areas. And they are pretty rich and powerful too. ISIS now governs oil-rich areas. Other groups get their money through theft and hostage-taking of Westerners. According to a conservative estimate the West has paid over 100 million dollars in the past decade to Al-Qaida affiliates in ransom for Western hostages. The Al-Qaeda network covers various groups and organizations: Taliban, ISIS, Al-Shabab, Al-Nusra, Ansar al-Shariah, etc., not to mention Boko Haram in Yemen, plus even more. Two Al-Qaida states have already been founded; ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi. The Libyan Parliament has already fled from the capital. Soon they’ll want to become a member of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. But the European media scarcely pays attention to all this, they are far too busy being obsessed with the Jews and Gaza.

      • Jacob_UK

        “Soon they’ll want to become a member of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations.”

        Yes, indeed. And since the IS will probably sooner or later grab all of Libya (of “Arab Spring” fame) and thus be right on Europe’s doorstep it won’t be long before the Islamic State will be invited to become a “corresponding member” of the European Union. If they haven’t established a bridgehead in the Muslim enclaves of Rotterdam, Cologne, Berlin, or Stockholm before then.

        The final goal of this society of retards (always sporting a tad too long fullbeards and a tad too short slacks) is of course to establish a global caliphate. But that’s never gonna happen, not even in their dry dreams.

        • Stephen Green

          May be not but it won’t be for the want of trying.

  • Dave Cockayne

    I have not.

    I also have not seen it mentioned outside of Israeli sources that apparently a significant number of the ‘dead kids’ photos that are circulating round social media as evidence of Israeli war crimes are actually photos taken in Syria a couple of years ago.

    Would be nice if some of these ‘foreign journalists’ actually did something useful like investigating these claims instead of acting as the propaganda wing of Hamas.

  • HarryJM

    I think, on balance, that I would rather have the Hamas version reported by the BBC than no version. Reporting from Gaza is usually ‘balanced’ by the Israeli version also reported by the BBC. I am old enough to know that truth is the first casualty in war and also that we have seen remarkably little of Gaza. 90% of it might be lovely leafy streets for all we know.
    How many pictures have we seen from Mosul recently where even worse things are apparently going on?

    • Dave Cockayne

      There is plenty of footage coming out of ISIS areas, shot by ISIS members and all seriously grim. If you really want to see uncensored HD footage of genocide in action, it is just a google video search away.

      Or stick with the BBC’s sensibilities, your choice.

      Bear in mind that a lot of the people doing the butchering have EU passports and can freely travel to this country any time they want.

  • jjjj

    To the moderators: Why is Damaris Tighe’s comment of a few minutes ago in moderation?

    • Damaris Tighe

      I made the mistake of writing about the H******** & the N**** & the J*ws on the same line.

  • bandora etrog

    people don’t care because harry fear is not a journalist

  • Gergiev

    Douglas, I assume that as a journalist you could contact all of the major broadcasting authorities and newspaper publishers and ask them officially if their reporters in Gaza are working under restrictions imposed by Hamas, and you could then follow up with further questions depending upon the responses given. You could then collate and publish their replies and your analysis and thus your readers would have some answers. Instead all you do is ask a question which has been asked in different ways by several journalists recently without any follow-up. Is this because journalists today prefer to “provoke a debate” rather than research and provide a report to try and answer a question instead of just ask one?