Gideon Levy: Bad Journalism Is a Gift to Occupation
Posted on Aug 27, 2009
Haaretz’s Gideon Levy writes that the “cheap and harmful journalism” of the Swedish organ harvesting story has made life more difficult for opponents of the occupation: “The Israeli occupation is ugly enough without the contribution of Nordic fairy tales. ... [A]ny exaggeration in describing the occupation’s cruelty will ultimately damage the struggle against it.”
The Israeli occupation is ugly enough without the contribution of Nordic fairy tales. Its wrongs are abominable even without exaggerations and inventions. We, a small group of Israeli journalists trying to document the occupation, always knew that we must not publish an unfounded report. One mistake and the whole journalistic enterprise would fall into the hands of official propaganda, which automatically denies all suspicions and is just waiting for a mistake. Look what the IDF Spokesman’s Office did to the organization Breaking the Silence, just because it was set up as a nonprofit limited company and not a nonprofit organization; as if that were relevant to the quality of the testimony it presents.
Over the years, the IDF has killed thousands of innocent civilians, among them women and children. The Shin Bet security service has tortured hundreds of people under interrogation, sometimes to death. Israel prevents food and medicine from reaching Gaza. Sick people are extorted by the Shin Bet to become collaborators in return for medical treatment. Thousands of homes in the territories have been demolished for nothing. Dozens of people have been killed by special units when they could have been arrested instead. Thousands of detainees have sat in jail for months or years without trial. Is that not enough to draw a reliable portrait of the occupation? Is that not shocking enough?
Flickr / freegazaorg
“Thousands of homes in the territories have been demolished for nothing,” writes Levy, who asks, “Is that not shocking enough?”