Monday, January 12, 2015

Israeli journalists are getting death threats for publishing this cartoon // Paris march: Political divide exposed as politicians who repress freedom of speech join rally

Journalists at Haaretz, the liberal Israeli newspaper, have received death threats after they published a cartoon juxtaposing the number of reporters killed while covering the Gaza war with those killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack. The cartoon is by Noa Olchowski and was one of many drawings published by the newspaper in response to the Paris killings, in which 10 journalists and two police officers died. It says in Hebrew “10 journalists killed in attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, 13 journalists killed last summer in attack on Gaza”.


Haaretz reports the threatening comments were posted on the Facebook page of right-leaning politician Ronen Shoval. One Facebook user said: “We must do what the terrorists did to them in France, but at Haaretz.” Another wrote: “Let the terrorists eliminate them.” One added: “With God’s help, the journalists at Haaretz will be murdered just like in France.” All the comments were translated from Hebrew into English by Haaretz in an article published online.

In response to the threats, a Haaretz spokesperson said: “It is astonishing that in the framework of the global debate over freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and at a time when journalists have been killed over the existence of this right, internet users are demanding that Haaretz completely censor a cartoon whose content they do not like.”

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) identified 13 media workers who were killed in the Gaza region during Israel’s military offensive in summer 2014. According to health officials in Gaza, 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed in the conflict with Israel while 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians also lost their lives.

Paris march: Political divide exposed as politicians who repress freedom of speech join rally
There were some unlikely “Charlies” on today’s march for democracy and freedom – and the presence of leaders of countries known for repressing freedom of speech caused consternation among left-wing commentators and human-rights groups in France.
The 44 international representatives included the Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu; the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov; the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban; and President Ali Bongo of Gabon. In the Reporters sans Frontières league table of respect for press freedom in 2013, Turkey came 154th out of 179 countries, Russia 148th, Gabon 89th and Hungary 56th.