Israel’s mockery of foreign war correspondents backfires

Update: 23 June

This may come as a shock, but it seems that it is possible to shame the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the furore surrounding its video mocking international journalists’ coverage of Israel’s attacks on Gaza in summer 2014, the ministry withdrew the video, removing it from the front page of its own website and making the YouTube version private.

However, other people have already copied the video, so it’s still possible to see what Israel thinks of the press when they try to report on its war crimes.

A video produced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been branded “bizarre,” “misleading” and “poorly conceived” by the Foreign Press Association, which represents international journalists working in Palestine and Israel.

The video, which depicts journalists covering Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014 as naive and uninformed, has been met with anger by press covering the region.

The video’s narrative claims that foreign journalists represented the Hamas authority in a biased manner, suggesting that it was peaceful and pluralistic whilst ignoring internal social issues and what Israel disingenuously calls Hamas’ aggression towards it.

A 15 June statement dated on the association’s website said they were “surprised and alarmed” by the “mocking” video, which it also called “bizarre” on its Twitter feed. The statement went on to say that:

At a time when Israel has serious issues to deal with in Iran and Syria, it is disconcerting that the ministry would spend its time producing a 50-second video that attempts to ridicule journalists reporting on a conflict in which 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed.

Israel’s diplomatic corps wants to be taken seriously in the world. Posting misleading and poorly conceived videos on YouTube is inappropriate, unhelpful and undermines the ministry, which says it respects the foreign press and its freedom to work in Gaza.

In claiming that overseas journalists in Gaza were misled by what they saw during the summer 2014 attacks, the video comprehensively ignores actual scenes witnessed by members of the foreign press corps, including the wanton murder of four young boys targeted by an Israeli navy gunboat whilst playing on a beach.


Even The New York Times, not a publication normally known for its critical stance on Israel, has criticized the video.

A piece on the newspaper’s website concluded with two questions it said were raised by Israel’s habit of trying to devalue foreign reporting of its behavior. The first of these was why:

if wildly inaccurate, comically misinformed reports on the conflict from foreign correspondents are so common, Israeli officials cannot simply point to actual examples but instead find it necessary to resort to fiction again and again to illustrate this reality?

The second question flagged up in Robert Mackey’s article was “how, exactly, [is] insulting them … likely to help Israeli officials get a more receptive hearing[?]”

This may itself be a somewhat naive question, given the often unquestioning approach taken by many international media to Israeli government spokespersons — including the Times’ own Jodi Rudoren.

Its somewhat wide-eyed take on Israeli veracity mirrors the apparent surprise by some journalists at Israel’s clearing of its own military in the case of the killer of those same four boys — Ismail Mohammed Baker (9), Zakaria Ahed Baker and Ahed Atef Baker (both 10), and Mohammed Ramiz Baker - murdered on the beach in Gaza.

But the very fact that it is being raised in such media does point to the stupidity of this latest backfire by Israel’s hasbara teams.




Israel is the reason for the season of terror. YOU started it.

The world itself will end it.



Israel won't let UN investigators near the place and targets journalists who make it into Gaza.
Such irony.


The notion that the western corporate media are hostile to Israel is so bizarre as to be delusional. Anyone monitoring US broadcast outlets and principal newspapers, the BBC and SkyNews in Britain, the print media there, their various Canadian and Australian cousins- to speak only of the Anglosphere- can't avoid the conclusion that these organizations do everything in their power to defend Israel's actions and policies. That it's no longer enough is hardly the fault of the aforementioned agencies. Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to Washington, is now denouncing Zionist journalists in the United States as enemies of the very cause they've served staunchly throughout their careers.

By the way, a new racial stereotype has begun to appear in Zionist propaganda. They've always used the image of backward, blood-thirsty Arabs. But we're now starting to get caricatures of gentiles- or goyim- as blonde, clueless foreigners sticking their noses in where they don't belong. The broad anti-foreigner agenda bears a curious resemblance to historical antisemitic campaigns denouncing Jews as "cosmopolitan, alien, interfering in our lives, hostile to our civilization, etc" The only real difference is that antisemites portrayed Jews as cunning and worldly, whereas the sort of propaganda currently directed at the foreign press in Israel depicts the target as stupid and incompetent. The hate's the same, though.

A further afterthought. A member of Knesset has just introduced legislation which would require anyone working for an NGO that receives funding from abroad to wear a badge so identifying the wearer. The historical parallels have been noticed even in Israel. As well, this anti-foreigner mentality sits uncomfortably, one would have thought, in a country largely established and sustained by contributions, financing, diplomatic support and arms from abroad. Netanyahu's own recent election campaign was funded at a rate of 90% from American sources.


Israel is and has been steadily expanding its territory - through force - by knocking down homes and building settlements on land where other people live.

This is the root cause of the conflict.

The root cause of the conflict is not 'rockets' and it's not 'religion'.

The people who make zionist foreign policy are way too arrogant to ever consider the idea that they themselves may have a hand in causing their own problems.

If they think they can 'PR' the rest of the world in believing otherwise

- then they are in for a bit of a disappointment.


I'd like to view the video in the article "Israel’s mockery of foreign war correspondents backfires" but when I click on the "PLAY" arrow I receive a message to "sign in". How do I sign in? Many thanks.

Sarah Irving

Sarah Irving's picture

Sarah is a freelance writer and editor, author of a biography of Leila Khaled and of the Bradt Guide to Palestine, co-editor of A Bird is Not a Stone (a volume of Palestinian poetry translated into the languages of Scotland), and a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked and traveled in Palestine since 2001.