In a press release condemning Hamas for restricting press freedom, the International Federation of Journalists states:
“This intimidation and political bullying of journalists does great damage to the Palestinian cause,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “It undermines efforts of journalists throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip to work together to build a unified media movement in favour of stability and democratic development.”
So the major reason to push for more press freedoms in Gaza isn’t to help inform the world about truth, but rather to further the “Palestinian cause.”
Can you imagine a statement from any international agency professing support for the “Zionist cause” the way that these supposedly objective journalists explicitly support the “Palestinian cause?”
Apparently, press freedom is only important when it goes towards issues that the press supports. In 2002, the union gently chided Palestinian Arab journalists for unilaterally deciding not to take pictures of Palestinian Arab children with weapons – because those pictures were being used by some people to show PalArab depravity. No condemnation, just a statement that “We understand the deep frustration that journalists feel about those who try to manipulate the media message, but journalists need more freedom to do their job in Palestine, not less.”
The subtext is that of course it is the journalists who decide what is important and which should be highlighted – and which ignored. They choose the message and they aren’t thrilled with those who “manipulate” it.