by Benjamin Joffe-Walt
For decades it has been a source of honor and dignity for
The Gaza War changed all that, as
In a dramatic realignment in the annual rankings, Reporters Without Borders not only demoted Israel from its long-held spot as the top dog of Middle Eastern media freedom, but relegated the Jewish state to the 93rd most free media environment on earth, 47 spots below its 2008 ranking and well behind Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. The Reporters Without Borders annual index is based on questionnaires sent to hundreds of journalists around the world.
The US-based Freedom House, however, retained
The dissonance in
"Palestinian journalists were killed, at least three media buildings were targeted by the Israeli army, Israeli journalists were arrested trying to cover the
"How many journalists were arrested or sentenced to prison in
Critics of the Reporters Without Borders report accuse the organization of conflating the press environment in
"This is part of a whole hysterical wave of anti-Israel feeling across the world," Tamar Liebes, professor of communications at the The Hebrew University in
"Foreign journalists are just upset that
But Soazig Dollet defended the 47 point drop in
"An Israeli reporter was arrested by
"In addition there are continuing difficulties for Palestinians and Israeli journalists covering the
Dr Mordechai Kedar of the
"Israeli soldiers' lives are much more important than the rights of journalists to report whatever they like," he told The Media Line. "The newspapers and TV are still totally free in Israel and we have no problem with letting out what happens and what does not happen, but censorship is usually a decision made in order to save soldier's lives and I think journalists who endanger Israeli soldiers should be punished, whether they are Israeli or not."
"The main reason for the drop in our ranking was restrictions which were put on reporting from
"Another thing is that
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