by Freddy Eytan
[Editor's comment: It's instructive when reading this article to bear in mind Hillary Clinton's dismissive query when being questioned on the Benghazi affair, "What difference, at this point, does it make?". When our leaders, or the press, do not behave morally and ethically - and are not held accountable, Hillary, it makes all the difference.]
- The report of Israel's governmental inquiry committee on the al-Dura affair, written after a thorough examination of all the materials related to this unfortunate affair, should serve as a lesson for all foreign reporters working in Israel and be taught in journalism schools throughout the world.
- The authors of the report have successfully demonstrated how a Palestinian photographer violated the basic tenets of journalistic work, and how a foreign reporter accepted his version of events and his photos wholesale without questioning their reliability for a moment. Verifying sources, cross-checking, meticulously ensuring objectivity - these are the foundations on which the whole enterprise of journalistic coverage rests.
- Yet most of the foreign reporters prefer to remain in their offices and work from the raw materials conveniently provided by reporters and photographers of the international networks and news agencies - which, for the most part, employ local Palestinians.
- It is, of course, regrettable that the report only appeared thirteen years after the affair, which caused grave damage to Israel's image, but there is no early or late when it comes to the truth. We owe profound gratitude and esteem to all those who tirelessly pursued justice in this affair, with the whole French establishment supporting the Palestinian version. These activists contributed time, energy, and professional experience to the struggle for the supreme value of bringing the truth to light.
- The initiative of a government ministry to publish the report on the al-Dura affair is very praiseworthy and appropriate. A democratic state that fights for its existence is required to defend itself and its image with all the tools at its disposal.
Ambassador Freddy Eytan, a former Israeli Foreign Ministry senior advisor who served in Israel's embassies in Paris and Brussels, was Israel's first Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. He heads the Jerusalem Center's Israel-Europe Project, focusing on presenting Israel's case in the countries of Europe.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.