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5 Jun, 2018 20:17

US envoy to Israel trying to ‘bully’ and ‘gaslight’ media – Israeli journalist to RT

US envoy to Israel trying to ‘bully’ and ‘gaslight’ media – Israeli journalist to RT

The US ambassador to Israel is trying to “bully” media into not reporting on Gaza atrocities, and to control the spin on events, an Israeli journalist told RT after the infamous comment on reporters keeping their “mouths shut.”

Journalist David Sheen was responding to a speech made by the American Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman, in which he warned journalists to “keep their mouths shut” and stop criticizing Israel in their reporting of events on the Gaza border.

“Essentially it’s gaslighting; trying to bully the media into stopping all reporting” of Israel’s attacks on Gaza, Sheen told RT.

“We’re living in an era when it is nearly impossible for anyone to criticize the Israeli government’s actions no matter how deplorable they may be, because they will be instantly be accused of racism— instead of examining are the actions of the government based on racism,” he added.

Sheen said that even Jewish Israeli journalists like himself get branded as racists when criticizing the actions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Sheen said it was “horrific” that unwarranted claims of “anti-Semitism” were being used to “shut down the conversation” about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

In his comments, Friedman claimed that reports which criticized Israel were “creating impressions” that had “no basis in fact” and simply fit an anti-Israel “narrative” and a specific agenda. “It’s not reporting, because it’s not based on hard, factual analysis,” he said.

But Sheen argued that both history and facts demonstrate that the Israeli government “isn’t just trying to defend itself,” as it claims, but is “actually trying to destroy any idea of Palestinian nationalism, any idea of the chance that there could be some measure of equality.”

The journalist also criticized the Trump administration for supporting “the apartheid solution” to the conflict. The “one-state solution,” in which Israel “controls all the land” and Jews have “more rights than non-Jews.”

Friedman’s warning to journalists comes amid international condemnation of Israeli violence in response to the Palestinians’ ‘Great March of Return’ protests that have seen 119 Palestinians killed since the end of March. No Israelis were killed during the latest round of violence.

Israel’s use of deadly force during the protests has been slammed by a number of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and UN groups. But Israel has defended using live rounds and tear gas against demonstrators as the only way to protect itself from attempts to breach the border barrier, and it claimed that dozens of those killed were members of Hamas, which Israel considers a terrorist organization.

Watch David Sheen’s full interview with RT below: