Reporters Without Borders spells F-R-O-N-T group

Pascual Serrano points out how the front group Reporters Without Ethics Borders (RSF) looks the other way when Israel Defense Forces kill journalists. Machetera cannot be entirely certain when Serrano accessed RSF’s website, but she supposes it was on April 17th, because headlines on the April 18th Spanish version were slightly different, although scrolling down to the bottom of the page there was still a link to RSF’s whitewashing. On the English version of the RSF website for the 18th, there wasn’t even that. To read about it, you had to actively search for the “Middle East” section.

How Reporters Without Borders Deals with the Israeli Army’s Murder of a Journalist

Pascual Serrano – Rebelión and

Translation: Machetera

On Wednesday, April 16, the Reuters television journalist Fadel Shanaa died in the Gaza Strip after being fired on by Israeli warplanes. It’s worthwhile to observe how Reporters Without Borders (RSF) dealt with the affair; for that, we turn our attention to their website.

The first thing we see is that their campaigns are directed against two communist countries: Cuba and China. As for its headlines, one refers to the government of Uruguay, due to the fact that a journalist for a regional publication there says that he suffered threats and runs the risk of being sentenced to five months in prison for defamation. The other has to do with the liberation of the Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, detained for 735 days by the U.S. Army at its base at Guantanamo.

It’s necessary to scroll down to the bottom of the screen to the part where it says “See Also…” to find the headline, not even bolded, “A Shot from an Israeli Missile Kills a Reuters Cameraman.”

Thus, a threat in Uruguay and a U.S. release are of more importance to RSF than a killing by an Israeli missile.

Reading RSF’s communique, two even more troubling elements appear. For example, the fact that two civilians also died in the same attack is ignored. RSF’s main reaction is not to condemn the attack but to send its “condolences to Fadel Shanaa’s family and friends.” The French organization states that his death “serves as reminder that the Gaza Strip, [is] the theatre of violence (sic) clashes between the Israel Defence Forces and Palestinian armed groups,” but the death of the Reuters journalist follows an attack in which only Palestinians were killed, at least 14 of them, among them 5 children and an elderly person.

RSF limits itself to asking for an investigation and includes a communique that presents the crime optimistically, indicating that “Shanaa was the first journalist to be killed by the Israeli military since British independent filmmaker James Miller in May 2003.” Finally, it absolves the Israeli army of any intent to kill, stating the vehicle “was hit by an Israeli missile that presumably missed its intended target.”

Just think what Reporters Without Borders would have said if this journalist had died at the hands of the Cuban or Venezuelan army.

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author and translator are cited.

One response to “Reporters Without Borders spells F-R-O-N-T group

  1. Thanks for printing this analysis. Many human rights organizations respond to Israeli letters and protest by toning down their coverage. They feel free to bash Iran, China and Venezuela, but do not dare touch Israel.
    Shame! They are not doing Israel or human rights any favors!

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