Coronavirus Restrictions? How about Restrictions on Freedom of Expression?
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
I was recently accused of anti-Semitism and vindictively blocked — part of the course if you happen to support human rights and oppose Apartheid Israel’s irrefutable barbaric oppression of the Palestinian people — because of an interview I gave to journalist Mohsen Abdelmoumen which was published in both English https://ahtribune.com/interview/4258-william-hanna.html, and French https://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.mohsen_abdelmoumen.280620.htm.
I was not at all disturbed by the accusation itself — I have a clear conscience so far as being anti-Semitic is concerned — but by the fact it was maliciously made by a certain Meirion Jones who hides under the mantle of respectable and responsible journalism provided by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism with its frequently commendable work.
By having made such a jaundiced and even defamatory accusation against me, Mr. Jones, the Bureau’s investigations editor, merely confirmed that he is just another minion in the ranks of blinkered and biased pro-Israel partisans — including cringing cowards, gullible volunteers, and those specifically recruited and paid — who work zealously to shut down any criticism of Israel’s arrogant disregard for human rights and international law.
Mr Jones, an otherwise competent and award winning journalist, is unfortunately no different from the mainstream media hacks who are complicit in maintaining the status quo of a world where apathy, hatred, racism, selfishness, greed, human trafficking, violence, and genocide prevail; where freedom of expression and a free press are subject to restriction and criminalisation; where gutless self-censorship by journalists is overseen by newsroom editors inhibited by their own cowardice and the vested interests of media proprietors; where technology’s potential to liberate is instead used to condition, control, and condemn people to being subservient subjects rather than critical citizens; where the European Union is disunited and the American Dream has become a nightmare under the presidency of a xenophobic, racist, egocentric, and deranged lunatic; where the opponents of truth, freedom, and justice continue to be highly organised, well financed, efficiently deployed, and in complete control; and finally, where those in control definitely don’t want the general public to know the truth.
Global toleration of the atrocities perpetrated with impunity against the Palestinian people for more than seventy years has been encouraged if not actively promoted by the mainstream media. An example of such bias was demonstrated in a report by 416LABS — a research group that provides analysis, forecasts and assessments on pressing real world challenges faced by the international community. — which concluded that “The results of the study supports previous academic literature that assesses that the U.S. Mainstream media’s coverage of the conflict favours Israel in terms of both the sheer quantity of stories covered, and by providing more opportunities to the Israelis to amplify their point of view. The overall sentiment of those stories calculated from the headlines of the five major U.S. newspapers was consistently more negative for Palestinian stories. On the other hand, the Palestinian narrative is highly underrepresented, and several key topics that help to identify the conflict in all its significance, remain understated.” http://416labs.com/blog/2018/12/19/50-years-of-occupation
“Antisemitism is a form of racism and as such must be opposed on general anti-racist principles, in solidarity with other anti-racist struggles and in concert with the principles of human rights and equality for all. Unfortunately, both the government of Israel and Zionist groups the world over are using society’s legitimate concern about antisemitism to redefine it to include criticism of Israel and the Zionist ideology behind it. Their goal is to suppress — and even criminalise — criticism of Israel and support for Palestinian rights. Indeed, according to a recent survey, almost half of Canadian Jews believe that accusations of antisemitism are ‘often used to silence legitimate criticism of Israeli policies.’”
Independent Jewish Voices: https://bit.ly/2weqY0x
Israel’s lack of conscience and humanity is not restricted to Palestine as is evident from its own historic involvement in the genocide of other ethnic groups in other countries as was mentioned in a September 2017 report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz with the headline “Israel Refuses to Stop Arms Sales to Myanmar, Despite Its Campaign of Rape, Torture and Massacres Against the Rohingya” https://bit.ly/2RGkUq1. The paper’s report stated that in his response to a petition in the High Court of Justice from human-rights activists demanding an end to the arms sales, the state’s lawyer claimed that the court should not interfere in Israel’s foreign relations.
Other reports included one quoting an Israeli human rights activist who stated “successive Israeli governments have been selling arms to the military dictatorship in Burma for years . . . this policy is strongly related to Israel’s oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Weapons used against the Palestinians are being sold as ‘field-tested’ to some of the worst regimes on the planet.”
A human rights lawyer — who had submitted a succession of petitions to the Israeli courts in an effort to highlight details of Israel’s trade with human rights violating regimes — said the cases were intended to expedite the war crimes investigations of the officials and contractors involved. “Many Western states sell arms, but what’s unique about Israel is that, wherever war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed, you find Israel is present . . . the companies selling the weapons, and the officials who quietly approve the trade, must be held accountable. Otherwise, why would this ever stop,” he asked while also noting that as well as fuelling the current violence in Myanmar and South Sudan, Israel had also been accused of being the covert provider of weapons for past perpetrations of genocide and ethnic cleansing in places such as Argentina, the Balkans, Chile, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Rwanda.
Mr. Jones and others of his ilk should bear in mind that as journalists they have a responsibility to at all times uphold and defend the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression, and the right of the public to be informed; to be resolute in ensuring that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair; and to do their utmst to correct harmful inaccuracies. They could start fulfilling that responsibility as journalists by first watching the following video before taking a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.
William Hanna is a London-based freelance writer on democracy and human rights and author of a The Grim Reaper. Further information including book reviews, articles, sample chapters, videos, and contact details at: https://www.williamhannaauthor.com