Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
I just wanted to flag up this from the Jerusalem Post, please note the bit in bold near the bottom - to think they rely on the Beeb to give them unbiased news about the middle east!!! - Hat tip - Former Belgian
What graft? Most Palestinians did not hear about the CBS program that disclosed that Yasser Arafat transferred $100,000 a month to his wife, Suha, who lives in Paris.
Nor did they hear about the $1 billion which he reportedly diverted from the PA budget to secret bank accounts. The reason: censorship.
“You can publish almost anything in our media, except for sensitive stories related to corruption and embezzlement of public funds,” says one Ramallah journalist. Arab satellite stations, particularly Al-Jazeera, also refrain from dealing with sensitive issues. All these stations have correspondents based in Ramallah and Gaza and they don’t want to risk their lives.
In the latest example of intimidation, masked gunmen belonging to the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, went on the rampage in the offices of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV in Ramallah and threatened to shoot staffers. The reason: the station had been reporting on the power struggle between Arafat and former prime minister Mahmoud Abbas in a way that infuriated Arafat.
As one Palestinian editor summed it: “Thank God we have CBS and BBC to tell us about what is happening in our areas.”