Israel Moves to Shut Down Al Jazeera

  • Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to shut down Qatar-funded Al Jazeera after Israel's parliament passed a law granting the government power to ban foreign news networks deemed a national security risk. CNN (LR: 2 CP: 5)
  • After the Knesset passed the legislation in a 71-10 vote on Monday, Netanyahu said he would immediately stop the channel's activity, claiming "Al Jazeera harmed Israel's security, actively participated in the October 7 massacre, and incited against Israeli soldiers." Al Jazeera (a) (LR: 2 CP: 1)
  • Denouncing Netanyahu's "frantic campaign" as nothing but "dangerous" and "ludicrous" lies, Al Jazeera said that the move would not stop the network from continuing its "bold and professional coverage." Al Jazeera (b) (LR: 2 CP: 1)
  • The ban on foreign media outlets operating in Israel will last 45 days but it can be renewed. Since foreign journalists are banned from entering the enclave, Al Jazeera's reporters are among a few covering the war on the ground. BBC News
  • Citing freedom of the press, the White House declared the move to ban Al Jazeera "concerning." The National Press Club termed it an "anti-press freedom" action aimed at silencing journalists. FOX News (LR: 4 CP: 4)
  • In 2022, Israeli forces killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank. In January, two of its journalists, Hamza Dahdouh and Mustafa Thuria, were killed on assignment in Gaza; Al Jazeera has alleged they were targeted by Israel. Guardian (LR: 2 CP: 5)

Pro-Israel narrative:

  • The law passed in the Knesset to shut down Al Jazeera's operations in Israel was a long time coming. The platform has harmed Israel's security by actively participating in the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack and platforming harmful information undermining national security. Israel is well within its rights to curb the channel, which follows an anti-Israel agenda.

Anti-Israel narrative:

  • Israel's expulsion of Al Jazeera reflects Netanyahu's growing authoritarianism. He aims to suppress critical coverage rather than address security concerns. This stifles press freedom, and, despite condemnations, Israel has remained undeterred —risking further isolation and backlash for silencing dissenting voices.

Nerd narrative:

  • There's a 40% chance that Benjamin Netanyahu will remain Prime Minister of Israel throughout 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
    METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)
GrymEdm, (edited )

Israel hates any news they can’t control. So they either censor or kill journalists. Israel has killed at least 95 news staff in 6 months of war. To put that in perspective: 65 died in 22 years in Afghanistan and 63 in 20 years in Vietnam. They also target family members of journalists.

CNN must get topics they cover approved by an IDF censor. “In order to obtain a press pass in Israel, foreign reporters must sign a document agreeing to abide by the dictates of the censor.” Israel is desperate to keep the truth from making it out of Gaza.

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