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June 16, 2010

Independent journalists dismantling Israel’s hold on media narrative

Israeli naval ships trailing the Mavi Marmara. (Cultures of Resistance)

Abraham Greenhouse, Nora Barrows-Friedman

EI, June 15, 2010

“The systematic attempt and very deliberate first priority for the Israeli soldiers as they came on the ships was to shut down the story, to confiscate all cameras, to shut down satellites, to smash the CCTV cameras that were on the Mavi Marmara, to make sure that nothing was going out. They were hellbent on controlling the story,” commented Australian journalist Paul McGeough, one of the hundreds of activists and reporters who witnessed the deadly morning attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May (“Framing the Narrative: Israeli Commandos Seize Videotape and Equipment from Journalists After Deadly Raid,” Democracy Now, 9 June 2010). McGeough was one of at least 60 journalists aboard the flotilla who were detained and their footage confiscated.

Within hours of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla being intercepted and besieged in international waters by Israeli commandos, who killed at least nine — some at point-blank range — aboard the Mavi Marmara, news of the bloody attack had spread across the globe. Rage, condemnation and calls for an international investigation followed.

Meanwhile, Israel’s campaign to spin the attack, distort the facts and quell an outraged public was already in full swing. Concurrently, activists and skeptical journalists began deconstructing the official story and assembling evidence to uncover the truth behind the violent deaths of activists on a humanitarian mission to the besieged Gaza Strip.

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Cashiering Helen Thomas

By Ralph Nader

June 15, 2010 “Information Clearing House” –The termination of Helen Thomas’ 62-year long career as a pioneering, no-nonsense newswoman was swift and intriguingly merciless.

The event leading to her termination began when she was sitting on a White House bench under oppressive summer heat. The 89-year-old hero of honest journalism and women’s rights, the scourge of dissembling presidents and White House press secretaries, answered a passing visitor’s question about Israel with a snappish comment worded in a way she didn’t mean; she promptly apologized in writing. Recorded without permission on a hand video, the brief exchange, that included a defense of dispossessed Palestinians, went internet viral on Friday, June 4.

By Monday, Helen Thomas was considered finished, even though she embodied a steadfast belief, in the praiseworthy words of Washington Post columnist, Dana Milbank, “that anybody standing on that podium [in the White House] should be regarded with skepticism.”

Over the weekend, her lecture agent dropped her. Her column syndicator, the Hearst company, pressed her to quit “effective immediately,” and, it was believed that the White House Correspondents Association, of which she was the first female president, was about to take away her coveted front row seat in the White House press room

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Paris Dedicates Place to Mahmoud Darwish

Date : 14/6/2010 Time : 14:14

PARIS, June 14, 2010 (WAFA)- President Mahmoud Abbas and the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë inaugurated, Monday, Mahmoud Darwish Square in the French capital.

The Municipality of Paris said in a statement, Thursday that this place would be inaugurated to honor the work of this great poet of Palestine.

Mahmoud Darwish received numerous awards for his work and his writings have been translated into several languages. He is recognized as one of the most important poets of the twentieth century.

The decision to name a place in Paris after Mahmoud Darwish has been passed by the Council of Paris in April.

Delanoe said that ‘He is a great poet who we want to honor by naming a place of Paris after him. He is not just any poet, a Palestinian poet, a poet whose inspiration is born of his suffering in exile.’

‘Mahmoud Darwish is also a fighter. I honor his this morning as the leader of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization, which the writer has long been a part) is present,’ he added.

President Abbas said: ‘Mahmoud Darwish was always talking about the day when the Palestinian people could lead a normal life like other peoples in their independent country. We, the people of Darwish, say we’re going to pursue the path till the day comes where we live in a Palestine without occupation, without the blockade, without walls.”

‘We love life when we have the means to it,’ he said, quoting a verse from Darwish.

Israelis filmed their own weapons as showing like they are ours and threw our cameras into the sea

cdr23d1 — 9 juin 2010 — Osama Qashoo and other passengers give their first arrowing accounts of what really happened on the Mavi Marmara.

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