Israel strips Al Jazeera reporter’s credentials for clear ethics breach

Al Jazeera correspondent Elias Karram, who stated that his “media work is an integral part of the [Palestinian] resistance,” has lost his press credentials in Israel.

Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office (GPO), decided on Wednesday to revoke the GPO card of senior Al Jazeera Jerusalem correspondent Elias Karram pending a hearing.

In a May 26, 2016, interview with Dar al-Iman, the Muslim Brotherhood television channel, the contents of which were delivered to the GPO this week – along with additional material by Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, a Druze Israeli, and Ofir Gendelman, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman for the Arab Media – Karram said: “As a Palestinian journalist in an occupied area or in a conflict zone, media work is an integral part of the resistance and its educational political activity. The journalist fulfills his role in the opposition with the pen, voice or camera because he is part of this people and he carries out resistance in his unique way.”

“These remarks call into question the ability of Karram, the representative of a foreign network, to cover – as a professional journalist – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which, according to his own words, he is taking an active part, the GPO said in a statement.”

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“It should be noted that Communications Kara had recently contacted GPO Director Chen and requested that the press cards of Al Jazeera personnel in Israel be revoked on the grounds that the network was inciting and agitating to violence in a way that harmed the security of the state,” the statement added.

A Political Struggle vs. Unbiased Journalism

According to Chen, “The whole issue of GPO cards is bound up with journalist’s rules of ethics and universal fairness regarding news reporting. It would seem that an Al Jazeera correspondent, who serves as a senior field correspondent vis-à-vis news and security events, made the sharp and far-reaching comment that ‘Any Palestinian journalist should see himself as an integral part of the resistance to the occupation.’ Whoever takes an active part in a political struggle should do so in the framework of the law, but without press credentials from the State of Israel.”

Karram, 40, an Israeli citizen from Nazareth, has carried a GPO card on behalf of Al Jazeera since 2011, the GPO said in a press release. “At the hearing, he will be requested to explain whether or not he is part of the Palestinian people’s resistance to the ‘Zionist occupation,’ as he stated in the interview, and if so, how this affects his work as a journalist according to universal ethics.”

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By: World Israel News Staff
With files from the GPO