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French media accuses Israel ambassador of attempts to censor

Palestinians gather at the Gaza-Israel border as part of the 'Great March of Return' on August 24, 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians gather at the Gaza-Israel border as part of the 'Great March of Return' on August 24, 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Israel’s Ambassador to Paris, Aliza Bin-Noun, has been at the centre of a “censorship” storm, reported Ynet, after lobbying a French television channel to pull a report on Palestinians shot by the Israeli army in the occupied Gaza Strip.

France: Parliament adopts a symbolic resolution calling on the French government to recognize the state of Palestine – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

The item, “Gaza’s disabled teens”, was broadcast on France 2 and “discussed the stories of several young Palestinians who had lost their legs after being shot by IDF snipers and who spoke of their broken dreams”, Ynet reported. “One of the teens said his dream was to become a cyclist”.

Letter from Israeli Ambassador to France, Aliza Bin-Noun, to France TV Director [Twitter]

Even before the segment was broadcast, Bin-Noun wrote to the France 2 management and “demanded the item be cancelled, saying it is unbalanced, portrays Israel in a negative light and claiming it will cause incitement and physical harm against the French Jewish community”.

After the report was shown, Bin-Noun shared her original letter to France 2 on social media, adding that she was “very disappointed” the channel “did not respond to our demand to reconsider broadcasting the report”, a segment she said “vilifies Israel”.

As reported by Ynet, the ambassador’s interventions “turned out to be an own goal”, and in fact created “a lot of interest” in the TV report.

READ: Israel pressures French suburb to remove Nakba street sign

“The French media was outraged at Bin-Noun’s request and protested it via various media channels,” said Ynet, who saw it “as an Israeli attempt to censor and undermine freedom of speech.”

“The Israeli attempt to prevent the article from being aired raised harsh criticism, saying that not only does Israel hurt the Palestinians, it is also trying to censor and harm the highly valued Republic’s freedom of speech,” Ynet added.

“The French media prominently reported how Israel boldly tried to intervene with content it does not approve of, and how France 2 is concerned with a foreign country’s attempt to influence its content,” the article concluded.

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