(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Palestinian affairs journalists working for the Israeli media decided Sunday not
to cover the meeting between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli politicians
from Kadima and Labor in Ramallah.
The decision was taken by the
Association for Palestinian Affairs Correspondents after representatives of the
Geneva Initiative, who initiated the meeting with Abbas, allowed only one
journalist from Haaretz to accompany them.
All the other journalists who
requested to cover the meeting had initially been told by the Israeli organizers
that no reporter would be accompanying the delegation to Ramallah.
journalists were told that they would be permitted to cover the meeting from
outside the room or from a “distance,” the association said in a
The association, which represents scores of journalists
covering Palestinian affairs, noted that the decision to refrain from reporting
about the meeting was taken in wake of recent interviews Abbas had given to
reporters who do not specialize in Palestinian affairs.
chairman of the association, said that Abbas was deliberately avoiding
Palestinian affairs correspondents “because he does not want hard
Berger pointed out that not only did Abbas gave an interview
to an anchor at an Israeli TV station three months ago, but had met on Sunday
with the political correspondent of Haaretz
and later with a female journalist
from Yediot Aharonot
whose beat is the Arab world.
Ramallah they find this more convenient than having to face questions from
journalists who are experts in the inner workings and political reality of the
Palestinians,” Berger said.
The decision to allow only the political
correspondent of Haaretz
to attend the meeting was taken by Abbas’s office,
Berger quoted the Israeli organizers as saying.