Palestinian journalist is humiliated by Israeli security at US ambassador’s July 4th party

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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This very disturbing Associated Press news item from the New York Times appeared in my mailbox this morning. An expanded version of the story is, here, from the Star Tribune (Minneapolis).

The U.S.-funded Alhurra network said Thursday that one of its cameramen was interrogated and strip-searched by Israeli security men while covering a July 4 party at the U.S. ambassador’s residence near Tel Aviv….

…when cameraman Samer Jallad arrived, he said he was detained for questioning, ordered to remove his shoes and sit in the sun for more than half an hour, and then taken to a room where he was forced to remove his pants for a body inspection. He said he was held for more than 90 minutes before he was permitted to enter.

It was the latest in a string of incidents in which Israeli security have used heavy-handed tactics against Arab journalists, a practice Israel has defended as necessary for security….

The Foreign Press Association, which represents international media in Israel, called on the U.S. Embassy to condemn the incident….

…The embassy and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office had no immediate comment.

It is bad enough that the U.S. sends a partisan Jewish Zionist like Ambassador Daniel Shapiro, whose background raises questions about his ability to represent U.S. interests in Tel Aviv, but he is not the first pro-Israel advocate to hold this post and undoubtedly will not be the last.

However, I think the American people have a right to know if the U.S. Ambassador to Israel believes that it is appropriate for him to sit around the American embassy with the Israeli Prime Minister on the Fourth of July while Israeli security grossly and publicly violates the human rights of a Palestinian cameraman – a transgression that had absolutely no possible security justification. It is plainly another demonstration of Israeli racism.

Given the lack of response of the U.S. embassy to the Foreign Press Association request to condemn the incident, I think it is appropriate to ask if being a proper host for Shapiro means tolerating or maybe even participating in this vile deployment of Israeli security.

Maybe the next thing we will learn about this Fourth of July party at the embassy is that it included Shapiro and the embassy staff eating barbecue while meekly listening to Netanyahu tell Palestinian jokes.

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