Some Israeli Journalists Express Fear About Conveying Dissenting Views

Airing criticism of the country’s response has become even more fraught than in previous conflicts, some journalists and press advocates said.

21 October 2023// The New York Times

Last weekend, at least a dozen people surrounded the home of a left-wing Israeli commentator who had expressed concern about civilian deaths in Gaza, shouting “traitor” and firing flares in his direction.

This week, a prominent right-wing activist posted a video of himself shouting at and threatening members of a TV crew that was filming Israeli soldiers. Other journalists say they are getting threats and being harassed on social media.

In Israel, many journalists are covering the war while processing their own grief and shock over the surprise attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7. Some lost relatives in the attacks.

But some Israeli journalists and supporters of the press say that covering the war has become even more difficult because of the vitriol they have received from fellow Israelis who have been upset by their questioning of the country’s actions in response to the Hamas attacks.

Expressing dissenting opinions has become even more fraught than in previous conflicts, said Anat Saragusti, a senior staff member for the Union of Journalists, an Israeli organization with 1,500 members.