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'Government Paranoia of Media Harms Israel'

Foreign reporter Matthew Kalman: Israel's response to flotilla events was a media catastrophe. Israel needs to establish a news agency urgently.
By Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 6/1/2010, 5:58 PM / Last Update: 6/1/2010, 6:29 PM

Matthew Kalman, a Jerusalem based foreign correspondent, spoke at the Anti-Defamation League's conference in Tel Aviv about Israel and the foreign media.

As seen in the following video, Kalman explained that there are three "P"s that affect the foreign news coverage of events in Israel – policy, parachutes, and paranoia. Policy refers to Israeli policies that are sometimes not understood or accepted by the foreign correspondents. The word 'parachutes' refers to journalists who 'drop' into Israel without even knowing the language. Paranoia is how Kalman refers to the attitude of the Israeli authorities towards the media, and he explained how this paranoia was felt during the most recent events of the Gaza flotilla.

Summing up the conference, Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, came to Israel's defense in response to Matthew Kalman's complaints.

Matthew Kalman has been a foreign correspondent and filmmaker based in Jerusalem since 1998. He has reported for TIME, Newsweek, the Boston Globe, London Sunday Times, and other many newspapers, as well as PBS television in the United States, Channel 4 News in Britain and CTV in Canada. He is a frequent contributor to radio news programs in Canada and Britain.