Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, noted on Wednesday the freedom of the press in Israel, as opposed to the suppression of the press in neighboring countries.
Speaking during a discussion at the UN Security Council about protecting civilians in war zones, Prosor noted that many journalists from around the world prefer to come to Israel to cover the conflict in neighboring Syria from there, knowing full well they would be much safer in the Jewish State.
"It's easier to cover Israel from Tel Aviv than to face live fire in the suburbs of Damascus," he said, adding, "The Middle East is undoubtedly the most dangerous place for journalists. In the first half of 2013 alone, 26 journalists lost their lives. Instead of being the ones to tell the story, the journalists have become the story itself. Torture, rape, and executions have become the lot of journalists in war zones.”
In Israel, noted Prosor, “freedom of the press is an integral part of the mosaic of our democratic society. The media does not hesitate to criticize its leaders.
“Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East and as such has become the destination of choice for many journalists coming to cover the events in the region. Journalists arriving in Israel do not experience the risks in neighboring countries such as imprisonment, punishment, torture and death threats,” he said.
"Attacking journalists is not just a matter of attacking an individual, it is attacking freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” added Prosor. “Those who are trying to silence journalists are actually those who are trying to preserve the status quo and prevent the winds of change and innovation from penetrating their countries.
“The media is the mouthpiece of all those citizens who take to the streets demanding to have an influence on their future and make it better. However, in most parts of the Middle East, their voices and their stories are silenced,” concluded Prosor.