Israeli Officials Giving Al Jazeera the Cold Shoulder

Al Jazeera LogoThe Israeli government is boycotting the Arabic television network Al Jazeera, according to a statement by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Magali Whabe. "We have sent a letter to the Authorities in Qatar and also to Al Jazeera regarding this matter. We do not want to deal with a channel that is not realistic and does not give a real picture to its viewers. If there is no change in the way they deal with us there, will be a reaction for us and we can take action." The boycott stems from what Israel sees as biased coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, most recently the blockade of and attacks on Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces. Al Jazeera counters that it is "being shunned for accurate reporting." The channels Palestine bureau chief Walid al-Umari said, "I dare any Israeli official to bring up what they call incitement or lies reported by Al Jazeera. What we reported were real facts on the ground." al-Umari is also reported as saying that this latest development is part of an ongoing attack on the channel by Israeli officials. "A state that respects the freedom of expression or claims that it is democratic should not limit the movement of press teams."