The Associated Press’s Secret Deal with Nazi Germany

On Wednesday, the Associated Press (AP) released a detailed report on its cooperation with the Third Reich during World War II, which involved publishing photographs provided to it by Nazi officials and providing American photographs in return. Michael Rosenwald explains:

The report includes documents recently declassified at the request of AP’s management. . . . As part of the arrangement [with the Nazis], AP shared pictures of U.S. war operations and Allied advances, which were reviewed by Hitler and published in Nazi publications. . . .

John Daniszewski, AP’s vice-president for standards and editor-at-large, said that the organization’s journalists “were doing their best to get out information that the world needed.” He defended the photos—they are still available for purchase on an AP website—by noting that blatantly staged propaganda was excluded and that AP’s captions made the Nazi origins clear. But a review of photos published in American newspapers shows that wasn’t always the case. . . .

Photos were traded in Lisbon, [the capital of neutral Portugal], via diplomatic pouch with the help of another AP correspondent. A route through Sweden later emerged. At least 10,000 photos went back and forth.

AP officials notified the U.S. censorship office of the deal on July 13, 1942. The office was run by Byron Price, a former AP executive editor, recruited personally by President Roosevelt, according to the AP report. The report does not detail the Americans’ rationale for approving the deal, except to indicate that there might be “information value” to the backdoor relationship.

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More about: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, History & Ideas, Media, Nazism, World War II

 

The Riots on the Gaza Border are Carefully Coordinated Attacks on Israel, and Should Be Treated as Such

Jan. 16 2019

On Friday, the weekly riots at the Gaza security fence resumed in full force: 13,000 people participated, and a Palestinian woman was apparently killed by Israeli gunfire. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) had established a commission of inquiry in May, not long after these riots began, “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human-rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, . . . particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on March 20, 2018.” In a report to the commission, Richard Kemp, a retired senior British officer, concludes, after investigating the situation at the Gaza border, that there is no evidence whatsoever of Israeli wrongdoing, and that the commission is operating under faulty assumptions:

The terms of [the commission’s] mandate are self-evidently biased against the state of Israel and the IDF. The context cited—“the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests”—make clear that the UNHRC either failed to understand what was happening on the ground or deliberately misrepresented the reality. In addition, the commission’s mandate terms the Gaza Strip “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” which it is not. . . .

[T]he so-called “civilian protests” in reality were, and continue to be, a deliberate military operation, orchestrated and controlled by Hamas, [a] terrorist group that has been waging an armed conflict against Israel for many years. Their intention was and remains to kill and wound IDF soldiers, to break through the border fence, to murder and maim innocent civilians, to destroy property, and to compel the IDF to take defensive action resulting in the death of Gaza civilians for exploitation in the international arena. [Israel’s] “military assaults” were not what was implied by this prejudicial mandate. They were in fact lawful, proportionate, and restrained defensive actions. . . .

Suggestions that these demonstrations are [protests] against Israeli policy toward the Gaza Strip are demonstrably false and easily refuted by cursory viewing of Hamas and other public statements made at the time of the events. . . . Further, it is clear that Hamas intended this violence to continue its long-standing strategy of creating and intensifying international outrage, vilification, isolation, and criminalization of the state of Israel and its officials. . . .

[T]he starkest indication that these events were entirely under Hamas control is the simple fact that, when it suited Hamas’s political interests, the [demonstrations] occurred and were of a violent nature, and when such actions did not serve Hamas’s interests, the border was quiet. As the most recent example of this, in November 2018, Qatar began to make large cash payments to Hamas in Gaza. The most recent payment of $15 million was handed over in December 2018. These payments are reportedly part of an agreement with Hamas to diminish violence along the Gaza border. [After] the first payment, the border violence [was] reduced [and the] demonstrations [became] far more restrained.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Laws of war, UNHRC