Israel Isn’t Suspending Al Jazeera for Its Propaganda, but for Its Involvement in Terrorism

“Banning Al Jazeera,” reads one characteristically shrill headline, “moves Israel one step closer to dictatorship,” as if there were reason to believe that Israel was already moving in that direction. Seth Mandel explains what such criticisms get wrong about the law the Knesset passed on Monday, which allows for

the temporary license-suspension of media organizations that are found to aid materially a wartime enemy outside of its practice of journalism. The bill is clearly aimed at Al Jazeera, the Qatari state propaganda mouthpiece. It is not, however, a reaction to the propaganda itself. . . . Al Jazeera has crossed two non-journalism-related lines.

The first is that Israeli intelligence agencies claim to have caught Al Jazeera passing along Israeli troop locations to its Hamas allies, which are funded by the same regime as Al Jazeera. That is, Qatar is simply coordinating between its military wing and its propaganda wing. The second is that Al Jazeera has been found giving press credentials to multiple people who turned out to be soldiers in Hamas’s war on Israel. That would be indisputable grounds for suspending an agency’s credentials.

CNN claims the bill stems from the fact that “Netanyahu’s government has also long complained about Al Jazeera’s operations, alleging anti-Israeli bias.” Now, CNN can very easily fact-check the suggestion that Netanyahu is shutting down media with anti-Israel biases. Has CNN been shut down? The CNN reporters should very quickly get an answer to that question.

The real question isn’t why Israel is trying to shutter Al Jazeera. It is why the U.S., which has granted Qatar status as a major non-NATO ally, doesn’t demand that Doha shutter the outlet itself.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Al Jazeera, Gaza War 2023, Qatar

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7