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Journalist who denounced American media’s pro-Israel bias blacklisted
Friday July 25, 2014 1:57 AM, Agencies

MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal, an Italian-Palestinian journalist, who broke the unspoken rule of mainstream media punditry this week, and denounced the bias towards Israel that is endemic in western media, appears to have been blacklisted for her efforts.

Rula Jebreal

Punished for her act of dissent with the cancellation of all future appearances and the termination of her contract, Jebreal spoke to a newsportal about what prompted her to speak out and why MSNBC was presenting such a distorted view of the crisis.

“I couldn’t stay silent after seeing the amount of airtime given to Israeli politicians versus Palestinians,” said Jebreal.

“They say we are balanced but their idea of balance is 90 percent Israeli guests and 10 percent Palestinians. This kind of media is what leads to the failing policies that we see in Gaza", she added.

“We as journalists are there to afflict the comfortable and who is comfortable in this case? Who is really endangering both sides and harming American interests in the region? It’s those enforcing the status quo of the siege of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank", she said.

Jebreal said that in her two years as an MSNBC contributor, she had protested the network’s slanted coverage repeatedly in private conversations with producers.

“I told them we have a serious issue here,” she explained. “But everybody’s intimidated by this pressure and if it’s not direct then it becomes self-censorship.”

With her criticism of her employer’s editorial line, she has become the latest casualty of the pro-Israel pressure.

“I have been told to my face that I wasn’t invited on to shows because I was Palestinian,” Jebreal remarked. “I didn’t believe it at the time. Now I believe it.”

Earlier, she had tweeted: "My forthcoming TV appearances have been cancelled! Is there a link between my expose and the cancellation?"

MSNBC however said in a statement that Jebreal was not its contributor when she made the "on-air" comments against the American media.

“Regarding the claim of cancelled appearances: Jebreal’s pre-booked daytime appearance on Tuesday was bumped to accommodate the re-airing of Chris Hayes’ exclusive interview with Tariq Abu Khdeir, a 15 year old Palestinian American beaten by Israeli forces. Jebreal was a guest on “All In” with Chris Hayes on Tuesday night,” a statement by the company read.

MSNBC added that Jebreal was apparently mislabeled in her Monday appearance: “Jebreal’s contributor deal with MSNBC officially ended last month when she said she wanted to pursue new opportunities. We’ve welcomed her back on MSNBC several times since. Her voice is one of many Palestinian voices on MSNBC.”

Days earlier, CNN reporter Diane Magnay was pulled from the country for tweeting her disgust at threats of violence she received by Israelis watching the assault on Gaza from a hill and cheering as the bombs dropped. Her tweet and the coverage reads:

"Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to 'destroy our car if I say a word wrong..."

Magnay has been reassigned to Moscow.

 


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