PETALING JAYA: A group of veteran Malaysian journalists has condemned the Israeli military’s bombardment on homes, offices and other infrastructure, including one that housed the offices of foreign media such as the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.
The Group of Eminent Journalists said it was unthinkable that an army could target the offices of media practitioners.
“The Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Al-Jalaa Tower that housed the offices of several media organisations.
“All these actions are planned, which started with the eviction of a number of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarra neighbourhood, the right-wing mob attacks against Palestinians, the attacks against worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the strikes against targets in Palestine, ” the group said in a statement yesterday.
The statement was signed off by nine veteran journalists, including Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai of Star Media Group, former New Straits Times Press group editor Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, former Media Prima Bhd chairman Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar and former Bernama general manager Datuk Yong Soo Heong.
Other veteran journalists who signed the statement were Karangkraf chairman Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub, former Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang, Malaysian Press Institute chief executive officer Datuk Chamil Wariya, former Bernama editor-in-chief Datuk Zakaria Wahab and Petra News executive director Datuk Ahiruddin Atan.
The veteran newsmen also urged Israeli journalists to act as the conscience of the nation, saying what was happening now was not about Israel’s so-called right to exist.
“They must also speak up on the rights of the Palestinians to co-exist and survive. The cruelties inflicted upon them the last seven decades are beyond the realm of human rights and dignity, ” they said.
The group said it was also appalled by the fact that some segments of the Western media had typecast the Palestinians as militants, radicals and terrorists, which were unsparingly used to justify the atrocities by the Israeli military.
The group also expressed its disappointment with world leaders who seemed to drag their feet in coming up with solutions to address current situation between Israel and Palestine, adding that the United Nations General Assembly had yet to come up with a resolution to address the violence.
It was also appalled at the Joe Biden administration’s move to block the Assembly from making any statement on the issue.
“This is not about religion or ideology, it is about human lives and those who are being oppressed and victimised for far too long, ” it said.
The group is also demanding that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) make a strong statement about the violence, adding that the Muslim world was looking to the OIC for guidance and direction, calling the silence from some of its powerful members as “palpable”.
“The attacks have killed at least 122 people, including 31 children, and at least 900 more are injured.
“The anger reverberates beyond Gaza even into the state of Israel and the world over. It is simply an act of aggression that must be condemned by all nations and civil societies, ” it said.