Dems Press Blinken To Protect Freedom Of The Press In Gaza

A large group of Democrats in the House are urging the White House to take some concrete steps that would protect both the freedom of the press and the safety of individual journalists in the Gaza Strip.

Foreign reporters essentially have been barred from the region, while civilian deaths have increased dramatically as Israel continues its all-out assault against Hamas.

On Tuesday, the Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, expressing their concerns about the strict limitations that Israel has placed on freedom of the press in Gaza, as well as the physical dangers that are inherent for anyone covering a war.

They argued in the letter that this has left much of the world without a complete picture of what’s actually going on in Gaza.

The lawmakers urged Blinken to work with leaders both in Egypt and Israel to do much more to protect both civilians and journalists from being physically harmed, while also giving journalists additional freedom to move around in the region and then report on what they find.

They wrote that these protections are vital to ensure “accurate reporting on the full scale of the war.”

As the letter reads:

“With more journalists killed in three months than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year, we remain concerned that not enough steps have been taken to safeguard the lives of the civilian population in Gaza, including journalists.

“We are grateful for your continuous work to address the unbearable conditions and high number of civilian casualties including by ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinians, but more must be done to address the unique challenges journalists in Gaza face.”

There were 25 Democratic members of the House who signed onto the letter, which is being led by Representatives Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Gerry Connolly of Virginia.

Other signees include Andre Carson of Indiana, who’s one of three Muslim members of Congress; Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, the ranking member on the House Rules Committee; and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the senior liberal on the Oversight and Accountability Committee.

This letter comes as just about every Democrat in Congress has been united around supporting Israel in its war, saying that the country has every right to defend itself after Hamas killed more than 1,200 people and took hundreds more hostage in a brutal surprise attack last October.

In the five months since, Israel has waged an all-out war with Hamas, promising not to stop until the terrorist organization is completely eradicated. More than 29,000 people have died in that timeframe, and most of them have been women and children, officials in both the United Nations and Gaza have reported.

Those deaths have led to many liberals to call for a ceasefire in the fight, and they’ve been increasingly urging the White House to do something about it.