The man who once had sole authority to decide whether or not a journalist could work in Israel announces that he is an Islamophobe, thinks ‘Arabs lie.’
Daniel Seaman, the former director of Israel’s Government Press Office, said Thursday during a panel discussion on i24 News, the Israel-based satellite news station, that he is an Islamophobe.
Sitting on a three-person panel with Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy and Ruthie Blum of the far-right think tank The Gatestone Institute, Seaman told “Spin Room” anchor and former +972 contributor Ami Kaufman, “The Arabs lie.”
In response to Kaufman’s incredulous, “All Arabs?” Seaman responds, without missing a beat: “It’s part of their culture.”
Levy points out that if anyone were to speak about Jews that way, they would be called an anti-Semite. “And those who speak about Arabs that way are called Islamophobic,” rejoins Ruthie Blum.
Shrugging his shoulders and pointing at himself, Seaman says, “I am an Islamophobe. Because we have lived here long enough to know what they are capable of doing. I am afraid of people who want to string me up because I’m Jewish and not Muslim.”
Watch Danny Seaman on i24 News:
Throughout his career, Seaman served in various branches of the Prime Minister’s Office for 30 years. That period included 2000-2010, when he was acting director of the Government Press Office, or GPO, which has the sole authority to provide accreditation for journalists working in Israel.
During the decade he presided over the GPO, Seaman distinguished himself as abrasive and was known for using foul language when speaking to or about journalists. He also implemented a policy stripping Palestinian journalists in the West Bank of their accreditation, revoking the precious GPO cards that had given them crucial access to press events. For the Palestinian journalists, this often meant they could no longer work in their chosen profession; it also meant losing the livelihood that supported entire families.
In more than one case, veteran foreign correspondents who had been reporting from Israel for years were forced to leave the country abruptly, for no apparent reason other than Danny Seaman deciding to revoke their credentials.
A partial list of incidents involving Seaman’s egregious behavior includes the following:
- In 2006 he refused to renew the accreditation of Joerg Brenner, a veteran correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, who had been in Israel for 15...