Who is Danny Seaman? Who is Daniel Seaman? Who is Dani Siman? Who is Danny Seaman the extremist colonel who works with both Right and Left-wing Israeli governments? What is the secret behind keeping Seaman in his position as the head of the Israeli press office GPO for over ten years?
Overall, the adjudication of civil and the military posts in Israel are based on staff changes every two years, three or four years maximum. The former directors of the GPO were changed by these usual changes which came with changes in the Israeli governments. But Seaman, who has proved to be the wrong person for the job and position which he occupies, who has offended Israel with his rude behavior while treating foreign journalists in an improper, brutal ways, is suspected of being involved in corruption for the benefit of the Likud Party, has been able to keep his post for more than ten years. Seaman, who caused me eight years of suffering of living in exile, appears to have much more power than anyone in the Israeli government who would like to get rid of him. Only the Israeli “Shin Bet” and the Mossad know from where Seaman draws his strength, power and sources of support.
The first of August 2010 was the beginning of my eighth years in the exile. On this unhappy anniversary which reminds me of the brutal Daniel Seaman, the IDF criminal soldiers and the Israeli occupation, I write a letter to the director of the civil service in Israel reminding him of Seaman’s crimes against me and my colleagues. Below is my letter.
August 23, 2010
To: Shmuel Hollander, Office of the Civil Service, 3 Kaplan Street, Street, Jerusalem Kirya, Zip 91340
From: Kawther Salam
Subject: Daniel “Danny” Seaman, director of the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO).
I am writing to you in reference of Daniel Seaman, director of the Government Press Office and responsible for uncounted violations of the principles of journalism, infringement on the freedom of movement and work of many colleagues. Seaman continually misused his position and the political situation to take “revenge” against Palestinian journalists in order to satisfy his hatred born out of bigotry, petty vindictiveness against people who could not defend themselves. I am one of his many victims.
In addition to his well-known continued mistreatment, abuse and slurs against Palestinian and foreign journalists, it is also suspected that Seaman might have had a direct role by way of incitement in the shootings of various colleagues as well as of human rights workers from abroad who were working in Palestine, among them are Fadel Shana, James Miller, Nazih Darwazeh, Raffaele Ciriello, and many others.
In my own case, Seaman misused his position as a director of the GPO to threaten and insult me, accusing as of being a “hostile journalist”, refusing to renew my press card and informing the extremists jewish squatters and the IDF soldiers about this and demanding that they prevent me from going after my work in my homeland Hebron under the Israeli occupation, that they end my journalistic work in Israel and Palestine, dragging me into unnecessary confrontations and creating an atmosphere of hostile international public opinion against the Israel.
The details of this story are rooted in the year 2001, when Mr. Seaman refused the renewal of my permanent GPO press card number 120097. I was at that time a reporter in the occupied territories and Israel working with the Israeli newspaper Al-Ittihad in Haifa, and the Sunday Tribune in Ireland.
On November 5 2001 I met Seaman in his office and asked him to give me the form for applying for the renewal of my Press Card which would lapse at the end of 2001. Instead to give the GPO form, Seaman went into a shocking tirade, confronting me very aggressively with foul and abusive language, and ending his freak-out by throwing me out of his office and accusing me of “working with hostile media”.
Seaman told me that he had received a letter from the “settlers”, criminal jewish squatters who live in my homeland Hebron where they demanded that he end my GPO press card. Seaman also told me that the IDF soldiers did not like my journalistic work in Hebron and that he would not give me a form for renewing my press card.
Seaman also told me that I was “a journalist who wants to use the GPO card as a pass for free movement in Hebron and Israel in order to report in hostile media”, and that he wouldn’t allow that. When I tried to clarify my position and defend myself, Seaman went into a tirade accusing me of being a hostile journalist and describing me, in his own words as an “enemy of the IDF soldiers and the Jewish community” and insisting that I should not forget that “he is a colonel and a soldier and he would not allow me to harm the IDF with my hostile journalism”.
Seaman was not right in his accusations. I have worked as a journalist since 1984; I never had security problems with Israel. In my family there was and still there is nobody involved in any way in politics or belongs to any political faction. As a journalist as well as personally, I worked hard to support the peace process and to defend the human rights of everybody. In 2001 I found a jewish child lost in a Palestinian neighborhood in Hebron which was under intensive curfew, and I returned the child to the jewish squatter colony Avraham Avino, to same settlers who had several times stoned me and broken my cameras.
In January 2002 I published an appeal to Israel for the renewal of my Press Card in the Irish Times newspaper in Dublin. Mr. Aidan White, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) also appealed to the Israel government for the renewal of my card. Lea Tsemel, an Israeli lawyer, wrote to the GPO on my behalf about the renewal form for my press card.
On March 6 2002 I was able to fill the form to apply for a renewal of my press card at the office of Dr. Fawaz Kamal, the director of the Arabic department at the GPO office. Mr. Kamal told me in a friendly way that Seaman would never renew my press card. He added that Seaman is a stubborn man and that I had put my head against his head. He blamed me for reporting about this issue in the international media (the Irish Times) and claiming that Seaman would insists in challenging me.
In February 2002, Seaman threatened to arrest me if I was seen visiting the GPO to ask about my press card. He said that I would be “the last journalist in the world whose press card he would renew” and he topped that with personal insults, curses and other more than impolite suggestions. He said that “the terrorists who I deal with should help me to work without the GPO”. He added that “Israel does not need to see terrorist journalists”. He recommended me to never to call him again because he was sure that the intelligence “Shin Beit” would not approve the renewal my press card.
Seaman informed the IDF spokesperson and the jewish squatters about his refusal to renew my press card. He caused me security problems, trouble with the IDF soldiers and the squatters. The soldiers expelled me from my house in Hebron. Due to his intervention I was victim of all kind of harassment at the hands of the IDF soldiers and the criminal squatters, and I lost my work as a journalist in the occupied territories and Israel, I lost my house, I live as a refugee in Europe far away from my beloved family, friends and my homeland.
I have decided to submit this open letter to your office not because I need anything from the GPO after eight years of living in the exile, but because I still suffer deeply of the mistreatment by Seaman, his obscene and foul language, the filthy words with which he accused me of terrorism and hostile work, ending my journalistic work in my homeland and inciting the IDF soldiers against me. Seaman misused his power as director of the GPO not only against me, but also to threaten many other journalists from foreign media and causing big damages on every level.
I ask you to open all the correspondence between the office of Seaman and my previous lawyer, Lea Tsemel, so you can see for yourself how he comported himself in my case. I would also ask you to judge each and every word which I have written and which could be described from your point of view as “hostile” to Israel, to the account of Seaman. Each word I have published during the last eight years of living in the exile, far away from my homeland and my family, go back directly to Seaman. While I used to work on stories of mostly local interest when I lived in Palestine, today I write mostly of the issue and problem which Israel represents to everybody, not only Palestinians. This change in my work was brought on you by Seaman, it was not of my own accord that I changed how and what I write about.
Seaman with his bigotry and racist hatred has not only destroyed my life, but he succeeded in radically changing my views about Israel, about zionism and about jews at large. The years of exile have been a very educative experience, among other things they have shown me in all possible clarity that it is a supreme error to acquiesce to criminals or to let oneself be scared by bullies, or to remain silent in the face injustice.
Where I used to think that it would be in the best interest of everybody to strive for a peaceful co-existence, today I think that there is no possibility for any kind of peace with Israel because there is no will on side of the jews to any kind of just peace. Another important insight which I owe in the exile is that Israel has no true friends beyond the minority of criminals, sociopaths and corrupt politicians which exist in every society, and it is clear that Daniel Seaman would never allow somebody like me who at one point sincerely believed in peace with Israel, but who belongs to neither of these groups, to remain anywhere near Israel. Who will help Israel when these minorities are exposed and ousted from power everywhere? Not me and not anybody I know of.
Even where the actions of Daniel Seaman can not be qualified as outright criminal, his discharge of his duties as head of the GPO can be qualified as grossly irresponsible and incompetent. Not only in my case but with almost all Palestinian and foreign journalists, Seaman did everything possible to sow gratuitous conflict, to create enmities where none existed, to mistreat and insult people merely doing their job, to punish and abuse those who were in no position to defend themselves against his repeated outbreaks of pathological hatred. Seaman more than anybody has contributed to destroy any semblance of a positive image which Israel could have had abroad in spite of the never ending criminal rampage against us Palestinians because of his ill will, his attempts at dictating to journalists what and how to report, his abuse of the “Press Card” into an instrument of coercion against any journalist or medium whom he didn’t like, and lets not forget the brain-dead attempts of the GPO to extend its censorship to the Internet or the stream of lies which ensued after the Mavi Marmara atrocity, they were products of Seaman’s GPO. With Seaman, Israel has brutish and bloodthirsty thug in a position where such people are met with disdain, and his lack of acceptance among the people with whom he must deal on a daily basis, journalists, reflects in his demeanor and in his lacking achievements. Since Seaman has no provable successes to talk about in the exercise of his duties, he is forced to resort to increasingly uncouth and abusive behavior to silence critics.
I reserve the right to take legal action against Seaman in accordance with the provisions of national and international laws at the first opportunity which presents itself. On the account of Seaman are not only my own case and the cases of many other journalists, but also the suspicion of being involved in the murders of many exiled Palestinians throughout Europe, and on murder and state-sponsored terrorism there is no statute of limitations, anywhere.
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