Knesset Report / No Live TV Updates From the Front

Live television broadcasts from the front should be forbidden during wartime, a supplementary report on Israel's public relations effort during the war advised.

Instead, all broadcasts should include a small time delay to enable censorship, said the report, prepared by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's subcommittee on the country's public relations.

The report also recommended banning live interviews. Instead, the interviews should be taped and reviewed by the military censor before being broadcast.

Live broadcasts from the front, said the report, could inadvertently "reveal sensitive information, as indeed happened several times during the Second Lebanon War." Inter alia, such broadcasts revealed troop movements in enemy territory and the precise locations where Hezbollah rockets hit (thereby enabling the organization to adjust its aim).

Interviews with officers and soldiers at the front are important, the report stressed, but since interviewees can inadvertently reveal classified information, it is better for interviews to be taped.

The report blasted the Foreign Ministry for having had no public relations plan for an escalation in the North - a particularly grave lapse given that the intelligence assessments for 2006, "of which the Foreign Ministry was presumably aware," had predicted such an escalation.

Even worse, the ministry has made no effort since the war to draw conclusions and prevent such a failure from recurring, the report said.