Chris McGreal returns to remind us how much he despises Israel.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Chris McGreal, the Guardian’s former Jerusalem correspondent who – unlike Harriet Sherwood – has never even tried to hide his animosity towards the Jewish state.  As we’ve revealed previously, McGreal fancies the idea that Israeli snipers target Palestinian kids, is obsessed with the power of the Israel lobby, and is one of the few Guardian reporters singled out by the Community Security Trust for engaging in antisemitic discourse.

He’s also quite predictably been among those who participate fully in what’s known as the Durban Strategy, named after at the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Racism Conference which ignited an orgy of hatred towards Jews and Israel and coalesced around a strategy of ‘bringing Israel to its knees’ by casting it as a racist, ‘apartheid’ state beyond the moral pale.

Though the movement to smear Israel as an apartheid state can trace it origins to Soviet and Arab propaganda of the 70s, the idea only began to gain traction within organs of the pro-Palestinian movement following Durban.  Not surprisingly, the Guardian – the epicenter of Western media subservience to even the most extreme elements within the anti-Zionist cause – has been among the most enthusiastic purveyors of the apartheid canard.

McGreal’s latest polemical effort on behalf of Israel’s adversaries was published by the Guardian on May 14 – Israeli Independence Day on the non-Hebrew calendar – and titled ‘Kerry wasn’t wrong: Israel’s future is beginning to look a lot like apartheid‘.

McGreal begins:

Organizations claiming to speak for America’s Jews – mostly too far to the right to be representative of most of them – reeled in horror after Kerry dared to say it two weeks ago: if Israel doesn’t reach a deal on an independent Palestine it risks becoming an “apartheid state”.

Israel called the envoy a hypocrite and blamed him for the failure of the latest talks. The secretary of state apologized for using the A-word, saying it was “best left out of the debate” in the US – even if it is used in Israel itself, including by two former prime ministers to sound similar warnings to Kerry’s.

Later he opines:

After years of traveling through the West Bank and South Africa, it’s blindingly clear to me: the ever-expanding settlements are, indeed, carving out the geography of West Bank apartheid. And if Kerry was wrong, it was only in casting his warning as a prediction rather than about a present reality.

Tellingly, McGreal doesn’t explain how settlements “carving out the geography of the West Bank” create an apartheid reality.  Indeed, though sources which refute the intellectually unserious charge that Israel is practicing apartheid are ubiquitous (and include testimonies by South Africans who actually lived through apartheid), it’s helpful to briefly note what the term actually means.

Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren explained its origins in a recent op-ed at the LA Times:

Translated from Afrikaans, apartheid means “apart-hood.” It stemmed from the deeply held racist beliefs of South African whites who, in the half-century after World War II, imposed strict legal barriers between themselves and all black people. The segregation was total: separate restaurants, separate toilets and drinking fountains, separate houses, hospitals and schools. 

First, there is absolutely no racial element involved in the fact that there are separate and distinct Israeli and Palestinian communities.  The distinction between Israelis and Palestinians is based not on race, but on the fact that they are two distinct national communities. Israel’s security barrier, for instance, is a counter-terror tool aimed to protect Israelis from Palestinian suicide bombers, and, as Oren noted, is no more an “apartheid wall” than the fence between the United States and Mexico.

Additionally, despite the fact that Israelis and Palestinians represent two national communities, and security measures have been introduced to mitigate the potential for conflict and violence, there is still an absence of codified segregation, as evident by the thousands of Palestinians who work in Israeli factories and receive life-saving medical care at Israeli hospitals.

 Of course, pro-Palestinian activists who claim to support a two-state solution and level the apartheid charge are especially hypocritical, as any future Palestinian state would almost certainly be 100% Jew-free.  Israeli Jews won’t be treated in Palestinian hospitals. They won’t be permitted to travel on Palestinian buses, nor permitted to attend Palestinian universities. Indeed, given the endemic antisemitism within Palestinian society, any Israeli Jew who ventured unprotected into the new Palestinian state would be taking a considerable risk.  Palestinian Apartheid is all but assured.

McGreal then pivots to a familiar Guardian narrative, one which champions such assaults on Israel’s legitimacy as acts of bravery – those evidently bold enough to speak truth to Zionist power in Washington.

Israel’s intent in the West Bank is an issue that has largely been off-limits in Washington. The pro-Israel lobby, with some help from Congress, has played an important role in determining the boundaries of criticism

Indeed, here is where McGreal shows his true stripes – again telling Guardian readers what they want to hear: specifically, that US foreign policy is being hijacked by the pro-Israel lobby, but, more broadly, that the reason decision makers in Washington don’t buy into their view of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is because the system is rigged and debate is being squelched – furtively of course – by a small but dangerously powerful minority of Americans who conflate the US national interest with Israel’s.

However, at the end of the day, the fact is that Israel remains wildly popular among the American public, the boycott movement produces failure upon failure, Israel’s democracy is robust, its economy is booming, and its society (by any number of indicators) is thriving. 

Much like narrow efforts to cast Israel as an apartheid state, the broader delegitimization campaign – by nearly any standard – is failing miserably.

And, Chris McGreal is simply furious. 

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Guardian’s Chris McGreal ‘honors’ Yom HaShoah by smearing millions of Jews

At 10:00 this morning, millions of Israelis stood at attention as sirens could be heard throughout the state in commemoration of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day)  -  Israel’s day of commemoration for the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Shortly after the sirens stopped, and colleagues in our office returned to their desks, we noticed a series of Tweets by the Guardian’s former Jerusalem correspondent Chris McGreal.

(The anti-Zionist malice of the Guardian “journalist” has been the subject of many posts at this blog.  The far left propagandist – who fancies the idea that Israeli snipers target Palestinian children, and has shown himself obsessed with the power of the Israel lobby – has achieved the rare status as one of the few Guardian reporters singled out by the Community Security Trust in their annual report on antisemitic discourse.)

Here are a few of the Tweets today from McGreal, enthusiastically responding to news that the Jewish state was smeared again with the Apartheid lie.

   

 

As the Tweets demonstrate, McGreal isn’t just claiming that Apartheid exists in the West Bank, but in Israel within the green line.

Of course, the Apartheid charge – the intellectual roots of which lie in Soviet propaganda from the 1970s – against Israel has been definitively refuted by many serious commentators and South Africans who actually lived under Apartheid.

First, for clarify, here’s an accurate definition of Apartheid:

‘Apartheid’ is the Dutch-Afrikaans term for separation, used to describe the racial segregation and discrimination enforced violently by white minority governments on non-whites in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. During those years a comprehensive system of racial classification divided the population into four categories – white, black coloured (i.e. mixed-race) and Asian. The black majority could not vote in general elections or marry white people. They were segregated from white people and barred from doing most skilled work.  They even need permission from white authorities to so much as move from one segregated residential neighborhood to another segregated neighborhood. Further, an official state-promoted racist ideology of white supremacy justified all of this.

In the context of the definition above, here are some facts based in part on a comprehensive rebuttal published by Professor Alan Johnson at BICOM.

  • There are NO such racial laws in Israel.
  • Israel is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic democracy, in which Arab, Druze and other minorities in Israel are guaranteed equal rights. ALL citizens vote in elections on an equal basis.
  • Discrimination based on race is against the law. 
  • Universities, hospitals and all public facilities are integrated.
  • Some Israeli towns and  cities are mixed Arab-Jewish (e.g. Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Lod and Ramle).
  • The Israeli Courts are effective in countering unfair discrimination. Israel’s Arab minority participates fully in the political process.
  • There is no ideology of racial supremacy within Zionism

Additionally, here are some poll results which wildly contradict McGreal’s suggestion that Arab Israelis believe they suffer from Apartheid:

  •  According to a poll conducted by Harvard’s John Kennedy School of Government, 77 per cent of the Arab citizens of Israel say that they prefer living in Israel to any other country in the world.
  • According to a 2012 Israeli Democracy Index survey, 62.3 per cent and 78 per cent of the Arab citizens of Israel have confidence in the police and Supreme Court respectively; a slightly higher level of confidence than Israeli Jews
  • According to a report by the Arab-Israeli NGO, Sikkuy, 90 per cent of Arab citizens of Israel see their future in the State of Israel

Beyond the specific smear, however, it should be emphasized that this isn’t a one-off for McGreal, and seems to represent a broader antipathy towards Jewish communities in the diaspora.

On Feb. 6th and 7th 2006, McGreal published two reports attempting to portray Israel as an Apartheid and colonial state, and went further than merely defaming Israel by lashing out at Jews more broadly in a manner reminiscent of David Ward’s infamous ‘Jews of all people‘ smear on International Holocaust Memorial Day.

Here’s a passage from McGreal’s report, in the context of comparing Jewish behavior to that of the Afrikaner S. African regime:

[Israel's Jewish] backers question how anyone can accuse them, as Jews at the end of a long line of persecuted generations, of racism, or in any way of resembling the old Afrikaner regime. But for years, much of South Africa’s Jewish population and successive Israeli governments made their own pact with apartheida deal that exchanged near silence by most South African Jews on a great moral issue for acceptance, and clandestine cooperation between Israel and the Afrikaner government that drew the two countries into a hidden embrace.

First, most South African Jews actually voted against the pro-Apartheid National Party during the Apartheid years, and Jews were over-represented among anti-Apartheid activists, prompting Nelson Mandela to write the following in his autobiography: 

“I have found Jews to be more broad-minded than most whites on issues of race and politics, perhaps because they themselves have historically been victims of prejudice.” 

However, beyond the rebuttal of his specific claims, McGreal’s accusations against Jews – not just Israelis, but Jews qua Jews – needs a broader response.

Here are some excerpts from an essay written by Chas Newkey-Burden in response to David Ward, MP, which seem apt in light of McGreal’s latest attack:

…there is still one anti-Israel argument that makes my jaw drop. And it is one that is made with unfortunate frequency. It is the “they-of-all-people” argument: the suggestion that the Jews, having faced extraordinary persecution, should know better than anyone not to be oppressors.

Put aside for a moment that the “oppression” which proponents of this argument are accusing Israel of committing is usually imaginary. When directed by gentiles towards Jews, the “they-of-all-people” argument is in its very essence so fundamentally ill-judged and unjust, and voiced with such a breathtaking lack of self-awareness, that my spirit flags when I hear it.

I contend that, as a result of the Holocaust and what preceded it, it is we gentiles who should know better. The Holocaust followed centuries of slander, persecution, violence and murder committed by gentiles against Jews. So it is not you who have an increased responsibility to behave morally, but us.

For instance, something that we gentiles should know better than to do is lazily accuse Jewish people, or the Jewish state itself, of any misdemeanour. We have seen what centuries of slander against the Jewish people led to during the 1930s and ’40s. We see the hatred, heartbreak and bloodshed that such anti-Jewish libels continue to provoke, particularly in the Middle East.

Let us strip the “they-of-all-people” argument down to its very basics: gentiles telling Jews that we killed six million of your people and that as a result it is you, not us, who have lessons to learn; that it is you, not us, who need to clean up your act. It is an argument of atrocious, spiteful insanity. Do not accept it; turn it back on those who offer it. For it is us, not you, who should know better.

Finally, to answer a query in one of McGreel’s Tweets, the reason why the ‘Apartheid’ charge “stings” Jews so much is because, like so many other accusations leveled against us through history, it’s a vicious lie – agitprop which shares an unmistakable ideological similitude with the ‘Zionism = Racism’ narrative and other canards associated with malicious efforts to cast Israel as fundamentally illegitimate, a state beyond the moral pale.

The lesson for non-Jews on Yom HaShoah should be clear:  You can’t honor Holocaust memory nor lay claim to the mantle of anti-racism if a large percentage of the world’s living Jews have been ‘expelled from the realm of your imaginative sympathy’, and indeed the only Jews you seem to much fancy have been dead for more than 70 years.

h/t Candice

 

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New CST report on antisemitic discourse in Britain slams the Guardian

The last time we posted about the annual report on antisemitic discourse in Britain by the Community Security Trust (the charity organisation advising British Jews on matters of security and antisemitism) we focused on the fact that the Guardian was singled out for opprobrium.  

cst 2011

In fact, CST devoted an entire section of their 21 page report to the Guardian, noting that “in 2011, the Guardian faced more accusations of antisemitism than any other mainstream UK newspaper.”  Specifically, CST focused on an article by Chris McGreal characterizing US government support for Israel as “slavish” and a widely condemned ‘chosen people‘ slur by columnist Deborah Orr.

(See CiF Watch’s commentary on McGreal’s “slavish” comment here and here, and our take on Deborah Orr’s ‘chosen people’ slur here and here.)

In the latest CST report on antisemitic discourse, released just today, the Guardian again was singled out.  

cst 2012

Specifically, the CST wrote the following:

The largest antisemitism-related controversy concerning mainstream media content in 2012 was a cartoon in the Guardian, by Steve Bell. This depicted Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary William Hague MP as glove puppets of the Israeli Prime Minister. Bell resolutely denied any antisemitic intent and the cartoon was not removed.

Steve Bell cartoon, Guardian. Nov. 15, 2012.

(See CiF Watch’s commentary on the Steve Bell cartoon, here and here.)

The CST report also singled out a ‘Comment is Free’ commentary by Juan Cole, and included the following:

An intervention by CST caused the Guardian Comment is Free website to partly amend an article that had echoed antisemitic charges of Jewish conspiracy and warmongering.

(See CiF Watch’s posts about the row here and here)

Also of note, Robert Fisk was singled out for making “a highly insulting allegation about people supposedly being called antisemitic Nazis for writing the “truth” about Israel.”

(CAMERA posts about Robert Fisk can be found here)

CST’s summary of their annual report is here, while you can see the full 36 page PDF here.

On PRI, Chris McGreal resuscitates his discredited ‘theory’ on Israel-SA nukes

On Monday, we posted about a ‘Comment is Free’ essay by Chris McGreal on the death of Nelson Mandela.  McGreal complained of the “hypocrisy” of Western leaders who now “extol South Africa’s first democratically elected president,” while failing to acknowledge their nations’ histories of “consigning Mandela and the [ANC] to the terrorism list”.

We noted that though McGreal poured particular scorn on Israeli President Shimon Peres (for praising “Mandela’s sacrifices for freedom” while ignoring the military pacts with Pretoria he allegedly signed decades earlier), McGreal failed to mention his own blockbuster Guardian “scoop” in 2010 alleging that Israel offered to sell the apartheid regime nuclear weapons.

Indeed, McGreal’s silence over his Guardian expose, we surmised, was likely influenced by the fact that the conclusions he reached (from allegedly select documents) were categorically denied by both governments, and widely discredited by commentators familiar with the issue.

However, just yesterday, during an interview on Public Radio International (PRI), McGreal attempted to resuscitate his wild theory. (Here’s a short clip we edited from the full PRI interview on Dec. 10, which we uploaded onto YouTube.  Pay particular attention to what McGreal says at the 2:10 mark)

In case you didn’t catch it, McGreal claimed that Israel and South Africa “worked together on atomic issues, including South Africa’s development of a nuclear weapon.”

However, as we demonstrated in our previous post – and contrary to McGreal’s suggestion during the interview – there is still no credible evidence that Israel helped develop South Africa’s nuclear weapons program. (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reported that South Africa’s nuclear program was supported by France, the United States and Germany.)

So, unless McGreal has new evidence we can reasonably conclude that this latest claim represents yet another example of the journalist’s insistence that facts should never get in the way of a desired anti-Zionist conclusion.

h/t Nurit

Chris McGreal story on Mandela omits his (discredited) Guardian ‘expose’ on SA nukes

The anti-Zionist malice of Guardian “journalist” Chris McGreal has been the subject of many posts at this blog.  Indeed, the error-prone propagandist – who seriously fancies the idea that Israeli snipers target Palestinian children, and is characteristically obsessed with the power of the Israel lobby – has achieved the rare status as one of the few Guardian reporters singled out by the Community Security Trust in their annual report on antisemitic discourse.

table

2011 CST Report on Antisemitic Discourse, Table of Contents

Though McGreal has been keeping away from his Israel obsession of late – and only sparsely reporting for the paper – he took time out of his busy schedule re-Tweeting Glenn Greenwald and Michael Moore to pen a ‘Comment is Free’ piece titled ‘Mandela: never forget how the free world’s leaders learned to change their tune‘.

What especially stands out in this particular polemic is not merely that McGreal cynically exploits Mandela’s death to again take aim at Israel, but that there is one juicy nugget of “information” he, for some reason, decided not to mention. 

After criticizing UK and US leaders for “extol[ing] South Africa’s first democratically elected president,” while failing to acknowledge their history of “consigning Mandela and the [ANC] to the terrorism list”, he pivots to his desired target, Israeli President Shimon Peres:

Israel’s president,Shimon Peres, issued a statement extolling Mandela’s sacrifices for freedom, apparently hoping that no one would remember that, as defence minister in the 1970s, Peres signed secret military pacts with Pretoria that, among other things, helped developed weapons used against black Africans.

At that time, Peres was also unctuously praising co-operation between Israel and the apartheid regime as “based not only on common interests and on the determination to resist equally our enemies, but also on the unshakeable foundations of our common hatred of injustice and our refusal to submit to it”. All this as Mandela sat in prison for seeking justice in equality

First, and quite tellingly, McGreal’s passage about the alleged “co-operation between Israel and the apartheid regime” has a hyper-link which leads to a story by Ben White, a propagandist (well known to CiF Watch readers) notorious for publishing a 2002 essay at CounterPunch sympathizing with anti-Jewish racists.

However, what is surprising is that McGreal’s passage dealing with the “co-operation” between Israel and South Africa fails to reference his own 2010 Guardian “scoop” (Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa the bomb) purporting to show that Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons in the mid-70s – an omission suggesting perhaps that even he knows that the sensational claims were proven false.

Guardian, May 24, 2010

In his 2010 report McGreal claimed that “secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime.”

However, shortly after his story broke, CiF Watch (among others) demonstrated that McGreal manipulated a key document.  Specifically, McGreal “quoted from a part of the type-written document that was edited by hand soon afterwards”, including one sentence that implies nuclear weapons were available. It appeared that McGreal injected his own opinion to infer that Israel was ready to supply the apartheid regime with nuclear bombs.

jpost

Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2010

The Jerusalem Post summarized CiF Watch’s analysis as follows:

The paragraph McGreal used, written by a civil servant, states in its original form, prior to hand-written editing and deletions: “[South African Defense] Minister [P.W.] Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet [said to be the Jericho missile] provide [sic] the correct payload could be provided, Minister Peres said that the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice.”

CIF Watch points out that words “provide” and “could be provided” were crossed out in the by-hand edit, and that “provide” was replaced by the words “subject to.” The latter part of the paragraph was also deleted, so that the only part of the paragraph that remained was the first part of the first sentence, which now read: “Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload.”

Ignoring the edit and using the entire original draft to back his claim, McGreal, in his Guardian article, asserted, based on the deleted wording: “The ‘three sizes’ are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.”

CIF Watch said that this was McGreal’s own opinion: “The person who ‘believes’ this last sentence is not identified, nor are his qualifications to draw this inference given, nor is any source provided for the inference. Plainly, McGreal does not have enough confidence in it to say “I believe it” and give his grounds.

The words ‘provide’ and ‘could be provided’ have both been deleted. The latter deletion is crucial and shows that Botha was expressing interest in acquiring ‘Chalets’ [missiles] with a certain payload, not asking for the payload itself to be provided. The sentence which is left can only have one meaning: Botha expressed interest in acquiring a number of Chalets subject to them being capable of carrying the correct payload,” CIF Watch added.

CIF Watch then accused McGreal of adding words to make his argument work.

The dishonest reporting by McGreal was revealed by a number of other commentators as well:

  • Waldo Stumpf, who led the project to dismantle South Africa’s nuclear weapons in the late 80s, “doubted Israel or South Africa would have contemplated a [nuclear] deal seriously.”
  • Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb and The Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb, said that “The headline, sub-headline, and lede of Chris McGreal’s story are erroneous and misleading“, and that “nothing in the documents suggests there was an actual offer by Israel to sell nuclear weapons to the regime in Pretoria“. To the contrary, Avner added, “the conversation amounted to a probe by the South Africans, which ultimately went nowhere.
  • Another analysis published by frequent CiF Watch contributor AKUS included a video clip of McGreal’s ‘source’ (Sasha Polakow-Suransky) on Al-Jazeera which showed Polakow-Suransky acknowledging that there was nothing even resembling a “smoking gun”.

Additionally, Shimon Peres’s office issued a definitive statement (shortly after McGreal’s story broke) that “Israel has never negotiated the exchange of nuclear weapons with South Africa“, that “there exists no Israeli document or Israeli signature on a document that such negotiations took place,” and there was “no basis in reality for the claims” which were “based on the selective interpretation of South African documents and not on concrete facts.”

Of course, the aim of McGreal – whose highly misleading articles in 2006 suggesting that Israel was an apartheid state (and of having had close ties to South Africa) were effectively refuted by CAMERA - wasn’t so much to ‘reveal’ a putative nuclear deal, but to demonize the Jewish state.

If such a deeply flawed article – including sloppy reporting and attempts to pass off wild speculation as “fact” – was published in the paper today we’d be in contact with Guardian editors immediately and aggressively pursue a correction.  

The failure of McGreal in this latest piece to even mention his sensationalist propaganda from only a few years back perhaps represents an implicit acknowledgement that there is now a price to be paid at the “liberal” broadsheet for “journalists” who attempt to defend the indefensible.

Guardian sports writer makes unforced error in report on failing BDS campaign against Israel

As we reported on May 28, the 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship (UEFA U-21) will be hosted by Israel beginning tomorrow, June 5th, through the 18th, bringing national football teams from all over Europe to compete – with England, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and Norway, alongside Israel, all vying for the title of champion.

Additionally, we noted in our post that the Guardian, unsurprisingly, has provided free PR to a failing BDS campaign calling for the tournament organizers, even at this late date, to reverse their decision to choose Israel as the venue, publishing a pro-boycott letter (signed largely by activists affiliated with Palestine Solidarity Campaignand a story, in their sports section, reporting on the publication of the very same letter the paper had just published.

The latest publicity provided for those calling for a sporting boycott of the Jewish state was provided by Guardian north-east football correspondent, Louise Taylor, in a piece titled ‘England enter a politically loaded European Under-21 Championship‘, June 3.

football

After explaining that Uefa’s award of the European Under-21 Championship to Israel is “politically loaded” Taylor then proceeds to devote nearly all of her 770 word report on the football tournament to the efforts of BDS campaigners who, she claims, regard Israel’s hosting of the games “as another kick in the teeth for Palestinians in the occupied territories.”

Though Taylor mostly sticks to the script, in reporting details of the boycott movement which has been reported elsewhere at the Guardian, she makes an error in the following passage:

The hurdles faced by Palestinian footballers, who have their own, Fifa-registered national side, were highlighted in November when more than 60 players from Europe’s major leagues, including Arsenal’s Abou Diaby and Newcastle’s Sylvian Marveaux, Papiss Cissé and Cheik Tioté, signed a petition demanding Uefa relocate the Under-21 tournament.

However, as we noted back in December after the Guardian’s Chris McGreal first reported news of the footballers’ “Declaration of support for Palestine, the original list of 62 included some footballers who didn’t in fact sign the petition.  As CAMERA noted at the time, shortly after the petition was first published the list of endorsers magically shrank.  

Here are the “signatories” who actually never ‘signed’ the petition:

  • André Ayew, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Jordan Ayew, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle United (UK)
  • Soulaymane Diawara, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Didier Drogba, Shanghaï Shenhua (China)
  • Rod Fanni, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Eden Hazard, Chelsea (UK)
  • Charles Kaboré, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Anthony Le Tallec, AJ Auxerre (France)
  • Steve Mandanda, Olympique de Marseille (France)
  • Arnold Mvuemba, Olympique Lyonnais (France)

Indeed, the petition currently posted on the website of former Tottenham and Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute only shows 52 names. (Eden Hazard is still listed on his site despite the fact that the Chelsea star denied signing it, bringing the actual number down to 51.)

We can only hope that following this story Louise Taylor will avoid politics and return to writing about sport, where she may be less prone to committing such unforced errors. 

Harriet Sherwood revisits 2006 Gaza Beach Incident

Harriet Sherwood’s May 23 story in the Guardian – inspired by coverage of a recent Israeli government report which concluded that the IDF did not kill Muhammad Al Durah in September 2000 – is entitled ‘Disputed deaths in Palestinian territories‘.  Sherwood’s report includes brief summaries of three additional controversial cases – Rachel Corrie death in 2003, the Gaza Beach Incident in 2006 and the 2011 death of Jawaher Abu Rahma in Bil’in.

Regarding the incident in Gaza on June 6, 2006 – in which, in the midst of ongoing rocket attacks against Israel and IDF military responses, eight Palestinian civilians were reported killed in highly disputed circumstances by an explosion on a Gaza beach - Sherwood writes the following:

In June 2006 seven members of the Ghaliya family, including five children, died in an explosion while picnicking on a Gaza beach. Footage of 10-year-old Huda Ghaliya sobbing hysterically beside the body of her father was broadcast repeatedly on Arab television networks. Witnesses said the family had been struck by an artillery shell fired from out at sea by the Israeli military. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, initially apologised for the incident, but an investigation by the IDF exonerated its forces. It admitted it had fired six shells towards land that afternoon, but said a separate explosion – caused by a mine planted by Hamas or an old shell – had killed the Ghaliyas. An American pro-Israel group, Camera, suggested the footage of the aftermath had been faked.

We’re of course thankful for the shout-out – CiF Watch is a CAMERA affiliate – and were also interested to learn, after a quick glance at the Guardian’s site for additional CAMERA references, that their former Jerusalem correspondent, Chris McGreal, was much less restrained than Sherwood in his characterization of the media watchdog group.  

A June 17, 2006 report McGreal authored on the incident in Gaza, titled ‘The battle of Huda Ghalia: who really killed girl’s family on Gaza beach?‘, included the following.

The military declared its version of events definitive. Others went further and saw a Palestinian conspiracy. An American pro-Israel pressure group, Camera, which seeks to influence media coverage, went so far as to suggest that the film of Huda Ghalia’s trauma was faked: “Were the bodies moved, was the girl asked to re-enact her discovery for the camera, was the video staged?”

McGreal was certainly right about one thing. CAMERA and its affiliates certainly are extremely successful at influencing the media to correct false claims about Israel and to revise reports on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict that are misleading.

So, in this spirit, we strongly suggest that those interested in learning more about the 2006 incident read the following characteristically well-researched CAMERA reports which Sherwood alludes to in her story.

Additionally, the following 2006 video by Richard Landes effectively fisks media coverage of the event.

The Guardian continues to yawn over Palestinians summarily executed in Gaza

A couple of days following the start of the November war between Israel and Hamas, masked Palestinian gunmen in Gaza publicly executed seven Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel – a story which was widely covered.   

According to Palestinian witnesses, at around noon on Nov. 16 a van stopped at a Gaza City intersection, and several masked men pushed seven suspected ‘informers’ out of the vehicle.  The gunmen then ordered them to lie face down in the street and shot them all in the head.  Shortly after the killing, a mob surrounded the corpses and some in the crowd “stomped and spat on the bodies”, while others kicked the head of one of the dead men.

One of the corpses was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets as people reportedly screamed, “God is Great!”.

Palestinian gunmen ride motorcycles as they drag  the body of a man, who was suspected of working for Israel, in Gaza City

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hamas

“They should have been killed in a more brutal fashion so others don’t even think about working with the occupation,” said one of the Palestinian bystanders.

The victims allegedly had notices tied around their necks saying they had been killed by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades - Hamas’s ‘armed wing’.

In stark contrast to the Guardian’s intense coverage of the 8 day war – which included an official Guardian editorial, frequent updates at their Middle East Live blog, and direct reporting from Gaza City by Harriet Sherwood and Chris McGreal - their only stand alone story about this brutal extra-judicial killing was an anonymous AP story on Nov. 20.

Additionally, the Guardian has also thus far failed to cover a recent report by Human Rights Watch (widely reported in the mainstream media) condemning Hamas for failing to investigate the Nov. 16 summary executions.  HRW noted that Hamas’s failure to investigate “the brazen murders” make “a mockery of its claims that it’s upholding the rule of law in Gaza”. 

Whilst the suggestion that Hamas would ever conduct a fair inquiry into human rights violations committed by its own military is of course absurd, the Guardian’s lack of interest in the savage murder of seven Gazans – particularly in contrast to their intense focus on Palestinian terrorists imprisoned by Israel who engage in hunger strikes - continues to make a mockery of claims that their concern for Palestinian rights is principled, and not largely inspired by an animus towards Israel.

Unrepentant: The Guardian’s latest Mavi Marmara propaganda

Though Israel’s Turkel Commission report and the UN Palmer Committee report, which both investigated the May 31, 2010 incident on board the Turkish (MV Mavi Marmara) flotilla to Gaza, in which nine passengers were killed and ten Israeli soldiers injured, differed on some key determinations, they overlapped on three main conclusions:

  • Contrary to a mind-numbing number of accusations that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was “illegal” both reports concluded that the IDF blockade is fully consistent with international law, and that IDF Naval forces have the right to stop Gaza-bound ships in international waters.
  • Contrary to reports that the IDF attacked “peaceful” activists, both reports concluded that when Israeli commandos boarded the ship they faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers” (many of whom were linked to Hamas and other Islamist terror groups) and were therefore required to use force for their own protection.
  • The IHH sponsored flotilla “acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade.”

These facts of course made a mockery of the Guardian’s obsessive coverage of the Mavi Marmara violence – which included no less than 71 separate reports and commentaries in a period of only four days following the incident – and their frantic rush to judgement.  A June 1 cartoon by the Guardian’s Steve Bell was indicative of the overall Guardian narrative automatically imputing Israeli guilt and malevolence:

Steve-Bell-comment-cartoo-007

Whilst the Guardian’s Chris McGreal did report on the Palmer Commission findings on Sept 1, 2011, an official Guardian editorial published a few days later only grudgingly noted that the UN report determined that Israel’s blockade was in fact legal, and it failed to mention the more important conclusions regarding flotilla activist culpability for the violence. Instead, it focused on the question of whether Israel would offer an apology to the Turkish government:

Here’s the key passage:

In the end, that report, which criticised Israel for using excessive force but upheld its right to blockade Gaza, was itself leaked. In offering regret and compensation but refusing to apologise, Binyamin Netanyahu’s government made a conscious decision: once again Israel chose a tactical victory over a strategic relationship.

Recently, the Turks and the Guardian got what they wished for.  On Friday, March 22 it was reported that a phone call by Israeli PM Netanyahu to Turkey’s PM Erdogan included an expression of Israeli regret for the loss of Turkish life and an apology for any mistakes which led to their deaths – part of a US brokered agreement which reportedly dealt with issues such as compensation, normalized diplomatic ties and a cancellation of legal steps against IDF soldiers.

The Guardian’s report on the apology, ‘Netanyahu apologizes to Turkish PM for Israeli role in Gaza flotilla raid’, by Harriet Sherwood and Ewen MacAskill, included the following video.

Interestingly, missing from the video was the following evidently insignificant segment (which you should have seen immediately following the opening 12 seconds of the Guardian clip) showing Israeli soldiers being brutally beaten by passengers who were armed with sticks, iron bars and knives:


The selectively edited clip of the incident (as with the subsequent text by Sherwood and MacAskill) would leave the reader unaware that Israeli soldiers, who were enforcing a legal blockade against Hamas, were ambushed by terror-abetting activists determined to instigate a bloody confrontation.

The video, as with the Guardian’s coverage of the incident and it’s aftermath, more resembles the propaganda of pro-flotilla activists than anything approaching serious journalism.  

Following CiF Watch post, Guardian amends false Jewish demography claim

corrections to storiesWe posted yesterday about a March 19 Guardian report by Chris McGreal, Obama urged: act tough on Israel or risk collapse of a two-state solution‘, which contained an egregious error regarding the Jewish population in Israel.

In the context of warning about the ‘urgent need’ to quickly create a Palestinian state, McGreal grossly mischaracterized a recent study on Jewish demography.

Here’s the passage:

Others have pointed up a recent Hebrew University demographic study, which showed that Jews are now in a minority in the occupied territories – suggesting that Israel’s democratic and Jewish character are threatened by its reluctance to give up territory to an independent Palestine.

We noted that even causal Israel observers would surely know that Jews are of course a minority in “occupied territories” and have been so since Israel’s founding. Further, in locating the Hebrew University professor who he was citing, we demonstrated that the demographic study in question was in fact only claiming that Jews are a minority (relative to non-Jews) in the historic land of Israel – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, including Gaza, the West Bank and Israel proper.  (As we noted, the political significance of citing the Jewish population within these territorial parameters, which includes Gaza, is uncertain.)

McGreal either conflated the data, or, at least by inference, was characterizing all of Israel (including the state within pre-67 boundaries) as ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory.

Roughly eight hours after our post, which we Tweeted directly to McGreal, the Guardian revised their erroneous claim (which was also originally included in the caption of the accompanying photo) and noted the error.

Here’s the editor’s note:

correctionWhilst in unclear how an “editing error” could explain the original misleading claim, we’re pleased of course whenever the Guardian is prodded into recognizing a factual error and acts promptly to correct it. 

The Guardian’s Chris McGreal flubs Jewish demography

The Guardian’s Chris McGreal published ‘Obama urged: act tough on Israel or risk collapse of a two-state solution‘ on March 19, which contained two signature McGreal tactics. First, there is the suggestion of faux concern by the Guardian reporter, in the context of discussing a two-state solution, that Israel must be ‘saved from itself’, citing “growing warnings” from unnamed Zionist supporters. Also, he again advances his false claim (see also here) that Netanyahu didn’t in fact agree to a 10-month settlement freeze in 2009.

But then there was this especially curious passage:

Others have pointed up a recent Hebrew University demographic study, which showed that Jews are now in a minority in the occupied territories – suggesting that Israel’s democratic and Jewish character are threatened by its reluctance to give up territory to an independent Palestine.

His claim was further illustrated in the accompanying photo caption:

caption

As would be obvious to even the causal Israel observer, of course, Jews are a minority in “occupied territories” and have been so since Israel’s founding.  There are no Jews in Gaza, roughly 325,000 Jews in the West Bank, and another roughly 190,000 in eastern Jerusalem. If you include Golan (another 19,000) that’s 537,000 Jews.  Since the non-Jewish population of of the West Bank is over 2.5 million, you don’t need a demographic study to conclude that Jews are a minority. 

So, while it’s difficult to know for sure what McGreal is referring to, he may have been eluding to a recently cited study by Sergio DellaPergola, a Hebrew University professor and expert on Israeli population studies.  However, McGreal, at the very least, evidently flubbed the data.  DellaPergola was citing the population of Jews relative to non-Jews in the entire historic land of Israel – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, including Gaza, the West Bank and Israel proper – a politically meaningless stat, and certainly not consistent with McGreal’s characterization of the area as the “occupied territories”.  

Here’s a passage from a story about the issue in The Atlantic:

The statistics DellaPergola assembled are clear and their implications are frightening. Right now, the total number of Jews and Arabs living under Israeli rule in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is just under 12 million people. At the moment, a shade under 50 percent of the population is Jewish.

Chris McGreal evidently conflated the data, confusing the Jewish population in the ‘occupied territories’ (in which they’re obviously a minority), with the total Jewish population the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel within the green line. 

Of course, there is one additional explanation for McGreal’s curious passage about “Jews now [being] a minority in the occupied territories.  Such a passage would follow only if he considers all of Israel ‘occupied Palestinian territory’.

So, which one is it:

1. McGreal comically misunderstood the data?

2. McGreal understood the data (concerning the Jewish population in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank), but he embraces the claims made routinely by Palestinian extremists (and some “moderate” Palestinians) that all of Israel is ‘occupied’ Palestinian land?

images

Whilst the former seems more likely, we wouldn’t put it past him to be implicitly endorsing the ‘Greater Palestine’ argument in the latter. 

Is the Guardian awol at #AIPAC2013?

Last year, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal, their Washington correspondent (previously assigned to Jerusalem) who was singled out by the CST in their 2011 report on antisemitic discourse in the UK, covered the annual AIPAC conference, published several reports and tweeted his contempt for the ‘power’ of the pro-Israel lobby with abandon.

Here’s one of his tweets:

Here’s one of his retweets:

This year, however, there has been no sign of the Guardian’s journalistic/activist footprint at the 2013 AIPAC Conference in Washington.  (McGreal is still reporting on US politics, but now appears to be stationed in Portland, Oregon. However, a quick glimpse at his Tweets indicate he still has Israel on his mind.)

I’ve scoured the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ and couldn’t find a thing. I placed “AIPAC” in their search engine and came up with seven hits for January, but nothing since Jan. 20 – a piece by Harriet Sherwood.

One possibly complicating factor may be the fact that Glenn Greenwald, one of those who, even by Guardian standards, most acutely suffers from Israel-lobby-phobia, is on vacation.  Similarly, Harriet Sherwood appears to have been away from her desk, as she hasn’t published since Feb. 17.

The conference, which began on March 3, ends tomorrow so it’s possible there’s something in the works but, given the Guardian’s fixation on Jewish power, it’s surprising they’ve been silent until now.

If any of our fellow ‘hasbarafia’ friends see any sign of the Guardian at the ‘Zionist Lair’ in DC, in the social media (or anywhere in print or online), please let us know.

CiF Watch complaint to PCC prompts Guardian to begrudgingly revise Rachel Corrie op-ed

The Guardian’s coverage of the culmination of the civil law suit brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie – a verdict which was handed down in Haifa on August 28th, 2012 – was characteristically obsessive, tendentious and breezily unconcerned with the facts.

The Guardian’s coverage of the Israeli court ruling dismissing the Corrie’s suit – which included several reports by Harriet Sherwood, a deeply offensive cartoon, and an especially malign piece by Chris McGreal - culminated in an official Guardian editorial, titled ‘Rachel Corrie: A memory which refuses to die

The editorial, which was dripping with contempt, included this passage on the ruling:

“Perpetuating the myth that her death was a tragic accident, the judge did not deviate from the official line.”

The Guardian seemed to all but ignore the evidence – if indeed the author(s) of the editorial even bothered to read the English summary which was posted online the same day the ruling was issued - presented in the trial, and the judge’s statements, which led to the the newspaper stating unequivocally that:

“Rachel Corrie died trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition.” 

However, the Court of Law in Haifa, Israel, which heard the case presented by Rachel Corrie’s family, ruled otherwise. In his verdict, Judge Oded Gershon rejected the claim that Ms. Corrie had been protecting a house from demolition at the time of her death.

The judge ruled as follows: 

The mission of the IDF force on the day of the incident was solely to clear the ground. This clearing and leveling included leveling the ground and clearing it of brush in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists, who would sneak out from these areas and place explosive devices with the intent of harming IDF soldiers. There was an urgency to carrying out this mission so that IDF look-outs could observe the area and locate terrorists thereby preventing explosive devices from being buried. The mission did not include, in any way, the demolition of homes. The action conducted by the IDF forces was done at real risk to the lives of the soldiers. Less than one hour before the incident that is the focus of this lawsuit, a live hand-grenade was thrown at the IDF forces.

All the above information was provided to Chris Elliott, Readers’ Editor of the Guardian, by my colleague Hadar Sela, in a series of communications  beginning on August 30th 2012. Mr Elliott, however, chose not to make a correction, which prompted CiF Watch to bring the matter before the UK Press Complaints Commission. 

Sela argued that Guardian’s statement that “Rachel Corrie died trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition” had been proven to be untrue in a court of law prior to the editorial being published.

After many months, and a series of correspondences between Sela, the PCC and Guardian editors stubbornly resistant to admitting error, the Guardian begrudgingly agreed to amend their editorial to acknowledge that the Israeli court ruling contradicted claims that Corrie was preventing a home demolition on that day.

pcc

Whilst the result is far from ideal, it’s important that the Guardian was forced to acknowledge that an Israeli judicial proceeding heard evidence, engaged in serious deliberations, and came to a conclusion at odds with the lethal narratives about the Jewish state routinely advanced by Palestinian activists that the paper unquestioningly accepted as fact in their editorial.  

Indeed, it’s worth noting anytime the Guardian is forced to deviate from their ‘official line’ on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

(Additionally, a CiF Watch complaint to the Telegraph – which repeated the same error about Corrie’s actions on the day she was killed, and used a photo which the caption falsely claimed was taken “moments before she died”, by Adrian Blomfield - was revised, and then, at some point, completely removed from their site.)

Guardian headline tidies up inconvenient quote by nominee for Defense Secretary

While reasonable people can, of course, disagree over the merits of Chuck Hagel’s nomination for US Defense Secretary, a Guardian headline used for Chris McGreal’s latest story (Jan. 7) on the row blatantly distorts a relevant quote by the Nebraska Senator in a manner which has the effect of misleading readers.

Here’s the quote  by Hagel which some opponents of his nomination have cited as cause for concern.

“The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here [in Washington, DC].”

Interestingly, given his own history of using language which evokes Judeophobic stereotypes, McGreal contextualizes the quote quite fairly – and even acknowledges the danger of employing antisemitic rhetoric which warns of the danger posed by Jewish power.

McGreal writes:

“Hagel later apologised for the use of the term “Jewish lobby” [when he spoke of the influence of the lobby on Congress] saying he should have said “pro-Israel lobby”, an issue of particular sensitivity because it touches on antisemitic tropes about Jewish control, but also because it is inaccurate, given the wider support for Israel among Americans, notably Christian evangelicals.”

In addition, the actual quote by Hagel is accurately cited in McGreal’s report.  

Fair enough.

However, here’s the Guardian headline for McGreal’s report:

McGreal

No, it’s clearly not antisemitic to merely acknowledge that the pro-Israel lobby has a powerful voice.

However, that’s not what Hagel said.

A Guardian editor used inverted quotes in order to paraphrase the senator’s words in a manner which make them more palatable and less offensive.

What the editor did, in effect, was to run interference for a politician the paper has framed as the protagonist in a battle against pro-Israel advocates who wish to “stifle debate” about Israel.

This is not journalism but, rather, advocacy: another example of a paper which continually distorts information to suit a particular ideological agenda.

Guardian’s anti-Zionist propagandist, Chris McGreal, responds to CiF Watch.

After consistently demonstrating the journalistic malice of Guardian reporter Chris McGreal, we were finally able to draw him out.

Our latest post about McGreal – a reporter singled out by the Community Security Trust in their 2011 report on antisemitic discourse – was titled ‘The Guardian’s lethal narrative about snipers who murder innocent children‘, and focused on two reports conjuring the image of IDF soldiers deliberately murdering innocent and defenseless Palestinian children.

We pointed to two stories by McGreal, in 2005 and 2012, which advanced this narrative, with the former being much more explicit.  Here are the relevant passages from the 2005 story, ‘Snipers with Children in their sites‘:

“It was the shooting of Asma Mughayar that swept away any lingering doubts I had about how it is the Israeli army kills so many Palestinian children and civilians.

Asma, 16, and her younger brother, Ahmad, were collecting laundry from the roof of their home in the south of the Gaza Strip in May last year when they were felled by an Israeli army sniper. Neither child was armed or threatening the soldier, who fired unseen through a hole punched in the wall of a neighbouring block of flats.

the army changed its account and claimed the pair were killed by a Palestinian, though there was persuasive evidence pointing to the Israeli sniper’s nest.

In southern Gaza, the killings take place in a climate that amounts to a form of terror against the population. Random fire into Rafah and Khan Yunis has claimed hundreds of lives, including five children shot as they sat at their school desks.Many others have died when the snipers must have known who was in their sights – children playing football, sitting outside home, walking back from school.”

We noted both the paucity of evidence in McGreal’s reports and the irresponsibility of advancing such a lethal narrative, that the Jewish state engages in the wanton murder of children, which his reports serve to reinforce – tales of Zionist savagery which, most recently, fueled the murderous rampage, at a Jewish school in Toulouse, of French Jihadist Mohammed Merah.

Yesterday, McGreal responded to our latest post in the comment section, thus.

mcgreal

McGreal links to his July 28, 2003 report, titled in a manner which speaks volumes about how the Guardian reporter views Israelis:

headline

The quote, by the father of one of the Palestinian victims named in McGreal’s report which most clearly illustrates the tone of the piece is this one:

“Almost every day here the Israelis shoot at random, so when you hear it you get inside as quickly as possible.”

That isn’t just a quote.

It’s a perfect example of the ideologically inspired anti-Zionist narrative which McGreal, and his Guardian colleagues, continue attempting to advance.

Here are a few of his examples, in the 2003 Guardian story, which McGreal uses to attempt to demonstrate that IDF snipers murder Palestinian kids.

1. Huda Darwish.

McGreal wrote:

“Weeks passed and another Israeli bullet shattered the life of another young Palestinian girl. Huda Darwish was sitting at her school desk when a cluster of shots ripped through the top of a tree outside her classroom and buried themselves in the wall. But one ricocheted off the window frame, smashed through the glass and lodged in the 12-year-old girl’s brain.”

First, not even the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - a radical, pro-terror organization – has suggested that Darwish was deliberately shot.

PCHR writes the following:

“Also in March 2004, Huda Darwish, 13, a student in a UNRWA preparatory school, was wounded by a live bullet in the head and lost her eyesight.”

Further, a BBC report by Alan Johnston in 2004, about Palestinian casualties in Gaza, noted that “The shooting [in which Darwish was shot] began when Palestinian militants who oppose the Israeli occupation of Gaza launched a series of missiles at a nearby Jewish settlement”.

For some reason, Chris McGreal decided not to include that bit of information – due, it would seem, to the fact that such context would necessarily undermine his overall narrative of Israeli snipers deliberately murdering Palestinian children.

2. Khalil al-Mughrabi

McGreal wrote:

“The case of Khalil al-Mughrabi is telling. The 11-year-old was shot dead in Rafah by the Israeli army two years ago as he played football with a group of friends near the security fence.”

While McGreal notes a report on the incident by the NGO, B’tselem, he fails to report that, while the facts of the case are highly in dispute, nobody was refuting that the incident occurred in the midst of an IDF response to violent Palestinian rioting, which included the use of grenades against Israeli soldiers.

Again, why else would McGreal decide not to include such relevant context other than the fact that it would have undermined his preconceived conclusions that Israelis deliberately murder Palestinian children?

3. Mahmoud Kabaha

McGreal wrote:

“And children continue to die, even after the ceasefire declared by Hamas and other groups at the end of June. On Friday, a soldier at a West Bank checkpoint shot dead a four-year-old boy, Ghassan Kabaha, and wounded his two young sisters after “accidentally” letting loose at a car with a burst of machine-gun fire from his armoured vehicle.”

Regarding the death of the four-year old boy named Mahmoud Kabaha  (who he incorrectly identifies as Ghassan Kabaha, the name of the town’s mayor), this was indeed a case of extreme negligence, but certainly not intent or policy.  The IDF not only immediately expressed regret over the incident, but investigated, court-marshaled and convicted the soldier.

Indeed, evidence that the shooting was the result of misconduct on behalf of one soldier, and not IDF policy, can be concluded by a New York Times report that the other soldiers in the unit, “beat the one who fired the machine gun because they were so angry at him.”

Again, such vital context can’t be part of McGreal’s reports, as such context would undermine his claim that Israelis deliberately murder Palestinian children.

4. Yousef Abu Jaza[r]

“Among the latest victims of apparently indiscriminate shooting were three teenagers and an eight-year-old, Yousef Abu Jazar, hit in the knee when soldiers shot at a group of children playing football in Khan Yunis.”

McGreal seems to be relying on nothing more than a short dispatch from PCHR on July 3, 2003 which reads like it’s out of a Hamas propaganda communique:

“At approximately 17:00, Israeli soldiers in a military location known as “al-Nouria,” located between “Gani Tal” and “Neve Dekalim” settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at a number of Palestinian children who were playing football in a nearby yard. Two Palestinian civilians, including a child [Yousef Faraj Mohammed Abu Jazar, 8] were wounded.”

You’d think that an incident in which Israeli forces literally opened fire on children playing football in Gaza would have been widely reported.  Yet, beyond the PCHR, there appears to be no mention of the purported attack.

5. Haneen Abu Sitta

McGreal writes:

“Haneen Abu Sitta, 12, was killed while walking home after school near the fence with a Jewish settlement in southern Gaza.”

Other than McGreal’s report, the only evidence seems to consist of a claim made by the PA observer at the UN in 2003.

Here’s the text from the PA observer testimony at the UN which preceded naming those who had purportedly recently been killed by the IDF.

“The Israeli occupation authorities persist in their daily aggressions, attacks, humiliation, war crimes, State-sponsored terrorism and systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian people. They continue to use more excessive and indiscriminate force, causing more deaths, wounds and humiliation to tens of families on a daily basis. Every single day, tens of Palestinian families mourn their beloved who have perished under Israeli fire just because they happened to be inside their homes when Israeli forces start shelling, for no reason, peaceful homes, or just because they went out to go to their work or school, or to buy basic means of subsistence for their children. Nobody is spared by Israeli fire, be they elderly, women, children, or even newborn babies.”

Could McGreal’s credulousness in the face of such propaganda be such that, as a reporter, he truly believes that such risible charges genuinely reflect reality?

In short, McGreal pieced together a few unrelated incidents of Palestinians killed or injured during a myriad of different circumstances over several years, omitted any evidence contradicting his desired narrative, and completely erased the context of Palestinian terrorism to impute unimaginable malevolence to Israeli soldiers.

As we wrote in our earlier post, what Chris McGreal engages in is not journalism.

McGreal is an ideologue drawn to extreme left agitprop who trades in crude anti-Zionist propaganda.

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