Al-Durah Redux? Facts emerge contradicting Guardian presumption of IDF guilt in Palestinian deaths

The deaths of two Palestinian rioters in Betunia in the West Bank on May 15 has generated considerable media attention, in large measure because the incidents were apparently caught on video.

One heavily edited security camera video distributed by Defence for Children International/Palestine – a radical NGO which supports Muslim Brotherhood-organised ‘Freedom flotillas’ and continues to promote the ‘Jenin massacre’ libel – purports to show the two Palestinians allegedly being shot (within one hour and 15 minutes of one another) through the chest with real bullets fired by Israelis.

Here’s the video:

A DCI-Palestine spokesperson said the videos “clearly show two kids being hit directly with something other than a rubber bullet”, a narrative repeated by pro-Palestinian activists, and many in the mainstream media.

Naturally, the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont – in two reports he’s filed since the incident – seems to have no doubt whatsoever that Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition at the two Palestinians, killing them both, and has indeed all but mocked Israeli denials.

Both reports by Beaumont (Video footage indicates killed Palestinian youths posed no threat‘, May 20, and ‘Footage of Palestinian boys being shot is genuine, says Israeli rights group‘, May 20) primarily focus on the narrow question raised by some (including the IDF and some critical commentators) regarding whether the original CCT footage was manipulated to distort what really happened in Betunia.  

However, he significantly downplays what has emerged as the central element of the story: the dearth of any evidence whatsoever indicating that Israeli soldiers used live fire (real bullets) as opposed to rubber bullets, as the latter could all but certainly could not have killed Palestinians in a manner described by Palestinian sources.  

Beaumont’s May 20th report does note that “a preliminary investigation determined that live fire was not used by security forces”, but argues that “the composite picture presented by the evidence points to the conclusion that the two teenagers were” indeed shot with “live fire”.  His May 22nd report is even more tendentious, leading off by citing a statement by B’tselem “contradicting Israeli army claims that the footage is likely to have been forged”, and mocking the Israeli response.

Additionally, though he cites the new CNN video purporting to corroborate Palestinian accounts, he simply ignores two important take-aways from the clip: that, based on a careful review of the video, the Israelis were certainly firing non-lethal rubber bullets at the Palestinians, and that the bullet produced by the father of one of the victims did not at all look like it could have been the bullet which passed through his son’s body.

Before viewing the CNN video, here are the two relevant stills:

1. Was the “bullet” recovered?

First, at 3:22 of the clip, here’s the bullet produced by the victim’s father which he claimed killed his son:

CNN Betunia Bullet

However, as Vic Rosenthal noted after consulting a firearms expert:

The bullet that the father of the victim said had been removed from the backpack was a 5.56 mm bullet such as is used by the IDF. But it was only slightly deformed. If it had passed through a person’s chest and then was stopped by books in a backpack, it would have been completely crushed. “That bullet looks like it was fired into sand,” the expert said.

Additionally, as CAMERA’s Dexter Van Zile noted:

Appearing [yesterday] on Israel’s Channel Two, [Israeli weapons expert] Yosef Yekutiel stated that if the bullet actually went through the victim’s body the way Palestinian doctors say it did, it would look entirely differently from the one displayed by the boy’s father.

2. Did Israelis use live-fire or non-lethal rubber bullets on rioters?

Here’s a still (at 1:53 of the video) of the Israelis who were allegedly firing at one of the Palestinians who was killed:

rubber bullet

Firearms experts cited by Vic Rosenthal, experts consulted by Israeli Channel 2 and others have noted that the weapon used by soldier in the clip clearly appears to have the rubber bullet extension by virtue of the thickening in the barrel (again suggesting that they couldn’t have used live fire). Additionally, the “manner in which the victims fell, the absence of blood at the scene, and the lack of entry or exit wounds”, experts have noted, are all inconsistent with being shot with live ammunition.

Here’s the CNN video in question.

Here’s the video (edited and uploaded by Elder of Ziyon with translation assistance from CiF Watch) of the Israeli TV (Channel  2) analysis referenced by Dexter Van Zile and Vic Rosenthal:

 

One big question remains that those accepting the Guardian/ MSM narrative of the shooting must answer:

How can they assert that live fire was used by Israeli soldiers when NO evidence has emerged to buttress this claim, and when all the evidence to date suggests that only rubber bullets were used – non-lethal fire which couldn’t have caused the damage claimed?

Further, if no live fire was used by Israeli forces, the narrative advanced by Palestinians and their media supporters is almost fatally undermined.

Whilst it’s too soon to say if this is an instance of lethal journalism in the spirit of Al Durah‘, the failure of journalists like Beaumont to ask important questions about the shooting suggests that, once again, the bulk of the work in critically examining Palestinian claims will fall on media watchdog groups, citizen journalists and analysts not compromised by the pack mentality and the immediate presumption of Israeli guilt.

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More evidence the Guardian got it wrong on Rouhani’s “Holocaust” remarks

rouhaniOn Oct. 1 we posted about a classic Guardian whitewash in a report about a CNN interview with the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani.  We noted that the Guardian’s characterization of Rouhani’s response to Christiane Amanpour’s question about the Holocaust was at best completely misleading, if not flat-out wrong.  

We argued that even if you were to believe the extremely suspect CNN translation of the Sept. 25 interview (the content of which was contradicted by other sources) the Guardian, in a report titled ‘Iranian president Hassan Rouhani recognises ‘reprehensible’ Holocaust‘ (and accompanying video), failed to provide their readers with important context.  This includes their failure to explain how Rouhani’s reply, which questioned the “scope” of Nazi crimes, was clearly consistent with Holocaust revisionism, and didn’t represent, as the paper reported, a clean break with the explicit Holocaust denials of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Additionally, more evidence has now emerged on the inaccuracy of the CNN translation, supporting claims made by the Wall St. Journal and Al Monitor that Rouhani never in fact used the term ‘Holocaust’.  First, here’s the Guardian quote in their Sept. 25 story, culled from the CNN translation, of Rouhani’s answer to Amanpour on the question of the Holocaust:

I’ve said before that I am not a historian, and when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect,” 

However, the Wall St. Journal’s Persian commentator noted that Rouhani never uses the word “Holocaust”, but merely spoke euphemistically of “historical events.” Now, here’s a specific translation of the line in question from Arash Karami at Al Monitor’s Iran Pulse‘:

Rouhani: I have said before that I am not a historian and when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of historical events, historians should explain and discuss it.

On Oct. 5, CAMERA noted the following:

We already know that Sohrab Ahmari, the Wall Street Journal, Arash Karami, Ali Alfoneh, two journalists who spoke with the New York Times blog The Lede, and Fars News Agency all concur that Rouhani did not use the word “Holocaust” in his interview with CNN and Christiane Amanpour. We already know, in other words, that CNN mistranslated him. And CNN also already knows.

Now, just to make matters more clear, Rouhani’s own translator has weighed in. “No, he did not use the word ‘Holocaust,’” Banafsheh Keynoush told NBC’s Robert Windrem.

Here’s the relevant video clip of the interview with Keynoush:

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The Guardian’s reliance on an evidently faulty translation is more than simply an innocent error, but is part of a larger pattern – which we’ve commented on previously – of engaging in selective reporting and omissions in order to advance the desired narrative of a new “moderate” Iranian president. 

Evidence which makes a mockery of this narrative abound, and include Rouhani’s involvement in several deadly Iranian sponsored terrorist attacks against Jewish and American targets abroad, as well as his role in crushing pro-democracy movements at home.

These latest faux Holocaust comments represents just one example of what will no doubt be a continuous drumbeat of pro-Rouhani propaganda by Guardian commentators and reporters.

Robert Fisk unleashes characteristic fabrications and hyperbole about Israel

Robert Fisk’s latest work of fiction at The Independent is titled ‘US cowardice will let Israel’s isolated right off the hook‘.

fisk

Here are the lowlights from his characteristic hyperbole and outright misrepresentations about Israel and the state’s supporters:

First, here is the hyperbole:

1. Fisk accuses “thieving” Israelis of conspiring to steal more Palestinian land for “Jews only”:

Fisk:

For there was President Obama at Monday’s meeting, praising Mr Netanyahu for his support for a two-state solution. And what did President Obama actually say? That there was “a limited amount of time to achieve that goal”.

So why was there only a “limited amount of time”? Not a single scribe asked the poor fellow.

There is, of course, only a “limited amount of time” – in my view, no time at all – to achieve this illusory goal because the Netanyahu government is thieving, against all international law, yet more Palestinian Arab land for Jews and Jews only, at a faster rate than ever, to prevent just such a Palestinian state ever existing.

2. Fisk decries Israel and the Israel lobby for bullying and intimidating the US:

Fisk:

These are hard times for the Israeli right. Used to bullying the US – and especially its present, shallow leader – the Likudists suddenly find that the whole world wants peace in the Middle East rather than war.

the Israelis know that [Obama] is still a groveller. This is what real “appeasement” is all about. Fear.

…when Congress hesitated to strike Damascus, “the hounds of hell were let loose. Aipac (the largest Likudist pro-Israeli lobby group in the US) sent its parliamentary rottweillers to Capitol Hill to tear to pieces any senator or congressman who objected”.

Now, the misrepresentations:

1. Fisk misrepresents Hassan Rouhani’s remarks about the Holocaust:

Fisk:

These are hard times for the Israeli right. Used to bullying the US – and especially its present, shallow leader – the Likudists suddenly find that the whole world wants peace in the Middle East rather than war. Brits and Americans didn’t want to go to war in Syria. Now, with the pleasant smile of President Rouhani gracing their television screens, fully accepting the facts of the Jewish Holocaust

However, even if Fisk were to uncritically accept the false CNN’s translation of Rouhani’s replies to questions posed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, he certainly did not “fully” accept “the facts of the Jewish Holocaust”.  As we argued previously, his qualifications (seen in the following relevant passages from Rouhani’s speech) are quite consistent with the narrative advanced by revisionists in questioning the “scope” of the Holocaust.  

Rouhani, per CNN:

I have said before that I am not a historian personally and that when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust as such, it is the historians that should reflect on it.

But in general, I can tell you that any crime or – that happens in history against humanity, including the crime that the Nazis committed towards the Jews, as well as non-Jewish people, is reprehensible and condemnable, as far as we are concerned.

And just as even such crimes are – if they are to happen today against any creed or belief system or human being as such, we shall again condemn it.

So what the Nazis did is condemnable. The dimensions of whatever it is, the historians have to understand what it is. I am not a historian myself, but we – it must be clear here, is that when there is an atrocity, a crime that happens, it should not become a cover to work against the interests or – or justify the crimes against another nation or another group of people.

So if the Nazis, however criminal they were, we condemn them, whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn, because genocide, the taking of the human life, is condemnable and it makes no difference whether that life is a Jewish life, a Christian or a Muslim or what.

For us, it’s the same. It’s the taking of a human life and an innocent human life is (INAUDIBLE) in Islam. It’s actually something that we condemn and our religion also rejects.

But this does not mean that, on the other hand, you can say, well, the Nazis committed crimes against, you know, a certain group, now, therefore, they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it. This, too, is an act that should be condemned, in our view.

So there should be an even-handed discussion of this.

As ADL has argued, the success of Holocaust deniers does not depend on convincing people that the murder of six million Jews didn’t occur; rather, just the idea that the genocide’s scope can be doubted means that “the deniers have scored propaganda points”.

2.  False claim that Netanyahu called Rouhani an “anti-Semite”.

Fisk: 

What we do know is that when Mr Rouhani started saying all the things we had been demanding that Iran should say for years, Israel went bananas. Mr Netanyahu condemned him before he had even said a word. “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” “An anti-Semite.” 

However, whilst it was widely reported that the Israeli prime minister called Rouhani “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, we were unable to find any record of him accusing Rouhani (either at the UN speech or elsewhere) of being an “anti-Semite.” Netanyahu did end his UN speech with a tale of the antisemitism suffered by his grandfather and his subsequent Zionism, but this was only meant to illustrate the moral urgency of the Zionist mission to build and maintain a Jewish homeland.

Of course, none of this is anything new, as Fisk is a well-known anti-Israel ideologue who’s been accused of unethical and unfactual reporting in the past.  

However, whilst Fisk is entitled to engage in all the scaremongering and vitriol about the Jewish state that he wishes, editors at The Independent have the ethical obligation to hold their contributors – both reporters and commentators – responsible when they engage in mischaracterizations, distortions or lies.  

Hunger Games: A Palestinian terrorist who tried to kill ‘as many Israelis as possible’

Cross posted at the blog,This Ongoing War, edited by Arnold and Frimet Roth. 

Barghouti Guitar from Impact of Terror

(Photo: Abdullah Barghouti created a guitar case filled with explosives, bolts and nails to maximize the lethal devastation of terror attack. Screenshot from the documentary movie “Impact of Terror”)

Trust us on this: being the parents of a child who was murdered changes the way you look at things.

Others might glance at a report quoting this political figure or that official, but that lens of bereavement and the immense frustration and anger that accompanies it tends to make you look a little more deeply than others do.

The secretary-general of the Arab League probably makes headlines whenever he issues a public pronouncement. Without wanting to be unkind, we don’t really care that much what he says or thinks under normal circumstances, and the feeling is probably mutual. Naturally, we  respect and defend his right to speak in the name of the people who appointed him, but Nabeel Elarabys views are background noise so far as we’re concerned.

For the record, he’s a professional diplomat who served as Egypt’s Foreign Minister of Egypt for four months in 2011 and before that was his country’s ambassador in New Delhi between 1981 and 1983. A lawyer, he has an Egyptian law school degree as well as a Masters in Law from NYU.

This morning, we noticed that he has some things to say that actually do intrude into matters about which we take a personal interest. Speaking about a group of convicted practitioners of terror who are serving long prison sentences in Israel, the jurist/politician is quoted yesterday (Tuesday) saying that he is 

following with concern the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners who entered indefinite food strike under very serious health conditions, especially the captive, Abdullah Barghouti, who entered into a dangerous condition due to his continued food strike since last May… Elaraby called on the international community to put an end to arrogance of the Israelis who use violence against the Palestinian prisoners [Emirates News Agency/WAM]

In the name of the Arab League, this senior figure launches into an appeal to “the international community, particularly the United Nations, the International Committee of Red Cross and human rights organization [sic]” to get involved and to “save the lives” of the terrorists who are refusing to eat and “to stop the inhumane practices against them“.

It’s significant that the hungry terrorists are not named by Mr Elaraby except for one of them: Barghouti. (We have the other names here.)

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt: Mr Elaraby may have said the things he said because his Arab League secretariat aides failed to give him a proper briefing ahead of his speech. So we will try to help. And we plan to send this posting to his office by mail right after it goes up on our site.

We have written about this dedicated killer several times in this blog. Most people who speak about him seem to know next to nothing factual, so allow us to share some basics.

Start with this: the judges who sentenced him expressed regret that condemning Abdullah Barghouti to the death penalty was not an option available to them.

If you have seen the award-winning CNN/CBC/Associated Producers documentary “Impact of Terror”, you will recall that it opens with an extreme closeup of a musical instrument, while an explosives expert explains its diabolical character:

The uniqueness for me was the guitar. Nobody was thinking that inside there is a bomb. He put inside the guitar something like four or five kilogram of explosives, four kilogram or five kilogram of nuts and nails. That’s enough. That’s enough to kill tens of people [CNN transcript]

Among the fifteen people, mostly children, killed by the work of Barghouti’s hands was Malki, our daughter. 130 others were maimed. The lives devastated by his evil amount to many times more than those awful numbers.

We noted here a week ago that Barghouti has done an outstanding job from his prison cell of highlighting the bestiality that underpins his psychopathic nature66 innocent people killedNot enough, he says without blushing. In the intimate setting of a 2006 interview beamed throughout the world by CBS television’s ’60 Minutes’ program, Barghouti clarifies things unambiguously:

I feel bad because the number is only 66. This is the answer you want to hear? Yes, I feel bad because I want more.” [Quoted on a CBS site]

Speaking in an Israeli court in 2010, he again reiterated his dedication to killing more Jews once he is freed again.

Do the people in the Arab League’s leadership know these things? Perhaps we will be able to let our visitors know when our letter gets answered. (We recommend to stay busy in the meantime.)

The wheels of justice caught up with Barghouti a decade ago. Convicted for the murder of dozens of ordinary people, he is serving a longer custodial sentence than anyone else in the history of this country. Yet, when parts of the Arabic press write about him, they call him “administrative detainee and “captive”; bitter experience tells us their readers largely believe such nonsense.

(The following is a snapshot of Barghouti’s Facebook page on July 10th – essentially representing a shrine to a confessed and proud mass-murderer.)

Facebook Barghouti 10Jul13

The people who operate the world’s most influential social media website allowed an Abdullah Barghouti page to go up, and have permitted it to stay upDo they know the facts? We pointed this out two weeks ago [see 25-Jun-13: Dogs, psychopaths and the Internet“], when Barghouti’s active Facebook page had gotten 6,805 Likes; that’s more than a hundred for every one of the dead Israelis he murdered. Go visit his Facebook site this morning and notice that Barghoutti’s savagery now has 7,266 Likes. And of course rising.

What does the Arab League leadership think about such things? Who do they say to questions like these?

  • When you seek to put an end to what you call “arrogance of the Israelis“, is this part of a larger anti-arrogance plan? Is it arrogance when Barghouti boasts willfully proudly, openly about how good it is to kill Jewish children? Is it arrogance for him (and the others like him, and who Like him) to come out in favour?
  • How will the world know when the “arrogance of the Israelis” has come to an end? If Barghouti is allowed (heaven forbid) to leave his Israeli prison cell under pressure from you, would that be a sign in your value system that the Israeli arrogance is over?
  • When the woman who delivered Barghouti’s bomb to the door of the pizza restaurant on that awful summer afternoon on August 9, 2001 was freed in a tragically misconceived deal with the terrorists two years ago, did that demonstrate reduced Israeli arrogance?
  • When the proud, unrepentant Islamist murderers like Barghouti and Tamimi make speeches in public congratulating themselves on their great deeds, is that arrogant? Will you condemn it? Have you ever said one critical word in public – in Arabic – about the satanic hubris that it represents? Did any other Arab leader? Ever?

Why do we write about matters like this? Because so many people are interested in hearing what we think? Think again. Because we are obsessive? No, though others think we are. Because we’re vengeful? No; others have certainly told us we seek revenge, but we say and firmly believe this is about justice, and injustice, and about human rights in the original, honest, non-politicized sense of that term. And to be clear about this: it’s not for lack of constructive things to do with our time.

We are the parents of a child whose beautiful life, filled with constructive acts of goodness, was brutally ended by the guitar-case bomb engineered by Barghouti. Inside us, there is a burning sense of obligation – call it a hunger - to shake the apathy of people who fail to see that of the dozens of innocent victims of this despicable man, not a single one was caught in the crossfireThey were his target as Barghouti himself confessed. The same is true every time jihadists and other terrorists seek out civilian victims, as they invariably do.

His mission, his passion, was “to kill as many Israelis as possible”. That ought to be on people’s minds when the debate over how to think about the hunger-striking terrorist prisoners reaches the mainstream media’s headlines as it soon will. The imperative to understand this needs to extend in all directions – even into the lofty heights of the executive leadership suite at the League of Arab States.

Glenn Greenwald and the anti-American conspiratorial tradition

Here are a few paragraphs from my essay published today at PJ Media:

Glenn Greenwald is a former blogger at Salon.com and currently a columnist on civil liberties and U.S. national security issues for the Guardian. His political orientation embraces a brand of “anti-imperialism” — common within the UK far-left — informed by a palpable loathing of America, a nation characterized as a dangerous force in the world. Greenwald’s anti-Americanism is so intense that he once compared the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq to the Nazi conquest of Europe.

As is the case with many Guardian-brand commentators, Greenwald’s anti-imperialist ideological package includes a strong hostility to Israel, and a corresponding belief in the injurious influence of organized U.S. Jewry on American foreign policy in the Middle East. Indeed, Greenwald has not infrequently advanced explicitly antisemitic narratives, darkly warning of the Israel lobby’s total “stranglehold” on American policy which, he’s argued, represents a control over political debate in the U.S. so complete that it’s even eroded free speech protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution. Greenwald claims that the “real goal” of the Israel lobby is to ensure “suffocating control” on U.S. foreign policy, so that Americans aren’t even allowed to debate their country’s “indescribably self-destructive, blind support for Israeli action.”

Greenwald also often imputes the darkest, most ignoble motives to his political opponents, once, for instance, accusing conservative Jewish columnist Charles Krauthammer of possessing a “psychopathic indifference to the slaughter of innocent people in pursuit of shadowy, unstated political goals.”

Understanding Greenwald’s imputations of bad faith and conspiratorial (often bigoted) narratives is vital in contextualizing the story which he broke at the Guardian last week about the NSA collection of phone records of Verizon users, and allegations that big tech companies granted the government access to private user information via an operation called PRISM. While significant allegations included in Greenwald’s “scoop” — such as the claim that the NSA had attained “direct access” to company servers, and the casual suggestion that the NSA has been acting illegally — don’t seem to hold up to critical scrutiny, he has also engaged in characteristically risible hyperbole in attempting to frame the issues.

Read the rest of the essay, here.

Glenn Greenwald’s baseless charge that Jane Harman was stoking ‘Islamophobia’

Boston-Marathon-Bombing-US-flags (1)In an April 17 post, we called out Guardian contributor Glenn Greenwald on his rank hypocrisy in condemning the ‘rush to judgment’ in the aftermath of the April 15 Boston Marathon terrorist attack that killed 3 and injured over 180.

In Greenwald’s CiF commentary, The Boston bombing produces familiar and revealing reactions’, April 16, he ‘named and shamed’ those whose eagerness “to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence”, which, we noted, was remarkably audacious in light of his own rush to judgement in the aftermath of the attack on the US consulate in Libya last September.

Greenwald, we noted, immediately (a day after the Sept. 11, 2012 assault) parroted false reports that the attack which left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead was caused by a film produced by an “Israeli Jew” and funded by “100 Jewish donors” – charges Greenwald was later forced to revise when it was demonstrated that the filmmaker was an Egyptian Christian, and that the film had no role whatsoever in the pre-meditated Islamist terror attack.

However, in addition to the hypocrisy of Greenwald’s sanctimony over the ‘rush to judgement’ in the Boston terror attacks, we recently observed another one of the Guardian commentator’s signature habits of using hyperlinks which don’t in fact support the allegation being made.

Here’s the relevant passage in Greenwald’s April 17 CiF commentary:

The rush, one might say the eagerness, to conclude that the attackers were Muslim was palpable and unseemly, even without any real evidence. The New York Post quickly claimed that the prime suspect was a Saudi national (while also inaccurately reporting that 12 people had been confirmed dead). The Post’s insinuation of responsibility was also suggested on CNN by Former Bush Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend (“We know that there is one Saudi national who was wounded in the leg who is being spoken to”). Former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman went on CNN to grossly speculate that Muslim groups were behind the attack.

So, did former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman “grossly speculate” that “Muslim groups” were behind the attack?

Well, the link goes to a site called ‘The Examiner’ which claims the following:

Former congresswoman Jane Harman, currently the President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars told CNN News on April 15 that there is a very real possibility that the Boston Marathon bombings could be Al-Qaeda related. The bombs used in the attack are very similar to bombs used by Al-Qaeda in terrorist attacks across the world.

So, clearly, the first link demonstrates that Harman, former Chair of the US House Intelligence Committee, didn’t blame “Muslim groups”, but merely speculated on the possibility that one fanatical Islamist group which very few Muslims actually support may be responsible.  Further, the second link Greenwald used goes to a Twitter page with a series of Tweets in which others commented on Harman’s interview on CNN.

Whilst many of the Tweets similarly noted Harman ‘s naming al-Qaeda as a ‘possible’ suspect, one Tweet in particular on the page, which Greenwald decided to ignore, quotes Harman during the CNN interview speaking more broadly about the victims of such Islamist attacks around the world:

Harman:

A lot the victims, if it turns out to be anything related to Al Qaeda, a lot of the victims of these attacks are Muslims.

Further, while information is still coming in about the two suspects - Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died after a shootout with police , and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who was taken into police custody on Friday – it does seem clear that they are both indeed radical Chechen Muslims who were inspired by Islamist propaganda which promoted jihadist attacks on innocent civilians.

So, to recap:

Jane Harman’s suspicion that the Boston terror attack may have been perpetrated by followers of radical Islam appears to have been accurate.

Contrary to Greenwald’s claims, Jane Harman did not blame “Muslim groups” for the incident in Boston, but in fact cautioned that, if the attacks were inspired by al-Qaeda or groups sympathetic to its ideology, it was important to understand that innocent Muslims are often the victims of deadly terrorist attacks by such Islamist terror movements.

Finally, Greenwald has a history of using meaningless hyperbole and hyperlinks which don’t support his wild allegations, and his latest baseless smear of the former congresswoman should come as no surprise to those who already understand the dishonest lengths Greenwald often goes to buttress his pre-established extreme left narratives. 

Harriet Sherwood falsely reports on alleged arrests of Palestinians at ‘Bab al-Shams’

Harriet Sherwood’s latest report, ‘Israel evicts E1 Palestinian peace camp activists, Jan. 13, about Palestinian protesters who set up a tent city, named Bab al-Shams, in the area between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim known as E-1, and were recently removed by Israeli police, began as follows:

“The Israeli state has swung into action against a group of Palestinian activists who established a tent village on a rocky hillside east of Jerusalem, with hundreds of security officials carrying out an eviction under the orders of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

According to activists, a large military force surrounded the encampment at around 3am. All protesters were arrested and six were injured, said Abir Kopty.”

Further in the report, Sherwood added the following:

Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti, who was among those arrested, said the eviction was “proof that the Israeli government operates an apartheid system.

However, according to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, there were no arrests made — a statement which was accurately reported by several Arab media outlets and which Rosenfeld confirmed today to CAMERA. According to Rosenfeld, a few activists were detained briefly, then released.

Today, CAMERA prompted a speedy correction to a CNN report which also included false allegations about protester arrests.

As CAMERA noted in their post about the original CNN error, even  Al Jazeera, “hardly a source known for reporting skewed in Israel’s favor” reported the story accurately, writing the following:

“Several activists were detained during Sunday morning eviction, including Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Al Jazeera’s correspondent, reporting from Jerusalem, said.

Al Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson, reporting from Jerusalem, said the activists who were detained were driven to Qalandiya checkpoint and then released.”

Additionally, here’s how the Arab News reported it:

“Hundreds of Israeli police came from all directions, surrounding all those who were in the tents and arresting them one by one,” Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti told AFP.

But police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that no arrests had been made.

And, here’s the relevant passage from a report by the Egyptian site, Ahram Online:

“Hundreds of Israeli police came from all directions, surrounding all those who were in the tents and arresting them one by one,” Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti told AFP.

But police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that no arrests had been made.

“They were told they were trespassing and carefully escorted from the site one by one,” he said. “Nobody was hurt on either side.”

It appears as if Sherwood merely took the statements by Palestinian activists at face value without even attempting to corroborate their claims.

Please consider writing a respectful email to the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, asking for a correction to Sherwood’s false claim.

reader@guardian.co.uk

Glenn Greenwald notes that unnamed sources told Chris McGreal Israel controls CNN. So, it must be true!

H/T Margie

In his latest CiF commentary, ‘CNN and the business of state sponsored TV news‘, September 4th, Glenn Greenwald argues that CNN compromises its journalistic integrity by engaging in financial arrangements with the same repressive ‘Gulf states’ that the network covers.  

Greenwald’s piece follows up on a post he published on the same day, ‘Why didn’t CNN’s international air its own documentary on Bahrain’s Arab Spring repression?‘, in which he claimed that the network’s business relationship with Bahrain influenced their decision not to air a report titled ‘iRevolution: Online Warriors of the Arab Spring’. (Greenwald fails to mention that the Guardian itself completely removed a commentary from their site for over a month which was critical of Bahrain, evidently after legal threats.)

Greenwald, towards the end of his latest post, threw in the following:

“Amber Lyon [the on-air correspondent for iRevolution] insists that CNN journalists and producers complained relentlessly about the type of business-driven censorship she now vocally claims was prevalent at CNN.”

Then Greenwald added:

“Back in 2004, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal reported on the network’s Middle East bureau: “CNN sources say the network has bowed to considerable pressure on its editors. Israeli officials boast that they now have only to call a number at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta to pull any story they do not like.” “

Who was the source for this ‘shocking’ revelation?  Well, McGreal doesn’t say. 

Further, if you go back to McGreal’s 2004 report you will see the following passages which Greenwald did not include: 

“The network’s former Middle East correspondent, Jerrold Kessel, who was widely respected for his informed and nuanced reporting, said that while doubtlessly there was pressure on his editors to get him to modify his coverage, he regarded it as irrelevant.

“The less notice one takes of pressure, the less pressure one invites on oneself,” he said. “If you get into a mind where the pressure is a factor, you get into the mind of worrying about what the effect of the pressure is going to be.” “

So, the entirety of Greenwald’s supposition that the Israeli government can kill stories they don’t like simply by dialing CNN’s offices is based on an anonymous source – a characterization which was dismissed by the network’s former Middle East correspondent.

This is what passes for journalism by the Guardian’s latest U.S. correspondent. 

Tweeting for Khader: Octavia Nasr’s latest terrorist crush

Following the death of the Lebanese Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, one of the original spiritual guides of Hezbollah, CNN senior Middle East affairs editor Octavia Nasr Tweeted the following.

Despite an attempt at an apology, Nasr was subsequently fired by the network, which released a statement noting that Nasr’s “credibility…as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward.”  You think?!

Just to be clear, the Hezbollah leader Nasr was Tweeting support for was an unequivocal supporter of suicide bombing against Israeli civilians, had issued a fatawa justifying the suicide bombing which attacked the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, and was a Holocaust revisionist.

A year or so after the incident, during an interview with Asharq Al-Awssat (an Arabic international newspaper based in London), Nasr blamed, yes, the “Zionist lobby” for her dismissal, a narrative echoed by the Guardian’s Brian Whitaker in a CiF column he wrote shortly after Nasr was fired.

Yet, the brave Octavia Nasr, clearly undeterred by the powerful Zionist forces aligned against her, recently Tweeted support for her latest terrorist crush – Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan.

Then, CiF Watch commented:

Nasr’s reply:

Another Tweet to us by Nasr, declaring the conversation over:

Our reply:

Then there was this:

Who did she block? After noticing that she was no longer listed as someone we were following, I tried to follow her, only to find this:

After being axed by CNN for a pro-Hezbollah Tweet, no doubt Ms. Nasr is a wee bit sensitive about being called out again for shilling on behalf of a terrorist.

Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad are worthy of her sympathy,  but CiF Watch is evidently a hate site.

If Octavia Nasr didn’t exist the “Zionist lobby” would SO have to invent her. 

Journalists on board Gaza-bound flotilla will be active participants in illegal act

This is cross posted by Simon Plosker, the Managing Editor of Honest Reporting. The essay originally appeared in Ynet

Israeli soldiers being beaten with metal rods by "activists" on Mavi Marmara in 2010

“We are in a battle, and more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.” So said Al-Qaeda’s new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in November 2005. But what happens when the media attempts to define the physical battlefield by becoming active participants in the story?

We should all be extremely concerned by the announcement that among those sailing on the imminent flotilla to Gaza are journalists representing mainstream media, including the New York Times and camera crews from CNN and CBS.

This is a clear example of the symbiotic relationship between the media and anti-Israel agitators such as those behind the flotilla. After all, it wasn’t the violent actions of the passengers on board the Mavi Marmara that caused Israel so much damage – it was the diplomatic and public relations fallout from an incident that occupied the international press for days after the event.

The “martyrdom” of nine Turkish passengers constituted a PR success for the IHH organization and its cohorts. Clearly then the only reason the mainstream media would jump on board the next flotilla would be the prospect of capturing a repeat performance. Likewise, the flotilla’s organizers are counting on the media to publish a story whose narrative has already been written – namely that of some plucky “peace activists” attempting to break a brutish and illegal naval blockade of the poor Palestinians in their open-air prison.

Imagine that the Israeli Navy boards the flotilla’s ships one by one, forcing the vessels to dock without incident for inspection in an Israeli port. This would be the ultimate failure on the part of the organizers to create a major incident as well as for the media on board who hope to be on the scene reporting on the biggest news story of the day.

‘Useful idiots’  

Having established that both the flotilla participants and the accompanying media need each other, can we honestly count on the New York Times, CNN and CBS as well as other “embedded” journalists to report on the situation with objectivity even if the story doesn’t turn out to be as dramatic as they would hope?

Or will the mere presence of the media act as an invitation for confrontation and potential violence as so-called “activists” play for the cameras? And what of the journalists themselves? While over the years, some reporters have been inadvertently killed or injured by the IDF, we cannot expect soldiers entering a potential warzone, as the Mavi Marmara became, to run the added gauntlet of avoiding media personnel who have purposely positioned themselves in the crossfire. It not only risks the lives of the journalists but also those of Israel’s soldiers.

The Israeli government closed off access to the Gaza Strip for journalists during Operation Cast Lead, ostensibly for their own protection and to spare IDF troops from yet another factor outside of their control on the battlefield. There was a valid argument that this worked against Israel’s interests. The media, camped on a hilltop overlooking Gaza, was antagonized and vengeful while the images from Gaza itself were dominated by al-Jazeera and other less than objective sources.

This time, Israel would do well to remind those journalists on board the flotilla that they will be active participants in an illegal attempt to break what is a legal naval blockade under international law.

We can only hope that the mainstream media will not be influenced by the ideologues and “useful idiots” that make up the disparate groups on board, whose dominant zeitgeist is a hatred of Israel rather than a love of universal human rights. We will have to rely on the professionalism of the journalists to capture the reality of what occurs free from the prejudice that colors so much of the reporting on Israel.

Based on previous experience, however, we shouldn’t have high expectations. This ship has sailed. Will Israel be left clinging on to flotation devices, drowning in a sea of negative publicity or will this be a fishing expedition in calm waters?

The flotilla is sailing. It’s time to baton down the hatches once again.

Palestinian terrorists who murder Israelis are no longer even “militants”, but merely “intruders”

A guest post by AKUS

The airbrushing of Palestinian terrorism continues. Apparently even describing Palestinian terrorists as “militants” is now too much for the world’s media. They are now merely “intruders”, even when they murder a family of 5 including a baby of a few months and two little boys.

Harriet Sherwood in the Guardian:

The attacker or attackers scaled Itamar’s perimeter fence, triggering an alarm. Settlement security investigated but failed to notify the Israeli military. The intruders waited inside the settlement for some time after identifying their target, then entered the Fogels’ house through a window. [emphasis added]

CNN:

According to a military spokeswoman, an intruder entered the Israeli settlement of Itamar near the northern West Bank city of Nablus around 1 a.m., made his way into the family home and killed the two parents and their three children. [emphasis added]

Israel has complained about CNN’s choice of words:

Israel demands CNN apology over attack coverage (YNet)

Israel is demanding an apology from CNN over its coverage of Saturday’s terrorist attack in Itamar claiming it was “tendentious and deceptive.” Government Press Office director Oren Helman sent a letter to CNN’s Bureau Chief Kevin Flower saying he was astonished at the network’s coverage of the ruthless attack.

…. “Only you decided to use the term terrorist attack in quotation marks, as if this were not necessarily the case,” Helman wrote. “There is a limit to the extent of objectivity regarding such a horrific deed.”

…. The IDF’s official statement noted that forces were searching for a “terrorist” and not an “intruder” as the CNN report noted. The terrorist was also referred to as an “assailant” later in the report. There was no mention of the possibility this was the act of a Palestinian terrorist.

CNN appears to have amended its web page from this, the original version:

Actually, Helman needs to broaden his review of the way news about Israel is reported.  The BBC also managed a double. Quotation marks around ‘kills five Israelis’ and “intruder”.

Palestinian ‘kills five Israelis’ in West Bank

“The family – including three children – were stabbed to death by an intruder who broke into their home, Israeli media reported.” [emphasis added]

The media are going downhill steadily. Once, when there was still an element of conscience in the reporting about Israel, the media referred to terrorists as terrorists. Then they become militants, and now intrudersintruders who come into a house uninvited and cut the throats of a man and his wife and three of their children.

Philip Weiss Feels Rick Sanchez’s Pain (The “Jews control the media” saga continues)

This is cross posted at the blog, Judeosphere


It is a truth universally acknowledged that Rick Sanchez was the dumbest newscaster on American television.

But, after Rick was fired from CNN after making remarks that the Jews control the media, he received sympathetic coverage from Iran’s Press TV and its U.S. counterpart, Philip Weiss.

At his blog, Mondoweiss, Philip explains that Rick’s “first mistake” was being one of the only “network anchors to give any attention to the Palestinian side of the story.” Philip then adds:

“As for his recent comments about Jews not being an oppressed minority and Jews owning the television networks– it seems to me that these are legitimate subjects for discussion. Maybe his tone was inappropriate, maybe he should have gotten out the kid gloves. But they are legitimate subjects; and the manner of Sanchez’s dispatching is only likely to feed uninformed debate about the nature of the American establishment. Let’s talk about it.”

Ok, let’s talk about it:  Fuck you, Philip.

(For more info on Mondoweiss, see here.)