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Emet m'Tsiyon

Friday, June 06, 2008

British AgitProp Agencies Assault Israel, Skynews Omits Mention of Karsenty Acquittal

Was it a coincidence that 5 or 6 weeks after the alleged killing by an Israeli tank shell of a Gaza Arab cameraman working for Reuters, the story was revived on Skynews on 5-22-2008, a day after a French appeals court had acquitted Philippe Karsenty of libel for calling the alleged killing by Israeli troops of 12-year old Muhammad al-Durah [30 September 2000] -- a hoax?? British anti-Israel agitprop seems to be moving into high gear not only to deflect attention from the court decision in Paris but to intensify their usual smearing of Israel.

Now, it's not just coming from the BBC but from Sky and Reuters which are also British agencies. Coincidentally or not, just a day or two after a court in Paris ruled that Philippe Karsenty was not guilty of libel for calling the alleged Muhammad al-Durah killing [Sept 2000] a hoax, Skynews ran a similar, although not identical, smear of Israel with the cooperation of Reuters. The questionable character of the coincidence is confirmed by the fact that Skynews did not report the verdict in the Karsenty-France2-al-Durah case, which I ascertained from searches on Sky's website of posts between 5-20 & 5-24.

The French court made its ruling after the judges viewed extended but incomplete footage of events at the Netsarim intersection that day in 2000. The judge had called for all footage still in the hands of France2 to be shown to the court's next session [France2 and its employes had earlier alleged that 27 minutes of film footage remained that had not been broadcast] . However, France2 did not comply fully with the court's order and only showed 18 minutes of the alleged 27 at the next session [November 2007]. Some or all of the missing 9 minutes had been seen several years ago by Richard Landes, a history professor at Boston University, Luc Rosenzweig, a former chief editor of LeMonde, Denis Jeambar and Daniel Leconte, both journalists, separately on at least two separate occasions. Jeambar and Leconte published their reaction to viewing the footage, the "rushes," in an op ed in the French daily, LeFigaro. Rosenzweig published his conclusions on the MENA website which is available through the Guysen Israel News website linked to from our blogroll. Much info on this matter is found on Menahem Macina's debriefing website, including Jeambar & Leconte's op ed.

What the judges saw in the 18 minutes that France2 did bring to court indicated that the boy was alive after allegedly being killed according to the original France2 broadcast in 2000, even shifting a red cloth in his hand that in a still photograph might seem flowing blood. The judges were impressed that the death of Little Muhammad was not proven, let alone that Israeli bullets had killed him. They criticized France2, a state TV broadcaster, and Charles Enderlin, the France2 Jerusalem correspondent responsible for the original blood libel of late September 2000, among others. A pdf file of the court's verdict is available here.

Curiously indeed, after a French court rejects the al-Durah blood libel, Skynews and Reuters bring up the slightly stale case of a Gazan cameraman working for Reuters, insinuating that Israeli soldiers had deliberately killed him, knowing that he was a journalist. And this is done with considerable emotive verbiage on the part of Sky "news" presenters and Alistair MacDonald, head of the Reuters Jerusalem bureau, who is interviewed in the Sky feature story. MacDonald arrogantly asks: Why the Israelis had killed Our cameraman who was Only Going About His Business. Right there we have a dubious and unsupported factual claim, that is, that the Israelis knew that they were killing a cameraman. MacDonald's approach is like that of asking a man when he is going to stop beating his wife. Such a question presumes that the man beats his wife, without facts, without admission on his part.

Now, if we assume that the cameraman is indeed dead, then we need to point out that the tank was 1 kilometer or more away from the cameraman when it fired. Further, the film showed him carrying a film camera on his shoulder, which could easily look like a RPG launcher or like an anti-tank missile launcher to an observer a kilometer away. Moreover, Gaza Arab terrorists have in the past disguised themselves as journalists as well as medical personnel, painting the word "PRESS" on terrorist jeeps and hiding in ambulances, transporting weapons and explosives on ambulances, even using ambulances as car bombs. Obviously, on a battlefield, it is difficult to know who is that figure standing one kilometer away, besides the fact that Arab journalists in Gaza not only sympathize with one side over the other but have often provided direct help to terrorists in the form of information, carrying or concealing weapons, etc. Therefore, it was not likely that the tank crew knew that they were aiming at a cameraman. Of course, even if they were close to a man carrying a camera --shoulder-mounted or not-- and wearing an iridescent yellow press vest, they could not be sure that he was really a cameraman or journalist.

Another problem with this story as presented on Skynews on 5-22-2008 is that the number of dead victims in the incident has jumped from 3 [including the cameraman] on 4-16-2008 to nine [9] on 5-22-08. So the problem is not only the mendacity of Arab journalists & cameramen but the mendacity of Western journalists too. [see quotes below].

Indeed, it is a problem that journalists [including cameramen] with proper press credentials may take part in "news" hoaxes, like the Muhammad al-Durah "killing" hoax, which was perpetrated by Gaza cameramanTalal Abu Rahma with Charles Enderlin's cooperation. Indeed, Prof Richard Landes reports that when he viewed the rushes with Enderlin in the latter's Jerusalem offices, and that he [Landes] pointed out that much of the footage seemed fake, Enderlin answered: "Oh, they're always doing that" [that is, the Arab cameramen working for Enderlin].

On the other hand, it must be taken into account that anyone going onto a battlefield knowingly and willingly must know that he is taking a risk to his life, even if he is Only Going About His Business, in the words of the Sky/Reuters agitprop presentation. A battlefield is not a playground [שדה קרב אינו מתחם משחקים ] .

Now, despite engaging in moralistic high dudgeon over what they insinuate to have been the deliberate killing of a Reuters cameraman by Israel, neither Sky nor Reuters mentioned that Gaza Arab terrorists have been shooting rockets at the Israeli civilian population for more than seven years. If we search the Skynews and Reuters websites, we note that --although rockets are shot into Israel every day, mainly at the small city of Sderot-- there was no mention of Sderot by Sky between 19 March 2008 and now [6-6-2008]. Nor did Reuters mention Sderot from 28 April 2008 till now [6-6-2008]. This latest Reuters mention of Sderot focusses not on Israeli victims but on Gaza Arab victims. Hamas terrorists [al-Qassam] claimed that they had shot rockets at Sderot "in response to" Israeli attacks that had allegedly killed civilians in Gaza. But Hamas and other jihadist gangs shoot at Israel every day, usually at Sderot and neighboring farming communities, more recently at the larger city of Ashqelon. Apparently, Sky and Reuters would rather engage in a high dudgeon passion play over an allegedly dead Arab cameraman working for Reuters "going about his business" rather than make it the business of Sky/Reuters reporters and cameramen to go to Sderot or nearby kibbutzim to find out what it's like to be bombarded daily by Arab jihadi terrorists. By the way, a factory worker was killed yesterday [5 June 2008] on a kibbutz near Sderot. He was the father of three children.

The hypocritical --indeed, rather silly-- propaganda onslaught on Israel fits into a larger strategy, not only to demonize and dehumanize Israel and Israelis and Jews generally, but to support the Hamas campaign to raise the minimal blockade of Gaza [which gets food shipments from Israel regularly]. This propaganda assault is done by Hamas in cooperation with UN officials in Gaza who constantly speak of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza [where most of the adult population supports genocidal terrorists] but not the humanitarian plight of Jews in Sderot, Ashqelon, and neighboring towns, villages, and kibbutsim. The "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza is blamed on an Israeli "siege." But this "siege" is so light that it does not prevent medium-sized weapons from being brought in from Egypt through tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, and maybe in other ways too. If there is no "humanitarian crisis" for Jews in Sderot, Ashqelon, etc, according to UN officials, Hamas leaders, NGO spokesmen, and the major media --especially British media-- then maybe that means that Jews are not human. That's the purpose of the Skynews/Reuters propaganda assault.
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Original BBC report, with video, on this incident (Augean Stables post, analysis and commentary on this incident) . According to the original BBC report, there are only 2 casualties besides the cameraman, not 8 [Sky report of 5-22-2008]. Two plus one equal three.
In other violence throughout the day, a Reuters cameraman was among three killed when his car exploded, apparently after being hit by an Israeli tank shell.
Two others died in the blast that killed the Reuters cameraman
[BBC 4-16-2008]
Here's the Reuters report on the incident:
GAZA, April 16 (Reuters)- A Reuters cameraman and two other Palestinian civilians were killed on Wednesday in what local residents said was an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip. [Reuters 4-16-08]
Five weeks later:
Five weeks on from the death of Palestinian cameraman Fadel Shana, Israel has yet to announce the findings of its investigation into the incident - which also killed eight civilians, most of them teenagers or children. [Skynews, 5-22-2008, updated 5-23-08]
It seems that Time is not only a Great Healer but a Great Multiplier. This is a three-fold multiplication of the number of victims in only five weeks [4-16 to 5-22], from three to nine!!!
Film recovered from his camera shows an Israeli tank opening fire several hundred metres away, Reuters adds. [BBC, ibid.]
"Several hundred" is an indefinite number. Use of an indefinite, indeed vague, number is an old media trick meant to disguise an amount either too small or too large for purposes of the political message, without exactly lying. "Several hundred" might mean anything from 300 meters to 2 kilometers or more. Of course, measuring an exact distance is not easy without surveying tools.
On the other hand, Sky puts the Israeli tank "a mile away" [1 mile is nearly two km].
Shana was filming Israeli tanks on a ridge a mile away, when one of them opened fire... [Skynews. 5-22-08, updated 5-23-08]
Sky reports that:
Reuters news agency is demanding to know why the Israelis killed one of its cameramen as he was legitimately going about his business in Gaza.
[Skynews. 5-22-08, updated 5-23-08]
I have a demand too. I demand to know how 3 victims reported by BBC on 16 April had multiplied to 9 victims in Sky's report of 5-(22 & 23).

By the way, note that the collateral victims, besides the cameraman --sanctified simply by belonging to the press, are mainly "teenagers or children" [according to the Sky report quoted above]. What are children, or even teenagers, doing on a battlefield?? Weren't there any responsible adults to tell the kid victims to go home?? Bear in mind that the classical anti-Jewish blood libel, such as Simon of Trent, involves Jews allegedly killing a boy. So alleged death story of the Reuters cameraman also alludes to boys being killed, as was the case in the Muhammad al-Durah hoax.
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Skynews passion play about the cameraman here1, here2, here3 by order of date. The first two are videos, the third is text.
Reuters report on French court decision absolving Karsenty of libel charge.
BBC report on the same.
Seconddraft and Augean Stables sites which bring much info about the Al-Durah Affair.
Draft English translation of the French court ruling.
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Coming: more on Jews caught up in the Armenian genocide, archeology in Jerusalem, peace follies, obama's subtle fakery, propaganda, etc.

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