Author: Adam Levick

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A blood libel is born: Fisking the Guardian’s original report about Mohammed al-Durah

Goldberg, as with nearly every journalist who reported on the incident, was relying entirely on a one minute, deceptively edited, France2 video, as well as uncorroborated Palestinian “eyewitness” accounts. While the the video purported to show the boy’s final moments – filmed by stringer named Talal Abu Rama, and which was cut by France2 producer Charles Enderlin – the last few seconds showed a clearly alive boy lifting his hands and peaking out through his fingers and then slowly putting his arm down. There is no video or still photos – despite the numerous journalists at the scene – of the boy being carried away in a stretcher, or being loaded onto an ambulance. Additionally, despite claims that the IDF fired on the boy and his father for 40 minutes – which somehow only managed to produce a dozen or so bullet holes in the wall and barrel – and supposedly died of a stomach wound, it evidently didn’t seem odd to Goldberg that there was only a “smear” of blood?…

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mcgreal

Guardian propagandist Chris McGreal attempts to defend his lethal narrative

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.

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

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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.

This essay was originally posted at CiF Watch

The Guardian’s lethal narrative about snipers who murder innocent children

The Guardian’s lethal narrative about snipers who murder innocent children.

This essay was originally published at CiF Watch

On Mar 26, 2001, an Israeli named Shalhevet Pass, age 10 months, was killed by Palestinian sniper fire at the entrance to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron. Shalhevet was shot in the brain, while in her stroller – with her parents by her side.

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Chillingly, an investigation ruled that the the infant was shot deliberately.

The Jewish baby was one of dozens of Israelis who have been murdered as the result of Palestinian sniper fire emanating from Gaza or the West Bank since the early 90s.

Pass’s murder came to mind when I first read a 2012 report by the Guardian’s Chris McGreal suggesting that IDF soldiers deliberately took aim at Palestinian kids – a narrative of Israeli cruelty which actually paled in comparison to a 2005 story he wrote which was even more explicit in evoking the image of such sadistic villainy.

In ‘Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset‘, Aug. 28, McGreal, in an effort to contextualize the death of Rachel Corrie, and dismissal of the Corrie family lawsuit, as symptomatic of something much darker, argued that “the state of the collective Israeli military mind…cast the definition of enemies so widely that children walking down the street were legitimate targets if they crossed a red line that was invisible to everyone but the soldiers looking at it.”

McGreal’s 2005 Guardian report – cross posted at one well-known conspiracy site – was titled in a manner leaving nothing to the imagination:

snipers

Here are some passages from McGreal’s tale.

“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.”

McGreal provided no source for the fantastical story – which was, perhaps, inspired by dispatches in 2001 from Gaza by the discredited American reporter Chris Hedges – and certainly nothing resembling actual evidence that Israeli snipers fired on Palestinian children.

Of course, the most iconic image, preceding the reports by McGreal and Hedges, purporting to characterize unimaginable Israeli malevolence – that Israelis deliberately kill innocent and defenseless children – was the reported death, in Sept of 2000, of Mohammed al-Durrah.

The incident – illustrated by a video purportedly showing a father standing by impotently as the Israelis shot down, in cold blood, his terrified son – was quickly framed in the West  as a justifiable source of outrage for “a beleaguered Palestinian people fighting for their independence“.

Despite the fact that the evidence of the case overwhelmingly demonstrates that al-Durrah was almost certainly not shot by Israelis, and, in fact, in all likelihood, was not shot at all, what Shelby Steele describes as poetic truths triumphed over the empirical evidence, and a lethal narrative about Zionist brutality, which continues to incite Jihadists to this day, emerged victorious.

This one incident became an icon of hatred towards Israel.

Countries had postage stamps honoring al-Durrah. Daniel Pearl was killed to avenge his “death”. Osama Bin Laden used the incident to incite before 9/11, and town squares & academies have been named after him.  Al-Durrah was even referred to in the Arab media as “a tiny sleeping Jesus“.

In short, he became a poster child for the Intifada, and as proof of Zionist malice.

More recently, a French Jihadist named Muhammad Merah murdered Jewish school-girls in cold blood outside their school in Toulouse to avenge the murder of Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli soldiers.

Yet, how many people in the West even know the name ‘Shalhevet Pass’?

Indeed, no matter how absurd the charges that the IDF targets innocent Palestinian kids, such morally reckless narratives evoking the specter of unimaginable Jewish malevolence has become so ingrained in the Islamist and extreme-left imagination that the facts regarding such libels have become largely irrelevant.

Richard Landes explained the significance of the media’s unfathomable credulity in the face of such crude propaganda, thus:

“One of the key functions of the mainstream news media is to serve as a dialysis machine, filtering out the poisons that can weaken the civil polities in which they operate. At least in the Arab-Israeli conflict, they have, alas, played the role of injecting the poisons of lethal narratives into the information stream of the West.”

When Chris McGreal conjures the grotesque image of bloodthirsty IDF soldiers ruthlessly taking aim at innocent Palestinian children, the already powerful Judeophobic antipathy – nurtured continually in the Middle East – becomes that much more impenetrable, and violence directed at Israeli and non-Israeli Jews that much more probable.