Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Press vs. Israel

Nidra Poller has an excellent article on the propensity of the gullible world-wide press to blame Israel for everything that goes wrong in the Middle East. This, plus the fact that they always give the benefit of the doubt to Hamas, or Hezbollah, or Fatah, or whichever Muslim terrorist group is claiming that Israel has commited a "crime against humanity" for defending itself makes one wonder if the press isn't made up almost totally of shills for the Jew-haters. Recalling the incident on the Gaza beach where seven members of a Muslim family were killed, Poller writes:
Two days after the incident, though, ample information, leaked to and posted on reputable websites, suggested that the Palestinian-supplied video “proving” Israel’s responsibility for the deaths and injuries had been manipulated—a shot of an Israeli Defense Forces gunboat, filmed earlier that day, spliced in to give the impression that it was firing directly at the beach, the scene of Huda finding her father’s body apparently staged. Data on the six shells fired from an Israeli gunboat that afternoon showed that the soldiers had aimed at a Qassam rocket-launching site at least 800 feet from the sunbathers. And so on.

But even after the IDF made the results of its investigation public at a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Western journalists maintained a climate of artificial doubt—balancing, even overshadowing, the government report with a reiteration of the Hamas narrative, now dressed up in pseudoscientific trappings supplied by a Human Rights Watch “expert,” Mark Garlasco.

Why is a lone investigator, working for a nongovernmental organization, more reliable than General Meir Kalifi’s investigating commission? What impartial agency has verified the data presented by Human Rights Watch and its self-designated expert? Hamas has an agenda. HRW has an agenda. But what is the agenda of the free press in our own democratic countries?

Rational examination of the evidence shifts the burden of doubt to the Hamas (and HRW) version of the incident. Israeli officials have now released ample details to support their conclusions. Hospital reports testify that one of the wounded had shrapnel removed by Palestinian doctors before her transfer to an Israeli hospital—medically inexplicable treatment that might have been about getting rid of any proof that Palestinian ordnance had caused the explosion. Close scrutiny of outtakes from the original video reveals a mixture of staging and real-time filming. Interviewed by Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Palestinian cameraman who filmed the explosion delivers a garbled story that unravels under questioning.

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