Friday, 31 July 2009

Lieberman accuses Chavez of anti-semitism for backing Palestinian resistance

The fool and thug Lieberman, otherwise known as the foreign minister of Israel, is really losing it. This morning he is accusing Chavez of anti-semitism because of his support for the cause of Palestinian liberation.

Israel claims there are Hezbollah cells in Venezuela.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of cooperating with "radical branches" of Islam and of anti-Semitism, according to media reports Thursday in Colombia.

"I will not speak about intelligence specifics, but we have enough to be concerned about the collaboration between radical branches of Islam and Hugo Chavez," Lieberman told the El Tiempo newspaper at the conclusion of a 10-day South American visit which included stops in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Colombia.

Lieberman was responding to questions seeking evidence to support Israel's contention that Iranian-backed Hezbollah has cells in Venezuela.

more at ynetnews

Gaza kids break kite-flying world record

Some good news from Gaza for a change...

Thousands of Palestinian children gathered in the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break the world record on the number of kites flown at the same time, in the same place.

Thursday's event was part of a UN initiative organised to restore hope and normality to the war-torn territory.

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

Just Journalism is an Israeli government front

An organisation called Just Journalism is taking issue with what it sees as the UK media's bias in favour of the Palestinians. I must say I haven't noticed this trait – if anything the media is pro-Israel, with resistance fighters routinely referred to as either 'terrorists' or 'gunmen' while Israeli killers are of course always 'soldiers'.

Just Journalism, erroneously, describes itself as: "an independent research organisation focused on how Israel and Middle East issues are reported in the UK media. We produce analysis of print, broadcast and online media and regularly publish research on trends in the media’s coverage".

So what is the evidence for this UK media bias? Well, it's pretty weak but I've reproduced the article in full below. In all the examples they quote, where they claim parts of quotes have been truncated/removed in order to hide the 'context' that the soldiers who gave testimony to Breaking the Silence were providing.

But if the clauses and sentences are reinserted they make no substantial difference to the meaning of what the soldiers said, indeed if you take their first example from the Independent newspaper the edited version that appeared in the paper removed the 'most of the time' clause from the sentence about attacking launchers in open sites [the context], but it still makes it clear that they attacked houses and hospitals also. The second example cites the BBC cutting out a bit about how dark it was as if this 'context' provides some sort of excuse for killing 1,400 people.

Perhaps Just Journalism is one of the first fruits of a policy of renewed seriousness by the Israeli state in rebutting its critics and taking its war of self-justification to cyberspace and other media channels, which we reported on yesterday.

Haaretz provides its own 'context' for its story drawing attention to the group's 'finding' by describing it in the headline as a UK Media Watchdog, when it is of course no such thing. The UK's official media watchgdog is the Press Complaints Commission. Ex-lefty turned Blairite warmonger, Denis MacShane, heads up the advisory board – which makes it aabout as independent as the government's latest 'inquiry' on the Iraq War that will be held mostly in private.

The latest report about Israeli soldiers’ conduct in Gaza released by Israeli group Breaking The Silence was consumed by the media predictably fast. But in the haste to ‘get something out’ about its contents, how closely did journalists actually read the report? Misquotes in The Independent’s two-page spread and a BBC Online article raise concerns about the handling of this source material and whether audiences are being provided with the full facts. Because the report contains some contentious claims, it is vital that the media maintain high standards of accuracy when lifting quotations and reproducing them in their work.

The Independent

In Testimony 6, the interviewee said:

‘‘Then I finally understood. Most of the time we were firing at launcher crews in open spaces, but it didn't take much to aim at schools, hospitals and such. So I see I'm firing literally into a built-up area.’ (Our emphasis)

By the time it reached The Independent’s ‘Israeli soldiers reveal the brutal truth of Gaza attack’, it had been contracted to:

‘I finally understood. We were firing at launcher crews in open spaces. But it didn't take much to aim at schools, hospitals and such. So I see I'm firing literally into a built-up area.’

The phrase ‘Most of the time’, which provided a significant degree of context, has been omitted from the heart of the quote. The word ‘we’ has been wrongly capitalised and placed at the beginning of the sentence.


The BBC’s ‘Breaking silence on Gaza abuses’ also contained an inaccurate quotation. On the subject of the rules of engagement in Testimony 7, an interviewee said:

‘Fire power was insane. We went in and the booms were just mad. The minute we got to our starting line, we simply began to fire at suspect places. Also, it was still dark when we went in, we got there just before dawn. You see a house, a window, shoot at the window. You don't see a terrorist there? Fire at the window. It was real urban warfare. This is the difference between urban warfare and a limited confrontation. In urban warfare, anyone is your enemy. No innocents.’ (Our emphasis)

The BBC omitted the sentences, ‘Also, it was still dark when we went in, we got there just before dawn’ and ‘It was real urban warfare. This is the difference between urban warfare and a limited confrontation.’ These sentences also provided some context to the nature of the fighting from the interviewee’s perspective – in this case, that it was dark and that urban warfare is different from limited confrontations.

These inaccuracies raise genuine questions about how this journalism is researched, compiled and checked. It is standard practice when omitting material from a direct quotation to uses an ellipsis to signify to readers that something is missing. The fact that this has not occurred is worrying.

In both cases it is unclear who is responsible for the editing of quotations. Just Journalism has notified both The Independent and the BBC about these issues and is awaiting a response.

Israeli war criminals' report says war was 'necessary'

Welcome to the Orwellian world of Israeli newspeak. The war was 'necessary and proportionate' to keep the Palestinians in their place through mass terror.