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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Former Haaretz Editor on Al-Dura Massacre

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/12/former-haaretz-editor-on-al-dura.html

Chanoch Marmory, former editor of Ha'aretz, discusses how he was taken in by the Pallywood Muhammad al-Dura fabrication. The supposed murder of Al-Dura by Israeli soldiers, broadcast around the world, sparked the major violence of the so called Second Intifada. Marmory He was not the only one who "bought" the Muhammad al-Dura fabrication. The IDF bought it too. And when I circulated, simply as a point of information, news of a reconstruction that showed that Israeli soldiers could not possibly have killed al-Dura, I was bitterly condemned as a Zionist propagandist. But it was all a lie, just as the "Jenin Massacre" was a lie, and just as the "Gaza Humanitarian crisis" is a lie.

The title "Purity of shame" - "Tohar Habusha" is a pun on a Hebrew expression for ethical conduct.

Translated from the Hebrew

The purity of shame

By: Chanoch Marmory [Former editor of Haaretz]

Release Date: 10/12/2009

Today, when I know more about the way in which the Palestinians related their tragedy, and from across the years and experience accumulated during those years, I can openly accept even the film of German journalist Esther Schapira, "Al Dura - child, death and the truth". Today I know we bought that story too quickly, and cheaply.

It was on my shift, so you can certainly see self-criticism in what is written here. Nine years have gone by since then, and the personal memory of every detail has gone dull a long time ago. But the emotional turmoil caused in me by the scene of father and son, Jalal Mohammed A-Dura and young Muhammad, I remember well. Those were feelings of shame and anger.

In the face of every scene of horror, the emotional reaction of the journalist precedes the journalistic one. Muhammad A-Dura was then my son's age, and it was easy to identify with the pain of the father who had his child lying shot at his feet. But we had to pull together and act as journalists even if the redness of shame often covered the cheeks.

The important lesson the years of intifada had taught me is that there is no way to do real journalism with veiled eyes. And even when the purity of shame blurs the vision, it is forbidden to abandon, even under the most difficult of circumstances, the basic tools of the journalist – curiosity, skepticism and a critical approach. Later it became evident how well the Palestinian side would exploit the embarrassment and shame of journalists like me as a tool in its combat.

The contribution of a minute and a half video segment taken at the gunfire exchanges at Netzarim junction on September 30, 2000 was decisive in turning protest demonstrations over Ariel Sharon's visit at Har-Homa into a complete Intifada. The clip that reflected the story of a son's dying in his father's arms after the two were caught partially exposed in the heart of the gunfire scene was embarrassing and shocking and was taken at face value: The was son killed and the father injured in the exchange of fire – whether it be IDF fire or Palestinian fire.

Wonder for the meaning of the event evaporated completely after the then Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Boogie Yaalon and Major General Giora Eiland stated publicly that the child was shot by IDF fire, accidentally of course. Even when the IDF investigated and retracted to state that Al-Dura was killed by wild Palestinian crossfire, we did not return to it. Anyone who then tried to keep digging around this innocent case the case was seen as a madman or one with a political agenda - or both.

We've left the issue with a certain relief, especially when the blaze swept all the territories and the full resources of journalistic coverage. Today it is clear we should have been more skeptical about eye impressions, also that the eyes were of only one camera: the camera of Talal Abu-Rahma, questionably hot material from the front, where there are those who describe it as Pallywood – the Palestinian video drama industry.

In time it became clear how this market took hold in the world, and especially in Western Europe, what drew the European media to provide with relative comfort and with low risk, bloody stories from the intifada fields of battle to a mostly non-critical audience that is not particularly selective. It was easy for the Palestinians to sell stories to the foreign press, and it was easy for those stories to produce bold headlines.

In disproving at least one instance I was involved personally; in setting things straight in the story of Abu-Ali, a resident of the Jenin refugee camp during the days of "Operation Defensive Shield", which was given in the French magazine "Le Nouvel Observateur" the title: "My Nine children were buried under the rubble". Abu-Ali's house was indeed destroyed during the battle, but his children escaped and were found safe and sound. However, and despite this, the French magazine, which did a very sloppy job, avoided publicly retracting their words.

Today, when I know more about the way in which the Palestinians related their tragedy, and from across the years and experience accumulated during those years, I can openly accept even the film of German journalist Esther Schapira, "Al Dura - child, death and the truth" that was broadcast last night on "Mabat Sheny".

Today I know we bought that story too quickly, and cheaply. We were skeptical towards the IDF investigation, also because the army had a reputation of a body that suits investigative conclusions to its own needs. But from the moment when the army itself took responsibility for the case, we rid ourselves of it, while at the same time we showed impatience towards tests conducted by those perceived as obsessive. In the midst of the intifada there is no time for those who dig around in an old case, when events pile up on the table frequently.

Yair Atinger, the only one of the TV critics who referred this morning to the film that was broadcast last night, offers as a main lesson from it: "Do not believe anything that runs on the screen". I agree with his statement and his words that that "a picture, even a video image, may be the perfect lie, and effective television needs trusting viewers, not necessarily intelligent ones".

However I find it hard to accept Atinger's inclusion of the Al-Dura case into one package with Elvis legends and stories of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, i.e. in the category of conspiracy theories. If you take into account the fact that a minute and a half of photographic material created the great myth of the second intifada, a myth of the suffering, heroism and sacrifice, which generations of Palestinian children grow on, we should have made every effort to get at the truth of the affair. It was our job, to tell what exactly happened. And if not us, anyone who is willing to stick a pin in this myth should have been accepted openly. We had to try to distinguish between bothersome possessed people and meticulous researchers.

The question whether Muhammad Al Dura had indeed been shot by Israeli fire or if it was Palestinian gunfire will no longer get an answer. What happened there in the heat of battle could not be proven any more – especially given that the former Gaza Division commander, Brigadier General Yair Naveh, ordered the immediate destruction of all constructions located at Netzarim junction that were within firing distance of the outpost, and among them the wall that the father and son clung to during the shooting.

Either way, Esther Schapira manages to impress us with the contradictions she found in that video segment: the ground beneath the killed and the injured is without blood stains, fresh blood stains that emerge at the scene later, and blood stains on the video that pop up and disappear and change their location on the body of Muhammad as if they were a red rag he was holding in his hand.

Schapira presents the testimony of the sole witness, the cameraman Talal Abu-Rahma, who filmed for Charles Enderlin, a regular representative of the French network France 2, as false and fraudulent and baseless. She finds contradictions in his testimony that claims Al-Dura died before his eyes. According to him, he watched the continuous shooting from his car for about 45 minutes, took about 18 minutes of film, yet only submitted fragmented footage of one minute and a half of the father and son, when he could allegedly have shot continuously and had a charged battery in his hand. Abu-Rahma inexplicably interrupted the filming and his video did not capture the entire process of extracting the body, though he could have done so.

Schapira finds flaws with the father's version in regards to his own injury. With the aid of an Israeli doctor who treated him before, she proves that the scars he presented as caused in the Netzarim shooting incident were caused in mysterious circumstances for which he underwent treatment in Israel. Her hypothesis: body injuries such as those are caused by Hamas members as punishment for those who collaborated with the enemy, hence the question arising is even wilder: Has Hamas used the father and son forcing them to position themselves at the scene, so that the father will make amends for his crime against them?

Schapira presents the court verdict from a year ago, in which a French court accepted the appeal of Phillip Karsenty, a French Jew who has devoted most of his time to the rebuttal of the Al Dura story. After he claimed that the report Enderlin had broadcast was staged (Enderlin never stayed in Gaza during the shooting, but in Ramallah), France 2 filed a libel suit against Karsenty, and he was convicted initially. The courthouse of appeals did not ratify Karsenty's assertion, but ruled that it is not libelous. During the trial France 2 was forced to reveal the raw material taken before editing, and in a short piece that was not aired the boy, declared as dead, is shown to be moving his limbs.

Schapira does not settle for this. She creates a broader picture, of directing of injury scenes, of conflicting testimonies, of irrational scheduling, and finally raises a claim, relying on a face recognition expert, that the boy who was brought for burial that day at the mass funeral is not Muhammad Al-Dura, but another boy whose name is Rami Al-Dura, who was shot in his head or at least had a marking on him similar to a gunshot wound. From here, in her opinion, the possibility of raising the question if he is actually dead is open.

It is not clear who is this Rami Al-Dura, and under what circumstances was he killed. Esther Schapira makes it clear in the language: she does not claim that Muhammad Al Dura is alive. She just claims that he did not die during the video taking at the Netzarim crossing and that he is not the boy that was brought for burial during the funeral procession. This sounds like a fantastic option, but the whole scene is full of contradictions and inconsistencies. And there are those who made vast political capital from the funeral procession. Elvis case, then, it is not.

The Palestinian myth will remain strong even if there would be found clear cut evidence that the story of Muhammad Al-Dura was staged entirely. There will always be those who will argue that even if it is not clear what exactly happened there, the basic story remains as is: a helpless child was caught in Israeli fire and was shot deliberately.

Now that this film was presented to us, it is clear that what you see in the video shots of Talal Abu- Rahma is not the whole story. And possibly, it is an entirely different story. Suddenly, with considerable delay, the need returns to do another round on it, in an attempt to get at the truth. Now I have to know what really happened there. It's not a petty matter and not a question of professional honor. I must know who they are, and of course, who we are.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Abbas Quits - Is it for real?

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/11/abbas-quits-is-it-for-real.html

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced," I do not choose to run" in the January 2010 Palestinian presidential elections. He insists that his decision is "final."

Abbas declared that he had fulfilled his political platform by "improving the situation in the West Bank and continued the aid to the Gaza Strip despite the Hamas overtake." He added that Hamas had thwarted all Egyptian reconciliation efforts.

Abbas stressed that despite efforts by fellow Fatah officials to dissuade him, his decision was "neither reversible nor debatable."

The PA president explained that the obstacles standing in the way of peace and reconciliation had caused him to decide to leave the political arena. Israel is implementing a policy that is destroying all peace efforts, he said, adding that the US had backpedaled on its Mideast policy by refusing to press Israel to freeze settlement construction.

"We have to abide by the UN resolutions and agreements, as well as the Arab peace initiative and vision for a two-state solution," he stated, adding that there was still a possibility that he would "take steps" in the future to promote the Palestinian cause.

Abbas went on to outline the issues on which the Palestinians had yet to reach an agreement with Israel. "There is no legitimacy for the continuation of settlements on Palestinian land," he asserted, speaking also of the need for solutions on the issues of water resources and refugees.

As for his vision for the future Palestinian state to be established within the framework of a comprehensive peace agreement, Abbas proclaimed that Israel and the Palestinians would have to "go back and agree to the '67 borders" while making arrangements to establish "a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem."

Security forces should be deployed along the future Palestinian state's border with Israel, said Abbas, "allowing the Palestinians to use all resources on their legitimate land." He added that any agreement with Israel would also take into account the release "of all Palestinian prisoners."

Abbas stressed that "the difficulties of the current situation" were no excuse for political disorder, explaining that for this reason he had announced that presidential elections would be held in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Jan. 24, 2010. "By then," he said, "we would have hoped to achieve our national unity."

The PA president denounced the actions of rival faction Hamas, which had threatened to boycott the elections and prevent them from being held in Gaza. Hamas is obstinate, he said, and should reconsider its position.

"It is time for the world to put an end to our suffering," said Abbas, thus concluding what the Palestinian media called "a significant speech to his people."

Actually, perhaps it is time for the Palestinian people to put an end to their own suffering: to agree to peace with Israel on terms similar to the The Clinton Bridging Proposals, to stop insisting on "Right" of Return for refugees, allow for at least some Jewish rights in East Jerusalem, and demand that Palestinian refugees must be helped to resettle in Arab and Western countries, ending their long and pointless suffering in refugee camps. If Abbas wanted to help his people, he would have made those proposals, which no Israeli or American government could refuse, and he would have had the backing of almost the entire world.

What may be in store in the months ahead? There are several possibilities. One is that Abbas's final, absolutely final resignation is a ploy to get the United States to force Israel to implement a settlement freeze. Assuming the United States will take the bait, how much pressure would they apply to Israel and how will the government of Benjamin Netanyahu respond? Another possibility is that there will not be elections. A rumor to that effect has been floating about for some days. A third possibility is that a successor to Abbas will be found who can keep the Fatah and less extreme Palestinian polity together. Salem Fayyad, the moderate Prime Minister, has been suggested by some. Fayyad does not have a political base though. He is an independent with little political support from organizations. He is too moderate to be accepted by Fatah, and possible too incorruptible to join them. A fourth possibility is that the Fatah-PLO based Palestinian Authority government will fall apart, or be taken over by the Hamas.

Palestinian negotiator Saeeb Erekat revealed what is on his mind and what may be the preferred foreign policy of the Palestinian Authority in the future. According to a Ma'an News article he said:

Palestinians should "refocus their attention on the one-state solution where Muslims, Christians and Jews can live as equals," Erekat said. "It is very serious. This is the moment of truth for us."

In other words, if Israel will not agree to Palestinian peace terms that amount to destruction of Israel, then Palestinians should seek to destroy Israel in another way. Erekat knows that there are no states in the Middle East except Israel where Muslims, Christians and Jews live as equals, and there have never been such states since the advent of Islam.

Ami Isseroff

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nazis armed the Palestine 'Arab Uprising'

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/09/nazis-armed-palestine-arab-uprising.html

In 2006, 70 years after the fact, the British finally released documentation showing the close ties between Palestinian "nationalists" and Nazi Germany during the Arab Uprising, as well as Britain's cynical abandonment of promises to Jews and perfidy in the the crucial pre-war period. British later tried to make a case that they were balancing between two legitimate claims, whereas in fact, they simply abandoned their obligations under the League of Nations mandate in order to appease the Arabs.
The perfidy did not stop with the war, since the British withheld information about Arab-Nazi collaboration for many years, evidently because it would have helped the Jewish case.
Ami Isseroff

British National Archives unveil presence of Nazi S.S. agents in Mandatory Palestine, working closely with Palestinian leaders
Yaakov Lappin Published: 05.07.06, 16:41 / Israel News

Historical documents in Britain's National Archives in London show that Nazi Germany attempted to ship arms to Palestinian forces in the 1930s.

A British Foreign Office report from 1939 reports of "news of a consignment of arms from Germany, sent via Turkey and addressed to Ibn Saud (king of Saudi Arabia), but really intended for the Palestine insurgents." Britain's chief military officer in Mandatory Palestine also noted reports "regarding import of German arms at intervals for some years now."
British documents from the same period, and German records photographed by an American spy and sent to the British government, said that a number of Nazi agents were sent to Mandatory Palestine, in order to forge alliances with Palestinian leaders, and urge them to reject a partition of the land between the Jewish and Arab populations.
One Nazi agent, Adam Vollhardt, arrived in Palestine in July 1938, and was reported to have gained strong influence with Arab leaders, meeting with Palestinian leaders throughout 1938. Vollhardt held several meetings with leading Arab politicians and told them "that the Palestine question would be settled to the satisfaction of the Arabs within a few weeks," adding that "it would be fatal to their (Palestinians') cause if at this juncture they showed any signs of weakness or exhaustion."

"Germany was interested in the settlement of the (Palestine) question on the basis of the Arabs obtaining their full demands," Vollhardt was reported to say to Palestinian leaders, according to a report by the British War Office. Vollhardt also assured Arab leaders that "the Germans could continue to support the Palestinian Arab cause by means of propaganda."

German documents photographed and sent to Whitehall by an American spy revealed that in 1937, German officials had calculated that "Palestine under Arab rule would… become one of the few countries where we could count on a strong sympathy for the new Germany."

'Arabs admire our Fuhrer'
"The Palestinian Arabs show on all levels a great sympathy for the new Germany and its Fuhrer, a sympathy whose value is particularly high as it is based on a purely ideological foundation," a Nazi official in Palestine wrote in a letter to Berlin in 1937. He added: "Most important for the sympathies which Arabs now feel towards Germany is their admiration for our Fuhrer, especially during the unrests, I often had an opportunity to see how far these sympathies extend. When faced with a dangerous behaviour of an Arab mass, when one said that one was German, this was already generally a free pass."

A second Nazi agent, Dr. Franz Reichart, was reported to be actively working with Palestinian Arabs by the British Criminal Investigation Division "to help coordinate Arab and German propaganda." Reichart was also head of the German Telegraphic Agency in Jerusalem.

German records show that the Nazis viewed the establishment of a Jewish state with great concern. A 1937 report from German General Consulate in Palestine said: "The formation of a Jewish state… is not in Germany's interest because a (Jewish) Palestinian state would create additional national power bases for international Jewry such as for example the Vatican State for political Catholicism or Moscow for the Communists. Therefore, there is a German interest in strengthening the Arabs as a counter weight against such possible power growth of the Jews."
Jewish refugees abandoned
The records also show that the news of increased Nazi-Arab cooperation panicked the British government, and caused it to cancel a plan in 1938 to bring to Palestine 20,000 German Jewish refugees, half of them children, facing danger from the Nazis.

Documents show that after deciding that the move would upset Arab opinion, Britain decided to abandon the Jewish refugees to their fate.
"His Majesty's Government asked His Majesty's Representatives in Cairo, Baghdad and Jeddah whether so far as they could judge, feelings in Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia against the admission of, say 5,000 Jewish children for adoption… would be so strong as to lead to a refusal to send representatives to the London discussions. All three replies were strongly against the proposal, which was not proceeded with," a Foreign Office report said.

"If war were to break out, no trouble that the Jews could occasion us, in Palestine or elsewhere, could weigh for a moment against the importance of winning Muslim opinion to our side," Britain's Minister for Coordination of Defence, Lord Chatfield, told the British cabinet in 1939, shortly before Britain reversed its decision to partition its mandate, promising instead all of the land to the Palestinian Arabs.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Moderate Palestinian HS graduates: "in the name of Palestine: Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, and our Arab Jerusalem."

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/08/moderate-palestinian-hs-graduaties-in.html

A video is available at the link below
(IsraelNN.com) Palestinian Authority Arab teens dedicated this year's high school graduation ceremony to "the Shahids (martyrs)... the prisoners... the stone and the rifle."
As part of the ceremony, sponsored by the Fatah faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the graduates delivered a speech identifying Haifa, Akko, Yafo (Jaffa) and Jerusalem as "Palestine."
The Arabic-language festivities were translated by the media watchdog organization, Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors PA news and entertainment media.
The ceremony, broadcast July 28, 2009 on Al-Filistinya TV (Fatah), was held on a stage festooned with a sign that read: "Tribute to high school graduates under the auspices of Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah."
A transcript of part of the speech follows:
Male graduate: "In the name of the Shahids (Martyrs), in the name of the prisoners, in the name of the stone and the rifle."
Female graduate: "In the name of Fatah, the school that taught us the meaning of nationalism."
Male graduate: "in the name of Palestine: Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, and our Arab Jerusalem."
Female graduate: "In the name of Palestine: Gaza, the West Bank and the flag of national unity."
Male graduate: "Fatah is [still] with the rifle. And our rifles are not rusty even if they have fired thousands of bullets."

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