Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blood Libel is Quicker Than Mortar


The ABC recently reported on their news website the following article:

Two children killed in Gaza blast

Posted Tue Aug 7, 2007 6:23pm AEST

Two Palestinian children have been killed in the northern Gaza Strip after an Israeli shell they were playing with exploded, witnesses and medics said.

Siblings Wissam and Hala Kafarne, eight and six years old respectively, died when the shell exploded inside their house in the northern town of Beit Hanun, near the border with Israel, they said.
The article then morphs into a curious description of the evacuation of Israelis from Hebron using the term "ultra-nationalists" to describe the protestors. Such a term is never used by the ABC to describe any Palestinians from Fatah, but that is another story.

At the bottom of the article it is credited to AFP, Agence France Presse, the news wire service.

So for the ABC, it is an open and shut case. The Palestinian witnesses and medics, upon whom the ABC have always relied for accurate descriptions of water poisoned by Israelis, Zionist death rays and the like, can now categorically and instantly tell incoming the origin of an explosive package. These witnesses and medics have incredible talent in forensics.

The ABC has no reason to be skeptical of this instance of the blood libel: Israeli weapons kill Palestinian children. The only twist this time is that it was an unexploded shell that tragically became "exploded", rather than say a soldier aiming at an innocent child in the midst of a battle with terrorists, as Israeli soldiers are want to do when trying to defend themselves. According to the ABC.

Jerusalem Post, on the other hand, were not so quick to jump to conclusions when reporting the incident:
Witnesses said a group of children stumbled upon a homemade rocket or a mortar shell and began playing with it.

...

No Palestinian group blamed the IDF for the explosion.
The "homemade rocket" and lack of blame on IDF by Palestinians seems to missing from the ABC version of the story. How bizarre.

It gets better.

Ha'aretz now have more information in an updated version of events in their coverage:
Qassam rocket fired at Israel kills two children in Gaza Strip

A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinian militants struck the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing an eight-year-old boy and his six-year-old sister, and injuring five other children.

The rocket, fired at Israel, fell short and hit the children's house in the village of Beit Lahiya. No group claimed responsibility.

...

The Associated Press had earlier quoted witnesses as saying the blast was the result of the children playing with a homemade rocket or a mortar shell that they had stumbled upon. It is not uncommon for Qassam rockets fired at Israel to land inside the Gaza Strip.
There was doubt about the source of the explosion from the outset, but not in the ABC's version.

When the doubt was cleared, it was entirely the opposite of what the ABC originally reported.

Palestinian "militants" caused the death of their own children, but
the ABC, along with their news wire of choice, AFP, have reported the incident 180 degrees out of sync with the facts. And have not corrected it.

What started most likely as an error in reporting - due in part to an anti-Israel pro-Palestinian lens - has now become a wilful distortion of the truth in their failure to amend the falsehoods.

The ABC have been quicker to spread a blood libel than the speed of an incoming Israeli mortar shell. A shell that never was.

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