.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ma'an proves its boar case by quoting itself

Ma'an has yet another of its articles about wild boars in the West Bank, but this one is a little bit more even-handed:
Salfit residents have continuously complained about the boars, which they say are not indigenous to the area, attacking residents and crops in the northern West Bank districts. Last February 53-year-old Hikmat Abdul Mu'ti from the town of Beit Rima was hospitalized after suffering "deep wounds," according to medics at Yasser Arafat Hospital in Salfit city.

Boars have been causing problems inside Israel, as well. Israel's Nature and Parks Authority instituted a massive cull in the northern Haifa region in May, following complaints similar to the Palestinians' in Salfit.
But you know that they can't report on the pigs without blaming the Jews somehow:
Environmentalists cite Israel's West Bank wall as a potential cause for the buildup of wild pigs in Salfit, as in recent years their annual migration toward the Galilee has been disrupted.
But...I thought they weren't indigenous to the area. Could it be that the residents of Salfit are being less than honest?

No matter. We have other bacon to fry:
Some Salfit residents claim that the wild boars have escaped or were released intentionally from nearby Israeli settlements such as Ariel, although pigs are generally considered unclean in Judaism, as well as Islam. The only known Jewish-run pig farm in the region, the Institute for Animal Research, operates inside Israel at the Negev kibbutz of Lahav.

Still others insist that they have witnessed the pigs being unloaded from trucks by settlers. Mohammad Hassan last month told a Land Research Center field researcher he saw settlers release some in the Al-Ashara region of the Salfit-area village of Iskaka.
Now comes the funny part:
The Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) also reports that settlers from Ariel "frequently" release wild boars into the area, causing economic damage and even physical attacks on people. The organization stated that there were four reported cases where children were injured by the animals.
Who is the ARIJ? Well, they have a very nice web page and they have a number of projects in the territories. So I looked at the last couple of their newsletters to see what they have to say about the boars. Here's one of them:
Boars set free by Israeli settlers damaged sheep barns and beehives in the northern West Bank village of Salem, east of Nablus. Boars attacked three homes and sheep barns, owned by Theib and Ziad Hasan, as well as 32 beehives owned by Taha Hamdan. The boars also attacked a car owned by
Baha’ Hussein on his way out of the village. Maannews (May 3, 2009).
In fact, at least for the past few months, every single story in ARIJ that said that settlers released boars was a direct quote from Ma'an itself!

Ma'an finally realized that its incessant insistence that the boars were raised by evil Jewish settlers made no sense, and it tried to craft this story to include the criticisms. But it is still invested in the idea of Jewish-owned pigs that it quotes a seemingly impartial scientific sounding organization that insists that Jewish settlers frequently release the pigs - an organization that gets all its boar information from the previous months of Ma'an lies!

The perfect feedback loop!