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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another faked quote - corrected 7 years later

Honest Reporting has the fascinating story of a fake quote by Moshe Yaalon that made it to major newspapers over years before it was proven false. To its immense credit, the Toronto Star had a large article tracing how the misquote started and traveled through articles and editorial pages.

And it all seems to have started out of the feverish mind of Israel-hater Henry Siegman.

The fake quote from Yaalon was that Israel must force it to "sear deep into the consciousness of Palestinians that they are a defeated people."

What he really said was that victory would be defined as "the very deep internalization by the Palestinians that terrorism and violence will not defeat us, will not make us fold. And later he said “The facts that are being determined in this confrontation -- in terms of what will be burned into the Palestinian consciousness -- are fateful. If we end the confrontation in a way that makes it clear to every Palestinian that terrorism does not lead to agreements, that will improve our strategic position.”

We have seen many times that quotes by Israeli leaders about defeating terrorism have been twisted into quotes that sound racist against Palestinian Arabs as a whole. A few examples can be seen here.

Other examples of fake quotes are here and here as well as (indirectly) here, where even the spokesperson was made up.

In this case, Siegman pretty much makes up the quote altogether - and it was believed by enough other editors as to have become accepted as fact.

To misquote Mark Twain, "A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." (He never said that, but it sure is true.)

(h/t ehwhy via email)