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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Aussie flotilla reporter proves his anti-Israel bias

In a long speech to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Australia, Sydney Morning Herald correspondent Paul McGeough - who already betrayed incredible bias against Israel with his laughably inaccurate reporting from the flotilla in July - cements his reputation.

In the July article, McGeough (who was not on the Mavi Marmara) said things like the IDF "hunted like hyenas" and that the attack was "timed for dawn prayers" and that "a lot of people moved in to shelter" the first Israeli commando on deck "with their bodies." It was so at odds with video evidence that had already been available as to represent a willful disregard for facts, not a piece of reporting.

Now, McGeough shows that his disregard for facts is as natural as breathing:

Arguably, engagement takes place at three levels. There are two – weapons and diplomacy – in which Israel has been ascendant since, oh, I would say about 1948. But there is a third dimension, one that sways the diplomacy; and which is influenced by resort to weapons. This is the contest for control of the narrative of the conflict.

Across the decades, Israelis have told the story of their enterprise brilliantly. Palestinians, by contrast, have told the story of dispossession terribly.
And this fair reporter aims to correct this problem!
Israel's mythology is built on the likes of the stunning success of the Six Day War. And on daring, edge-of-the-seat ventures like the 1976 raid on Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Remember their abduction, halfway around the world of Adolf Eichmann? And the surgical strike on Saddam Hussein's nuclear facility?
Apparently, he hasn't been reading the newspapers in his own industry for about three decades. Because his examples of Israel's ownership of the narrative ends at Entebbe and Osirak (something that, it will be recalled, Israel was roundly criticized for at the time.)

No, it would not be right for McGeough to notice that the Arab narrative has taken the imagination of his fellow reporters, not to mention diplomats and world leaders. McGeough is imagining himself as a speaker of unknown truths, as bucking the conventional wisdom, as a proponent of "dangerous ideas" for saying things like the Palestinian Arabs are being occupied by a colonial power. It is a joke, as McGeough is simply following the fashionably anti-Israel crowd, not trailblazing it.

Hamas is now a peace-loving entity, in McGeough's considered opinion:
After a six year period in which there had been just a single suicide-bomb attack, but in which thousands of erratic rockets were fired into Israel, Hamas acknowledged that there was more to be gained in setting up Israel as a target of international criticism for its own actions, than as a target of rockets launched by Hamas and the other factions. "When we use violence, we help Israel win international support," Aziz Dweik, a Hamas MP in the West Bank was quoted in The Wall Street Journal. "The Gaza flotilla has done more for Gaza than 10,000 rockets."

Only one suicide bombing in six years prior to the flotilla! That's remarkable! Too bad it is a lie. From Israel's MFA:
Aug 31, 2004 - Sixteen people were killed and 100 wounded in two suicide bombings within minutes of each other on two Beersheba city buses, on route nos. 6 and 12. The buses were traveling along Beersheba's main street, Rager Blvd, near the city hall. Hamas in Hebron claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sept 14, 2004 - A suicide bomber riding on a bicycle blew himself up near an armored IDF jeep at an agricultural gate, south of Qalqilyah, injuring two IDF soldiers.

Sept 22, 2004 - Two Border Policemen were killed and 17 Israelis wounded in a suicide bombing carried out by a female terrorist at the French Hill junction hitchhiking post in northern Jerusalem. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

Nov 1, 2004 - Three people were killed and over 30 wounded in a suicide bombing at the Carmel Market in central Tel Aviv. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Nablus claimed responsibility for the attack, carried out by Amar Alfar, 18, from Askar refugee camp in Nablus.

Jan 18, 2005 - An ISA officer was killed, an IDF officer seriously wounded, and 4 IDF soldiers and 3 members of the ISA were lightly wounded in a suicide bombing attack at the Gush Katif junction in the central Gaza Strip. While search procedures were being carried out, the suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body detonated himself. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Feb 25, 2005 - Five people were killed and 50 wounded Friday night, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Stage club on the Tel Aviv promenade at around 11:20 P.M., on the corner of Herbert Samuel and Yonah Hanavi streets. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

July 12, 2005 - Five people were killed and about 90 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated himself outside Hasharon Mall in Netanya. The bomber was identified as Ahmed Abu Khalil, 18, from the West Bank village of Atil. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

Aug 28, 2005 - A suicide bomber detonated himself outside the Beersheba Central Bus Station. Two security guards who stopped the bomber were severely wounded and about 50 people were lightly wounded or treated for shock. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Oct 26, 2005 - Seven people were killed and 54 wounded, six seriously, in a suicide bombing at the Hadera open-air market. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

Dec 5, 2005 - Five people were killed and over 50 wounded in a suicide bombing at the entrance to the Sharon shopping mall in Netanya. The terrorist detonated the bomb when he was stopped by security guards, one of whom was killed. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

Dec 29, 2005 - Lt. Ori Binamo, 21, of Nesher was killed when a terrorist en route to carry out an attack in Israel detonated himself at roadblock set up near Tulkarm following an intelligence tip. A second intended suicide terrorist was also killed in the blast as well as the taxi driver and a third passenger. Three soldiers and seven Palestinians were wounded.

Jan 19, 2006 - Thirty-one people were wounded in a suicide bombing in a shawarma restaurant near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. The Jerusalem Battalions of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mar 30, 2006 - Four people were killed when a suicide bomber hitchhiker disguised as an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva student detonated his explosive device in a private vehicle near the entrance to Kedumim.

Apr 17, 2006 - Eleven people were killed and over 60 wounded in a suicide bombing during the Passover holiday near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, at the Rosh Ha'ir shawarma restaurant, site of the Jan 19 bombing. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

Jan 29, 2007 - Three employees of a bakery in the southern city of Eilat were killed in a suicide bombing. The Islamic Jihad and the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

Feb 4, 2008 - Lyubov Razdolskaya, 73, of Dimona was killed and 38 wounded - Razdolskaya's husband critically - in a terror attack carried out by a suicide bomber at a shopping center in Dimona. A police officer shot and killed a second terrorist before he detonated his explosive belt. A Hamas statement from Gaza praised the attack, calling it an "heroic act".
And these are only the suicide bombings - there were other more direct attacks on Israeli civilians, shootings and stabbings and bombings and others, also invariably praised by Hamas, no less lethal but ignored by McGeough as somehow irrelevant to his new narrative. Just like he discounts thousands of Hamas rockets as "erratic" - not seeming to notice that their inaccurate nature in no way detracts from their purpose, which is the very definition of terror.

Similarly, he seizes on what a Hamas West Bank MP says to the Wall Street Journal for an American audience and ignores the daily incitement and lionizing of violence in Hamas' (and Fatah's) Arabic-language media every day.

No, for him to acknowledge that the heroic Palestinian Arabs by and large embrace violence and terror and have no desire to live with Israel in peace does not further the false narrative that McGeough is seeking to push of intransigent Israeli leaders hell-bent on pushing every Arab out of the region, which is what his speech implies.

But then again, he might have other more personal reasons to want to push his Arab narrative and ignore the facts. His girlfriend is an outspoken Palestinian Arab activist.

(h/t Greg)