Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ma'an's bias, and my response

Ma'an writes:

Confrontations erupted in a town in East Jerusalem which has been under siege for three days and is facing a campaign of repeated Israeli police raids.

A 50-strong Israeli force raided the northern entrance of the village and another entered through the south, onlookers said.

Luba As-Samry, the spokeswoman of the Israeli police, said an Israeli police officer was lightly injured during confrontations on the northern entrance of the village. She added that four young men were detained for throwing stones at the police.

As-Samry said the police would continue the campaign to impose “security and order” in Al-Isawiya.

The villagers expressed their displeasure with the campaign and the siege imposed on the village saying that the actions of the Israeli police amount to collective retaliation and harassment that targets mass protests.

Three days of car safety checks in the neighborhood, which residents called "provocative," have increased tensions in the area as Israeli municipal officials stopped cars at road blocks, performing maintenance checks and writing tickets for vehicles deemed unfit for the road, creating long delays.

Residents questioned the use of the spot checks, citing mandatory maintenance tests every year for licenses to drive in Israel. Despite having passed the tests, locals said, most cars were said to have failed the spot check and were mandated to have service performed on them.
Commenters were outraged at the "petty" Israeli harassment of innocent Jerusalem Arabs.

I wrote:
Ma'an conveniently forgets to mention that residents of that neighborhood almost lynched four Israelis and an Australian student who accidentally entered the neighborhood last week, as they tried to trap them and shattered their car windshield with large rocks. And that an Israeli ambulance was likewise stoned nearby when trying to save a Palestinian Arab's life a day later.

But since when does Ma'an practice responsible journalism?
In a more general sense, it is important for people to notice these stories being written in English and to respond with the facts as quickly as possible, so casual readers of the site can know that there is another side to the story that the media is ignoring.

I don't know if Ma'an will publish my response but they haven't been too bad in that respect.