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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ma'an blames Israel for Itamar attack

Ma'an Arabic uses yet another of the oldest journalism tricks in the book to publish incitement and lies in a newspaper:

Quote somebody whose positions who you agree with.

In this case, it quotes some person on Facebook named Elif Sabbagh.  (Ma'an has been obsessed with Facebook lately.) Sabbagh's Facebook page isn't even public, so it is not as if his original posting had gained any serious readership.

Sabbagh, who apparently lives in Acre, wrote about the story in YNet of the Jewish settlers who saved the life of an Arab baby yesterday while the Fogels were mourning the murders of their family nearby. He dismisses the story, claiming that there have been so many Arab babies who died because they were born at checkpoints. (Why the mothers in these probably apocryphal stories were trying to get into the evil Zionist entity to give birth is not really an issue for discussion.)

Sabbagh then goes on to quote Ma'an's thoroughly discredited story suggesting that it was actually Thai workers who slaughtered the Fogels. Ma'an, which knows that story was never true, therefore puts support behind its lie rather than admit that its sources are liars. (There aren't even any Thai workers in Itamar.)

Sabbagh goes further, saying that the settlements are dangerous places, and how irresponsible it is for Jews to live in the West Bank - putting their own children at risk. In fact, Sabbagh says, Netanyahu should be apologizing to the Fogels for allowing them to live in an area where Arabs are likely to come along and want to slaughter them! Sabbagh concludes dramatically - who should apologize to whom?

Ma'an, pretending to merely quote Sabbagh, is obviously showing its own position: that Arabs are inherently violent and cannot be blamed for murdering Jews in their midst, and Jews who want to live in their own historic homeland are to blame when (not if) they get massacred. Arabs, of course, cannot be held responsible for murder. That's natural.

How about this idea: Since Israel is obviously such a militaristic and genocidal state, isn't it irresponsible to want to live next to it? Shouldn't Palestinian Arabs move elsewhere in the Arab world so that their children are not put in danger from the IDF and the wildly rampaging settlers we hear so much about? In fact, when an Arab olive tree is allegedly uprooted by those evil Jews, doesn't that mean that it is time to move?

There is a reason I spend so much time talking about Ma'an: it is the only independent newspaper in the Palestinian Arab territories. It does not officially reflect the position of Fatah or Hamas. It prides itself on its professional journalistic standards. And it possibly reflects the opinions of the many Palestinian Arabs who really don't care for Fatah or Hamas or their more extreme cousins.

Yet here we see how Ma'an in Arabic is happy to publish lies and bigotry, blaming the victims and abandoning all journalistic standards.

And as of 1 PM Israel time, it is the top story on Ma'an's Arabic page.