Saturday, March 31, 2012

  • Saturday, March 31, 2012
  • Elder of Ziyon
During Friday's Land Day protests in Qalandia, member of parliament Mustafa Barghouti was injured - and, of course, he blamed Israel for what he described as a tear-gas canister hitting him.

The IDF denied the report.

As reported in Ma'an:
On Saturday, the aide told Ma'an he was injured by a tear-gas canister fired by Israeli forces. She said the police were informed of the circumstances during their visit to the hospital.

An Israeli military spokeswoman disputed Barghouti's account and said he was attacked by other Palestinians. He was "trying to convince youth in (Qalandiya) to riot," she said on Twitter.

A report on the case released by the police media office said Barghouti was injured in an altercation and taken to hospital. Police opened an investigation to determine the circumstances, the report says.

Barghouti heads the Palestinian National Initiative and is a former presidential candidate.
So what happened? As usual, the IDF seems to be correct and the Palestinian Arab accusers were lying.

From (of all places) Mondoweiss, quoting an account by Jalal Abukhater:
As I arrived to Qalandia, first thing I saw was a large crowd of protesters with most carrying Red PFLP flags and orange PNI [Palestinian National Initiative] flags. As I walked down, I saw Mustafa Barghouti being evacuated into an ambulance at the Qalandia field hospital and Fateh guys were attacking PNI people. As Mustafa entered the ambulance, angry crowds continued to attack Mustafa and his group, a fight broke out between both sides. Mustafa was also beaten inside the ambulance. Weapon used in fighting was sticks which held flags. The ambulance which carried Mustafa had its rear glass broken and it rushed away. A while later I saw PNI organizers calling on all PNI people to leave the demo, clashes continued and hundreds remained present at the demo.

Reason behind all this, according to eye witnesses who were there before I was, is that PNI group acted separately and didn't follow the general plan agreed upon by all groups, and they marched towards the checkpoint rushing during the prayer to beat all other groups and be first there. Also, none of them carried Palestinian flags..all carried PNI flags.
JPost adds a telling detail:
The Palestine News Network reported that Barghouti’s office phoned its editors and requested that they refrain from publishing the news about the assault.
Ah, the truth hurts - so lets resort to censorship.

I cannot count the number of times that I have reported where Palestinian Arabs claim to have witnessed an attack by Israelis where Arabs ended up injured or dead, the IDF denies it, and it turns out the IDF is right.

Yet when these incidents are reported the IDF denial - when mentioned at all - is always stuck around paragraph 12 after the reader already assumes that the Arab witnesses are telling the truth.

Every reporter should put IDF denials in the first paragraph of any report like this, and should note that the IDF's track record on admitting and denying its activities has been pretty good. There certainly has been spin, but the track record for lies belongs, hands down, to the Palestinian Arabs.

(h/t Michael)

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