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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Ma'an quote game - find an official liar and let him spew

From Ma'an on Tuesday:
The deputy leader of the Islamic movement in Israel, Sheikh Kamal al-Khateib, said Tuesday that the Israeli municipal council of Jerusalem planned to transform the yards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound into public parks and gardens, to make them accessible for the Jews to visit at any time.

...In his remarks Tuesday, Al-Khateib said soldiers detained the imam of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday while he was praying. “Israeli troops stormed the mosque and prevented worshipers from completing their prayer,” he said.
Both of these allegations have zero evidence behind them. They came from rumors in the Arab press that became morphed into these confident, authoritative-sounding statements from an Islamic official.

And, of course, Ma'an prints them without any skepticism.

Here's another one from Ma'an, this one from Sunday:
Israel allocates 70 times more water to each settler than to the average Palestinian in the West Bank, the head of the Palestinian Water Authority said Sunday.
Seventy times? The accusation is patently ridiculous. (This fact sheet on water estimates that Palestinian Arabs get about 124 m3/year per capita, while Jews in Judea and Samaria get 134m3/year per capita - about 8% more, not the ludicrous 7000% that is claimed.

And, of course, Ma'an prints these statistics without any skepticism.

(To be fair, the Israeli statistics assume a smaller Arab population and note that Israeli allocations of water do not include the water that the Arabs provide for themselves, which is more than Israel provides and which the PWA head purposefully ignored. But there is absolutely no way to twist the numbers to come close to the PWA's ridiculous claim.)

In both cases, Ma'an unquestioningly quotes these charlatans (the Palestinian Water Authority site doesn't even have this supposed report published there) and doesn't lift a finger to find out if they are telling the truth or blowing smoke.

Because since when do Palestinian Arab newspapers care about truth when they can find liars with official titles who are willing to be quoted?

And once the supposedly authoritative Ma'an pushes such an absurd claim, can Mondoweiss be far behind?