Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
A couple of weeks ago commenter "Bob Knot" put together an incredible piece of investigative journalism exposing the lies of the anti-Israel writers who claimed that Israel deliberately shot the feet of innocent Palestinian Arab football players.

One of those writers was Dave Zirin of The Nation.

Even though he, and The Nation, were repeatedly contacted about the overwhelming proof that their reporting was completely wrong, there was never any response.

Three days before I published Bob's expose, Zirin published a much longer piece trying to make his earlier lies look like a consistent, long standing policy of Israel against Palestinian Arab football, using older examples. Zirin's newer piece defends his earlier reporting by disparaging those who doubted him.

I expected to get the typical barrage of hate mail from the usual suspects: the darkest corners of the Internet that believe on principle that Palestinian life is cheap if not entirely without value. At most, these e-mails are as nettlesome as spam.

The part of the response that was truly jarring however was the numerous private queries I received from prominent members of the media. I am choosing to keep their identities private because their correspondence to me was private and I will respect that. The queries contained no curiosity about Israel’s possible expulsion from FIFA. They all instead openly doubted that the shooting of the two young men had even taken place. Was I sure this really happened? When I pointed to my initial sources, the response by numerous people was, “Do you have any sources that are not Palestinian?” One person, writing for a major sports website, sent me numerous queries that I did not respond to, and then when the facts of the shooting appeared in the Israeli paper Haaretz, said to me, “Forget previous queries. I see news of the shooting on Haaretz. Never mind.” The assumption of mendacity affixed to Palestinian sources spoke volumes.

His defense of course was destroyed by the piece I published. The photos clearly showed that they were not shot in the way described besides dozens of other inaccuracies. The Palestinian Arab sources indeed were proven to be mendacious.

Zirin then attempted to prove that his earlier lies are supported by a pattern of Israeli actions seemingly aimed deliberately at Palestinian Arab football players.

Bob has taken Zirin apart again, and it is devastating.

Dave Zirin targets Israel but shoots himself in the foot instead.
“A Red Line for FIFA? Israel, Violence and What’s Left of Palestinian Soccer” is a beyond pathetic, one-sided, unsubstantiated claim that Israel deliberately targets “Palestinian” football players.

Dave Zirin on March 10, 2014:
Yes it is certainly true that I don’t have a document signed by Benjamin Netanyahu calling for a systematic attack on the Palestinian national team. What I do have are names: real people, with real families, whose lives and deaths are testament to a story that needs to be told.

Absolutely, the world needs to know the truth. Shame on Dave Zirin for telling lies again and again . Integrity and accuracy are foreign to him.

This is the “untold” story of the “Palestinian” football players”:

Ayman Alkurd
He was a 34-year-old member of the Palestinian national soccer team. Alkurd was killed during the 2009 Operation Cast Lead when a missile was sent into his home in Gaza.
No, that is incorrect. Ayman Ahmed Al-Kurd was 28 year-old (born on July 12, 1980). He played for Jabalia Youth Sports Club until the day of his death, and, no, he was not a member of the Palestinian National team at the time.
Ayman was a terrorist that also played football; he joined the ranks of Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades in 2004. He was martyred on January 5, 2009 by Israeli artillery shells while in combat gear in the Salateen neighborhood (Beit Lahia).
Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades confirms that in a statement in English and in Arabic on their Website.

Lots, lots more.

Wajeh Moshtahe
another national team member. He was killed in his home during Operation Cast Lead as well. He was only 24.

Wrong, Wajih Mushtahi was a Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighter. He was also a member of the Palestinian Olympic football team. ( Source )

“Wajih Ahmad Wasfi Mushtaha 24 year-old, resident of Gaza city, killed on 11 Jan 2009 in Gaza city, by gunfire missile. Participated in hostilities, member of the military wing of the Islamic Jihad. Additional information: Killed in his house.”
Shadi Sbakhe
national team member who suffered the same fate.

Wrong again. Shadi Sbakhi played for Services Club Al-Nuseirat; He was a former player of the Palestinian National Football Team. He is on the Alaqsasport list of athlete martyrs who were killed during the Gaza war.

Shadi Sbakhi was killed because he too was a terrorist. He was a member of the Al-Qassam Brigades since 2002 and participated in numerous militant missions, including:
- Mortar bombardment of and firing of Qassam rockets on Netzarim
- Participated in the bombing of communities east of Al Bureij
- Participated in digging terror tunnels

(Arabic Hamas statement) Qassam commander martyr mujahid Shadi Abdel Majid Sbakhi was killed on December 27, 2008 in the Abu Medein police station by F-16 bombing. He was 29 year-old

Dave Zirin also writes:
 All three, in fact, died within seventy-two hours of one another.

Let’s see…
Shadi Sbakhi: martyred on 2008-12-27,
Ayman Al-Kurd: martyred on 2009-01-05,
Wajih Mushtahi: martyred on 2009-01-11.

No comment further.
Tariq Al Quto
They reminded many, at the time of their deaths, of Tariq Al Quto, described by the BBC as “a talented midfielder,” who was killed by the IDF in 2004.

No, The BBC article is from 2004, Tariq Al Quto was killed during the second intifada in 2000:
“But then came the 2000 intifada … In the most tragic episode affecting the team, talented midfielder Tarek al-Quto was killed in the violence.”
There is absolutely no reference to IDF throughout that BBC article.
“The worst incident occurred before the qualifiers for Korea/Japan 2002 when a number of players were prevented from leaving their land. That disappointment turned to shock when news arrived that Tarek Al Quto, a talented midfield player, had been killed in a clash in the West Bank.”
Again, there is no mention of the IDF in relation to Tarek Al Quto death.
A couple more sources:
“One of our midfielders Tareq Al-Quto killed in a firefight during the second Intifada in 2000” (Palestine National Team 2001 Coach Mustafa Abdel-Ghali Yacoub, Google Translate)
And...(Independent, 2007)

The “killed by the IDF” accusation surfaced much later when the boycott Israel movement launched their hate campaign.
Omar Abu Rios & Muhammad Nimr
Then there are the imprisoned. We can start with Omar Abu Rios, the former starting goalkeeper for the national team. He was arrested at age 23 for allegedly being part of an attack on Israeli troops at the Amari Palestinian refugee camp near Ramallah.
(emphasis added)
There was also Muhammad Nimr, a top 23-year-old striker and national team member, who had his house destroyed by the IDF and was then jailed without charges being filed.
That is not accurate, Omar Abu Rois / Abu Ruis was the goalkeeper of the Palestinian Olympic Soccer Team and Youth Club Amari player. Mohammed Nimer Al-Saadi was not part of the Palestinian squad at the time of his arrest. He was Alkhader Football Club player .
Both are from the Amari Refugee Camp.
Information on the shooting incident, the suspects and the arrests here ,here here and in this BBCWatch article BBC yet again conceals terror connections of Palestinian ‘footballers’ .

The "without charges" claim is a complete lie. Omar Abu Rois has been charged and has had more than seven hearings since his arrests. In fact, there were posts on Facebook last November saying he was sentenced to nine years in prison but I could not verify it yet.

Mohammed Nimer was released on 20 March 2013 after completing a 14-month sentence . That was not the first time for Nimer; he was previously arrested on 17 September 2007, and was detained until 12 April 2009.
Zakaria Issa
Nimr’s story echoed that of another striker, Zakaria Issa, who had been jailed for sixteen years before being released in 2013 when he was struck with terminal cancer.

Not quite; Qassam martyr mujahid Zakaria Daoud Issa was a member of the Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades , the military wing of Hamas. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison but only completed about 9 years of that term. He was released in 2011 (22-8-2011) after his medical condition deteriorated. He died on 02-01-2012 at the age of 43.

Mahmoud Sarsak
Then there was Mahmoud Sarsak. Sarsak was a defender on the national team who was arrested and jailed without charges while trying to cross a checkpoint in order to join his teammates.

Mahmoud Sarsak never played for the national team. He was a forward / right winger not a defender (The Nation must have very low requirements for the sports editor position).
Mahmoud Kamel Muhammad Sarsak is a member of the Palestinian terror organization Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Many wrote about his connections to the PIJ terror group before.
Sarsak was arrested in July 2009; details of the arrest and administrative detention here . Under an agreement with Israel, he was released on July 10, 2012.
“On his arrival in Gaza, he was greeted with a PIJ welcoming ceremony , at which dozens of PIJ members fired rifles in the air. Senior PIJ members were present at the ceremony, and Nafez Azzam, one of the group's leaders, described Sarsak as " one of our noble members ”.
The Islamic Jihad movement celebrated the victory of her son, mujahid Mahmoud Kamel al-Sarsak, leaders, group members and supporters of the Islamic Jihad movement were at the event.

As Bob has convincingly shown, here is an article - in a supposedly respected media outlet - where the lies actually far outweigh the facts. In all my years of reading and fisking anti-Israel media sources from both Western and Arab sources I have rarely seen such a reckless disregard for anchoring a written piece in truth.. 
If The Nation does not fire Zirin for these two pieces, then it has lost whatever credibility it still has. The photos and links are all here for them to check his work.

Don't worry, I'm sure that Zirin can land the coveted Sports Editor job at Mondoweiss.


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