Tuesday, May 24, 2022

.@TheIntercept is a joke of a "news" site

For whatever reason, I've been seeing a number of articles in The Intercept recently. And they prove that this is a news organization that is unencumbered by worrying about things like "facts" and "truth."

Which makes reporting really, really easy.

For example, former NYT reporter Robert Mackey read the same Haaretz article I did, but only one of us read it carefully.

Mackey claims that "Israel’s military was refusing to conduct the thorough investigation it had committed to just a week ago." It is a lie.

As I reported, Israel is definitely still investigating Abu Akleh's death, and the Haaretz article said so. It is not a criminal investigation, because there is no evidence of criminal activity from any soldier.  But Mackey doesn't care about truth, but truthiness, and pretending that Israel is quashing investigations fits in with his worldview, truth be damned.

The only people standing in the way of a full investigation is the Palestinian Authority which will not let anyone else examine the bullet that killed Abu Akleh. Who is engaging in a coverup again?

I also recently mentioned that The Intercept claimed, bizarrely, that there is a "shareholder revolt" at Google against their contracts with Israel. In fact the percentage of shares that these revolting [pun intended] shareholders own is a whopping 0.00013% of all Alphabet (Google) shares. It is a joke - but a joke that The Intercept is more than willing to pretend is a story, because they simply hate Israel enough to lie.

Now comes this article by Daniel Boguslaw that says, in its subhead, "Documents show that in 2021, arms made and funded by the United States destroyed UNRWA schools, USAID projects, and a Coca-Cola plant" during last summer's Gaza war (that was initiated by Hamas, a fact not to be found in the article.)

I know that when Israel targets specific terrorist targets that even Hamas admits are purposefully placed among civilian areas, sometimes civilian buildings are inadvertently hit. Israel never targets these civilian objects deliberately - there is no military advantage to do so, and lots of publicity damage. Anyone who is the slightest bit familiar with how wars are fought knows this.

The "USAID projects" seems to mean an industrial zone that USAID contributed some money to (along with the EU) a while ago. But did Hamas or Islamic Jihad have a rocket factory there, or a command and control center? Did they build a tunnel underneath used to stockpile rockets? Hate to break it to The Intercept, but if they did - and they almost certainly did - Israel's bombing of such targets is perfectly legal under the laws or armed conflict. Perhaps the aptly named Mr. Boguslaw doesn't know anything about international law but he happily makes it up.

I also know that Israel buys weapons from the US - as does most of the world.  Over a billion dollars a year's worth. There is nothing the least bit problematic, legally or morally, to use weapons that you buy during a war, unless there is an agreement that says otherwise.

Which brings us to the main accusation, that Israel used arms funded by the US to destroy civilian objects. How does Boguslaw know which arms that Israel used are funded by the US, and which ones were purchased?

He has documents!

He doesn't link to these documents. He doesn't name where they are from. He doesn't say how they were vetted. He didn't answer my query asking him for any information on these unnamed, unknown "documents."  For all we know, his documents came from Islamic Jihad or from "news" reports in Hamas newspapers.

But they are documents, and they were reviewed - by him! So they must be legit! 

We should trust a news source that we have already seen has absolutely no regard for the truth, right?

The truth is that Israel does have restrictions on how it can use weapons funded by the US. US aid is audited. I've researched this, unlike Boguslaw. If any US funded weapons were used in the war, it was under an agreement that allowed it - one example is Iron Dome, which is largely funded by the US. 

Based on what Boguslaw writes, there is no indication that anything illegal, immoral or violating US/Israeli agreements occurred. It is a story built out of nothing but the usual Intercept desire to demonize Israel. 

The rest of the article is filled with more lies about how Israel acts in wars. I suggest anyone interested in actual facts read this Rand Corporation analysis of Israel's conduct in the 2009, 2012 and 2014 wars in Gaza, written by actual military experts, desiring to apply Israel's experience to help US military strategy for similar styles of conflicts. In no way does anyone think for a second that Israel targets civilians, as Boguslaw claims. 

The upshot of the story: You cannot trust anything The Intercept writes. 

(h/t Martin)

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