Sunday, October 10, 2010

News Being Manufactured: A Graphic Example of How This is Done to Slander Israel

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By Barry Rubin

It is understandably hard for people to believe the amount of violence that is staged and stories that are manipulated coming from the Middle East. Here is a bit of video from the eastern part of Jerusalem.

See what happens: Kids are ready to throw stones at passing cars with Israeli license plates, five of them run into the road, blocking it, ready to throw stones at an approaching Israeli automobile. Another car is  deliberately parked across the road, partly blocking it. Surprised by the ambush, the Israeli driver slams on his brakes but one of the kids is hit by the car and he flies up and over it.

Note the following:

1. The Palestinian and other media release a story saying the driver deliberately hit him. Here's a report in al-Jazira with a photo designed to lie about what happened.   This claim is clearly not true. If the driver had been speeding and wanted to do injury he could easily have hit three or four of the kids. Indeed, I've been told that Arabic-language news media is reporting that the driver killed two children (only one was slightly injured). The response to this could be terrorist attacks to get revenge. This is a common pattern.

2. There are a lot of reporters there filming (you can see them on the left and bottom edges). So this was set up for media coverage, as is so much violence in the West Bank particularly. Indeed, there are at least seven photographers visible and there are as many journalists, if not more, than there were rock-throwers.

3. At the end there is a very strange scene. The boy does not appear to have been injured seriously. (I was once hit by a car exactly in this manner and walked away. If you are thrown into the air you will just get some bruises, as long as you don't fall under the car.) But there is an ambulance which has just been standing there waiting for something like this to happen, a sign it is being staged.

4. Yet the boy is holding onto the ambulance door, trying to avoid being put into the ambulance. Why? It may be too much of a stretch to say he fears being made into a martyr by his comrades, or maybe he just wants to stay with his friends but he looks pretty desperate not to get in. If I've overreached on this point I apologize.

5. The Israeli driver's back window has been smashed in by a stone. The driver's young son is also in the car.  If the car is trapped there he and his son could be killed by the stones or dragged out of the car and murdered. As far as he knows, any second guns could start firing bullets through his windows. The reporters and cameramen standing and watching won't lift a finger to help him. The driver eases past the parked car and speeds away. He reported the incident to the police and didn't try to hide that it had happened.

6. Some of the driver's friends suggest that he may have been personally targeted for an ambush because he has been an activist on Jerusalem-related issues. They say his car is well-known and he often travels that road. This might be true since there is no evidence of rock-throwing at any cars before he arrived.

Here's a technical analysis of the incident.

If you see stories in your local newspapers or on television saying that an Israeli settler deliberately ran down and killed two Palestinian boys you now know the real story. But most of the readers or viewers won't know any better.

Multiply this story by hundreds of such cases, far too many to correct; add the fact that such clear proof of falsification is often lacking; and blend in the sympathy of many reporters with misreporting events. (Even after Israel released footage showing the soldiers landing on the deck of the Mavi Marmara were attacked and beaten, the New York Times implied that this didn't prove anything).

Now you get a picture of the situation regarding media coverage of Israel.

PS: I've been told--though I haven't confirmed it directly--that Canadian Ttelevision played the clip with the narration implying that he had run them over on purpose. So even if you see the opposite the viewer is conditioned to accept the anti-Israel propaganda line.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,

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