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The Big Jenin Lie
The Weekly Standard ^ | 05/08/2002 | Richard Starr

Posted on 05/07/2002 9:31:09 PM PDT by Pokey78

The only good thing about the Jenin "massacre" was watching the propaganda being debunked in record time.

PRECISELY A MONTH AGO, on April 8, the Palestinian news agency Wafa was reporting that Israel had committed the "massacre of the 21st century" in the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin. "Medical sources" informed Wafa of "hundreds of martyrs." This was a lie, concocted not only for local consumption--to keep the Palestinian people whipped up in a patriotic, Israel-hating frenzy--but mostly for export to the West.

That same day, you could hear breathless reports of the supposed Israeli atrocities in Jenin being spread by Palestinian sources on NPR, CNN, and elsewhere. Typical was the hysteria of Nasser al-Kidwa, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations, on CNN: "There's almost a massacre now taking place in Jenin. Helicopter gun ships are throwing missiles at one square kilometer packed with almost 15,000 people in a refugee camp. . . . Just look at the TV and watch, watch what the--what the Israel forces are doing. . . . This is a war crime, clear war crime, witnessed by the whole world, preventing ambulances, preventing people from being buried. I mean this is an all-out assault against the whole population."

No, this was an all-out assault on the truth. There was a pitched battle in Jenin. But the "hundreds" of martyrs were a cynical invention. The death toll was 56 Palestinians, the majority of them combatants, and 23 Israeli soldiers.

Unlike the celebrated foreign-dispatch lies of the 20th century--the New York Times's Walter Duranty Pulitzer-winning cover-up of Stalin's murderous Ukraine famine, say, or Herbert Matthews's 1957 reports of Senor Fidel Castro's hopes for a "democratic Cuba"--the Jenin fraud has been almost entirely inflated and then deflated in the short space of a month. I think it's safe to say that no one will win a Pulitzer for reporting on the (non-existent) "massacre of the 21st century." This was amateur-hour propaganda, and any reporter who fell for it should be mortified.

Mostly that means British reporters. Full credit to the Guardian for allowing Sharon Sadeh to administer a well-deserved flogging to Fleet Street in its pages on Monday. "The Independent, the Guardian and the Times, in particular," writes Sadeh, "were quick to denounce Israel and made sensational accusations based on thin evidence, fitting a widely held stereotype of a defiant, brutal and don't-give-a-damn Israel." You can read the whole satisfying piece here.

Not that American reporters were without sin. Screenwriter Daniel Jordan's description of the ax-grinding media in action is also worth a click. My favorite part is his description of this encounter between CNN's Sheila MacVicar and an Israeli soldier in Jenin:

"One [Israeli] reservist sensed MacVicar's hostility. He was a soft-spoken man who approached her and introduced himself as the reserve unit's medical officer, Dr. David Zangen. He told her that when the fighting was over, they found photograph albums of children from roughly 6 years of age up through early and mid-teens. It was an album of photos of children who would be the next crop of suicide killers, with notations indicating when each of the children would be ripe. The reporter had no time for the doctor, however.

"'Perhaps you should ask yourself why,'" she said, dismissing him.

"'I do, madam,' he said, 'I ask myself why. I can't imagine it. I can't imagine sending one's child out to be a mass murderer who commits suicide to kill women and children.'

"'Well, I can explain it,' said the reporter. 'For me it all comes down to one word, "occupation."'

"'But madam,' the doctor said, 'Jenin hasn't been occupied for nine years.'"


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events

1 posted on 05/07/2002 9:31:09 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Good piece! Thanks, Pokey.
2 posted on 05/07/2002 10:08:23 PM PDT by Humidston
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Pokey78
For a dose of truth:
WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part I
Non-evidence and Pali fabrication of evidence
Steyn: The UN is running out of blind eyes to turn
Interesting link on UN backpedaling
WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part II
Palestinians drop their hyped-up "massacre" charges
Atrocities of the British Press
Huge amounts of ink devoted to unverified Pali tales
WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part III
Hey, Jimmy Carter has an opinion too!!
Reporters Back Down From Jenin "Massacre" Reports
World press forced to face the truth: No Massacre
WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part IV
Yet more non-evidence and Pali fabrication of evidence
Peres: There wasn't a house that wasn't booby-trapped
WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part V
The Pali's contradict themselves and blame it on Israel
Steyn: It's time to snap out of Arab fantasy land
Some great Oriana Fallaci quotes/links as well
WSJ: The Massacre That Wasn't - Part VI
Pali grave-digging and UN jury-rigging
Jenin's 'Massacre' Death Toll Reduced to 56
Say it slow: Israel told the truth; Palis did not
An interesting juxtaposition of tales:
Message From An Israeli On The Front Lines
"Entire families exploded themselves! It was horrific."
Palestinian Fighter admits: No Massacre in Jenin
2,000 bombs and booby-traps placed in the camp
Pediatrician: terrorists used children in Jenin camp
Doc: IDF did everything possible to avoid civilian harm
Palestinians Booby-Trap Wheelchair in Jenin
NOTE: The wheelchair was occupied!!
Jenin War Diary of a Hasidic Soldier - Part I
Israeli citizen-soldier describes what went on in Jenin
Massacre Claims Unsupported by Pali Fighters
Pali eyewitnesses all support the Israeli version
Jenin War Diary of a Hasidic Soldier - Part II
There is no army as humane as the IDF
Palestinian fighter's version of the Jenin battle
Pali Plan: Trap Israeli soldiers, then blow them up
And so, in conclusion:
The 'Jenin Massacre' Hoax
Living in a world of monstrous moral inversion
The Phantom Massacre
War Crimes in Jenin were committed by the Palis
The Jenin Probe Ends
UN unhappy about Israel's possible exhoneration
Jenin's War Criminals
What the Palestinians did was the real war crime

4 posted on 05/09/2002 12:13:32 AM PDT by My Identity
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