The Palestinian Authority has taken a page out of the textbooks of the Nazis, Iran and Syria and has flooded the media with reports of alleged Israeli violence that the Israeli military says never happened.
Occasional reports usually are ignored by foreign media, but the accumulation of supposed civilian and military attacks on Palestinian Authority Arabs already has fertilized the soil from which the Big Lie grows to the point that foreign media accept the reports as “facts.”
The Palestinian Authority’s official website WAFA and the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency are two of the most prominent English language PA outlets for propaganda. Their reports are picked up and disseminated by pro-Palestinian Authority media in the Arab world and in the leftist world, appearing frequently in 972, Electronic Intifada and International Middle East Media, which is considered more reliable by foreign journalists.
The Jewish Press has reported the PA lies about Israelis “storming” and “invading” the Temple Mount and the government’s supposed policy to engineer the collapse of the Al Aqsa mosque. These lies were exposed here, here and here.
Now that it is olive harvest season in Israel, the Arab media are having a field day of reporting supposed Israeli attacks on orchards and people. Fro the record, Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria sometimes do attack Arab farmers. The most recent and disgusting incident was on October 9, when four suspects were questioned for damaging an Arab orchard and throwing stones at a school and vehicles. The IDF confirmed the attack and condemned it.
More frequently, the accusations against Jews are fabricated.
The Jewish Press checked with IDF spokesmen this week to verify three recent events that were reported not only in Israel but also in the Arab world and media in the United States.
WAFA reported this past Sunday,” Israeli settlers Sunday set fire to dozens of Palestinian-owned olive trees in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to a local source.
“Coordinator of the Committee against the Apartheid Wall, Ahmad Salah, told WAFA that a group of settlers from the Illegal Efrat settlement set fire to around 80 one-year-old olive trees as well as cut down around 20 apricot, peach and almond trees and stole them. He said that settlers escalated their measures against Palestinian farmers in the town by seizing land and closing off agricultural roads in an attempt to take over the land for the benefit of settlement expansion.”
We can assume that even Reuters knows that the Committee against the Apartheid Wall is about as reliable as Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s official news agency,
Note that the “settlers” are from the city of Efrat and not the usual outposts that have an image if being populated by maniacal youth.
Although it is a gross exaggeration, there are more than one or two people who think that the only difference between Efrat and West Hampton and Efrat is that one is located in New York and the other in Israel.
We asked the IDF to verify the report, and the answer is that it never happened.
The same day, Ma’an reported, “Israeli forces assaulted a Palestinian bus driver carrying students in the Masafer region east of Yatta in the southern West Bank early Sunday morning, a Palestinian official said. Ratib al-Jbour, the coordinator of the Popular and National Committees south of Hebron and east of Yatta, said that the Israeli forces stopped Mufid Abu Qbaiyta, 27, and beat him up while he was picking up school children.
“As a result of the attack, al-Jbour suffered from bruises all over his body. Israeli forces also damaged the tires of the bus, in order to prevent drivers from picking up children in the surrounded areas. An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was ‘not familiar’ with the incident.”
We checked with the spokeswoman, and she indeed is not “familiar” with it because it never happened.
Also on Sunday, the same news agency informed readers, Israeli bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural lands in the village of Jalud south of Nablus … Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli forces bulldozed the land due to their proximity to the two Israeli settlements of Shiloh and Shvut Rachel…. An Israeli army spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.” Accompanying the article was a picture of Israeli contractors using an excavator to uproot olive trees near Kiryat Arba. Not only is Kiryat Arba located approximately 40 miles south of Shechem (Nablus,) the photo was from 2009.
Asked about the supposed bulldozing of Arab land, the IDF said it never happened.
On Wednesday, residents of Yitzhar in Samaria allegedly cut down 600 olive trees in a villager near Shechem and used a “chemical agent” to destroy the trees.
The IDF said it is checking out the above report, but as a former kibbutz and moshav farmer, this writer – yes, Virginia, there are journalists who also know how to work the land – can state that it takes more than a few hours to see evidence of a “chemical agent” unless the “settlers” used something that was leftover from Assad’s arsenal of chemical weapons.
In addition, if the trees were cut down, why use chemicals?
But if logic made a difference, the United States would have pulled its nose out of the Middle East decades ago, and Western media would understand the difference between an “Apartheid Wall” and a “security fence” as well as the differences between “refugee” and “victim of U.N.,” “Occupation” and “self-defense,” and “negotiations” and “April Fool’s Day.”
It is no wonder that the United Nations already has swallowed the lies to use against Israel, as The Jewish Press’ Yori Yanover reported here earlier today.
Be prepared for the day that the peace talk charades end and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas goes to the AP and Reuters with a pile of reports how Israeli soldiers and civilians are attacking olive trees and innocent Arabs.
Foreign media only have to turn to Haaretz, the bastion of left-wing hate of sellers, Orthodox Judaism and just about anything that reeks of giving Israel a Jewish identity.
The so-called newspaper headlined this week a scathing article that accused the IDF of covering up alleged attacks on olive orchards by settlers. It detailed, one by one, all sorts of supposed hatchet jobs by settlers.
The Jewish Press asked the IDF to explain, and it turns out that all of the Haaretz’s examples were based on an unidentified NGO. We don’t know if the source was B’Tselem or the International Solidarity Movement or seven a more sane organization, but it certainly was not first-hand investigative reporting.
The IDF told The Jewish Press, “The questions regarding the events which were published in the Haaretz article were originally sent to the IDF by an NGO. Therefore our answer must be given directly to the NGO rather than indirectly through the press.
“However, as part of the IDF’s and the Civil Administration’s preparations for the olive harvest, many requests by Palestinians to harvest olive trees within the seam zone have been authorized in coordination with the activity in the agricultural areas of the seam zone.
“In addition, representatives from the Civil Administration have met with their Palestinian counterparts ahead of time to coordinate scheduling for the harvest.
“The meetings have resulted in the coordination for over 70 different locations where possible conflicts may arise, to enable a successful and safe harvest. Moreover, security assessment meetings have taken place ahead of the harvest and additional forces have been placed at critical points. “
Remember all of the Reuters and AP reports during Operation Cast Lead, when they quoted “Palestinian sources” about IDF attacks on “civilians” who were playing soccer when missiles rained down on them? The soccer field turned out to be a camouflage of an underground missile launching system and the soccer players were terrorists.
Be prepared, because the European Union, the U.S. State Dept. and the major news agencies also do not know the difference between “journalism” and “incitement.”Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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