Posts Tagged ‘story’
On June 27, Honest Reporting revealed The Independent‘s use of the following photo to illustrate a particularly critical story on the Israeli treatment of Palestinian child detainees.
HR noted that the photo above represented an example that featured in their Shattered Lens study on photo bias, in this case “the use of bars to portray Palestinians as “prisoners” of Israeli occupation and brutality.”
“[The photo from 2010 was] one example of how wire agency photographers resort to using camera angles and staging techniques to present a distorted picture of a given situation. In the example above, it is clear that the photographer used this technique to project an image of Gazan children imprisoned. However, the sequence of photos taken from the same scene at the time illustrates how the effect was achieved.”
“What we see above is a tiny group of Palestinian children arriving at what appears to be a pre-planned photo-op outside the Gaza industrial area presumably organized by Hamas. The photographer either willingly colludes with Hamas or is used.Next, the children have been positioned behind a gate to give the effect of a prison.”
“However, using a great deal of skill to get the right position with the right lens from the right angle, the photographer manages to create an impression of many more than the several children in the actual shot.”
This photo fraud came to mind when reading a more recent Indy report, ‘The new Israeli apartheid: poll reveals widespread Jewish support for policy of discrimination against Arab minority‘, by Catrina Stewart regarding the poll about alleged Israeli ‘apartheid’ written by Gideon Levy at Haaretz.
Stewart’s story on the widely discredited story by Levy – which elicited a retraction from Haaretz – was not the most egregious example of misleading coverage of the poll, though it did, nonetheless, convey the false impression that Israelis support ‘apartheid-like’ policies against Arabs. The Indy report also severely downplayed results which demonstrated that a large majority of Israelis don’t, in fact, support denying the vote to Palestinians.
However, the photo they used to illustrate the story indicates that the Indy learned nothing from their previous use of misleading imagery.
(The photo has no caption.)
Palestinian children are seemingly behind bars yet again, superbly illustrating the Indy’s desired narrative of oppressed Arabs.
However, upon doing a bit of research, it turns out that the photo was taken in Gaza, and the children are looking at the body of a Palestinian terrorist (killed after IDF forces retaliated against rocket attacks near Beit Lahiya) through the window of a hospital morgue on Oct. 22.
Here’s the photo and caption at Yahoo.
While the image selected by Indy editors has little, if anything, to do with the story it purports to illustrate, the broader truth is that the Palestinian children appearing in the photo are indeed prisoners – held captive to a life of backwardness, religious extremism, violence and racism by the very Palestinians they’re seen peering at.
Now, there’s a narrative you’d likely never see advanced in the Indy or Guardian.
Yedioth Aharonoth has just published a story that appears so far to be a last-minute, pre-election leak from the Israeli prime minister’s office, regarding the presence in Iran of White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to “assist the U.S. government” in negotiating with a representatives of supreme leader Ali Khamenei. the termination of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Shiraz-born Valerie Bowman Jarrett is a Senior Adviser to the President, advising on Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. She is a Chicago-based attorney, businesswoman, and civic leader, who followed Obama from early in his career and is friends with Mrs. Obama.
The story of how the Obama Administration failed to secure a U.S. consulate and then failed to send in support while it was under attack may turn out to be the biggest scandal of this administration. But that will only happen if Benghazigate is the subject of a thorough and rigorous investigation. And that means basing stories on facts or on reliable reports, rather than on speculation and internet rumors that no one would take seriously in any other context.
I have received dozens of emails in the last few days claiming that General Ham was fired for trying to go ahead with a rescue operation. The story appeared in the Washington Times. The source for the Times’ story was an anonymous comment on Tiger Droppings, a forum for LSU football fans, from someone in Louisiana working in “Self Employed/Restaurants/Catering” who claimed that the story came “from someone inside the military”.
Now for all I know this story is true, but an anonymous comment on a football fan forum is not enough to run with a major story. It’s certainly not enough to start treating it as an established fact.
That comment has gone beyond the Washington Times and is being sourced in various outlets all of whom are reporting a story based on an anonymous comment on an internet forum.
On October 20th, Clare Lopez wrote a column raising various questions about Benghazi and suggesting that Ambassador Stevens may have been involved in a weapons smuggling operation moving Libyan weapons into Syria. Lopez’s column raised some questions, a lot of them, but provided no proof and no truly credible connection between Stevens and the transfer of Libyan weapons to Syrian Jihadists. Nor did that theory come with a motive for why the consulate was attacked.
Nevertheless large numbers of people have now taken it as a fact that Stevens was involved in running Libyan guns to Syria without any actual evidence to verify that as a fact. Many repeat Lopez’s suggestion that the warehouses behind the consulate stored guns meant for Syria as a statement of fact. To many people, it seems “right” and it may be true, it may not be true. The difference between the two is actual evidence.
I am not attacking Lopez, she was doing what many of us were doing in the days and weeks after the attack. I have run plenty of speculative pieces, some that were right, some that were wrong, it’s in the nature of the business to do that. The problem only begins when a speculative piece is treated as fact and when speculations begin to be used as evidence when they are only questions, not answers.
Was Stevens being set up to be used in a prisoner exchange for the Blind Sheik? It’s an interesting theory, but if Obama had really wanted to release the Blind Sheik, he would extradited him to Egypt and after waiting two months, the Egyptian government would have released him. Furthermore if the goal was to take an American hostage, then there were easier and safer ways to take Stevens than an armed attack on a consulate.
Obama might have personally benefited from a hostage crisis involving a U.S. ambassador, but it’s more likely that he would taken a hit and his entire policy on Libya would have become subject to the same scrutiny that the entire Benghazi cover-up has sought to avoid. It would have been a desperate move at a time when he didn’t see any reason for desperation and believed that he would easily win the election.
That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for all this to have taken place. Logic only takes you so far and often events are the result of bad and stupid decisions. So nothing can really be ruled out, but its plausibility can be challenged. And should be challenged because through those questions and counter-questions we can come closer to the truth.
Was Stevens involved in running guns to Libya? It’s possible, but almost somewhat unnecessary. The Saudis, Turks and Qataris had taken the lead in running guns to the groups of Jihadists that they were linked to. They really didn’t Stevens to “help” them out in their own backyard. A similar story that claims Stevens was acting as a representative for the Saudis does not make a great deal of sense. The Saudis really didn’t need an American ambassador to act as their agent in the Arab world.
The American role in the weapons pipeline was a wink and a nod to the shipments. The diplomats would pretend to see to it that the weapons were going to “moderate” rebels and that nothing too heavy was being shipped to them. Then when it turned out that the Jihadists were getting heavy weapons, there would be some plausible deniability on the table.
To what extent was Stevens playing a role in this remains an open question. But it is unlikely that even the Obama Administration would have approved of weapons transfers to groups that had not, at least formally, repudiated Al Qaeda, the way that the LIFG had. Giving weapons to Al Qaeda would contradict the entire purpose of the Arab Spring which was to weaken Al Qaeda by empowering political Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Such weapons transfers would lead to terrorist attacks and suggesting that such attacks were calculated takes us into a whole other territory.
If weapons smuggling were taking place, then Al Qaeda linked militias were not likely in the same weapons pipeline as Islamist militias linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Or weren’t supposed to be. Which is to say that there might have been two weapons smuggling pipelines, one that was supposed to go to the Brotherhood’s militias and another going to Al Qaeda linked militias and that the mission was supposed to keep an eye on both pipelines only to discover that they were one and the same.
Then I could further speculate that reports from the Benghazi mission about the transfer of weapons to Al Qaeda linked militias were intercepted and passed along by a State Department Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer back to the militias which led to a coordinated attack on the mission to blind the American eye in Benghazi.
But all this is still speculation. It’s questions piled on questions, rather than answers. It’s a series of assumptions linked to other assumptions with too much distance between known facts and the final narrative. It might be true and it might not be.
The various Benghazi conspiracy theories may be true, in part or in whole, but we have to first look at the fact that the attack was not an isolated event, but part of a series of Islamist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities coinciding with September 11. The only reason that Benghazi is unique is because it was in a city run by Islamist militias with little police or military support available making it a soft target.
Claiming that the Benghazi attack was timed to go specifically after Stevens ignores the fact that there was a series of international attacks linked to a defining date. Stevens may have been a target, or he may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Again, we don’t really know and we can’t know until more actual facts come out.
There might have been both a local and a global motive, but for the moment the global motive is fact, the local motive is speculation.
Al Qaeda views American embassies as a natural target. It has been carrying out such attacks since 1998 without the need for extraordinary motives to justify them. That doesn’t mean that such motives can’t exist, but it means they aren’t strictly necessary to explain what happened.
Nor is a coverup of specific wrongdoing involving the Benghazi consulate required to explain the Obama Administration’s refusal to intervene in the attack. This is not an administration that is willing to offend Muslims to save American lives. For it to have taken action in Benghazi would have been more extraordinary than not taking action.
Let’s go back to the Battle of Ganjgal in 2009.where 5 Americans were killed because they were denied artillery support under the Rules of Engagement. That battle led to Dakota Meyer, a United States Marine, receiving a Medal of Honor. The Battle of Ganjgal in multiple reprimands for the officers who denied support, but it led to no changes in the way that things were done.
Here is a statement from the father of Lance Corporal Hunter Hogan, “The policies of this current administration and the rules of engagement are a huge factor with these casualty reports. The limited air and artillery support our men receive. The limited company level support such as motors, as well as the approval to return fire are hampering and adding to the danger they are in daily.”
Here is yet a third letter from a soldier serving in Afghanistan. “The soldiers of the U.S. never engage the enemy unless we know that we have will always have the tactical advantage in defending ourselves, that advantage is the use of close air support and air weapons team. To take those weapons away from us is to level the playing field for the enemy and thus exposing our soldiers to more danger… The very presence of aircraft over our foot patrols has also saved lives and now our chain of command is being told by our political leadership that this is now not allowed.”
If this is how our soldiers in a legitimate war zone have been treated, then what reason was there to expect any other outcome in Benghazi?
When all is said and done, we will likely find that the Battle of Benghazi had more in common with the Battle of Ganjgal than it did with any of the conspiracies. And that is one of the most important points that can be made.
The four Americans killed in Benghazi were not the first Americans to die because of a policy of appeasing Muslims. They will not be the last until the entire worldview of the decision makers is forced to change. It is important not to lose sight of that in debating just what happened in Benghazi, because this is much bigger than Benghazi.
Benghazi is one spot of blood in a stain that marks the map of the globe. Countless American soldiers and civilians have died because diplomacy was thought to be a surer way of avoiding war than an aggressive posture. And if we don’t learn the lessons of Benghazi, then we will be forced to repeat them.
Originally published at Sultan Knish.
The most interesting aspect of the Guardian/AP report on Oct. 17, ‘Israel used calorie count to limit Gaza food during the blockade,’ in addition to the extremely misleading headline, is that there is little if anything in the story which demonstrates that Israel did anything improper whatsoever.
However, as we’ve seen time and again, the mere absence of information pointing to Israeli villainy is often no obstacle for Guardian editors.
Though Israel maintains a legal blockade on Gaza to prevent deadly weapons from entering the strip, thousands of tons of supplies for Palestinians in Gaza arrive weekly from Israel, aid which includes medical supplies, food, and consumer goods, and there is simply no humanitarian crisis to speak of in the strip.
However, the Guardian, in classic propagandistic style, begins by employing the requisite photo of a Palestinian boy crying,
Yet, the strap line begins to provide a clue that there is, in fact, no real story here:
Unpacking this strap line, it seems to acknowledge that Israel was careful to “avoid” civilian malnutrition in Gaza.
So, what exactly is Israel’s crime?
The report begins, thus.
“The Israeli military made precise calculations of Gaza’s daily calorie needs to avoid malnutrition during a blockade imposed on the Palestinian territory between 2007 and mid-2010..” [emphasis added]
So far, we have a story corroborating Israeli claims that, since the blockade was launched, Israeli officials were careful to allow in enough food to avoid malnutrition.
Again, what is Israel’s crime?
Here’s where it gets strange:
Major Guy Inbar, an Israeli military spokesman, said the calculation, based on a person’s average requirement of 2,300 calories a day, was meant to identify warning signs to help avoid a humanitarian crisis…” [emphasis added]
The average recommended calorie intake according to the UK National Health System is 2500 for men and 2000 for women, indicating that Israel was making sure they supplied Gaza with enough food for Palestinians to consume the the calories necessary for proper nutrition.
So, what’s Israel’s crime?
Indeed, further in the report, Israel is again vindicated.
“The food calculation, made in January 2008, applied the average daily requirement of 2,279 calories per person, in line with World Health Organisation’s guidelines, according to the document.
“The stability of the humanitarian effort is critical to prevent the development of malnutrition,” the document said.
Further in the report, we learn the following:
“…at no point did observers identify a food crisis developing in the territory, whose residents rely heavily on international food aid.” [emphasis added]
Ok, in summary:
Israel maintained a blockade of deadly weapons sent to the Hamas run territory to protect their citizens from harm, but carefully avoided a humanitarian crisis from developing in the enemy territory by ensuring the availability of the recommended number calories as determined by international health organizations.
Again, I ask, what’s Israel’s crime?
Tests conducted on olive trees on Jerusalem’s historic Mount of Olives are the oldest known trees in the world, according to a study released on Friday conducted by the National Research Council of Italy Trees and Timber Institute.
Trees from the Garden of Gethsemane, in an area taken over by a triumvirate of Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches, were dated back to the years 1092, 1166, and 1198, according to the study which was done with the participation of 5 Italian universities.
Chief Researcher Professor Antonio Cimato said at a presentation of the results in Rome that there are no plants of greater age cited in scientific literature.
Analysis of DNA from the trees indicated that they came from the same parent plant.
The study was publicized – seemingly unintentionally – at the same time as Jewish people around the world studied and read the weekly Torah portion which corresponded this week to Parshat Noah, in which the story of the flooding of the world, and its redemption through the biblical figure Noah is told. In the story, Noah released a dove to bring back signs of life after the flood. The dove returned with an olive branch in its beak – which Jewish tradition teaches was plucked from a tree on the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives is the location of the world’s largest and most ancient Jewish cemetery. It sits just above the site of King David’s capital city, and was a location of significance for work pertaining to service in the Holy Temples. According to biblical prophecy in the Book of Zechariah, the Messiah will arrive on the Mount of Olives, before descending to redeem Jerusalem.
Here are Canaan puppies playing with their human at a dog kennel at Sha’ar Hagai, on the road to Jerusalem, where they are housed and bred
The Canaan Dog is a native of the deserts of Israel. The original breeding stock at the Sha’ar Hagai kennel was collected from the wild and from the Bedouins, and, over the years, the folks at this kennel have added to this stock “whenever we had a chance.”
According to the kennel’s website, the Canaans are as close as you can get to the original dog, before our ancestors integrated them and started breeding them for fun and profit. These are raw dogs, with a temperament to go with it – not for your average apartment dweller, unless your apartment in in dire need of massive redecoration. They’re not cute, but they’re smart as a whip and can be very friendly and attentive. Obedient is already a different story – it’s something they need to be taught.
Today, more than ever, because of urban sprawl which is causing the gradual disappearance of the Canaan’s natural habitat, making its extinction in the wild a real possibility, This kennel is working to bring in more dogs from the wild and from the Bedouin tribes while they still exist.
They’re in a bit of trouble with the authorities these days, and are facing an eviction. Check out their website: Shaar Hagai Canaan Dogs.
According to the video: Barack Obama ran for president as a pro-Israel candidate — but his record tells a different story.