Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More broken boilerplate

As we noted in Sunday's post, Reuters erroneously reports that Iran says its support for Hamas is "diplomatic only" when in fact, the Islamic republic has publicly admitted to bankrolling Hamas.  This error is quickly evolving into broken boilerplate as Reuters correspondents Reza Derakhshi and Fredrik Dahl repeat the canard today:
Israel says Iran bankrolls attempts to ship weapons to Gaza by sea or land. Iran, which does not recognize the Jewish state, says its support for Hamas is diplomatic only.
In the same story, Derakhashi and Dahl slip in a misleading assertion:
The Mossad is believed to have stepped up missions against Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and Iran's nuclear project. Among killings attributed to the agency were that of Hezbollah commander Imad Moughniyeh in Damascus two years ago.
Moughniyeh was killed in a car bomb in 2008 and although both Hezbollah and Iran have accused Israel of carrying out the attack, it is far from certain Mossad was responsible:
Blaming Israel for assassinations is almost a reflex in the region, but not everyone is buying that theory of the case. That's particularly true in Beirut, where the machinations of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis have brought the country to a political standstill, and an outbreak of politically motivated assassinations, mostly by car bomb, has targeted the enemies of Hezbollah. One of Hezbollah's harshest critics in Lebanon, the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, says he thinks this latest killing, like so many that preceded it, is the work of Syrians. Jumblatt was not alone when he said word of Moughniyeh's death is "good news." Did Moughniyeh displease his Syrian or Iranian patrons? Or was it someone inside Hezbollah, perhaps, who decided it was time to get rid of him? Intelligence reports have indicated that, despite all the bluster that followed the war between Hezbollah and Israel, Tehran was none too pleased with the performance of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. By some accounts, Nasrallah was demoted after the war. In the new hierarchy, he was left only with political responsibilities, while Moughniyeh became the military chief. Some say Nasrallah himself may be behind the killing. Many regimes throughout the Middle East had reason to want Hezbollah weakened and Moughniyeh dead. Jordan has had long-standing friction with the group, and King Abdullah has worried openly about the emergence of a "Shia crescent" in the region, a scenario that Hezbollah may be helping create with its efforts to dominate Lebanon's political stage. The Saudis and the Egyptians have also been openly critical of Hezbollah, and both governments want to douse the fires of militant Shiism. The possibility that several intelligence services worked together to kill Moughniyeh cannot be discounted.
For the super sleuths at Reuters however, Moughniyeh's death is an open and shut case with Israel as the culprit.

Finally, note the verbatim quote Derakhashi and Dahl draw from the Iranian foreign ministry:
"This is another indication of the existence of state terrorism by the Zionist regime (Israel)"
Reuters has no difficulty parroting an accusation of "terrorism" when the label is slapped on Israel but pointedly expunges it when Israeli authorities use the same term to describe attacks on Jewish civilians: 
A Jewish settler woman was stabbed and wounded on a roadside in the occupied West Bank in what Israeli police said on Sunday was an attack by a Palestinian militant.
Needless to say, the term "militant" was not used by Israel to describe the perpetrator.

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