Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Birds of a feather

Reuters correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan reports on the Israeli parliament voting to remove certain diplomatic privileges from Arab MP Haneen Zoabi (also "Zuabi") for her participation in the Gaza flotilla.  Fisher-Ilan provides a platform for Zoabi's political views, devoting over one-third of the story content to quoting or paraphrasing her and focusing on red herrings like Israeli Arab rights:
Israeli Arabs enjoy full citizenship rights, though many complain of discrimination and poorer funding for their towns. 
Most are descended from Palestinians who stayed in what is now Israel when hundreds of thousands were driven out or fled during fighting in the late 1940s.
On the attempt by passengers to lynch the Israeli commandos who boarded the ship, Fisher-Ilan ignores the video evidence and twists the incident into a "he said/she said":
Israel says troops acted in self-defence when activists set upon troops with knives and iron bars, and defended the blockade as a measure to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas Islamists in charge of Gaza. Activists aboard the ship disputed that account.
And while Fisher-Ilan cites Zoabi's recent account of her role in the incident:
Zoabi had earlier told Reuters she did make efforts to mediate between the sides.
The Reuters correspondent fails to note Zoabi's previous risible testimony on what she did (or didn't) observe on board the ship:
"All of us didn't hold anything in our hands; there was no weapons; nothing at all."
The following video footage was shot on the Mavi Marmara traveled by Zoabi.  Beginning at 3:32, note the batons, bars and slingshots held (and used) by passengers on the lower deck where Zoabi was stationed during the battle.  At 5:00, note the passenger carrying the blue metal rod walking down the stairs to the lower deck.  And at 10:37, note Zoabi waving off the camera operator as she traverses the deck.

We're not quite certain who is more oblivious to the facts: Haneen Zoabi or Allyn Fisher-Ilan.

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