Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Police brutality!

Reuters often accompanies its stories on the Middle East conflict with video footage, carefully edited and narrated to influence its audience to adopt the news agency's political views.  Then again, Reuters sometimes misses the opportunity to provide exemplary video when it might otherwise distract from the agency's biased messaging.  Take for example, this story by Reuters correspondent Jihan Abdalla on Palestinian Arab children throwing rocks at Jews driving through the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem.  Abdalla reports that:
Seemingly heedless of the risk they pose their targets and themselves, the youngsters also goad local Israeli security forces determined to keep order...
There are no flags, posters or political slogans in these encounters, but a lot of youthful bravado suggesting that even juveniles feel they must confront "the occupying power."...
In October, tensions spiked again after a Silwan settler leader -- who later said he had simply panicked -- drove his car right into a group of rock-throwing boys, knocking one over.
What Abdalla doesn't tell her readers, is that in many cases, these "youngsters" are being groomed and directed to engage in rock-throwing by adults, often members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.  And that reporters and photographers are being invited to record the incidents so as to provide propaganda fodder for the Palestinians.  Have a look at this independent documentary video of the incident Abdalla describes above:

Abdalla then attempts to make the case (with lots of help from B'Tselem) that Israeli police are being too tough on Palestinian minors by detaining and handcuffing them following such incidents.  Afforded video evidence however, Reuters' audience might come away with a somewhat different view.

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