Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reuters pardons Marwan Barghouti

In May of 2004, Marwan Barghouti, leader of the Tanzim terrorist organization (a branch of Palestinian President Abbas' Fatah party) was convicted on 5 counts of murder by an Israeli civilian court.  Among the atrocities organized and/or funded by Barghouti was an attack on a seafood market restaurant in Tel Aviv.  Here's how the incident is recounted in Barghouti's indictment: 

At that same time, the Restaurant was completely packed with dozens of diners. Hasouna [Barghouti's operative] arrived at the "Maariv House Bridge" located on the aforementioned street opposite the Restaurant and began shooting at the diners with the intention of willfully causing the deaths of many of them. Near this time Hasouna threw hand grenades into the Restaurant that, miraculously, did not explode. Immediately thereafter Hasouna approached the Restaurant and stabbed those Restaurant diners who got in his way, with the goal of willfully causing the deaths of many of the diners. 

Although Barghouti refused to present a defense at his trial, he admitted throughout that he supported "armed resistance" against Israelis.  Barghouti was sentenced to five life sentences for murder and another 40 years for attempted murder.

In a story published yesterday at 3:09 am EDT about Arabs attempting to march to Jerusalem in a show of force commemorating "Land Day", Reuters reports:
Leading Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti, serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli jail for orchestrating suicide attacks, called on Monday for a new wave of civil resistance in the decades-long quest for statehood.
By 1:21 pm EDT, Reuters had pardoned Barghouti:
Leading Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti, serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli jail for allegedly orchestrating suicide attacks, called on Monday for a new wave of civil resistance in the decades-long quest for statehood.
Only in Israel, where a liberal democracy makes and decides matters of law, where the burden of proof is on the state, and where capital punishment is banned, does Reuters have the chutzpah to seek to subvert the verdict of a civilian court by suggesting, post facto, that the charges against the convicted murderer remain "alleged".

This is one sick news company.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Iran throws Reuters out of the country

Last month, we commented on the intimidation and violence Reuters Tehran-based correspondents are reportedly subjected to by the Iranian regime and the inevitable self-censorship amongst journalists this thuggery coerces.  Apparently, anything less than "perfect" reporting has become too much for the mullahs:
The Iranian government has suspended the press accreditation for Reuters staff in Tehran after the publication of a video story on women's martial arts training which contained an error.
Reuters, the news arm of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information group, corrected the story after the martial arts club where the video was filmed made a complaint.
The story's headline, "Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran's assassins," was corrected to read "Three thousand women Ninjas train in Iran".
Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance subsequently contacted the Reuters Tehran bureau chief about the video and its publication, as a result of which Reuters' 11 personnel were told to hand back their press cards.
Well, they can always move to Reuters Syria Bureau.  Oh we forgot, Reuters has been banned there too.

It appears only Israel allows freedom of the press in the Middle East.

You know, the freedom to lie, distort, mislead, libel, and omit essential contextual detail.

Palestinian who attempted to murder Israeli on train influenced by CNN

Two weeks ago, a Palestinian Arab attempted to murder a female Israeli soldier traveling on the Jerusalem light rail by stabbing her within inches of her heart.  We covered it... Reuters didn't.

We now know more about the suspect's motivations:
According to the charge sheet, Shuman was motivated to murder after he "watched news reports on Al Jazeera, Al Manar, Al Quds, Al Aqsa and CNN over the last three years, and felt great frustration from the situation of the Palestinians and the security checks at Kalandia crossing." He "felt that he had to 'do a deed' and stab the soldier so as to cause her death."
Exposure to reports produced by Reuters is not mentioned in the charge sheet, but given the enormous size of Reuters' syndication network, it doesn't take a great leap of faith to imagine that Shuman, as well as millions of other Arabs like him, have at one time or another come across examples of Reuters anti-Israel agitprop.  Indeed, CNN publishes Reuters material.

We suggested in our posts following the murder of a rabbi and three Jewish schoolchildren in France last week, that exposure to agitprop is likely to influence audiences to take action consistent with Reuters propaganda campaign and institutional ideology.

By his own admission, this is what occurred with Shuman resulting from his viewing of stories on the Middle East conflict broadcast by CNN and other media outlets over the last three years.

Raising an interesting legal question on the possible role and liability of media companies in the deaths of Israelis and others at the hands of those who are incited to kill by false and misleading news reports.

For Reuters, Israel is Arab territory

The Reuters Handbook of Journalism, a set of ethical guiding principles for the agency's reporters, specifically proscribes against taking sides in a conflict:
We must be on alert for language that could imply support for one side of a conflict, sympathy for a point of view, or an ethnocentric vantage point.
When it comes to reporting on the Middle East conflict however, Reuters correspondents long ago, tossed aside any adherence to these principles.

Take for example, Reuters many references to the city of Jerusalem.

Both the archaeological record and contemporaneous historical works, like that of Flavius Josephus, attest to Jerusalem's history as a city built and governed by the Jews for centuries prior to the Roman conquest.

For a mere 19 years of the city's 3,000 year history, Jerusalem was divided.  Between 1948, when the Arab Legion conquered the eastern part of the city, ethnically cleansing the area of its Jewish communities, and 1967, when Israel liberated and reunited the city, Jerusalem was bifurcated by barbed wire into Arab east and Jewish west.  19 years -- of a municipal history spanning three millennia. 

For Reuters however, an agency deeply committed to the Arab worldview and thus, hostile to Jewish nationalism, Jerusalem remains divided into an amorphous region currently controlled by Israel characterized as "west" (small "w") Jerusalem; and a clearly defined city, home to 3,000 years of historical and sacred Jewish relics and a population which is today roughly 50 percent Jewish, but which, according to Reuters, rightfully belongs to the Arabs: "East Jerusalem" (capital "E").

(Reuters correspondents also frequently take a less surreptitious route in their support for Arab interests by referring to Jerusalem straightforwardly as Arab East Jerusalem).

Thus, does the agency sustain the illusion of an Arab capital, forged from invasion and conquest, in the heart of the Jewish national home.

In this Reuters story about the Zivotofsky family, whom the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled may sue to compel the U.S. State Department to list their son's birthplace as Jerusalem Israel on his passport, note how the agency artfully handles the east/west issue:
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as capital of the state they aim to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, alongside Israel. [...]
Zivotofsky was born on Oct. 17, 2002, in a hospital in west Jerusalem. His U.S.-born parents moved to Israel in 2000. Because his parents are U.S. citizens, Menachem is also a U.S. citizen.
"East Jerusalem": capital in-waiting for the Palestinian Arabs.

And "west Jerusalem": no-man's land.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hypocrisy, thy name is Reuters

In March of last year, Palestinians bombed an Israeli bus in Jerusalem, killing one woman and injuring 30 other people.  In a patently absurd account of the attack intended to whitewash Arab terrorism targeting the Jews of Israel, Reuters Jerusalem (France) Bureau Chief, Crispian Balmer infamously reported:
Police said it was a "terrorist attack" -- Israel's term for a Palestinian strike. It was the first time Jerusalem had been hit by such a bomb since 2004.
Even uber-apologist Atlantic columnist, Jeffrey Goldberg, found Balmer's rhetorical gymnastics worthy of ridicule.

Currently reporting on the bloodbath in Syria, Balmer takes a decidely different tack to characterize opposition forces battling the Assad government:
Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi said this week that 3,000 members of the security forces had died in the uprising, which Damascus blames on terrorist gangs.
In this case, Balmer simply parrots the government line, employs no sneer quotes around the term terrorist, and obviously feels no compulsion to interpret the word for his audience.

Apparently, when government troops defending a ruthless Arab dictatorship are killed, the perpetrators are terrorist gangs.

But when Jewish commuters are killed, the perpetrators are "strikers".

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Question for Reuters: where are the missing Egyptian Copts?

Reuters continues to ignore or sanitize the bitter reality of endemic discrimination, hostility, and lethal violence directed at Egypt's Coptic Christian community.  Whether out of fear for their correspondents' security or due to institutionalized bias, the news agency simply refuses to report on the magnitude of the intimidation and suffering Copts are experiencing at the hands of Egyptian Muslims.

Illustrative of this self-censorship, is Reuters failure, in any of its multitude of stories, to disclose to readers that since the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, an estimated 100,000 Coptic Christians have fled Egypt in fear of what is inevitably to come with the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties.

Rather, we see Reuters serving as apologists for the Islamists by citing anonymous "experts" to assure us that church burnings are due to... well, catch the non sequitur below:
Since Mubarak's ousting last year, Christians have become increasingly worried after an upsurge in attacks on churches, which they blame on hardline Islamists, although experts say more local disputes are often also behind them.
"More local disputes"?

Sometimes, the English language simply can't be stretched far enough to cover a multitude of sins. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Advocate for ethnic cleansing of the Jews obfuscates international law

Reuters correspondent Maayan Lubell, who personally advocates for ethnic cleansing of Jews from their homes and property, reports on a decision by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to cut ties with the discredited U.N. Human Rights Council following that body's decision to launch a new probe into Jewish settlements:
The decision, announced by a Foreign Ministry spokesman, meant that the fact-finding team the council planned to send to the West Bank will not be allowed to enter the territory or Israel, said the spokesman, Yigal Palmor.
"We are not working with them any more," Palmor said about the Geneva-based forum. "We had been participating in meetings, discussions, arranging visits to Israel. All that is over."
Employing a propaganda technique known as symbolic fiction, Lubell seeks to convince readers that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") are illegal:
Palestinians say settlements, considered illegal by the International Court of Justice [ICJ], the highest U.N. legal body for disputes, would deny them a viable state.
Left unmentioned, is the fact that the ICJ opinion cited by Lubell (actually on the Israeli security barrier) was merely advisory and non-binding.  Indeed, the only authoritative and binding resolution on the legality of Jewish settlements is that of the never-abrogated Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations in 1922 and confirmed by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

As preeminent provisions of international law, these make clear that Jewish settlements in the territories are entirely legal.

But of course, justifying an atrocity like ethnic cleansing requires the perpetrator, and his enablers, to obfuscate and subvert international law.

Maayan Lubell shows us how.

Non sequitur of the week

We nearly missed this classic non sequitur in a Reuters story about Mohamed Merah, the French-Algerian who murdered a rabbi and three school children in Toulouse last week:
Merah had been under intelligence surveillance and the MEMRI Middle East think tank said he appeared to belong to a French al Qaeda branch called Fursan Al-Izza, ideologically aligned with a movement to Islamise Western states by implementing sharia law.
But he had done nothing especially to arouse suspicion that he was planning an act of violence.
You really can't make this stuff up.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rest easy: Reuters promises "Iran nuclear threat not imminent" (updated)

In previous stories, Reuters correspondents Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball (the latter having joined Reuters recently from the self-acknowledged left-wing and bankrupt Newsweek magazine), have gone to extraordinary lengths to assure the public that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons and that the real danger to peace and global security is an unpredictable and belligerent (shitty little?) country whose leaders go around making "provocative public comments" about Iran's nuclear program.

Zakaria and Hosenball are back today with yet another completely unsubstantiated story, drawn they say, "from extensive [anonymous] interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran", in an effort to once again downplay the Iranian threat:
(Reuters) - The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead. 
Reuters has learned that in late 2006 or early 2007, U.S. intelligence intercepted telephone and email communications in which Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading figure in Iran's nuclear program, and other scientists complained that the weaponization program had been stopped.
That led to a bombshell conclusion in a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate: American spy agencies had "high confidence" that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.
Current and former U.S. officials say they are confident that Iran has no secret uranium-enrichment site outside the purview of U.N. nuclear inspections.
They also have confidence that any Iranian move toward building a functional nuclear weapon would be detected long before a bomb was made.
These intelligence findings are what underpin President Barack Obama's argument that there is still time to see whether economic sanctions will compel Iran's leaders to halt any program.
Unfortunately for Zakaria and Hosenball, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), cited by the pair of Reuters correspondents in a previous story when they felt the organization was officially dubious of Iran's progress toward a nuclear bomb, has just published a new paper arguing that National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) on Iran's nuclear program are today far more comprehensive in their methodology and scope than they were in 2007, when Iran was assessed to have suspended its drive for the bomb:
ISIS has learned in researching and discussing the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran that important differences exist from the 2007 NIE on Iran’s capability to make a nuclear weapon.  The 2007 declassified NIE specifically noted that it did not take into account Iran’s “declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment” when assessing the status of its nuclear weapons program.  The new NIE does not distinguish between declared and undeclared enrichment activities when considering Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.  In doing so, the new NIE more accurately values the impact that Iran’s advancements in its gas centrifuge uranium enrichment program, declared or otherwise, have on its capability to decide to make highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.  This acknowledges that Iran’s capability to make highly enriched uranium, as represented by the declared elements of its uranium enrichment program, influences any political decision to make nuclear weapons. The new NIE includes that Iran could be furthering its development of components for nuclear weapons while reportedly assessing that not enough activity has occurred on weaponization to justify a determination that Iran has made a decision to restart its nuclear weaponization program or build a bomb [...]
Emphasizing the old approach of whether Iran’s nuclear weaponization program has restarted appears more aimed at defending the poor methodologies popularized in the declassified 2007 NIE. This approach also ignores that Iran is judged by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (and stated in internal IAEA documents) to have likely accumulated enough knowledge prior to 2004 to be able to construct a crude nuclear explosive device, suitable for underground testing and simple delivery systems. This capability would mean that the time is relatively short between when a nuclear weaponization program would take possession of enough weapon-grade uranium for a device and when a crude device could be assembled—on order of six months or less.
In other words, while U.S. intelligence agencies may not formally declare that Iran has taken a decision to build a bomb, that doesn't mean the regime is not in the process of continuing to develop components for the bomb -- which could lead to the assembly and delivery of a bomb within six months.

Now, don't you feel better?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Agitprop kills

Further to our post yesterday asking whether Reuters and its correspondents could be seen as being complicit in the murders of three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse France due to the agency's long-standing agitprop campaign targeting Israel, Haaretz reports that a French woman warned police about the suspect as far back as 2010:
A local French newspaper published on Thursday an in-depth testimony of a woman claiming that she had warned authorities multiple times that the suspect in the Toulouse killings, Mohamed Merah, was a danger to the public.
Included in the woman's account of Merah's behavior and attempts to indoctrinate her son into the world of Islamic fundamentalism and jihad, is this revealing comment:
Merah claimed he would “wipe out all those who kill Muslims.”
Such a motive being entirely consistent, indeed incited and rationalized by the many instances of Reuters tendentious reporting and outright fabrications suggesting the Jews of Israel kill Muslims indiscriminately.

Words matter.  And it takes no great leap of faith to appreciate that false and misleading messages, appearing in thousands of news outlets every day and read by millions of Arab Muslims, intended to portray Jews as cold-blooded killers and to arouse reader passions, can incite the murders we witnessed in Toulouse.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are Reuters and its correspondents complicit in the murders of the Jewish children in France?

As our more than 700 posts since August 2009 demonstrate, Reuters, the largest multimedia news agency in the world, is heavily engaged in a systematic, mendacious, and malicious propaganda campaign intended to demonize and delegitimize the Jews of Israel for choosing to defend themselves in the face of 64 years of Muslim calls for annihilation of the Jewish state and its inhabitants.

That campaign involves the publication of hundreds of stories, disseminated to thousands of media outlets, each employing scores of propaganda techniques and fallacies, ethical and professional breaches, and outright lies designed to manipulate reader opinion and emotions so as to compel the audience to adopt Reuters' own anti-Israel institutional ideology and political view.

It also involves the hiring, training, and tight coordination of a team of propagandists, masquerading as independent journalists, who either subscribe to the same ideology or enthusiastically serve as foot soldiers in the propaganda campaign so as to advance their careers.

Take for example, Reuters correspondent Dan Williams who, in September of 2011 conveyed the blood libel that Israelis have a "shoot-on-sight" policy against Palestinians.

Or Nidal al-Mughrabi, who, in dozens of stories about the 2008-09 Gaza war, reports that some 1,400 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, without revealing that most of these casualties were members of Hamas, sworn to genocide of the Jews, and their human shields.

Or Allyn Fisher-Ilan, who suggested, falsely, that Israel was to blame for the lack of basic medicines in Gaza.

Or Crispian Balmer, who duplicated, verbatim and absent criticism, a Twitter feed post by a former Egyptian foreign minister portraying Israel as a killer of children.

This afternoon, the French authorities arrested an Algerian-born Muslim man suspected of killing the Jewish children in Toulouse.  (See update below).

Haaretz reports the suspect said he wanted revenge for "Palestinian children".

We don't know if the suspect was a reader of any of the thousands of newspapers or news websites that publish Reuters stories on the Middle East conflict.

But given Reuters global reach and the frequency with which the agency's anti-Israel propaganda appears, it's entirely possible, indeed likely, the suspect had come across one or more of these stories at some point.

We also know that Reuters successfully influences readers to alter their behavior in a manner consistent with the agency's propaganda campaign and institutional ideology.

As the investigation proceeds, it will be very interesting to learn more about the suspect's motivations and mentors.

UPDATE: Earlier reports of the arrest of the suspect were incorrect and a stand-off continues.

UPDATE 2: Following a shoot-out with police, the murder suspect, Mohamed Merah, reportedly jumped from a window to his death.

Reuters still covering for Iran's nukes program

In story after story about Iran and its nuclear weapons medical isotopes program, Reuters correspondents continue to sanitize, downplay, or simply conceal evidentiary assessments by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran is illegally engaged in all of the necessary R & D activities associated with building and delivering a nuclear warhead.

Here's Dan Williams trying to shift attention to Israel while framing the crisis with Iran as merely an unsupported claim by "western officials" and commensurate rebuttal from Iran:
But it [Israel] is keen to cast itself as a responsible nuclear player while world powers step up scrutiny of Iran's disputed nuclear energy programme, which Western officials suspect is covertly designed to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies this.
And Reuters Istanbul correspondent, Alexandra Hudson, portraying Israel as a belligerent loose cannon while characterizing Iran's weaponization efforts as a "nuclear energy programme":
Israel is threatening to take military action, with or without U.S. support, if Iran is deemed to be continuing to defy pressure to curb its nuclear projects. Iran insists its nuclear energy programme is purely non-military.
And Arshad Mohammed and Andrew Quinn suggesting that international sanctions against Iran are actuated by the Iranian regime's "failure to answer questions" directed by "Washington and its allies":  
The United States has tightened sanctions due to Iran's failure to answer questions about its nuclear program, which Washington and its allies suspect is a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says it is solely to generate power supply.
No mention in any of these stories of the United Nations IAEA, the mountain of independent and scientific analysis adjudging Iran, or the regime's many explicit threats to destroy another nation-state and exterminate its people.

Nothing to see here; move along.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reuters correspondents on the edge of their seats to determine if murder of Jewish children is racist or "political"

Following the shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse France this morning which killed a rabbi and his two young children, another child, and left many others wounded, Reuters reports with a curious twist:
With the attacker still on the loose, police stepped up a manhunt in the city of a million people in southwestern France and prosecutors opened anti-terrorism investigations, although it was not clear whether the motive was political or racist.
How might the deliberate targeting and slaughter of Jewish children be other than racist?

Well, if the raison d'etre of the news agency for which you work is to rationalize all terror and hate crimes targeting Jews worldwide as an aggrieved and understandable response to perceived injustices committed by the Jewish state of Israel, it stands to reason that you will wait to see if perhaps an Arab, an Iranian-national, or a Muslim generally, was responsible for the attack.

If so, you can always seek to mitigate the despicable nature of the crime by claiming that the motive was political.

If you happen to have been born Jewish, like Jeffrey Heller or Maayan Lubell, you can also deceive yourself into believing that Jews are not being targeted for merely being Jewish, but for the political policies of successive Israeli governments.

This is an essential defense mechanism if you're going to work at Reuters.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Palestinian stabs Israeli on train; Reuters AWOL

On Thursday, a female Israeli soldier was stabbed within inches of her heart while traveling on the Jerusalem light railway.  A Palestinian Arab suspect was arrested a short time later near Ramallah.

Reuters fails to report on the incident, which is not unusual gatekeeping for an agency committed to providing public relations on behalf of the Palestinians.

Of particular note, is that the suspect would almost certainly have disappeared into that portion of Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") under Palestinian control had Israel not been operating a checkpoint at Qalandiya between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Of course, experience shows that had Reuters covered the story, the agency's correspondents would have focused on the "daily humiliation" of Israeli checkpoints.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another reason why Reuters Middle East reporting is biased: fear

In our right sidebar, we feature a post from January of this year ("Reuters Big Problem") where we had suggested that one of the key drivers behind Reuters systematic anti-Israel bias is commercial interest, that is, the effort to win the audience of 350 million Arabs in the Middle East by participating in the political campaign against Israel. 

There is another obvious factor at work which corrodes the independence and integrity of reporters who cover the Middle East conflict: fear.

In an account, remarkable for its candidness, of the conditions under which journalists working in Gaza find themselves, George Hale, a correspondent for the Palestinian Arab agency Maan, offers a glimpse into the risks of reporting anything that fails to promote the Hamas line:
Mahmoud Abu Rahma, a Palestinian human rights activist and columnist based in Gaza, was the victim of one of the worst incidents recorded by Mada so far this year. The attack occured after the publication of his latest article calling out the government as well as armed groups for placing civilians at risk of Israeli reprisal attacks. The article also accused the authorities of making arrests based on political affiliation, and failing to respect basic rights. "It is safe to assume that neither the government nor the resistance is willing to step in to protect people who dare to criticize them,” he wrote.
Shortly thereafter, Abu Rahma was accosted in his lobby by masked men who denounced him as a traitor and “disbeliever” while delivering their blows. Days later, armed with knives, the assailants overpowered him outside his Gaza City flat. Abu Rahma says he suffered stab wounds to his thigh and above his knee. They sliced down his back and shoulder before cutting off part of his hand. He escaped alive after blocking his chest with the same laptop that started all this trouble in the first place.
The government claims it is committed to protecting journalists and the broad freedom of speech and press guarantees in Palestine’s basic law. The police, meanwhile, swear they’re hot on the trail of the writer’s attackers. But statements by top leaders tell a different story. Hamas has turned to its official media to incite violence, lambasting Abu Rahma’s publisher, Maan, as a “Zionist propaganda” outfit whose agenda “impugns the resistance” and stirs discord, as official radio put it the week he was stabbed.
While it may disavow the stabbing and other incidents, Hamas cannot deny its contribution to the hateful climate surrounding these attacks. The message to vigilantes is clear: Make these detractors pay, and we won’t come after you. Indeed, the authorities have made no arrests, not for the stabbing or other serious incidents such as the two bombing attempts which targeted Maan’s newsroom in 2011.
The outlet, Palestine’s largest non-partisan TV network, has had a rough few months since becoming the target of a dangerous effort to intimidate its journalists. What began as a petty media campaign has morphed into physical violence; reporters are being threatened, offices set on fire and worse. The authorities have announced no leads nearly a year after staff discovered what appeared to be an improvised explosive device drilled into a wall inside its building. Nor has anyone been arrested for the firebomb attack that torched the same entryway last summer. When I asked my colleague Emad Abu Eid, the bureau chief in Gaza City, if we ought to be surprised by the lack of progress, he just laughed. There was never any need for an investigation, he told me. The latest attack had predictably followed a report which had angered the government more than usual, he recalled. “The next day, we found a big message waiting for us.”
Absent coercion, venal interests, and antisemitism, one might find Reuters correspondents reasonably able to write a straight story on the Middle East conflict.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reuters reports on effects of Palestinian children arrested; nothing on their victims

Reuters newest hit-and-run propagandist is Jihan Abdalla, a correspondent who cares deeply for Palestinians who mastermind terror attacks and call for the genocide of all Jews, but not so much for the victims of these lunatics.

In today's illustration of Reuters vile one-sided reporting, Abdalla covers a paper from Save the Children about the alleged after-effects of detention on Palestinian Arab adolescents who have been arrested by Israeli security forces for a variety of violent offenses including throwing rocks:
(Reuters) - Of the hundreds of Palestinian children locked in Israeli jails each year, the vast majority suffer nightmares, bed-wetting and anxiety after their release, Save the Children said in a report published on Monday.
The charity said that since 2000, the Israeli army had detained more than 8,000 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and prosecuted children as young as 12 in military courts, most of them suspected of rock-throwing.
In a story of 555 words, Abdalla devotes just 81 to the Israeli perspective (that throwing rocks "can cause injury or death") and provides no examples of this reality.  Historically as well, Reuters has rarely reported on these incidents (see our right sidebar "Reuters Censoring").

Here's a report from The Blaze on this murderous violence committed by Palestinian children, as well as adults, that apparently couldn't waken Reuters Jerusalem editors from their deep dark slumber:
An Israeli man and his pregnant wife who was in labor were attacked by Palestinian stone throwers this weekend as they were making their way to the delivery room, according to Arutz Sheva.
This comes less than a month after 25-year-old Asher Palmer and his baby son Yonatan were killed when Palestinians threw a large rock through their windshield near Hebron, causing it to overturn, as The Blaze previously reported.
Palestinians Stone Pregnant Woman’s Car While Rushing to Delivery
That same week, a 20-month-old girl was left bloodied after police said Arabs threw rocks at the car she was traveling in.
What do they teach these guys at Reuters school?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh brother. Reuters asks Americans if they would support military action against Iran IF there were evidence of a nuclear weapons program

Reuters runs a poll:
(Reuters) - A majority of Americans would support military action against Iran if there were evidence that Tehran is building nuclear weapons, even if such action led to higher gasoline prices, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.
The poll showed 56 percent of Americans would support U.S. military action against Iran if there were evidence of a nuclear weapon program. Thirty-nine percent of Americans opposed military strikes.
Because after all, according to Reuters there is currently no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.  Merely "suspicions".

We wonder how many more Americans would have polled in favor of military action if Reuters had asked the question without loading it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The word "irony" not in Reuters dictionary

In an interview with Hamas kingpin Mahmoud Al-Zahar in Cairo on the question of whether there will be a truce between Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and Israel, Reuters correspondents Edmund Blair and Tom Perry demonstrate a serious irony deficit:
Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire appeared to be stuck over a demand by the Islamic Jihad militant group that Israel first promise not to target militant leaders for future attack.
Yes sure, ceasefire efforts "appear to be stuck" because Israel will not promise to offer immunity to Palestinian terror group leaders responsible for the launching of over 200 rockets and mortars aimed at Israeli civilian communities. 

In other news, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has agreed to end the slaughter of his people just as soon as they promise to elect him President for life.

Advocate for ethnic cleansing of the Jews still working for Reuters

Reuters correspondent Maayan Lubell, who personally advocates for the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from their homes and property in Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") reports on an agreement between the Israeli government and residents of the community of Migron for the latter to relocate to another settlement nearby:
(Reuters) - Jewish settlers signed an agreement with the Israeli government on Sunday to leave the biggest illegal outpost in the occupied West Bank and move to a nearby site after months of negotiations to avoid their forced removal.
In a relatively brief piece of 463 words, Lubell manages to demonstrate her inane logic, quotes as an authoritative source on Jewish settlements a political group convicted in court of libeling settlers, and asserts one of the most pernicious lies surrounding the Middle East conflict.

Let's begin with Lubell's logic (or lack thereof).  She writes:
The long dispute over Migron has revealed a contradiction at the heart of the Jewish state - despite publicly endorsing the notion of an independent Palestinian nation, successive Israeli governments have nurtured settlements on the very land that the Palestinians claim as theirs.
There is no contradiction between endorsement by successive Israeli governments of a Palestinian Arab state in the territories and the support and protection of Jewish communities in the area.  Jews are the aboriginal people on the land and lived there for centuries before being ethnically cleansed by the Arab Legion under the command of Transjordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.  In the modern era, much of the land was purchased and titled to individual Jews who were subsequently chased off or killed by marauding Arabs.

Notwithstanding this history of persecution and expulsion at the hands of the Arabs, most Israeli Jews are willing to accept a 22nd Arab state on public and private Jewish land in the territories, but not if it means further ethnic cleansing of their communities.  Since Jewish settlements reside on a mere 2 percent of total land in the area, it is utterly absurd (and utterly racist) for Lubell to suggest that Jews living there must be removed for a Palestinian state to come into being.

But that is the inane logic of the radical left in Israel.

Lubell then gives full voice to Peace Now on the matter:
A spokeswoman for the anti-settlement advocacy group Peace Now called the agreement "a disgrace".
"This agreement is no less than a disgrace. The government of Israel is actually saying 'We will not evict Migron, we will not do what the Supreme Court told us. And we will give in to any settlers' threat ... It sends a message that Israel (does not want) peace (and will) build more settlements," Peace Now's Hagit Ofran said.
What Lubell conceals from her readers is that Peace Now is not simply an "anti-settlement advocacy group" but a fringe organization convicted of publishing false and defamatory information about Jews living in the territories.

Seeking comment from Peace Now on the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria would be like seeking comment from the Ku Klux Klan on the rights of African-Americans to live in Mississippi.

But such is the institutional mindset of Reuters correspondents.

Finally, Lubell perpetuates a piece of pernicious propaganda by asserting that:
While the United Nations deems all Jewish settlements in the region to be illegal, Israel backs 120 official settlements, home to about 310,000 people.
In fact, Jewish settlements in the territories are entirely legal in international law per the League of Nations adoption of the San Remo Agreement and Article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

Maayan Lubell is a racist and bald-faced liar.

The question is:

Why is she still employed at a public company committed in writing to a policy of integrity, independence and freedom from bias?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another application of Reuters fauxtography

Reuters is notorious for its fauxtography scandals, where photos published by the agency have been doctored in an effort to conceal or distort the facts associated with the incident portrayed (see our right side panel).

Less well-recognized is that Reuters editors frequently select photos for publication that only tell one side of a story.  Even more egregious, are those times when editors select photos which are entirely unrelated to the associated story.

Consider this story by Reuters historical fabricators Nidal al-Mughrabi and Allyn Fisher-Ilan about the latest round of (92) (180) (200) Palestinian rockets and mortars launched at civilian communities in Israel and the targeted killing of Palestinian terrorists by the Israeli military.

Reuters runs two photo slides with the story; one, of a woman in distress being supported by a man with the caption:
A Palestinian woman reacts at a hospital after an Israeli targeted attack on a car in Gaza City March 9, 2012.
The second photo is captioned:
Palestinian demonstrators run away from tear gas fired by Israeli security officers during clashes at a weekly protest against a nearby Jewish settlement, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, March 9, 2012.
A glaring illustration of a non sequitur in the context of a story about the exchange of aerial missiles between Israeli forces and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. 

No photos are provided depicting the psychological effects, property damage, or injuries sustained by  Israeli civilians as a result of the Palestinian attacks.

Reuters the recidivists.

UPDATE MARCH 11, 2012:

Reuters runs another unrelated photo in this update.

Moreover, note how al-Mughrabi (please tell us why this pathological liar is still employed at the agency) obfuscates on the number of Palestinian combatants killed versus civilians:
Israeli aircraft have continued to fly attacks over the Gaza strip, killing at least 16 people, including militants, since Friday.
Depending upon source, between 94 percent and 100 percent of Palestinians killed in this exchange of fire were combatants.

By comparison, the United Nations estimates that the average ratio of civilian to combatant deaths in similar conflicts worldwide is 3:1 -- three civilians for every combatant killed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Amusing editorial comment of the day

We like Reuters correspondent Fredrik Dahl.  Despite a couple of journalistic missteps in the past where he has offered Syria and Iran passes on their nuclear weapons programs while drawing attention to Israel's "undeclared nuclear arsenal", Dahl now appears to be genuinely trying to inform readers on Iran's stonewalling of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.

Of course, the Iranian regime doesn't always cooperate on this front:
Iran media reports this week suggested a visit to Parchin might still be granted but the IAEA said on Thursday Tehran had not contacted it formally about any trip.
Iran's IAEA ambassador, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told reporters outside the board meeting that the suspicions aired about Parchin were "childish" and "ridiculous".  He did not elaborate.
Actually, we understand Dahl missed Soltanieh's follow-up where the ambassador stated:
"I'm rubber; you're glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you".

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Amid Iran war of words, Palestinians are forgotten" -- but never by their patrons at Reuters

One can almost see Noah Browning's eyes welling up as he writes:
(Reuters) - A monumental wooden chair erected in Ramallah to symbolize the Palestinians' sought-after United Nations seat collapsed this week after months of wind and rain. Bulldozers quietly took away the shattered remains by night.
Its collapse and stealthy removal could well serve as an emblem of Palestinian hopes for statehood.  For the first time in years, meetings this week between U.S. and Israeli leaders were largely silent on the long-stalled peace process. Debate between Israel and Washington over a military strike on Iran knocked Israel-Palestinian peace talks to the bottom of Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu's agenda.
Yes dear; the world may have to wade through successive Iranian threats to incinerate six million Jews, another 7,500 people murdered in Syria, and perhaps three or four more savage Arab springs before finally turning its attention back to the apple of your eye, the Palestinians.

What will the 70+ propagandists in Reuters Jerusalem Bureau find to write about till then?  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crispian Balmer attempts to show Israelis oppose strike on Iran, wrenches neck

Last week, we commented on a story by Reuters correspondent Maayan Lubell where she massaged the results of a survey which had asked Israelis whether they supported a military attack on Iran to prevent that country from obtaining nuclear weapons.  Lubell obfuscated the finding that, when U.S. moral support is provided, a wide majority of Israelis (61 percent) favor an attack.  Indeed, only 34 percent said Israel should not strike Iran with or without American accord.

Today, Reuters Jerusalem (France) Bureau Chief, Crispian Balmer, attempts to duplicate Lubell's heavily biased interpretation of the same poll, conveniently omits report of the 42 percent of Israelis who favor an attack with U.S. moral support, and ends up tying himself (and his readers) into knots:
An opinion poll published last week said just 19 percent of Israelis thought their nation should attack Iran, even if they did not first get the support of Washington.
Huh?  According to the poll, 19 percent of Israelis support a military strike against Iran absent any support from the U.S. and 42 percent support a military strike against Iran with moral support from the U.S. for a total conditional support base of 61 percent.

Memo to Crispian: reporting the facts straightforwardly is an obligation as a Reuters Bureau Chief -- and doesn't result in neck cramps.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Reuters quotes as expert on Israeli security concerns, individual who believes "Israel ain't a very good idea"

It's always amusing when Reuters correspondents cherry-pick and quote "analysts" and other "experts" in an effort to advance their personal editorial agendas under the guise of independent and impartial reporting.

In today's illustration, Matt Spetalnick, whose traditional reporting agenda has been to pit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against U.S. President Barack Obama and play up differences between the two, calls attention to the current debate between Israel and the U.S. on how best to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions:
Still, Obama - in an Atlantic magazine interview published on Friday - insisted that Iran "is not yet in a position to obtain a nuclear weapon without us having a pretty long lead time in which we will know that they are making that attempt."
And Obama warned in Washington on Sunday against "loose talk" of war with Iran, saying such "bluster" was counterproductive because it has been driving up global oil prices and boosting demand for Iran's oil exports.
That may have been a message to Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, whose have engaged in a strident exchange of recriminations with Iranian officials in recent months.
Daniel Levy, an analyst at the New America Foundation think tank, said Obama had "offered clarity and commitments on mainstream Israeli concerns without capitulating to the Netanyahu narrative, which is far more dismissive of diplomacy."
Speaking in Ottawa, the right-wing Israeli leader ignored Obama's appeal to let sanctions run their course and focused on the president's insistence on keeping the military option open and backing Israel's right to defend itself.
Spetalnick cites a "strident exchange of recriminations" between Netanyahu and Iranian officials in recent months.  Hmm, let's see... the Reuters correspondent must be referring to that even-handed exchange between Netanyahu and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei where the former stated:
"As for Israel, like any sovereign country, we reserve the right to defend ourselves against a country that calls and works for our destruction."
in response to Khamenei's suggestion that:
"It is legally and morally justified to commit genocide and wipe Israel off the map."
Because after all, Spetalnick is constitutionally unable to distinguish between threats of genocide by one party, and assertions to the right of self-defense by the other.

But what truly exposes Spetalnick as a dishonest hawker of anti-Israel propaganda is, on the one hand, his stale approach of labeling Netanyahu as "right-wing" in order to dismiss the Prime Minister's focus on the need for a credible military threat to dissuade Iran from consummating its nuclear weapons program, and on the other, the correspondent's employ of "analyst" Daniel Levy to suggest that Obama had put to rest Israeli concerns without committing to that military threat.

Because beyond what little Spetalnick wants his audience to know, Levy is someone who believes that if Israel should have to resort to military force to defend its survival, then perhaps the country "ain't a very good idea".

Certainly a chap whose assurances on behalf of Obama Israelis can believe in.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reuters Newspeak: Arab or Muslim occupation of another sovereign state = "presence"

In 2005, Syria finally ended its nearly three-decade occupation of Lebanon that had involved the illegal stationing of thousands of troops, tanks, and warplanes in the country for the explicit purpose of suppressing anti-Syrian sentiment, securing geopolitical leverage against its enemies in the Middle East, and providing economic gains for the Syrian population.

So how does Reuters characterize 30 years of Syrian systematic and structural occupation of Lebanon?
Lebanon's Maronite leaders have had tense relations with Syria and led calls for an end to its military presence in Lebanon in 2005.
Reuters correspondents demonstrate the same obfuscatory rhetoric when describing the nearly four-decade Turkish occupation of Cyprus:
Cyprus has been split since the 1974 invasion in the aftermath of a brief Greek-inspired coup in Nicosia, and Turkey maintains a military presence in the Turkish Cypriot state.
For its control over a tiny unallocated swathe of territory, originally pledged in international law for a Jewish state, won in a defensive war against its marauding neighbors, only one country in the entire world apparently warrants use of the "O"-word by Reuters.

Yep, you guessed it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Reuters recycles previous story on Iran; still censoring threats to exterminate the Jews

In a story virtually identical to that originally published on February 20, 2012, Reuters hardcore propagandist Alistair Lyon portrays recent Iranian threats as purely defensive:
In February Khamenei said sanctions would not alter Iran's nuclear course, military threats would "harm America" and any nation or group fighting Israel, thought to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power, would have Tehran's backing.
"In response to threats of oil embargo and war, we have our own threats to impose at the right time," he declared.
Khamenei has in the past denied that Iran seeks atomic bombs, saying: "It is against our Islamic thoughts."
Lyon is careful to censor other statements made or officially endorsed by Khamenei in February:
The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.
It is legally and morally justified to commit genocide and wipe Israel off the map.
What do they teach these guys at Reuters school?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reuters fudges the figures

Reuters correspondents are notorious for cherry-picking and massaging survey data to support their own political positions and editorial agendas.

Note how Jerusalem-based, Maayan Lubell, who apparently advocates for Jews to be ethnically cleansed from their homes and property, reports on a poll soliciting Israeli opinion on whether the country should or should not attack Iran's nuclear facilities:
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A wide majority of Israelis either oppose an Israeli strike on Iran or would favour an attack only if it was carried out with U.S. agreement, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.
The survey by the University of Maryland and the Israeli Dahaf Institute was released before talks next week between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama on Iran's nuclear programme.
The poll found that 34 percent of the 500 people surveyed believed that Israel should not strike Iran and 42 percent said it should attack only if the United States backed the decision.
Only 19 percent believed Israel should attack even without the support of Washington, which said on Wednesday that diplomacy and increased sanctions to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions have time to work.
Now, let's rewrite Lubell's lede to provide an accurate counter-representation of the facts:
A wide majority of Israelis (61%) either support an Israeli strike on Iran or would favour an attack if it was carried out with U.S. agreement, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.
And by the way, over half of Americans feel the same:
Respondents also were asked their opinion of Israel's taking pre-emptive military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Overall, 53 percent favor it, 21.4 percent oppose, and 25.6 have no opinion.