Corrections

CiF Watch prompts another UK media correction to Palestinian ‘political prisoner’ claim


Back in late July, we posted about a story in The Independent written by Allistair Dawber pertaining to concessions Israel made to the Palestinians in order to restart peace talks, which included the following passage:

Details of the latest Middle East peace plan began to emerge today, hours after John Kerry announced that he had brokered an agreement that is likely to lead to fresh talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The most significant concession appears to be a promise by Israel to release a number of high-ranking [pre-Oslo] Palestinian political prisoners, many of whom have been behind bars for decades. Prisoner releases have been a longstanding demand of the Palestinian leadership.

As we noted at the time, characterizing these 104 prisoners (convicted before the Oslo Agreement in 1993) as “political prisoners” – mirroring the Palestinian narrative which glorifies even the most loathsome terrorists – is definitively contradicted by detailed information CiF Watch obtained from the Israel Justice Ministry. This data (translated and published exclusively by CAMERA) included details of the crimes and other relevant facts on every Palestinian prisoner in question – proving conclusively that all of the prisoners were convicted of murder, attempted murder or being an accessory to murder.

As we’ve noted previously, one of the Palestinian prisoners in question, Ateya Abu Moussa, was convicted of murdering a Holocaust survivor named Isaac Rotenberg with an axe in 1994. (The attack on Rotenberg was carried out by Abu Moussa and an accomplice as a ‘precondition’ of their entry into a terrorist organization.) 

The following – a snapshot from a site dedicated to Sobibor survivors – is one of the few photos we were able to find of Rotenberg.

So conclusive was our evidence that we were able to get a correction from the Guardian a month after Harriet Sherwood had also described the Palestinians in question as “political prisoners” in a report.

We similarly engaged in a series of exchanges with Indy editors over the language used in Dawber’s story and, after some time, they agreed to revise the passage. Here’s how it reads now:

The most significant concession appears to be a promise by Israel to release a number of high-ranking Palestinian prisoners, many of whom have been behind bars for decades.  Jail releases have been a long-standing demand of the Palestinian leadership, which regards the individuals as ‘political prisoners’.  The Israeli government disputes that view.

Whilst the last sentence of the revised passage – suggesting that the ‘question’ of whether murderers should be characterized as political prisoners is open for debate – is in itself a troubling commentary on the moral relativism which infects the debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we nonetheless commend Indy editors on their decision.

36 replies »

  1. Worthless. It should say ” …Palestian leadership, which regards axe murderers and other killers as political prisoners.”

    • An improvement from 0 to 1%.

      Minus 1% for sloppy journalism. Once you say “which regards the individuals as …” you no longer need the quotes.

      So we’re back to zero.

      • Imagine the sentence without the quotes and you have a 50-50 he said she said. The quotes, at least for me, bring the Palestinian leadership’s definition into question – and that’s a significant improvement.
        I agree with Itsik below that a subsequent paragraph to clarify those positions is in order.

  2. I disagree that it’s not an improvement. Nobody denies that the Palestinians consider them political prisoners. The original passage endorsed this absurd characterization. The revised passage was neutral on the issue. Big difference

    • I would agree but need to stress that another paragraph should have been added describing that some of those prisioners commited unprovoked murders of random unarmed civillians, which sometimes assisted them prior to the murder.

    • Adam:

      The revised passage was neutral on the issue.

      Yes, it’s an improvement of sorts, but I note that while they have this bit: The Israeli government disputes that view, they give no indication of why Israel disputes it and are mute about the horrific crimes committed by these murderers.

      Someone who knows next to nothing about these prisoner releases (in other words someone exposed to media like the BBC, the Guardian and the ‘Independent’) would simply note the Israeli disapproval and shake his head and think, “Well, the Israelis would dispute it, wouldn’t they?”

      Then there is the obvious question of the time lapse between the original published bias and the correction. Few people, if any, will be accessing that article to reread it
      or even read it for the first time since it will no longer be linked to from the main page.

      However, while the indoctrinated masses who read this media propaganda will have had their bias reinforced by articles such as these, the ignorant anti-Israel hacks who write for the lefty UK media might at least be a bit more cautious before pumping out the usual crap, once it has been exposed as the crap it really is. The reason is simple: though pickled in their obligatory anti-Israel bias, they no doubt take some pride in their abilities as journalists and would experience some discomfort at being nailed for one-sided, fact-free reporting.

      Keep up the good work, Adam.

      .

  3. The Indy is facing a simmering insurrection by its journalists because of threatened lay-offs. Strikes are threatened, I hear, and it’s losing cash, big time, just like The Guardian – The Guardian lost 75.6 million Pounds in 2012. These left wing, antisemitic journalists and their rags are on their way out.

      • You see Pretzy you and me are brothers we think alike.Lapsed Atheist is going to be disappointed as The Guardian is well on the way to being an online giant. The Greenwald coup has projected it skyward

        This is a good article . Violence even against an intransigent and unmoveable authority simply is unacceptable except in dire self defence .

          • Don’t fight it Pretzy go with the flow. We want the same thing .Peace. A safe haven for Jews. Any differences are tiny. I bet you are a Leo too.

            • Go with the flow. Join the bandwagon. Anti-Israel is “in”.
              A safe haven for Jews who mind their P’s and Q’s. Do as you’re told. Be seen and not heard, and if possible, neither seen nor heard. Forget anti-Semitism and implacable animosity against you, calls for genocide and suppression, and all will be well. Jasper’s dystopia is awaiting you.

            • Jasper: “we want the same thing … A safe haven for Jews.”

              Must be those incorrigible Zionists spoiling the party again. If only they would concede to the higher moral authority of a pompous British imperialist like Jasper then he wouldn’t have to hate them so much.

        • Jasper:
          “The Greenwald coup has projected it skyward”

          The “Greenwald coup”, as you put it, was an act of dispair.

          • Have you had a look recently ???..ordinary articles can get 3000 posts . The Yanks are flooding in. They are fed up with their own hilariously parochial and right wing papers. They are also wondering just why the US seems to be unable to in anyway influence Israeli policy despite the 3 B each year

            • This is the same Glenn Greenwald who justified the Boston marathon bombing? I’m sure that the “yanks” as you like to call them (like every other condescending “limey” or “pommy” cretin) simply like him very much. If the Guardian has to base its financial success on the hysterical anti-US, anti-western, pro-Russia and pro-terror yowls of a disgruntled ego maniacal narcissistic psychopath’s incitements then they really are scraping the barrel. Could it be that their incessant obsessive anti-Israel propaganda doesn’t pay so well any more?

            • Jasper: “hilariously parochial”

              The demographic of your typical middle-class SWP meeting. Don’t deny it Jasper, you have no other meaningful identity. Every post follows a vacuously predictable dogmatic party line.

        • Jasper:

          “You see Pretzy you and me are brothers we think alike.”

          What was it that you said about Pretzelberg yesterday?
          That he’s a two faced person? At least with Peter you know where you stand, you said.
          So now you admit you are a two faced person.
          Charming.
          BTW, Pretzelberg is nothing like you. Not in a million years. He has a sense of Justice and sticks to what he believes in rather than seeing everything as black aand white like you do.

          • BTW, Pretzelberg is nothing like you. Not in a million years. He has a sense of Justice and sticks to what he believes in rather than seeing everything as black aand white like you do.

            I second that. But I would add that Pretzelberg seems to have a knee-jerk sensitivity to attacks on the left. Hence his sharp response to this perfectly legitimate observation by Lapsed Atheist:

            These left wing, antisemitic journalists and their rags are on their way out.

            As for me, I can’t fault that statement. The left has largely adopted the anti-Semitism of the right and is proving every bit as virulently anti-Semitic as the right ever was.

            • ” every bit as virulently anti-Semitic as the right ever was ”

              What a stupid stupid thing to say. I understand the necessity of attacking the left as anti-Semitic given your inability to differentiate between attacks on extremist Zionism and attacks on Jews but just look at your words.

              You do know which side of the political spectrum the Nazis were on do you ?

              • Jasper:

                “…given your inability to differentiate between attacks on extremist Zionism and attacks on Jews…”

                Can you tell them apart?

                A simple question.
                Is Zionism racism in your eyes?

              • ” I understand the necessity of attacking the left as anti-Semitic..”
                Jasper are you denying that there are those on the ‘left’ who are anti-Semitic both in word and deed?
                Have you forgotten the shameful actions of Comrade Stalin?

                “You do know which side of the political spectrum the Nazis were on do you ?”
                So enlighten me Jasper which side of it were they on, and how do you explain the existence of those called ‘Beefsteak’ Nazis?

                • And don’t forget this Gerald:

                  “The signing of the Stalin-Hitler pact must be seen in a different light. It marked a further break with the traditions of Bolshevism and the foreign policy of Lenin and Trotsky. As Trotsky said at the time, it was an “extra gauge with which to measure the degree of degeneration of the bureaucracy, and its contempt for the international working class, including the Comintern.”

                  Clearly, the rise of Fascism in Germany had had a devastating impact on the working class internationally. The mightiest and best organised labour movement in the world had allowed Fascism to triumph, as Hitler boasted, ‘without breaking a window.’ The reason for this catastrophe was the insane actions of the Stalinist Communist Parties.

                  By 1927 Trotsky and the Left opposition were being expelled from the Communist parties and its supporters were being hounded by the Stalinists. In face of the menace of Fascism, they raised the need for a United Front in Germany of socialist and communists. The Stalinists in Russia, having leant on the Right to defeat the Left Opposition, now proceeded to crush Bukharin and the enriched peasantry he represented. This was reflected by the ultra-left turn in the Communist International in 1928. This meant denouncing every group that was not the Communist Party as a variant of Fascism: “social-fascists”, “liberal-fascists”, and worst of all, the “Trotsky-fascists.” Such nonsense simply demoralised the workers and played into the hands of Hitler’s gangs.

                  However, as Trotsky had warned, inherent within the ruling bureaucracy was a desire to restore capitalism in order to pass on their privileges to their offspring. It took 50 years for this prognosis to play out. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and the leading bureaucrats, such as Yeltsin, embraced capitalism. The Stalinists, despite all the sacrifices of the Russian masses, had become the grave-diggers of the Russian Revolution.


                  http://www.marxist.com/the-stalin-hitler-pact.htm

            • The left has largely adopted the anti-Semitism of the right and is proving every bit as virulently anti-Semitic as the right ever was

              Come off it. We all know what right-wing anti-Semitism at its most extreme culminated in.

              • Pretz:

                “We all know what right-wing anti-Semitism at its most extreme culminated in.”

                You are right Pretz, it is a different type of Anti Semitism.
                Never the less it still is.

  4. Wrong postition, altered by the system.
    Should be an answer to Jasper with his inlaws already famous for their constant (mis?-)use at this website

  5. Just as an aside and especially for those who don’t reside in the UK and are perhaps unaware , the Independent print run is maintained by giving away as a free news paper in a fair few hotels . I m not sure how it works but I would imagine the hotel pays a fraction of the price in order to provide a service for their guests . Once the presses are running it makes sense to overrun as it costs very little extra in terms of materials , overheads etc and it generates a little extra revenue .
    You would never see a quality paper such as the Times resort to such desperate measures . Hopefully the owners will at some point cut their losses and pull the plug on these rags .