Robert Fisk promotes libel that Israel deliberately kills Palestinian journalists

We’ve posted repeatedly about the egregious distortions and outright lies about Israel peddled by Robert Fisk, the Independent’s veteran Middle East correspondent, and, before pivoting to his latest piece, here’s a very brief summary of his ‘greatest hits’:

  • He claimed that Israel dragged the West into the Syrian Civil War.
  • He claimed the Obama administration’s impending 2013 attack on Syria – later aborted – following a chemical attack on civilians was not motivated by the desire to dissuade Assad from further such attacks, but, rather, was an operation based solely on Israeli interests.
  • He somehow managed to blame Israel in part for the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US forces.
  • He falsely claimed that former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin characterised Palestinians as “two-legged animals”.
  • He suggested the British government should be just as worried about British Jews who fought in the IDF and then returned to the UK as they are about returning ISIS terrorists.
  • He characterised Shimon Peres – arguably the Israeli most associated with the quest for peace – shortly after his passing as a man of “blood” and “slaughter”.
  • He peddled the antisemitic ‘dual loyalty’ card by suggesting that President Clinton’s Mid-East peace advisers (such as Dennis Ross and Aaron David Miller) couldn’t be trusted to act in the best interest of the US because they were Jewish.
  • He personally apologised to Palestinians for the Balfour Declaration.

His latest Indy column makes use of another anti-Israel trick in his arsenal – selective omissions which serve to advance the desired pro-Palestinian narrative.  The piece focuses on Time magazine’s person of the year front award going to Jamal Khashoggi and the other journalist “guardians” who have “taken great risks in pursuit of greater truths”.

Fisk drags Israel into the story by the fourth paragraph:

Of course, I did look at Time’s list of names to see if Yasser Murtaja, the brave Palestinian cameraman shot dead by an Israeli sniper in April, made it to their hall of honour. He was hailed by The Nation magazine. Like Khashoggi, he gave his life for telling – or in his case, filming –  the truth, the Palestinian protests at the Gaza border. But maybe he wasn’t filming a truth which Americans or Time magazine are ready to accept, or to talk too much about without becoming “controversial”: the oppression of the people of Gaza.

Whilst Fisk’s suggestion that the MSM is reluctant to report on ‘the oppression of the people of Gaza’ is patently absurd, even more troubling is his failure to even acknowledge questions raised concerning whether Murtaja was truly a journalist.

According to Israeli intelligence, Martaja devoted a good measure of his life to another pursuit, one that diverges quite radically from the ‘pursuit of the truth’. Here’s the relevant information from a report at Meir Amit Terrorism and Information Center.

According to Israeli security sources, press photographer Yasser Murtaja was a Hamas operative. According to the same sources, he served for years as an officer with the rank of captain in the Hamas security services in the Gaza Strip. The same sources added, based on information that they possess, that he was an operative who was active in the security services on a daily basis and greatly assisted them in their activity. The same security sources added that in March 2015, Murtaja attempted to bring a drone from Israel to the Gaza Strip to collect preliminary intelligence before operations by the Hamas security services. Of late, Yasser Murtaja continued to work with senior Hamas internal security officials in the Gaza Strip, many of whom made condolence calls at his family’s home.

Senior Hamas police officials in the Gaza Strip, headed by Police Commissioner Taysir al-Batsh (right), making a condolence call (Gaza Police website, April 8, 2018)

But beyond the narrow question of Murtaja’s affiliation, another gross deception in Fisk’s piece is the implicit libel that Israel intentionally murders Palestinian journalists to prevent them from reporting the truth about Gaza.  In fact, the IDF operates with the knowledge that Palestinian terrorists have, at times, posed as journalists in order to attack Israelis, and that this tactic was used frequently by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge – an intentional blurring of civilians with combatants that Israeli soldiers protecting the border must carefully navigate during the weekly riots.

If Fisk is skeptical of the claims by Israeli security sources, he’s of course free to express this opinion. However, to completely omit information from readers suggesting that the slain Palestinian ‘journalist’ may in fact have been a Hamas operative is yet another example of the Indy correspondent using all the tricks in his arsenal to paint Israel in the worst possible light. 

50 replies »

  1. Fisk record goes back many years – he repeated the lies about Deir Yassin and deliberately ignored evidence from those present! To trust him is like trusting the d evil

    • A recent book details the facts surrounding the actual combat at Deir Yassin and traces the subsequent and in most cases deliberate distortion – with much of the testimony coming from the Arabs themselves. It is summarized in this link:
      Arab asualties were inflated by Israeli forces for psychological impact to frighten the Arabs into abandoning the siege of Jerusalem. It didn’t work. Arabs raised the casualty number further, and included allegations of massacre and rape, in the hope of inducing Arabs to fight harder against the Jews. Not only did that strategy fail, it backfired spectacularly with many Arabs, who might otherwise have been absorbed as Israeli Arabs, fleeing in panic.
      Yet, just like with the baseless charges of Israeli blood lust in connection with the 1967 mistaken attack on the USS Liberty, confirmed as a “fog of war” debacle years ago by the release of the hitherto confidential radio transmissions from the IAF, the myth continues to replace the facts for entirely political reasons. And so it goes.

    • Back off on your hasbara bullshit. Too many of the world’s FREE citizens have watched IDF snipers gratuitously shoot, laugh and dance while they slaughter kids throwing rocks. Many have seen it in person to witness it. We’ve seen the genocide advocated in your yellow press based on TALMUDIC RACISM proclaimed by degenerate “rabbi” filth. Take you perennial victimhood and shove it up your ass.

      • Just another Jew hating Labourite, I guess.
        As for the world, I hate to pop your bubble, but there is a dearth of FREE (for emphasis) citizens in the world. Were you awake you would know that. Oh and BTW, the IDF goes to greater lengths to avoid civilian casualties than any other military in the world. So say the generals in democratic countries who know more about it than run of the mill irrational Jew hating racists such as yourself.
        It would be a thrill to see you deleted. A distant 2nd would be to see your comment deleted.

    • We had the same problem with Amerindians posing as journalists back when we were taking America from them.

  2. Fisk is a big Hezbollah fan. ‘nough said. The guy has been living in Beirut for ever. Don’t bite the hand ……..I am sure his Arab “friends” love him for it.

    • ‘blood and slaughter’?

      That’s how the US and its helpers crushed Socialist SHlTler TURD Reich and its craven cronies.

      Happy Nakba!

      • US and its “helpers”?

        It was Russia that eventually doomed Hitler. Brtain had stood alone agains the Nazis for years. The US were dragged into the war, against their will, when Germany declared war on it. The Russians suffered more in that war than anybody, losing close to 28 million souls. 22 greater than 6 million!

        • Reading your Soviet propaganda again, comrade Farmer? Of course, you sprinkled in a little Holocaust denial, or it just wouldn’t be you.
          What in the world makes you dorks think Nazism would have been defeated without the US?
          Europe invented two types of Socialist totalitarian antisemitic tyrannies. What geniuses! Now you have former Soviet asset Jeremy Corbyn and his good friends in Hezbollah and Ham-ass who have the same intended program as the Nazis.
          “Souls”. ROFL

          • “you sprinkled in a little Holocaust denial”??? I see your using that misnomer …. par for Israelists. Shows how ignorant you are of reality.

        • Ignorant Socialist Sow — you left out the part where your SOCIALIST Stalin, head of the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics, made a deal. A Non-Aggression pact, where both National SOCIALIST and Soviet SOCIALIST comrades agreed to divide up Europe. Poland was the first.

          That SOCIALIST working agreement,Non-Compete Agreement, ran from 1939-1941 when SOCIALIST shilter unilaterally broke the pact and attacked Russia in 1941.

          Read about the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

          Stalin CHANGED SIDES in 1941 and joined the Allies, led by the US.

          Then Stalin threw his troops at the nazis, disregarding their safety, their ability to defend themselves. Millions of Russian soldiers died needlessly because Stalin could not care less about their lives.

          Meanwhile the US was fighting National SOCIALIST Germany AND Imperial Japan – at the Same Time.

        • You shouldn’t fetishize Stalin’s incompetence, Mike, though it does reflect your fuzzy thinking. Stalin was a paranoid SOB and it was the Soviet’s lack of preparation and the belief that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact would protect the Soviet Union from Hitler that led to their massive losses during the war. Edward is correct, American ingenuity and manufacturing know-how is what led to the defeat of the Nazis, and it would have happened sooner had the Russians allowed the planes of the other Allied forces to land and refuel on Russian soil, which would have greatly increased their range and efficacy. Other than the fact that Hitler foolishly divided his forces, what defeated Hitler on the eastern front was not Soviet “strategy” but the same adversary that defeated Napoleon – Winter!

          • Plus there was a Nazi-Islamofascist Pact.

            Here is a 30 second Youtube of a Newsreel documenting a meeting between Socialist SHlTler and the Grand Moofti of Jerusalem.

        • Was there a Nazi-Soviet pact and near-complete agreement with the Holocaust from the Soviet side until the Nazis stabbed them in the back? I don’t think you remember, stool sample Farmer. But I do.

          • There was a pact to carve up llands. Duñno about the Holocaust where Poles, Jews, the infirm, etc.were dispatched.

            • I’ve seen people with two broken arms playing tennis who made better comeback shots than that. You are and always will be a complete and total loser.

        • That night, as Big Ben struck midnight, Churchill stood up Parliament to voice
          the gratitude of his people toward America for passing what he called “the most
          unsordid act in the history of any nation.” With this act, he declared, “the most
          powerful democracy has, in effect, declared in a solemn statute that they will
          devote their overwhelming industrial and financial strength to insuring the
          defeat of Nazism. ” Put in simpler terms, a Londoner told journalist Molly
          Panter-Downes, “Thank God! The tanks are coming.” — No Ordinary Time

          In September, Hitler announced a major expansion in Germany’s tank production.
          The goal he set — eight hundred tanks per month — was less than 15 percent of
          of Roosevelt’s objective for 1943! — No Ordinary Time