Guardian suggests Palestinian 9/11 celebrations is “far-right” fake news

An article published in the Australian edition of the Guardian (Far-right ‘hate factory’ still active on Facebook despite pledge to stop it, Feb 4) is a follow-up to a December story on what they describe as a “coordinated far-right operation” using Facebook to profit “from disinformation and anti-Islamic hate”.

The expose alleges that this hate factory is “driven by a single Israel-based administrator”.

The article includes screenshots from Facebook posts to illustrate the problem – posts they claim are all “far-right”, hateful fake news. Though most of the posts cited are indeed fake, and likely motivated by anti-Muslim animus, one of the posts they use in the article to make their point is in fact based on real news.

The Guardian caption reads: “Coordinated Facebook posts pushing disinformation about “celebrations” of the 9/11 terror attacks”.

First, let’s be clear. There is indeed some disinformation about particular Muslim communities celebrating the attacks on 9/11.  Further, the words “Die infidels! Die!” in the specific Facebook post shown above, seems to represent disinformation, insofar as there is no evidence that the Muslim woman – who you’ll see shortly – uttered such words.

However, the image from the Facebook post is a genuine still shot from a widely circulated and verified video from Sept. 11, 2001 that does show Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate celebrating the attacks.

This video from Associated Press includes the following text:

There were celebrations at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, following the attacks on the Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Palestinian men, women and children chanted in jubilation after terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center causing them to collapse on Tuesday morning.

Moreover, the celebrations didn’t represent merely the views of a fringe group of Palestinians. A poll four years after the 9/11 attacks found that 65% of Palestinian respondents supported “Al Qaeda bombings in the USA and Europe”.

The  Guardian’s suggestion – in an expose about “fake news” – that Palestinians never in fact celebrated the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people by al-Qaeda terrorists is itself fake news.

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6 replies »

  1. I remember 9/11, it’s one of those days where the entire event sticks in your mind especially as my sister-in-law lives in Greenwich Village and we were desperately worried about her. The news showed the Palestinians in Jerusalem leaping around and celebrating. After the news showed that a few times the fact that many Muslims were celebrating it was obvious that it was a no-no because all references disappeared.

  2. The Groan sets a new record for digging a hole for itself.
    They throw spaghetti at the wall and hope some will stick. When you have no more claims to even attempt the truth why not join RT, AJ+ and Juan Cole and simply start making s up.

    Meanwhile here in Europe Jews and gays are no longer safe in cities as the son’s of the above mentioned people have lost any inhibition’s and verbally and physically attack them as they walk down the street. But this too is a “far right conspiracy”.

  3. from my book ms.

    As for the footage, Palestinian authorities, including the Tanzim, the military arm of the PA, did everything they could to prevent its circulation. They stopped camera crews at the site from filming; they called the camera crews who had filmed the celebrations into the PA offices and informed them that they would be held personally responsible if their footage was shown. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat’s Cabinet secretary, said the Palestinian Authority “cannot guarantee the life” of any member of the camera crew, if the footage was broadcast. AP, pressured both by the PA and their own cameramen, decided not to show the footage.

    Publicly, AP Chief of Bureau Dan Perry protested somewhat entreatingly:

    I ask the assurances of the Palestinian Authority that you will protect our journalists from threats and attempts at intimidation and that no harm would come to our freelance cameraman from distribution of the film.

    Privately, he admitted to an inquiring journalist that the AP had to fold:

    We are acting to assure the safety of our staff. The safety of our staff is paramount. At this point, we believe there to be a serious threat to our staff if the video is released and we have protested this to the PA.

    The incident confirmed what the events of the previous October in Ramallah had already illuminated: the al Shabab and PA officials play tough-cop/nice-cop, to control the news media and make sure that that news that might harm the Palestinian ‘image’ in the West does not get out. Here, on the topic of 9-11, the AP’s cautious response of pulling the footage replicates Cristiano’s protests and Orme’s astoundingly deficient report on Palestinian incitement the previous year. Near complete compliance with Palestinian demands.

  4. This is like the left version of Tucker Carlson saying white supremacy is a hoax. Obviously this happened, but maybe, maybe not clear across Judaea and Samaria. Just as Carlson obviously knows there are white supremacists out there but they’re in small numbers, closely watched especially since the 90s turmoil, etc. But the conservative has to get off the air but no recourse for Guardian journos.