“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows is nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”
- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Norvell, June 11, 1807
Nowhere is Jefferson's statement more appropriate than it is in relation to "news" concerning Israeli affairs.
Within the American news media, HuffWatch contends that nowhere is it more applicable than to Huffington Post (“HuffPost”), which has repeatedly claimed that it is a nonpartisan news source, only interested in pursuing and reporting "the truth" (see Section 1 here).
This article will provide a regularly-updated chronicle of documentation, analysis and commentary from experts that will help the honest observer to discover the truth behind:
- HuffPost's routinely inflammatory, decontextualized and/or biased headlines and reporting procedures regarding Israel and its military
- The unjustifiably negative perceptions that HuffPost incites against Israel and its military, via the above practice --- and the hateful, often anti-Semitic comments it approves its users to publish against these targets
The allegations are grouped into categories that are representative of those most often seen on the comment threads at HuffPost, as have been (and will continue to be) documented here on HuffWatch.
- For an excellent introduction to the most common libels against Israel --- and why they are untrue --- please see Myths Vs. Facts Online, a project of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise's Jewish Virtual Library.
- For an excellent introduction to radical Islamists' pernicious media strategy --- which influences so much of what we see and hear about Israel's and Western nations' efforts to combat Islamist terrorism, on HuffPost and beyond --- see this article by Dr. John J. Dziak of the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
Please also refer to Additional Resources To Fight The Libels, a list of websites that are vital to exposing the truth behind the libels that are described in this article.
Send tips for new items that you think should be included here to:
huffwatcher1 (at) gmail.com
LIBEL 1: When is Israel going to start acting in accordance with international laws and the Geneva Conventions? When is Israel going to stop committing war crimes?
Responses:LIBEL 2: Israel is carpet-bombing defenseless civilians in Gaza! Israel is committing indiscriminate mass murder of Palestinians! Israelis are doing to the Palestinians just what the Nazis did to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto!
(1) June 18, 2009: "Hamas, The Gaza War, and Accountability Under International Law"
A speech before the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in which Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British military operations in Afghanistan and a high-ranking coordinator of its intelligence operations. Col. Kemp demolishes some of the primary myths and propaganda that lead some to believe the above libels against the IDF, particularly in the context of the IDF's recent Operation Cast Lead. The full text of his speech is located here. Here is a 3 minute video of highlights:
- A British Military Expert Tells Truth To Prejudice, Melanie Phillips, The Spectator (UK), July 7, 2009.
- Soldiers Speak Out, recent interviews with IDF soldiers, who tell a very different story of their character and actions, than the impression one would get if HuffPost was his/her only source of "news."
- Has Israel Employed Disproportionate Force?, By Rachel Neuwirth, IsraPundit.com, February 3, 2009. A step-by-step refutation of this oft-repeated allegation against Israel during Operation Cast Lead.
- Operation Cast Lead and the Ethics of Just War, by Asa Kasher, Azure, Summer 2009. Publisher: "The main purpose of this article, written by one of Israel’s leading philosophers, is to try to deal with... insufficient and flawed information, semantic confusion, and the misuse of moral principles... (re Israel's conflicts with its neighbors). At the very least, it points us toward the proper moral, ethical, and legal standards by which the Gaza operation should be evaluated."
(2) The moral rules of war and the Geneva Conventions: Who is complying with them, and who is (really) pathologically, intentionally violating them? (8:46)
This video, produced by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, documents the fact that whereas its military goes to almost inconceivable lengths to avoid harming civilians in its efforts to defend itself from Hamas terrorism, Hamas doctrine not only requires, but morally justifies and celebrates using civilians as human shields and more, largely in order to create media sympathy and outrage when they are hurt or killed. Keep this in mind the next time you see a breathless report (often produced by Palestinian stringers; more here and here) of an "Israeli outrage" in Gaza. Also keep this in mind when, as is often later proven, the responsibility for civilian deaths is proved to be exclusively Hamas's, yet certain prominent "news" sources fail/refuse to disclose this fact, or report it with the same prominence and urgency they devoted to the first, false headlines. This video is an excellent primer for the newcomer.
(3) "The Radical Axis: Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Terror in the 21st Century" (7:47)
One of the best introductions you will find to the real nature of Israel's conflict with Palestinians, specifically focusing on Operation Cast Lead --- and the bloodthirsty terrorism that Iran sponsors and justifies against Israel (and the USA), via its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah.
- 2/4/09: UN Retracts Claim Over Gaza School Attack by RTENews.com; a stunning admission that the blood libels made against Israel were, as suspected at the time, false; bonus: UN admits Hamas was stealing humanitarian supplies being given to Gaza civilians.
These are among the most vile yet persistent libels in existence. To compare in any way the acts, strategies and tactics that Israel engages in to those of the Nazis is not only grievously untrue, but is the tell-tale sign of an anti-Semite and a moral degenerate. For a good introduction to this issue, please see Seeing Anti-Semitism In 3D and Modern-Day Anti-Semitism: Live And Be Hated, Die And Be Loved, both by Natan Sharansky.
Responses (from the IDF):
(1) "Hamas Terrorist Tactics In The Gaza Strip" (5:39)
In this video with 3D animations, the IDF demonstrates the fact that despite its efforts to combat Hamas terrorists only, Hamas's ghoulish practice is to integrate itself within, and fire rockets from within Gaza's civilian population:
(2) "Hamas Profanes Islam" (3:53)
The IDF demonstrates the fact that Hamas has been using mosques as facilities from which to store and fire weapons in their terrorist attacks --- and the fact that Islam prohibits this practice.
(3) Hamas firing mortars from a UN school in Gaza (2:25)
Keep this, and the next video in mind, the next time you hear about the IDF attacking supposedly "civilian" targets without cause.
(4) IDF attacks Hamas rocket launchers as they fire into Israeli civilian population centers --- during "cease fire" in Operation Cast Lead (1:36)
LIBEL 3: Before a Jew cast the first stone against Obama let them look to their own barbarism against the Palestinians. Women and toddlers bombed at the beach (by the IDF)! Israel murders Palestinian civilians on a daily basis!
(5) "Hamas Terrorists Kill Innocent Palestinians In Gaza" (11:00)
Caution: This video contains graphic footage. It was produced and is narrated by a self-identified Arab, using footage produced by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
(6) "Hamas Uses UN Ambulance To Smuggle Terrorists In Gaza" (1:19)
Just one of myriad examples of how the UN --- which has repeatedly condemned Israel for "war crimes" --- has aligned itself with Hamas terrorists.
(7) Additional video documentation of Operation Cast Lead and the aftermath, from The Israel Project
(Note: The above are direct quotes from a long-term HuffPost user, "Lydia.")
Responses (from Honest Reporting and Second Draft):
(1) "The Big Lies" An excellent beginner's introduction to Palestinians' manufacturing of outrageous libels in order to incite hatred of, and violence against Israelis and Jews worldwide --- often with the invaluable complicity of "journalists" and "news" sources who accept and transmit whatever they say, without even a cursory analysis. Produced by Honest Reporting.
(2) "Gaza Beach Tragedy" (12:18)
From Second Draft's description: "On 6/9/06, [an] explosion on a Gaza beach killed a family. Palestinians and MSM blamed Israel, showing Huda Ghalia grieving wildly. What happened? A grotesque exploitation of grief." This is one more example of what is likely another "PallyWood" production, designed to incite hate and bloody vengeance against Israelis and Jews --- who, according to the evidence, had nothing whatsoever to do with this tragedy. Yet the MSM and certain "news" websites fell for this libel hook, line and sinker, and once again cast Israel as barbarians --- a narrative that has carried forth to this day, while not even caring to take a "second" look at the facts, as documented by Second Draft:
(3) "Icon Of Hatred" - The al Dura blood libel (17:30)
In this video, Second Draft provides a detailed look inside the blood libel that caused untold numbers of grisly murders of, and worldwide protests against Israelis and Jews, thanks to the lies propagated by Palestinians in Gaza. In summary, a 10 year old boy, Mohammed al Dura, was reportedly shot and killed by his father's side, amidst a firefight between Hamas and the IDF. Palestinian "news" sources immediately claimed that al Dura was shot by the IDF. A French "journalist" edited together the raw footage to make it appear that this was the case, and testified to it under oath. The global media --- without even doing a cursory investigation into the footage, knowing how often such media from Palestinian sources is proven to be faked --- uncritically echoed this narrative. As is documented in the following video, however, the evidence points not to Israeli soldiers, but to Palestinians themselves, and one "journalist" in particular --- for whatever happened to this boy.
(4) "Al Dura: 'According To Palestinian Sources...' II" (13:53)
A step-by-step analysis by Second Draft, documenting the lies, the manipulation, the gross incompetence of the French news bureau, and the complicity of the global media in propagating this blood libel, that triggered years of celebrated hatred and violence against Israelis and Jews worldwide.
For more information on certain members of the "news" media's uncritical acceptance and willful propagation of Palestinian "fauxtography" and blood libels against Israelis ("PallyWood") --- and the "conservative" blogosphere's efforts to establish the truth --- please see a detailed essay by Richard Landes, Writer-Director at Second Draft, here.
(5) "Al Dura: What Really Happened?" (3:28)
This short film, produced by Honest Reporting, showcases some of the facts that fatally undermine the Palestinians' (and a French "journalist's") claims that Mohammed al Dura was shot by Israeli soldiers.
7/13/08: News Blackout -- NYT Ignores Momentous Pro-Jewish Court Case Win in France --- NewsBusters examines the French court decision to throw out the PallyWood fauxtographer's libel case against a journalist who reported the truth regarding the al Dura incident --- and asks why the New York Times, which breathlessly and uncritically reported the Palestinians' blood libels against Israel, is now reluctant to report on the truth.
For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on the al Dura shooting (or hoax), which also discusses an epic lawsuit in France concerning this controversy. For your own sanity, however, please pay particular attention to the sources cited, and not necessarily all the narrative (as Wikipedia can be edited by those outside its organization, who may or may not be interested in the truth).
More on "PallyWood" staged propaganda videos and photos:
- 3/3/06: "PallyWood" - An introduction to Palestinian propaganda by Second Draft (18:00 video)
- 8/16/06: Fauxtography: The Media Scandal Continues by Michelle Malkin, TownHall.com; analysis of Hezbollah and Palestinian propaganda, accepted uncritically by the Western MSM; more on Malkin's video blog here.
- 1/24/08: Darkness at Noon -- MSM Plays Along with Hamas Photo Staging by Solomonia; proof of Hamas using fauxtography to libel Israel, by depicting "candlelight" government sessions --- with sunlit windows blocked out.
- 1/26/08: Pali Fauxtography: Giant Bulldozers Oppressing Palestinians! by Dr. Rusty Shackleford at MyPetJawa.com; so egregious it is laughable.
- 1/27/08: Inept Palestinian Propaganda Fauxtography by Charles Johnson at LittleGreenFootballs.com.
- 3/31/08: "PallyWood Strikes Again" by Second Draft (9:24 video)
- 5/13/08: 'Dead Gazan' Alive And Kicking by Y'Net; excerpt: "Muhammad al-Harrani, a father of six from Gaza diagnosed with cancer who reportedly died while waiting for a permit to enter Israel, miraculously 'came back to life'."
- 9/9/08: Reuters Spread Hamas Propaganda With Fake Power Outage Photos by Warner Todd Huston at StinkyJournalism.org; the second time this year that Hamas pulled "candlelight" fakery (see first one here). Also, see one example of this potential "candelight" hoax that HuffPost picked up on at bottom.
- 12/27/08: Israel Attacks Hamas - Here Comes the Hamas Propaganda Attack by Lenny Ben David; interesting background and links to miscellaneous Hamas fauxtography.
- 1/4/09: Apologies: Video Of Carnage In Gaza Market Is A Hoax by Uruknet.info; a detailed description of how a propaganda video from 2005, containing a blood libel against Israel, had been dusted off and was being used in a current incident.
- 1/5/09: Let the Media Fauxtography Games Begin! by Rick Moran, at AmericanThinker.com.
- 1/5/09: Palestinian Fauxtography? by Brian C. Ledbetter at SnappedShot.com; good collection of links showing a potpourri of propaganda.
- 1/8/09: A Staged Scene in a Gaza Hospital? - Update: CNN Yanks Video by Charles Johnson at LittleGreenFootballs.com.
- 2/18/09: Hamas’ Lies about Gaza Fatalities Unmasked by P. David Hornik at PajamasMedia.com. Another debunking of the lies about civilian vs. Hamas terrorist deaths during Operation Cast Lead.
Hamas-controlled Gazans painting doves on a wall
MORE TO COME