CNN Defends their Pallywood Error. Let’s See Mr. Mashharawi’s Rushes

The CNN footage from the Gaza Hospital is still hotly contested. Follow the multiple postings at LGF and an update at Powerline. Here below, I deal with CNN’s defense of the footage in detail because it so resembles the kinds of arguments that Charles Enderlin made about his own monumental gaffe with Talal abu Rahmeh and his “Al Durah” story.

January 9, 2009 — Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)

Gaza video genuine, journalists say

You wouldn’t know it from the title, but there’s only one “journalist” whose opinion is cited in the article (unless Mashharawi the cameraman under suspicion is also considered a journalist).

(CNN) — There’s no truth to accusations by bloggers that a Palestinian camera crew staged a video showing the death of the videographer’s brother after an Israeli rocket attack, said the team’s employer.

In the video, camerman Ashraf Mashharawi is seen holding his brother.

“It’s absolute nonsense,” Paul Martin, co-owner of World News and Features, said of accusations leveled by bloggers at videographer Ashraf Mashharawi.

“He’s a man of enormous integrity and would never get involved with any sort of manipulation of images, let alone when the person dying is his own brother,” Martin said. “I know the whole family. I know them very well. … [Mashharawi] is upset and angry that anyone would think of him having done anything like this. … This is ridiculous. He’s independent.”

I don’t know much about Paul Martin, but it’s clear he spends lots of time in Gaza, and manages to have considerable access to Hamas “militants” whose narrative he seems to feel the world needs to understand. In any case this remark is nothing short of breathtaking. Mashharawi’s about as “independent” as Diana Buttu. The idea that a cameraman working in Gaza is not a militant for the Palestinian cause (perhaps not Hamas, but even that’s unlikely in the last years), is close to preposterous. No genuine independent could survive there for any period of time.

But the rhetoric is crucial here. Just like Charles Enderlin defending Talal, the ploy here is to present Palestinian cameramen as living up to the highest Western standards of journalism. And of course, this is only for public consumption. As Charles told me off the record when I pointed out that Talal’s rushes were full of staged scenes, “Oh sure, they do this all the time.” But on the record, “Talal is a top journalist.”

As for the “I know the whole family…” that’s just what Charles told me that Talal would never lie to him because their families had shared meals together. The credulity of these Western journalists who think that because they’ve sat down with their Palestinian colleagues and broken bread that means that their newfound friends would break ranks with their people’s struggle, is somewhat breathtaking.

Raafat Hamdouna, administrative director at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, said Friday that “Mahmoud Khalil Mashharawi, a 12-year-old, was brought to the hospital, and he was breathing, but he was hit in the head and all over his body by shrapnel. He died later in the hospital. He was treated by the Norwegian team. When he was brought in, he was breathing. The team did their best to save him. I am not really sure if they even tried to rush him to the surgery room, because he was badly hurt.”

Mashharawi’s video footage originally appeared on British television’s Channel 4 and later on CNN. It showed futile attempts by doctors to resuscitate Mashharawi’s 12-year-old brother, Mahmoud, after he and his 14-year-old cousin, Ahmed, had been wounded in what the family said was a rocket attack from a remote-controlled drone Sunday.

Ahmed also was taken to the hospital, but he had been fatally struck in the head and chest by shrapnel and had lost a foot, Hamdouna said. Hamdouna said the hospital records reported Ahmed’s age as 16, not 14, as the family said.

At the time of the attack, the family said, the two boys were playing on the rooftop of the family’s three-story house. The video showed a blood-splattered area where an explosion had taken place and where shrapnel had pierced the roof.

Mashharawi has regularly worked with World News and Features since 2004, Martin said. His multimedia company serves television, radio and newspapers.

Martin said accusations that Mashharawi owns a company that hosts Hamas Web sites were falsely based on Mashharawi having worked at a company that created the PS suffix to allow anyone of any political persuasion to create Palestinian Web sites.

The video footage appeared on CNN television networks and on CNN.com for 24 hours before CNN removed the material in the belief that it had no further right to use it. CNN, standing by the video, has since reposted it. Some bloggers had cited its removal as evidence that CNN did not stand by its reporting.

Responding to accusations that the resuscitation efforts of Mashharawi’s brother appeared inauthentic, Martin said that, based on his years of reporting from Gaza, doctors often go through such efforts even with little hope that a patient can be saved.

This is rich. Note that CNN did not consult a doctor on this one, but Martin’s experience in Gaza. I’ve consulted a doctor and a number of people with experience in CPR have commented both at my article at PJMedia and at LGF. But here it’s Martin’s long experience in Gaza that comes into play. There are two ways to explain this remark, neither of them working in the way Martin would like.

  • 1) Doctors in Gaza are so incompetent that what appears to Western experts as a joke, really is their best effort. The incompetence is doubled by Martin’s qualifying remark: as commenters have noted, if the patient is dying, the CPR should be more vigorous.
  • 2) Doctors “often go through such efforts even with little hope that a patient can be saved” as long as the cameras are rolling. Maybe Martin wasn’t paying attention to that detail.

In the video of the incident, the boy appears lifeless when brought to into the hospital.

In a brief conversation with CNN, Mashharawi said that doctors tried everything they could to save his brother and that he rejected suggestions that any of his work was inauthentic.

Before bloggers made their accusations, Mashharawi told CNN, “I believed at that moment if I didn’t record that nobody will believe what’s happened to my brother. Because it is unbelievable. Until now, I can’t believe what’s happened.”

It’s not clear what’s “unbelievable. That a child would be hit by rockets in a war zone and die in a hospital is hardly unbelievable. That one needed to film it for the sake of “proof” strikes me as pretty unconvincing. That he filmed it to arouse anger against Israel with the pathos of the scene, strikes me as more likely; and as I argued in the Gaza Beach tragedy documentary I made, this is “exploiting grief.”

To get a sense of the difference in cultures here, no Israeli cameraman would film the death of a family member (or anyone else) and then give it to Western media to show the world the plight of the Israelis. None.

What’s most appalling about this article — but will eventually, I suspect, redound to CNN’s discredit — is that they ran this article based on the denial of two already committed sources. CNN made no effort to corroborate any of this. It’s just “he said, she said.”

What we need is the rushes that Ahraf Mashharawi shot that day
, that we see in edited form. Like the rushes of Talal, we’ll be able to judge better what was going on that day if we could see them. And unlike Talal’s rushes, let’s see them uncensored. I suspect we won’t, because when it comes to the clash between Palestinian journalism, channeled through advocacy journalists, the clash between narrative and evidence is so great, they cannot afford to let us see.

I may be wrong. This may be genuine footage. I am open to being convinced so. But let us see the evidence.

35 Responses to CNN Defends their Pallywood Error. Let’s See Mr. Mashharawi’s Rushes

  1. Joel Pollak says:

    Another reason to doubt the video:

    http://guidetotheperplexed.blogspot.com/2009/01/08-january-2009-cnn-runs-fake-video-of.html

    How likely is it, in Islamist-controlled Gaza, that the family would be willing to be filmed having a less-than-devout funeral?

  2. Mike Jefferson says:

    Richard, you are absolutely correct in your assessment. An analysis has been produced that suggests that the “resuscitation” has been staged based on the available video evidence. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0yCN8jfJb4 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doYAaMjYTHM

    If CNN, Channel 4 UK, or the cameraman want to produce the un-edited tape for systematic analysis, I’ll be happy to render an opinion. Until then, based on what was released, this was nothing more than a Pallywood production.

  3. Heathen says:

    Great summary of facts, I’ve seen the video and commented at LGF. One point I’d like to clarify for the commenters saying that “if the patient is dying the CPR should be more vigorous.”

    Only dying patients receive CPR. It is a last-ditch effort to stave off hypoxic brain injury until the heart can be restarted with drugs or defibrillator.

    For the record, I’m an ACLS-certified (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) physician. That video is an obvious (and poorly performed) fake. They are making zero effort to actually resuscitate that patient.

  4. JD says:

    “and as I argued in the Gaza Beach tragedy documentary I made, this is “exploiting grief.””

    It is exploiting grief. But in the larger sense it is a small part of a pattern in the Palestinian narrative, the discourse of massacreology. Deir Yassin, Beirut, “Jenin,” these are not mere complaints about war, but necessary to the Palestinian ego, shame, humiliation, and their own foundational myths.

    It goes back to the Nakba. Many Palestinians fled after/as the Arab side lost the war. The Palestinians, like others, have their own cultural arrogances. They assumed the Jews would do to them what they would have done to the Jews had they won the war. Arguably the tactic of mass civilian casualty terrorism evinces at a small scale what they would have done.

    That the Jews did not massacre did not happen is humiliating in several ways. The next generation, trying to understand their parents’ actions in light of reality, elevated Deir Yassin and concocted instances of this or that as the Jewish causation of the flight. They have no stories about being forced out at gunpoint, like the Indian Muslims or Hindu Pakis or the eastern province Germans. Those people don’t have to explain what happened because we know what happened, and it wasn’t their own volition.

    Besides being humiliating morally, embracing the truth would do little to advance their cause to outsiders, including other Arabs.

    The desperation to validify their mistaken beliefs about Jews perhaps hit the height of the ridiculous with Sabra and Shatilla massacres that were carried out by fellow Arabs in a country that literally bars Palestinians from many occupations and positions no less. Think of all the effort that went into blaming that Arab massacre on Jews. The portrayal of Jews as cruel is not merely an import of Euro anti-semitism, but it is necessary for maintaining the foundational myth, because the Palestinians have so little evidence of Jewish blame that can outweigh their self-awareness why they fled in the forties.

    That is why peculiar to the Palestinians they have the need to parade dead bodies and promote the idea of a massacre. Each Israeli invasion of sorts is given one “massacre”, usually fictive. Chechens don’t do it, Tamil Tigers, nations, only the Palestinians orchestrate such.

    People often say “try to see it from the other side”. I think that’s good.

  5. JD says:

    “To get a sense of the difference in cultures here, no Israeli cameraman would film the death of a family member (or anyone else) and then give it to Western media…”

    To expand my point, expand beyond Israeli. Not only no Israeli, but no one else other than Palestinians do this. Muslims respect the dead. Hezbollah and Saddam were a bit imitatve at times, but I’m not sure “Green Helmet Guy” isn’t a Palestinian in the south of Lebanon. Hezb. didn’t do this act with casualties in Beirut bombings of 2006. They exaggerated the number as usual, but they didn’t parade bodies.

    Why?

    Goes all the way back to the Nakba and the evolution of Palestinian national mythology, what their intellectuals cherish as the “narrative.”

  6. oao says:

    The credulity of these Western journalists who think that because they’ve sat down with their Palestinian colleagues and broken bread that means that their newfound friends would break ranks with their people’s struggle, is somewhat breathtaking.

    It’s not credulity. It’s inability to conceive of behavior such as the plastinians’ or the jihadists. They’re completely out of their depth and the only thing they’re capable of is to project from themselves, which the pals are shrewd enough to exploit.

  7. oao says:

    of course, neither they are capable of admitting they are being fooled and used.

  8. Roddy Frankel says:

    While it would be nice to obtain the unedited video from the source, there is enough evidence in the existing video clips to expose this as a fraud.

    From CNN’s denial story:
”Raafat Hamdouna, administrative director … he was breathing, but he was hit in the head and all over his body by shrapnel. He died later in the hospital. He was treated by the Norwegian team. … he was badly hurt.”
    The description is completely inconsistent with the images in the video.

    At 0:51.06 in the video, when a family member is carrying the “lifeless body” of the dead boy, the right side of his face is exposed and clearly there is no sign of trauma, blood, or swelling. At 1:36,09 in the video, when other family members carry the “lifeless body,” the left side of his face is exposed and again there is no sign of trauma. Also, the facial skin tone of the deceased, in both frames, looks as healthy as that of the “pall bearers.” Excellent makeup! Or maybe he’s still alive? Either way, the boy did not suffer from shrapnel wounds to the head, as the hospital administrator claimed.

    At 0:10.05 in the video, Dr. Mads Gilbert notices the cardio-pulmonary monitor flashing alarms, and he signals with a pumping fist action that CPR should be administered.
    At 0:17,07 in the video, Dr. Gilbert is pointing to the monitor, which now appears to show flat lines. Therefore, this video clip purports to show the actual time of death.

    If the boy’s heart had recently stopped, which is the only time chest compressions make any sense, then there should have been active, profuse bleeding from every open wound. Yet, the few wounds that are visible all appear dry.

    At 0:24.0 in the video clip, “holmes.gaza.boy.cnn_576x324_dl.flv,” there is a brief flash of the boys leg wound, which appears to be a 6 inch gaping laceration to the upper calf. Note that the wound apears dry and there is no blood stain on the sheet directly underneath it.

    At 0:46.23 to 0:48.25, the cadaver’s body is wrapped in the uppermost bed sheet. While there is a conspicuous bright red stain, 6-8 inches in diameter, on the bedding directly under the wrapping sheet, the wrapping sheet itself is remarkably clean. There are two small, 1-2 inch diameter brown stains on the wrapping sheet, but they do not match the size or color of the bright red stain in the bed. If the source of the larger bed stain was the boy’s body, then the blood would have soaked through all of the sheets. Since there was little to no blood in the scene, then either there were no real wounds, or they used an already dead cadaver to stage the scene.

    Another problems with the scene: the boy appears to have either an endotracheal tube or a naso-gastric tube. The size of the tube is small, more consistent with a naso-gastric tube, which would be pretty useless in this circumstance. If the tube is in fact an endotracheal tube, then it clearly is not connected to any ventillator or ambu-bag. Regardless of how poorly equipped Gaza hospitals may be, Dr. Gilbert, a Norwegian medical doctor, should know the principals of basic CPR. No equipment is needed.

    Yet another problem: If the boy was still breathing when he came to the hospital, as his brother claimed, then he should have been taken directly to surgery to locate and repair the sources of internal bleeding. If CPR was administered, it would have taken place in an operating room. If this scene had taken place in an emergency room setting, just as the boy was brought in to the hospital, then Dr. Gilbert should have removed all blankets and clothing to locate any major bleeding sites. No competent emergency room doctor would leave a traumatized person covered in blankets as he bleeds to death, especially if he suffered from shrapnel wounds to the chest, as was claimed by the hospital administrator.

  9. Mike Jefferson says:

    PLEASE NOTE: THE VIDEO REFUTATION OF CNN HAS BEEN REMOVED.

    It can now be viewed at Liveleak:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ace_1231644797

  10. Vilmos says:

    Richard,

    Now that you have mentioned Charles Enderlin, of France 2 (still?), here is an excerpt from a Mark Steyn column:

    —–
    In Paris, the state-owned TV network France-2 broadcasts film of dozens of dead Palestinians killed in an Israeli air raid on New Year’s Day. The channel subsequently admits that, in fact, the footage is not from Jan. 1, 2009, but from 2005, and, while the corpses are certainly Palestinian, they were killed when a truck loaded with Hamas explosives detonated prematurely while leaving the Jabaliya refugee camp in another of those unfortunate work-related accidents to which Gaza is sadly prone. Conceding that the Palestinians supposedly killed by Israel were, alas, killed by Hamas, France-2 says the footage was broadcast “accidentally.”
    —–

    Cheat me, shame on you. Cheat me twice, shame on me. I don’t believe that “accidentally” part.

    Vilmos

  11. Bill says:

    If you watch the UK Channel 4 version, you will see the a heavy-set bearded man in dark-blue jacket with grey collar denoted as Ashraf, the cameraman. It is Ashraf who is on the couch with Mahmoud’s body, it is Ashraf giving the commentary on the roof, and it is Ashraf placing the body into and taking it out of the car when going to the burial.

    If that is indeed the case, then who is operating the camera?

    Since they have video supposedly before Ashraf heard the news, showing him walking around a car, then there must be another cameraman in his team. This means that this is a two cameraman team working, since it doesn’t look like Ashraf has handed the camera over to someone else after he got the phone-call. The video work looks professional too, indicating the shooter was probably a professional.

    If Ashraf is getting the credit for the video, then what part did he play other than being in front of the camera, and allowing the videoing in his time of family tragedy? Is the real cameraman behind the camera working for Ashraf? If so, then who is he? Certainly nobody seems to mention him at all.

    Certainly the story is well put together in terms of telling a story, although the Channel 4 version seems a bit strange with Ashraf holding his brother Mahmoud on a couch supposedly they go off to the hospital – the CNN version has this clip inserted probably correctly in sequence in time: after the hospital visit, with Mahmoud in his shroud. The desire to tell a neat story probably prompted the video editor to want to show Ashraf visiting home to find out what happened, found his brother there, they went to hospital for unsuccessful treatment, then he took Mahmoud to the cemetary for burial. A nice neat package.

    Unfortunately life is usually not that neat. Did Ashraf go to the hospital first, or home first on hearing the tragic news? Did Ashraf accompany his brother to hospital? Did Ashraf come back from the hospital to shoot the commentary on the roof, after Mahmoud has been declared dead, or even much later after the body has been buried. What happened to the other cousin, who lost a foot and also died?

    Once you start building a story from disparate elements you start entering a murky territory. It can go from ‘as it happened’ to cinema verité to propaganda. This is the real story that CNN is trying to deny, not whether two boys died, but it is the questions about the construction of the story of their deaths. In the story, the Israelis are accused of deliberately targeting the two boys playing on the roof, a war crime, presented as if this has been investigated and proven true.

    I agree that viewing copy of the original master tapes would answer a lot of the unanswered question that the story has raised.

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  13. PAUL MARTIN says:

    WORLD NEWS & FEATURES, which has been operating in zones of conflict since 2001, is responsible for the supply of video material to a number of major television stations during this Gaza conflict, and we are very careful to ensure we work only with people we know and trust in the Gaza Strip. Ashraf Mashharawi is probably the most respected independent producer in the Gaza Strip. We have worked with him, and with his late brother Ahmed, an excellent cameraman, on and off there for at least five years, and throughout the Mashharawis have been fair and accurate. We would expect even the most objective Western journalist to be somewhat upset when he has to carry his own 12-year-old brother to hospital, fatally wounded by a rocket while playing on the roof of his own home. No-one in their right mind would suggest that any person would allow doctors to play games with a dying or dead younger brother. The idea is bizarre and deeply insulting, and actually damages the credibility of your blogger’s scrutiny of TV output in general – a scrutiny which in principle we would strongly applaud.

    The tape, filmed by Ashraf’s cameraman, was fed to London and used by several outlets, without WNF itself actually having the facility to watch it beforehand. But having now done so we continue to stand by the complete genuineness of the footage. What is shown is just the very final stage of doctors’ failed efforts to save Mahmoud. I suppose the reason their effort as shown is so gentle is that they have already in effect concluded that it is futile. And I think your blogger’s understanding of TV is somewhat flawed in this respect: no-one would need to ‘dramatize’ any such death, gently or vigorously. The death itself and the fact that Ashraf’s cameraman had filmed all the PREVIOUS events, and the subsequent return to the home with the body, and the funeral, would have been dramatic enough… in fact the hospital post-death concluding effort by the doctor(s) in no way enhanced the power of the filming – if anything it weakened it… just a body lying there and Ashraf mourning over his dead brother’s lifeless corpse would have been more powerful.

    So there is no logical reason to suspect that this doctor was playing to the camera (if so he would have bacted much more dramatically, of course) – let alone that Ashraf would have asked him to do so. The hospital has confirmed that Mahmoud Mashharawi, aged 12, was brought in still breathing but subsequently was pronounced dead. There is therefore not the slightest indication of any faking.

    I think a decent apology to Ashraf might be in order.

    I might also add that trying to suggest Ashraf has some political agenda is also a false trail. He does not. He was (but is no longer) employed by a company that produced the .ps suffix, and just as anyone can sign up for a .com or a .info or a.tv suffix on payment of a small fee, so can anyone buy a .ps suffix – even Little Green Footballs. All Palestinians like the .ps suffix so anyone can sign up, including affiliates of Hamas. So what WNF has also used this company’s services, because it has a big US-based server that can contain a lot of video, and it is quite cheap! We are happy with this web hosting service – which has no influence at all on our editorial output – we can switch to any commercial provider whenever we wish. The fact that we have had both a personal and a commercial relationship with Ashraf Mashharawi is one good reason why we are relying ONLY on his services during this current conflict while I myself and our other people cannot enter Gaza itself. We have other Palestinians offering to work for us there but have turned all of them down so we can rely only on someone about whose integrity we have certainty.

    Finally, an attempt was made by one of your bloggers to show that one of the doctors wanted to make a film with Ashraf. His brother, who died in a car crash, was hosted by a family in Norway and that is probably how he came to know about Ashraf’s production services. The idea that this somehow resulted in this same doctor and Ashraf acting out some faked scene over his dying or dead youngest brother is ludicrous and sickening. Ashraf’s father, who is a medical doctor too by the way, deserves better than to have the death of his child portrayed in any way other than the truth – Mahmoud died because a rocket hit him while he was playing on the roof of his apartment. It is a legitimate story for the media to cover.

    I would however suggest that it is vital for the media also to cover why such events occur, and to give balanced and fair overall coverage. Some filmed reports may show one aspect of the complex events, while another should show another side. For example, WNF is investigating (and has also asked the IDF) whether unmanned drones have cameras which produce only fuzzy pictures and therefore cannot or did not distinguish whether figures moving on a roof are fighter or just kids. That may well be the case. WNF is proud to be a very independent producer of news and current affairs from ALL sides of a conflict. Presently I am in Israel filming with the Israeli medical teams who go to the sites of rocket attacks, for example.

    Finally, we welcome and encourage and salute scrutiny of the media, but we urge bloggers first to think before they leap to the keyboard, and then to be moderate and considerate, especially when alleging things that will be deeply hurtful to other human beings. Anyone with further queries (or apologies) is welcome to contact me on [email protected].

    Oh yes, by the way when the war is over and I can get into Gaza myself, I will get thea full video of the original filmed tape, and make it available to all on our website. We would then welcome honest analysis.

  14. levari7 says:

    What kind of evil beings would let thier kids play on a roof during a war in the first place? Unless they wanted them to be hit.

  15. Don Gwinn says:

    Maybe I’m the naive one now, and Norwegian and Gaza doctors really are that incompetent, but I don’t understand the defense that “I suppose the reason their effort as shown is so gentle is that they have already in effect concluded that it is futile.” That just makes no sense. They thought CPR was futile, so they performed it wrong on purpose? Maybe that’s a US-trained EMS attitude, I don’t know. But anyone with a Red Cross CPR card in the U.S. would see that CPR as fake. It looks like an instructor in a CPR class demonstrating on a student.

  16. Suzanne says:

    @Paul Martin, with all my respect for your time and effort to reply to these recent accusations, I wonder how you can state so firmly that you believe you are dealing with a reliable person? There is a war going on. People – even the reliable ones in peace time – can turn lies into truth or can hide facts in some truth they are presenting.

    During the Rwandan genocide people could not understand how their own neighbors turned against them. It’s a basic sample of how cruel war. Friends can turn against you. Can lie to you for their own sake. War can change your mind; it can let you support groups you did not support before. Therefore, outsiders should not trust report so blindly, because they know this person. Especially as the report raises loads of questions, such as the ones Roddy Frankel asked on this website. And those questions have not been answered yet.

  17. harris says:

    @Paul Martin

    Your main presumption, that the cameraman is independent plain wrong: First because if his brother really was killed in that incident don’t you think that that would make him somehow biased.
    Second the video proofs that clearly. A.M. makes literally the claim in the video that the Israelis deliberately targeted these two children. But no one is able to judge that except the Israelis.

    That disrupts you entire chain of arguments.

    It may be the case that the roof was hit by something.
    That does not justify the assumption that it was hit by Israeli weapons.
    It may be the case that it was hit by Israeli weapons.
    That does not justify the assumption that it was hit by a ‘pilotless drone’. They must have really good eyes to recognize that.
    That also does not justify the assumption that the roof was deliberately targeted.
    It may be the case that it was deliberately targeted.
    But that does not justify the assumption that two children were deliberately targeted.

    But that’s the narrative that is out there.
    Produced by yourself and others.

    I read your BBC piece on that topic:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7819819.stm

    “Then an unmanned Israeli aircraft fired two small rockets.
    Ashraf rushed upstairs and took the boys to hospital, but it was hopeless. They were buried the same day”

    That suggests that he was at home and that like the CNN and the Channel 4 narrative suggests out for filming.

    And you know for sure that it was an *unmanned Israeli aircraft* ? Or do you simply believe you not so much independent friend?

    By the way:
    The concept of this article which is the parallelization of Israelis and Palestinians – innocent children and those who have a “compulsion to kill” – nearly made me vomit.

    And:
    “I also met two Israeli pilots from the Cobra brigade, their twisted snakes emblazoned on the sides of their one-man helicopters, each bristling with rocket launchers and a machine gun”

    Really one-seated?
    http://www.israelimages.com/see_image_details.php?idi=15473
    http://www.airforceworld.com/heli/eng/ah1.htm
    http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/showphoto.php/photo/10717
    http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2848/cobra.htm

    “Finally, we welcome and encourage and salute scrutiny of the media, but we urge bloggers first to think before they leap to the keyboard, and then to be moderate and considerate, especially when alleging things that will be deeply hurtful to other human beings”

    I suppose the Israeli think the same way regading the allegations that they are targeting civilians.

    So true but you forgot yourself!!!

  18. Cynic says:

    Mahmoud died because a rocket hit him while he was playing on the roof of his apartment. It is a legitimate story for the media to cover

    alongside those “militants” firing rockets from the apartment roof?

    Israeli TV has been showing attacks on those firing rockets from the roofs of apartment buildings.

  19. Erik Svansbo says:

    Hi, I don’t know if this is any news but I have put together a blog post regarding Mads Gilbert, the norwegian doctor in the movie.

    His collague has stated that the most important work they did in Gaza was spreading eye witness information.

    A swedish columnist also has information regarding NORWAC, the aid organization the doctor is working for. She claims they support Hamas Martyr Foundation.

    http://blogg.svansbo.se/2009/01/11/doctor-in-cnn-video-outspoken-communist-and-pro-terror/

  20. jonathan says:

    Aside from all of the evidence others have pointed out, one thing struck me as painfully inauthentic: the total lack of the older Arab women doing the “raise both hands in the air, tap your head, cry, almost collapse to the ground, and repeat” thing. None of the men were doing their usual thing either. If the boy was as supposedly as close to death as “reported”, you’d think that the women would be grieving in their usual way.

  21. Sweden says:

    - Its NOT from a drone or a missile.

    At the roof there are is a hole maybee 3-4 inch deep and wide. What I can see. The familiy claims – “Ahmed, had been wounded in what the family said was a rocket attack from a remote-controlled drone Sunday.”

    A Hellfire missile (standard on drones) has a warhead of shape charged mass of about 16-18 lb/8-9 Kg.
    If a Hellfire had hit that roof the entire buildning whould have been blow out. Hellfire is designed to penetrate tanks.

    It looks to me like a small mortar granade (60 to maybee 80 mm) did hit the roof. A favorite weapon in Hamas arsenal. – Mortars are extremely inacurate, they are almost just pointing in “the right direction”

    / Sweden

  22. woodie4827 says:

    We would expect even the most objective Western journalist to be somewhat upset when he has to carry his own 12-year-old brother to hospital, fatally wounded by a rocket while playing on the roof of his own home

    Yes, such a person would be upset. What we would not expect would be that such person would allow filming of his dead/dying brother for worldwide public publication. The use of a dead younger brother in this way is just ghoulish and bizarre.

    The tape, filmed by Ashraf’s cameraman, was fed to London and used by several outlets, without WNF itself actually having the facility to watch it beforehand

    All the reports indicates that it was brave Ashraf who continued to film. Why was the second cameraman not identified or credited? Who is he?

    No-one in their right mind would suggest that any person would allow doctors to play games with a dying or dead younger brother.

    You are right. No civilized person would allow doctors to play games with a dying or dead younger brother. However, medical personnel who have reviewed this film all state, consistently, that the chest compressions are being applied in the wrong area, and too gently or shallowly to be of any use at all. There is no ventilation bag as would be standard when giving CPR. Not one medical person has come forward to indicate that this “care” would have been effective. The “esteemed” Dr. Mad Gilbert is there – wouldn’t he have known this?

    The idea is bizarre and deeply insulting, and actually damages the credibility of your blogger’s scrutiny of TV output in general

    This and other words in your piece do a very very good job of turning things around – insult the people asking the questions instead of providing proof beyond your statement that in your work with him, you have found Ashraf to be honorable. That is the crux of your entire argument.

    No one has disputed that the child died, and what a tragedy that truly is!

    The dispute is over the film – it does indeed appear to be staged, and there are many questions that could easily be answered if we could see the unedited film. I do not understand why it was simple to get the edited film out of Gaza, but is such an apparent problem for you to get the unedited film.

  23. lenny bruce says:

    Body counts don’t lie. It’s sad the lessons that Jews have learned from Hitler.

  24. Devshirme says:

    “Film-maker Paul Martin, of WORLD NEWS & FEATURES, has gained exclusive access to the men who fire the rockets. Martin filmed with a militant group as they prepared to risk their lives – and his – in a rocket-firing operation.”

    That rocket firing was a war crime, in violation of the Geneva Convention. Did Mr Martin subsequently cooperate with the authorities by reporting the details and ensuring they were all prosecuted?

    I presume Mr Martin would cover the story of a paedophile ring with the same journalistic lack of judgement.

    What I’d like to know, though, is more detail on how he got ‘exclusive access’? Presumably that means he offered the murderers something other journalists didn’t or wouldn’t. So what was it?

  25. Icelandic State Television (RUV) interviewed the Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert on the evening of 7. January that is the same day that the brother of the Gaza cameraman is supposed to have been killed by an Israeli drone.

    Mads Gilberts describes two 14 year old boys, who during the truce were brought to the hospital he was working in. According to the Norwegian Media today, Mr. Gilbert is no longer in Gaza.

    From Gilbert’s description in the Icelandic Television, (which is In Norwegian), of the two 14 year old boys, which Gilbert said he attended on 7 January, the boy in the CNN feature cannot be one of these boys. Gilbert describes great head injuries on the two 14 year old boys he received at his hospital on 7 January. However, there are no head wounds on the boy in the CNN feature.

    Listening to Gilbert on Icelandic Television made me question the CNN feature even more, and put a question mark to the CNN feature. I even contacted the CNN/Michael Holmes and informed him about the discrepancies between the information in the CNN feature and in the Icelandic TV news program called Kastljos. The day after the feature was broadcast on CNN, it was no longer available on the CNN website.

    Today, I read this blog and saw that other people have been wandering about the authenticity of the feature on CNN. On my blog in Icelandic (with an English translation)
    http://postdoc.blog.is/blog/postdoc/entry/766468/ you can see the CNN feature and listen to the phone interview with Gilbert in Norwegian.

    This is what the Norwegian doctor had to say about the alleged attack during the truce, when the Icelandic reporter interviewed him after work on 7 January 2009:

    Reporter: “How was it during the truce?”

    Gilbert: “Yes, there was a three hour truce today and there was sunshine and we all hurried out. It was wonderful to be free to hear the bombs but we heard some bombs though. But there were much fewer bombs. We received two patients then, “aargh” or more, they [the Israeli] didn’t actually respect the truce. One of the boys, a 14 years old, lost both eyes and had his entire face crushed. We do not know whether he will survive. He has been operated. The other boy got bomb shrapnel through the scull and the brain and is operated and is in a respirator, they are both in a respirator.”

    Norwegian readers of this blog, please listen to Dr. Gilbert on the Icelandic TV and let me know what you think.

  26. AlexD says:

    @Paul Martin

    What a chutzpah. Next time make sure your beloved thugs from HAMAS propaganda department know how to properly conduct a CPR. Goebbels would laugh at their incompetence.

  27. Joe Shmoe says:

    Between this video analysis and Paul Martin, I believe the liveleak video. The video creator noticed some more problems with Paul Martin’s video that others didn’t even notice. Even then, the video creator didn’t know about the contradictions resulting from Mads Gilbert’s interview that “Dr. Vilhjalmur Örn Vilhjálmsson” reported above.

    Furthermore, that video focuses on the problems in the hospital. It doesn’t even go into the ballistics problems of hitting the roof with “a rocket” that somehow left little roof damage and clothing on the clothesline. Anybody who knows anything about military equipment can tell you that this part of the story is false (as others have pointed out). And, BTW, is it “two small rockets” as said in Paul’s BBC report. Which Paul Martin is lying?

    Also, as others have pointed out again, is Ashraf at home when he receives the call (in the BBC report) or is he filming in the field as said in the CNN report? Which Paul Martin is telling the truth?

    Finally, Ashraf was more than just the guy who created the .ps suffix. He is listed as the General Manager of Nepras. And Nepras does more than web hosting, it creates “documentary films” as you can see here. Even Paul Martin said, “The tape, filmed by Ashraf’s cameraman, was fed to London and used by several outlets, without WNF itself actually having the facility to watch it beforehand.”

    Paul Martin’s whole defense is made up of logical fallacies. First there is the obvious ad hominem fallacy – attacking anyone who criticizes. Next, is the fallacy of argument by authority – “Ashraf Mashharawi is probably the most respected independent producer in the Gaza Strip. ” This fallacy is used twice – for Ashraf and again for WNF “we are very careful to ensure we work only with people we know and trust in the Gaza Strip” and “WNF is proud to be a very independent producer of news and current affairs from ALL sides of a conflict.” There is the non-sequitur about the death actually occurring at the hospital when I see no one denying that there is a dead boy in the room – just the veracity of the report of how it happened. Then the fallacy of appeal to pity “just a body lying there and Ashraf mourning over his dead brother’s lifeless corpse would have been more powerful…So there is no logical reason to suspect that this doctor was playing to the camera…I think a decent apology to Ashraf might be in order. ” There is absolutely a logical reason to play to the camera – to dramatize an event in the way that it SHOULD occur for anti-Israel propaganda rather than the way it really happened. Was Israel even involved at all in this tragedy? Then of course, there’s the strawman “drone camera,” which attempts to switch the subject away from the rockets(s?) that didn’t leave rocket-like damage on the roof.

    The ending of the Paul Martin’s post is great, though “Oh yes, by the way when the war is over and I can get into Gaza myself, I will get the full video of the original filmed tape, and make it available to all on our website. ” Paul should be careful because Richard Landes is an expert at video analysis, and all of us will help. We will also focus on making sure Paul isn’t hiding a few seconds here or there.

  28. Mike Jefferson says:

    @Paul Martin

    With all due respect, Mr. Martin I find your comments laced with hyperbole and somewhat disingenuous. Rather than speaking of emotions and behavioral attributions, can we establish and address the facts?

    1) Purportedly a 12 year-old boy was killed while playing on the roof of the family home. Let’s accept this as an apriori assumption. So the question is, how was he killed? You assert that it was the result of an Israeli drone. Has this been determined? From the roof damage which is visible on the tape, it is unlikely. The destruction depicted is quite minor and is more consistent with a small munition such as a mortar, hand-grenade, or RPG. Israeli drones carry none of these. So, is it possible that he was killed as the result of a Palestinian RPG, mortar, or other device? Could the child have been playing with unexploded ordinance or might he have been hit by an Israeli shell? I don’t think that injury causation has been established. Moving on…

    2) The tape which has been circulating on media outlets such as CNN or Channel 4 UK are highly edited. Specifically, the supposed resuscitation of the child is very suspicious. An excellent frame-by-frame analysis of the portion of the tape that involves the resuscitation has been made available at: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ace_1231644797. The evidence suggests that the resuscitation was staged and inauthentic. If you can refute any of the assertions presented in the analysis, I challenge you to make them known.

    The loss of any loved one is tragic and I don’t think that any fair-minded person wishes to diminish the loss and pain felt by the child’s family. The problem is that this child’s death was being used by the media to project a particular message – a message that may not be factually correct.

  29. oao says:

    does anybody believe that martin will revisit here to pick up comments, or that he will find any rushes in gaza when he ever gets there?

  30. Roddy Frankel says:

    Comment #25 is really on to something. Dr. Gilbert has been caught making at least two lies. First, he claimed that both of the boys were on respirators on 1/7/09, and yet there was no respirator visible at the time of death in the video. Dr. Gilbert pointed to the flat line on the monitor (clearly playing to the camera) so he was present at the time of death and witnessed first-hand the entire “code.” An unstable patient would never be removed from a respirator during a real code. Second lie: Dr. Gilbert himself described severe facial and head trauma to both boys. In previous articles, it was the hospital administrator who made these claims, and he could easily have been mistaken. But this time, it is the on-site doctor who describes the head trauma. And yet, everyone who has seen the videos agrees there is no evidence of gross head trauma. If the wounds were small, and the boys both went to surgery, as Dr. Gilbert stated, then where are the head bandages?

  31. Suzanne says:

    Something fishy in that hospital. I’d like to know Paul Martins comments on this article:

    Sources: Hamas leaders hiding in basement of Israel-built hospital in Gaza
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054569.html

  32. [...] Withdrawn Video of Apparently Faked CPR Attempt on ‘Dead’ Palestinian Child | NewsBusters.org Augean Stables CNN Defends their Pallywood Error. Lets See Mr. Mashharawis Rushes CNN Shows Hamas Propaganda with Fake CPR | Crimson Politics [...]

  33. yvonne Green says:

    On Sunday 21st June 2009 at Sutton and District Synagogue, 14 Cedar Road Sutton Surrey SM2 5DA Yvonne Green will talk about the trip she made to Gaza on 28th January 2009 and answer questions. what she saw and audio taped contradicted media reports and ‘documentary’ accounts. (Her written reports and interviews are available on the web). Doors will open at 6.45pm. To book contact Rica Infante 0208 661 6467 or [email protected]

  34. Daniel says:

    Great overview, thanks for putting it all together.
    What a manipulated story.

    And how it come that boys were playing on the rooftop at the time of the attack?? Don’t they take any any responsibility of their own kids?!

  35. […] CAMERA Snapshots  Little Green Footballs Augean Stables […]

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