Important warning from NGO Monitor

NGO Monitor Cautions Media on Flotilla Violence Claims
NGO Monitor
May 31, 2010

Lessons from the “Jenin massacre” and other myths

Following conflicting and incomplete reports about the violence aboard the “Gaza flotilla” boats, NGO Monitor called on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and journalists who quote them, to carefully scrutinize allegations of “human rights violations” before repeating false claims and propaganda.

“In many instances in the past, NGOs have been responsible for repeating and amplifying false claims of Israeli ‘crimes,’ without credible evidence,” said NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg. “In 2002, an Amnesty International representative gave credence to the ‘Jenin massacre’ lie, and in 2006, Human Rights Watch did the same in the tragic Gaza Beach incident. The baseless NGO claims were publicized in the media, and then embraced as true by anti-Israel activists.”

NGOs were similarly responsible for promulgating false claims regarding Muhammad al-Dura (2000) and the Reuters cameraman (2008), and during the Lebanon and Gaza wars.

“Information provided by the flotilla organizers, who include International Solidarity Movement radicals, is particularly suspect. As videos on CNN and BBC demonstrate, the activists were armed and violent,” said Steinberg. “The videos disprove the version put forth by the Free Gaza Movement.”

NGO Monitor also noted that the flotilla was endorsed by EU-funded Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), EU- and European-funded Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), NIF-funded Coalition of Women for Peace, European-funded Alternative Information Center (AIC), and Israeli groups New Profile, Bat Shalom, Yesh Gvul, and Zochrot. Jeff Halper, executive director of ICAHD, is on the board of advisors.

For the linked version, visit NGO Monitor

18 Responses to Important warning from NGO Monitor

  1. incognito says:

    Muqata blogs provides ongoing developments at:

    http://muqata.blogspot.com/2010/05/anti-shalit-flotilla-updates.html

    Latest:

    12:18 PM Pistols used to shoot IDF soldiers snatched from IDF by Flotilla terrorists during operation. (Channel 2 reports)

    12:12 PM Channel 2 reporting that Turkish parliamentarian may have been killed in fighting.
    2 IDF soldiers in serious condition.

    12:01 PM Radio news update: 15 IDF soldiers wounded. 10 Flotilla terrorists dead. Riots in Nazareth.

    Reports of Raed Salach’s death from Arab workers at hospital where Raed Salah was taken to. Radio reports he’s alive. Official death announcement may cause major riots.

    Looks like major failure by the military. Stealing pistols from COMANDOS????? Not the Zahal I used to know.

  2. obsy says:

    Al Jazeera media manipulation:

    http://www.israellycool.com/2010/05/31/the-day-in-israel-monday-may-31st-2010/

    8:45AM: From commenter Michael:

    As someone who watched the turkish footage, it was clearly shown members of the boat attacking the soldiers that descended from the helicopter with crude implements including pieces of metal and what appeared to be a folding char, in addition to another person trying to grab a soldier’s weapon. This portion has since been cut out of what is being shown currently on al jazeera, but it was shown repeatedly on turkish television.

  3. E.G. says:

    I’m watching IBA live (Hebrew) – they’re saying IDF is about to release footage of the violence the commandos encountered.

  4. E.G. says:

    The reporter says he heard the commandos were met with Molotov cocktails, stabbed by knives, getting surrounded by the “militants” and thrown from decks…

    Furthermore, it’s not over yet, getting the “militants” off the ship about to reach Ashdod is going to be very delicate: some have locked themselves up in cabins…

  5. E.G. says:

    The reporter who was with the commandos (still at sea) describes how the first commandos were attacked, with Molotov cocktails, iron bars, knives — and shots.

  6. E.G. says:

    MP Mohamad Barakeh – live:
    “Israel’s Defence minister is a war criminal”

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  9. E.G. says:

    Ron Ben-Yishai’s report — he was on one of the IDF ships:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3896796,00.html

  10. E.G. says:

    France2 news (including live broadcast with Charlie)

    http://jt.france2.fr/13h/

  11. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Not being the happy owner of a Tv set, I watched the France 2 news from your link, E.G.

    What is striking is that the woman in the studio is much more anti-israel than Charlie!. At least, the latter questions the figure of 19 killed, while the former announces it without any source – sounds to me like Al-Jezira. Another striking quip is when the woman asks about the noise in the background. Charlie answers that these are pro-israel demonstrators. Then, he realizes that it does not make much sense, and he corrects his description to demonstrators who are in favor of the army, and going to where the international press is.

    Can someone explain to me who these demonstrators are, and what they are demonstrating for (or against)?

    I could not make my mind as to whether Charlie was in Ashdod, or in Jerusalem. He removed his sunglasses and hanged them to his shirt. His face is in the shade, part of his hair is not. The legend says “direct(=live), Ashdod (Israel)”, but the woman greets him with an “en direct de Jérusalem” at the end of the segment. I cannot draw any conclusion.

  12. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Oh, silly me I forgot : at no point, the fact that a good part of the people who sailed are members of the islamist turkish organization IHH, which has official ties to the Hamas is ever mentioned by the France 2 news lady. Nor the fact that this organization initiated the move, nor the fact that the turkish government let the operation go ahead, while, of course, it could have stopped it any time. Turkey is not exactly a weak country, and it has lots of police, which control life.

    In short, the message is “israel kills nice humanitarian people, who wanted to bring aid to the poor nice people of Gaza”.

    This report is not even worth an F. Going back to first grade, seems more in order in this case.

  13. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Here is the TF1 version.
    http://videos.tf1.fr/jt-13h/le-13-heures-du-31-mai-2010-5866223.html

    Can you tell the difference?

  14. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Main difference : about 4 minutes for TF1, and nine for France 2.

    The TF1 news man says clearly that the soldiers were attacked with cold weapons and that guns were snatched from the israeli commandos. There is less empahsis on the humanitarian character of the mission. That’s about it.

  15. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Could you please translate this (I have no time)?

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2010/05/31/01003-20100531ARTFIG00459-l-operation-visait-a-denoncer-le-blocus-de-gaza.php

    The Figaro Israeli correspondent is actually telling that the whole Flotilla op was for PR.

  16. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Just listened to the France-Culture 6pm news. Not much better than the previous broadcasts. Still no mention of the islamist turkish IHH. One interviewed israeli : Ofer Bronchtein, president of the “International Forum for Peace”, http://www.forumpourlapaix.com

    My take is that the journalist, called Nadine Epstein, looked for a very dovish Israeli, because she thought that the discourse of not so dovish Israelis is so outlandish, that it can’t be understood in french media. Too bad for information, that the point of view of most Israelis cannot be heard in most French media.

  17. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., your desires are orders ;-).

    In french :
    Gaza n’est pas soumis à un siège total, c’est à dire qu’il n’y a pas de crise humanitaire, les gens ne meurent de faim. Il y a beaucoup de gens, qu’on estime à 60% de la population, qui dépendent de l’aide internationale. Cette aide est organisée quasiment depuis les années1948 par l’UNRWA. En revanche le blocus israélien concerne un certain nombre de produits, et ces produits-là changent. Ça peut concerner par exemple des produits assez surprenants comme le nescafé ou la coriandre. Tantôt on n’en trouve plus, tantôt c’est à nouveau autorisé. Mais un autre produit quitte la liste. Bref, ça donne une sorte d’imprévisibilité totale pour les habitants de Gaza. L’opération présentée comme une opération humanitaire, il va sans dire qu’il s’agissait était largement médiatique. En gros, il s’agissait d’aller au clash avec les israéliens et de dénoncer à cette occasion la politique israélienne vis-à-vis de Gaza.

    In english (please excuse all possible gallicisms)

    Gaza does not suffer a total siege, that is, there is no humanitarian crisis, people do not die from hunger. A large number of people, estimated as 60% of the population depend on international aid. This aid has been organized by UNRWA since about 1948. However, the Israeli blockade concerns a changing lists of products. For instance, the blockade may hit some rather surprising targets, such as soluble coffee or cilantro. At times, they can’t be found, at times, they are allowed again. But then, another product leaves the list [of authorized merchandise]. In a nutshell, this makes life very difficult to foresee for the inhabitants of Gaza. The operation [of the Free Gaza flotilla] was staged as a humanitarian operation, but it is quite obvious that it was essentially a media stint. The main idea was to trigger action by the israelis, and take this opportunity to expose the Israeli policy relatively to Gaza.

  18. E.G. says:

    Merci Michelle!

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