Wednesday, 25 March 2009

London embassy questions Guardian's agenda

""The [Guardian's] agenda was to build case against Israel, they knew they wanted to build the accusation of war crimes and wanted to back it up with evidence and to juxtapose it with sound bites from Amnesty and other human rights groups." "

"The Israeli Embassy in London has questioned the methodology and agenda of the Guardian newspaper after it carried three stories and an editorial over two days attacking Israel accusing it of committing "war crimes."

On Monday, the paper accused Israel of deliberately firing on Palestinian medical staff and the indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians with unmanned aerial vehicles. Then on Tuesday it devoted an editorial and another article accusing of using civilians as human shields.

Embassy spokesman Lior Ben Dor told The Jerusalem Post that he was called last Friday by one of the authors of Tuesday's story, Julian Borger, to comment but said he felt from the conversation that it was a fait accompli as the story was complete and conclusions drawn and the he was being called to "create a fake sense of balance."

Borger had told Ben Dor that he had already called the IDF Spokesman in Jerusalem but was told they would not comment as the issues raised were still under investigation.

Ben Dor said he felt it was a token call to try and be seen to be adding a semblance of balance to their story and to try to get something more after not getting anything from the IDF spokesman.

"The general feeling was that the story was already done and they wanted a sentence or two from the Israeli side," he said.

He also questioned the methodology and agenda of the Guardian.

"The problem with methodology is that they are not going to Gaza with open mind," he said.

"The agenda was to build case against Israel, they knew they wanted to build the accusation of war crimes and wanted to back it up with evidence and to juxtapose it with sound bites from Amnesty and other human rights groups."

He added that any evidence they used should be looked upon with suspicion as people in Gaza cannot speak freely without risking their lives."We know of many cases of people who spoke against Hamas were denied charity aid, tortured or even killed.

"People in Gaza cannot speak freely, out of fear of intimidation, violence and in some cases murder. Clancy Chassay [Guardian journalist who wrote the stories] will go home to London the next day but the Gazans will have to face Hamas."

Citing the editorial in Tuesday's Guardian, Ben Dor said that the Guardian admits that firing rockets at Israel is also a war crime.

"None of this is to deny that a case also exists against Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. Firing unaimable rockets at civilians in southern Israel is also a war crime," it said in Tuesday's editorial.

Ben Dor said: "The editorial stated this so why didn't they build a case to show that indeed the firing of rockets and mortars at civilian population centers is a war crime? They could have gone to Ashkelon or Beersheba to collect evidence from civilians targeted by Hamas. They could have devoted a paragraph to Hamas war crimes instead only a sentence in an editorial, in which they try to create an atmosphere of balance but they fool no one.

"They could have collected evidence from Gazans who could have told them how their houses were used as launch pads or how Gaza residents were used as human shields, as Lorenzo Cremonesi [a reporter from the Italian Corriere Della Sera newspaper] had done after Operation Cast Lead."

Ben Dor said the Guardian will have to do more to be considered credible and balanced.

"It's not because of laziness, it is because of a clear and embedded anti-Israel agenda, to vilify Israel whenever possible," he said.

Source: article by Jonny Paul in TJP

2 comments:

ganselmi said...

Awful, awful newspaper when it comes to this issue and other war on terror related issues.

lezersbrieven said...

the same Guardian reported about depketed uranium used by Israel in Lebanon. 3 years later they dare indirectly report is may have been a rumor while all international organisations confirmed already in 2006 ther was no depleted uranium used. So a very credible newspaper.