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    « Did they fix it? No, they didn't | Main | Alaa freed, but did the campaign help? »



    Other famous blood libels against Jews


    Oh yes, I forgot the most famous blood libel of modern times:

    BBC: Jenin 'massacre evidence growing'

    A British forensic expert who has gained access to the West Bank city of Jenin says evidence points to a massacre by Israeli forces.

    Prof Derrick Pounder, who is part of an Amnesty International team granted access to Jenin, said he has seen bodies lying in the streets and received eyewitness accounts of civilian deaths.

    The Dundee University expert said the Amnesty investigation has only just begun but Palestinian claims of a massacre were gaining foundation as the team continued its analysis.

    He said: "The truth will come out, as it has come out in Bosnia and Kosovo, as it has in other places where we've had these kinds of allegations.

    "I must say that the evidence before us at the moment doesn't lead us to believe that the allegations are anything other than truthful and that therefore there are large numbers of civilian dead underneath these bulldozed and bombed ruins that we see."

    TWS: The Big Jenin Lie

    No, this was an all-out assault on the truth. There was a pitched battle in Jenin. But the "hundreds" of martyrs were a cynical invention. The death toll was 56 Palestinians, the majority of them combatants, and 23 Israeli soldiers.

    Garlasco and Pounder, two "experts" cut from exactly the same cloth.


    And just look at Pounder's qualifications!

    POUNDER, Professor Derrick J. MB, Ch.B., F.R.C.P.A., F.F. Path RCPI, FCAP, MRCpath.

    Spent several years as specialist pathologist at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, South Australia, and Senior Lecturer (forencis pathology), Univesrity of Adelaide. Also Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Edmonton, canada, and Associate professor, Dept of Pathology, University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. Also professor of Forensic Medicine, University of Dundee. (see Clive T. Cooke)


    Schnitzel, that BBC story on Pounder is indeed *the* all-time classic, and the parallel between Garlasco and Pounder occurred to me immediately, too.

    I haven't gone back to check, but is the story still accompanied on the BBC site by a photo of Pounder looking steeply down at the camera from the august heights of his imposing moral and professional authority?

    If so, you can see that it is with a straight face (or is that a suppressed grin) that he pronounces to the BBC news crew that, although the "investigation" had "only just begun", he "must say" that "there are large numbers of civilian dead underneath these bulldozed and bombed ruins".

    Thus did Amnesty International and the BBC collude to defame Israel and give the Jenin massacre libel instant global credibility.

    At the time, I wrote to Dundee University to ask what they might have to say about having on their faculty a "scientist" who reaches conclusions before examining evidence. I wrote to the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (an organisation I worked for full-time during a brief period of my life) to ask them whether they would be issuing an apology, or at least a correction. And I wrote to the BBC with the same questions I had for Amnesty. Not one replied.

    After the UN and HRW(!) both concluded that there had been no massacre and that the numbers of civilian dead were about what the IDF had claimed and that there was no evidence countering the IDF's own report on the operation, which concluded that it had been carried out with the greatest feasible care for civilian life, were these facts were reported in the press? Technically they were, including by the BBC -- but they were buried and thus got no attention. That was no accident.

    And so the myth of the Jenin massacre lives on. The myth was conceived by some of the Palestinians, and fair enough for them to try: war is war, and lies are a perfectly legitimate weapon. But it was the global media, led by the BBC in collusion with Amnesty, that prevented Israel from countering the Palestinian lie with the weapon of truth, that took the myth conceived by the Palestinians and turned it into reality by giving it global legitimacy and thus a life of its own. And it was the media (and Amnesty, which refused to publicly and loudly apologise) who decided that, even after, quite as the disgraceful Pounder predicted, the truth did indeed come out, it would be buried and the myth allowed to live.


    "I haven't gone back to check,"

    The links are live. And yes, re the pic. Here is that very photo.

    "the parallel between Garlasco and Pounder occurred to me immediately, too."

    It was entirely serendipitous on my part. I was simply looking for stories about Jenin when I came across the Pounder angle.



    If you actually read the different versions there is real disagreement.

    The most important part is whether the shell was from artillery fired that day.

    HRW maintains, consistent with Garlasco's earlier statements, that there is evidence that it was an 155mm artillery shell of which there were 80 fired that day.

    The IDF/Kalifi earlier stated that it was not a 155mm shell.

    two quotes:
    Jpost -
    "We came to an agreement with General Klifi that the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordinance," Garlasco told The Jerusalem Post following the meeting. While Klifi's team did a "competent job" to rule out the possibility that the blast was caused by artillery fire, there were still, Garlasco said, a number of pieces of evidence that the IDF commission did not take into consideration.

    HRW -
    During the two-and-a-half hour meeting with Kalifi, the IDF agreed with Human Rights Watch that it is possible that unexploded ordnance from a 155mm artillery shell fired earlier in the day could have caused the fatal injuries.

    So according to HRW it is not Garlasco that changed his mind, but it is the IDF in admitting it could be an artillery shell fired that day, despite the denial in the earlier report that stated that there were no missing/unexploded artillery shells, and that the shrapnel found in a victim was not from a 155mm shell.

    Here is Kalifi's denial that there were no artillery duds:,7340,L-3262611,00.html
    Kalifi said during the press conference: "We can say that all the shells hit their targets. We have an exact documentation of every shell. We know where it hit. The second thing we checked is whether it is possible there was a shell dud. We checked our fire in the past months and there were no duds. Therefore, I can rule out with certainty that the hit was caused by IDF fire. In light of the findings, I cannot say what did hit them."

    So the IDF has admitted that it's earlier report was:

    a) wrong
    b) it was IDF fire that caused the killing.


    Re Dude's comments:

    Leaving aside the merits of that particular case, there are two substantive issues here:

    1) Did Israel fire artillery shells in the direction of the beach when the family in question was frolicking there?

    2) In the event Israel did fire artillery shells at that time, were any of those shells actually responsible for the injuries suffered by that family?

    As regards both those substantive issues Human Rights Watch appear to have performed a 180-degree turn. From Jenin to Gaza Beach, HRW's only real objective seems to be the deligitimisation of Israel. It broadcasts the Big Lie at full volume, and then offers a retraction sotto voce.


    Dude, The HRW report is based on Garlasco's claims to have retrieved a 155 mm shell from the Gaza beach in the vicinity of the deaths. That doesn't mean it was fired that day or that it was part of the explosion that killed the family. One of my earlier reports refers to a well known UK military expert stating that the Gaza beach area is littered with unexploded ordnance going back to 1967. It also does not establish that it wasn't planted there by Hamas operatives who were seen to be on the beach at the time of the explosion.

    The IDF has retrieved shrapnel from a victim that was not from 155mm ordnance.

    It is only Garlasco who has stated that he and the IDF have a agreed that an unexploded 155mm shell could have caused the casualties. All the reports I have seen are that the IDF agrees that it is possible that an unexploded shell caused the explosion. The IDF has not confirmed they agree with what Garlasco said, as far as I am aware.


    As the last 2 comments show there is a clear distinction between the HRW/Garlasco and the IDF/Kalifi.

    This clearly shows that Judy's statements were false for example:

    "When I posted about Mark Garlasco and Human Rights Watch's admission that the Israeli army investigation about the Gaza beach killings could not be contradicted"

    There is no such admission and the statements do contradict.

    As Judy now says: "The IDF has not confirmed they agree with what Garlasco said, as far as I am aware."

    This clearly shows that Jpost and Judy's articles based on that article were wrong.

    David in DC

    From a new Ha'aretz article:

    "Speaking to reporters at a Tel Aviv news conference, the head of the commission, IDF Major General Meir Kalifi, said he is convinced that the seven members of the Ghalia family who were killed did not die as a result of IDF artillery fire from that day.

    Nonetheless, Kalifi said the investigation into the real reasons behind the explosion continues. As such, Kalifi cited two main possibilities which the IDF is considering caused the explosion: an explosive device planted by Palestinians for the purpose of tripping up IDF troops operating in the area, or a dud from Israeli ammunition fired in the past."

    It appears that the IDF is saying that it could have been unexploded ordnance from the past, but not from that day. Contrast that with the HRW statement Dude highlights:

    "During the two-and-a-half hour meeting with Kalifi, the IDF agreed with Human Rights Watch that it is possible that unexploded ordnance from a 155mm artillery shell fired earlier in the day could have caused the fatal injuries."

    The real kicker here is this:

    Why did Hamas collect up the shards so quickly and disappear with them?

    Why was the injured girl transported to the Israeli hospital only after Palestinians took the time to remove every possible piece of shrapnel from her body (which is not the usual medical procedure and is in fact highly unusual)?

    If history is a guide, if these shards were really from an IDF shell, they would be collected and paraded around. Instead, they were quickly gathered up and secreted away.

    This doesn't necessarily preclude the fact that it could have been a 155mm dud. What could have happened is - Hamas sees an explosion on the beach, doesn't know what caused it, assumes it *might* be theirs and collects all of the evidence just in case.

    In any event, there is no evidence supporting HRW's initial conclusion they trumpeted about - that it was likely a 155mm shell airburst.

    Once you have an explosion from a buried source, eyewitness accounts obviously become pretty meaningless, because who can tell a mine from an unexploded shell. All of the timeline issues also becomes meaningless, for obvious reasons.

    Then the forensic evidence is all we have to go on. And the bottom line is this - the Palestinians have hidden all of the forensic evidence. Why?


    Dude, you are incorrect, and Garlasco's statements are clearly published in the JP article cited eg

    On Monday, the Human Rights Watch, while sticking to its demand for the establishment of an independent inquiry into a blast on a Gaza beach 10 days ago that killed seven Palestinian civilians, conceded for the first time since the incident that it could not contradict the IDF's exonerating findings.

    On Monday, Maj.-Gen. Meir Klifi - head of the IDF inquiry commission that cleared the IDF of responsibility for the blast - met with Marc Garlasco, a military expert from the HRW who had last week claimed that the blast was caused by an IDF artillery shell. Following the three-hour meeting, described by both sides as cordial and pleasant, Garlasco praised the IDF's professional investigation into the blast, which he said was most likely caused by unexploded Israeli ordnance left laying on the beach, a possibility also raised by Klifi and his team.

    "We came to an agreement with General Klifi that the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordinance," Garlasco told The Jerusalem Post following the meeting. While Klifi's team did a "competent job" to rule out the possibility that the blast was caused by artillery fire, there were still, Garlasco said, a number of pieces of evidence that the IDF commission did not take into consideration.

    Garlasco's additional statements are, as I have stated not relevant, to the main issue of his prior claims about the death injuries (and therefore the deaths) being caused by shells dropping out of the sky.

    It's not acceptable for you to state that either my statements are false or that there was no admission by Garlasco as I have posted. Any further attempts by you to do this will be promptly deleted. The evidence is clearly linked for readers to see and judge for themselves.

    David in DC

    Reuters coverage here. Either HRW is trying to aggressively get their propaganda out, or the news agency only sees fit to report when HRW has something new to say.

    Group says Israel ignored beach blast evidence

    I still say it is a highly contradictory for HRW to concede that it was a buried munition of some sort and still focus on the timeline as if it means something. I mean, who cares about the minute to minute timeline of when the IDF was firing artillery shells and when the explosion took place ***if the munition had been buried in the sand all along!***

    So contradictory, and seemingly obvious, that it almost seems to be a mendacious propaganda ploy on HRW's part.

    David in DC

    You can see what I mean here. This is from the Jpost article and the head of HRW's Jerusalem office is quoted:

    <<...Lucy Mair - head of the HRW's Jerusalem office - said Klifi's team had conducted a thorough and professional investigation of the incident and made "a good assessment" when ruling out the possibility that an errant IDF shell had killed the seven Palestinians on the Gaza beach.

    ***'We differ when it comes to other pieces of information from other sources that don't relate to the military strike*** such as the timing and the type of injuries," Mair explained. "While they [the IDF] made a very good presentation, we still think there are enough unanswered questions that have not been examined by Klifi's team…and that is why we believe there should be an independent investigation."...>>

    So the IDF made a good assessment, and the points of difference don't relate to the military strike.

    Same article, Garlasco:

    <<...Following the three-hour meeting, described by both sides as cordial and pleasant, Garlasco praised the IDF's professional investigation into the blast, which he said was most likely caused by unexploded Israeli ordnance left laying on the beach...>>

    Previously the "most likely" cause was the immediate shelling itself, per Garlasco. Now that that has been disproven, the "most likely" cause is buried Israeli ordnance. WHY he opines that over Hamas munitions is fairly obvious, but any evidence to back it up is lacking. Due, in part, to the Palestinians' efforts to hide it.

    The difference between these words and the official HRW press release really defies belief.


    Does anyone believe a word of this? McGreal on "top form". I especially like the last two and a half paragraphs. Try to find something about "rockets" in the article; happy hunting!,,1803177,00.html

    Climbdown as Hamas agrees to Israeli state

    · Negotiator says group recognises right to exist
    · Hope for end to crippling sanctions on Palestinians

    Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
    Thursday June 22, 2006
    The Guardian

    Hamas has made a major political climbdown by agreeing to sections of a document that recognise Israel's right to exist and a negotiated two-state solution, according to Palestinian leaders.
    In a bitter struggle for power, Hamas is bowing to an ultimatum from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to endorse the document drawn up by Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, or face a national referendum on the issue that could see the Islamist group stripped of power if it loses.

    But final agreement on the paper, designed to end international sanctions against the Hamas government that have crippled the Palestinian economy, has been slowed by wrangling over a national unity administration and the question of who speaks for the Palestinians.

    Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee and a lead negotiator on the prisoners' document, said Hamas had agreed to sections which call for a negotiated and final agreement with Israel to establish a Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem.

    "Hamas is prepared to accept those parts of the document because they think it is a way to get rid of a lot of its problems with the international community. That's why it will accept all the document eventually," he said.

    Hamas, facing a deep internal split over recognition of the Jewish state, declined to discuss the negotiations in detail.

    If it formally approves the entire document, it will represent a significant shift from its founding goal of replacing Israel with an Islamic state and its more recent position of agreeing a long-term ceasefire, over a generation or more, if a Palestinian state is formed on the occupied territories but without formally recognising the Jewish state.

    Mr Abed Rabbo said he expected an agreement in the coming days, but that important differences still had to be settled, particularly over the document's call for the formation of a national unity government.

    He described that as "the major issue that will determine the fate of two nations for decades" because a unity administration, built around a common policy of negotiations with Israel, would be the only way to combat its plans to unilaterally impose its final borders and annex parts of the occupied territories.

    More immediately, this was also the only way to restore foreign aid. But Mr Abed Rabbo added it would be a mistake to see the approval of the prisoners' document as sufficient, in itself, to end international sanctions against the Palestinian Authority. "The document calls for the foundation of a national unity government as the basis of a new programme that will approach the world," he said.

    "But the document is part of a package. It should be accompanied by an agreement on policies for a new government. The document won't change conditions and relations on its own."

    Mr Abed Rabbo said the July 26 referendum would be called off if there was agreement on the document, but that a ballot could be held later if Hamas blocked the formation of a new government or failed to agree on a negotiations policy.

    Abdullah Abdullah, a Fatah MP and chairman of the parliamentary political committee, said other differences remained over the document, including Fatah's insistence that the PLO continues to be recognised as the sole representative of the Palestinian people in negotiations with Israel, and that all existing agreements between the PLO and Israel be recognised.

    Israel has dismissed the prisoners' document as changing little because, among other things, it advocates continued resistance. But a complete renunciation of violence is unlikely to come while Israeli attacks continue to claim the lives of innocent Palestinians.

    Yesterday, a women was killed and six children injured in an Israeli missile attack in Gaza. On Tuesday, an Israeli air force rocket killed three children, two boys aged five and 16, and a seven-year-old girl. In both cases, Israel said it was targeting militants who escaped injury.

    Israel has killed 13 civilians, most of them children, in four air strikes this month. It is also probably responsible for the killing of a family of seven during a shell barrage against a Gaza beach two weeks ago.


    Has anyone seen the BBC website's report this morning? It seems to be just a cut and paste job from the HRW press release. I'm glad my licence fee is put to such good use.

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