How a Big Lie about Gaza builds, with the help of local UK/US journos and photographers.
I've been watching the latest Big Lie about IDF wanton killing of children unfold, and I think I've nailed the sources. It'll be amplified and spread over the next 24 hours. I've already seen one Tweet from a very reputable photog who claims to have witnessed it, but gives no confirmation when asked. Peter Beaumont's account in the Graun very much appears to say the same, but if you look at his article very carefully, it's clear he didn't actually see the source of the explosion, wasn't there till after the explosion and has no evidence or expertise re the nature and source of the shrapnel.
BBC R4 PM started its Wednesday evening programme reporting as fact that the children "playing on a beach were killed by Israel navy shelling". But by the end of the programme, they were reporting as fact that the children were killed by airstrikes from Israeli planes. As the Americans say, Go figure.
If you go on Twitter, you'll seeing it buzzing with reports that dozens of journos and photographers saw 4 young boys on a Gaza beach killed by shells fired by an Israeli navy gunboat. Some of them are even put out by photographers and journos who were there.
Only the problem is, they weren't there when the explosion that killed the boys happened. They were all sitting in a hotel near the beach, and they ran out to find the killed and injured boys, and developed their story from that moment.
And the only actual witness who saw the explosion was a hotel worker (who must be a Hamas approved person to be in such a position) who said that the explosion "must have come from a gunboat."
Yet Sheera Frenkel's Buzzfeed article which gives these facts is being cited on Twitter as if it were proof that all the journalists definitely witnessed the boys being killed by Israeli ordinance -- and that nothing else was going on at the time.
What Frenkel's otherwise informative article fails to mention is that there's a very long history of children being killed on Gaza beaches either by unexploded shells and rockets not cleared from the beach, or by Hamas or Islamic Jihad rockets fired at Israel, but falling short. And that's apart from the possibility of it having been a "work accident' in which they were close to an operative whose rocket blew up on the site.