Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 10 Media Critique: “Time for a Retraction”

It’s hard to know what exactly should be retracted. HR is typically inaccurate,

In October 2006, notoriously anti-Israel journalist Robert Fisk was given the front page of the UK's Independent to spread the libel that Israel had used uranium-based weapons in southern Lebanon during last summer's war.
And Fisk was typically circumspect, asking questions rather than making unsupported assertions like the one that HR makes – “the libel that Israel had used….. ”. HR would do well to take a lesson in objectivity from Robert Fisk. Here are a few examples,

Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon…..?
Fisk details the evidence supporting the charge,

But scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.

And gives a chance for those subject to the allegation a chance to respond,

Asked by The Independent if the Israeli army had been using uranium-based munitions in Lebanon this summer, Mark Regev, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said: "Israel does not use any weaponry which is not authorised by international law or international conventions.
Any chance of HR retracting its false allegation against Robert Fisk? A snowflakes chance in hell.

This must have really hit a nerve. Why else would HR keep telling it’s readers of every ‘debunking’ of John Dugards opinion on Israeli practices in the OTs.

Just to remind you, Dugard might know something about Apartheid as he is a South African. HR link to an Op-Ed piece that tries to ‘debunk’ Dugard,

In his introduction he states: "I shall not consider the violation of human rights caused by Palestinian suicide bombers. Nor shall I consider the violation of human rights caused by the political conflict between Fatah and Hamas."
That sort of bias taints every page of Dugard's report and destroys the credibility of its conclusions...
Yes, someone’s bias is on display, but it’s the Op-Ed writer, who ignores the final sentence of that paragraph where Dugard explains why this is the case.
Such matters are of deep concern to me, but my mandate precludes me from examining them.
Of course you can imagine that a report on South African Apartheid that failed to detail the criminal acts of the ANC or the conflict between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party would have had it’s credibility destroyed……..or so apologists for South African Apartheid would probably have argued.

You can read the whole of John Dugards detailed report here.