Aletho News


NY Times Botches Reporting on Israeli Police Execution

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | October 5, 2015

Sunday, I reported on the police execution of East Jerusalem Palestinian teenager, Fadi Alloun, outside the Old City. I noted the false reporting of the Jerusalem Post which stated that the police saw him “holding a knife” and “neutralized” him. There has been no supporting reporting in the Israeli media confirming this.

Now the international newspaper of record, the NY Times, gets in on the act. In Diaa Hadid’s report tonight, instead of focusing on his murder, she focuses on a supposed disagreement between villages and political factions about where he should be buried. The title of her story: Dispute Over a Burial Reveals Palestinian Divisions. Instead of focusing on the real news story of the video showing a flagrant execution, she invents a dispute purporting to show the Palestinian national movement in disarray.

This paragraph in particular irks:

“Mr. Alon was fatally shot by police officers early Sunday after he stabbed and wounded a 15-year-old Jewish boy on a road outside the Old City, according to the police. A video clip showed Mr. Alon being shot, apparently as he was trying to flee, with Israeli civilians in pursuit and shouting “Shoot him!”

In fact, no Israeli media has offered any proof that Alloun was the attacker who stabbed the Israeli. If you watch the video of the Alloun killing, he was not “apparently fleeing” the stabbing. He was fleeing the Israelis who were rushing at him. At one point, he says to his attackers: “Let me pass.” This is a youth being pursued by baying hounds, and seeking safety.

Why does the report not display the video of the Alloun killing in which the policeman exits his car and immediately murders Alloun without telling him to stop or saying anything to him? Why not note that when the policeman asks a bystander if Alloun had stabbed anyone, the bystander replies: “not yet.”

Why would the NY Times permit a regurgitation of police claims without offering any qualification or skepticism when no actual proof or evidence has been offered?

This is the rankest of journalism. Instead of providing illumination to readers in a dark hour of Israeli-Palestinian history, the Times gives us pandering and stenography.

Finally, there remains a possibility that Alloun was the attacker who stabbed the Israeli boy (the stabbing and later murder happened in the general vicinity). But there is not yet any firm evidence supporting this claim.  The Times’ rush to judgment is irresponsible.

A minor quibble: though I am not an expert in Arabic (by any means), Hadid spells Alloun’s name “Alon.”  That does not seem to be phonetically close to the spelling Electronic Intifada adopted and which I’ve used. The name Alon is a common Israeli name. But Palestinian?

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mexico Says Troops Will Not Be Questioned Over Ayotzinapa

teleSUR | October 6, 2015

Mexico’s Defense Secretary said Monday night that he will not let the nation’s soldiers be questioned by international investigators over the apparent abduction and massacre of 43 students in Ayotzinapa last year.

“I can’t permit them to interrogate my soldiers, who at this point haven’t committed a single crime,” said Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos in an interview with the Televisa network. He said the soldiers only answer to Mexican authorities.

His comments came after two separate reports, published last month, contradicted government claims that soldiers were not in the area when, a little over a year ago, dozens of students at Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in the state of Guerrero went missing. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or IACHR, an autonomous arm of the Organization of American States, and the Mexican magazine Proceso conducted separate investigations that both found soldiers were in fact present at the time of the incident.

IACHR investigators have criticized the government’s investigation of the disappearance and have sought to interview the soldiers who they say were present. Meanwhile, a report from the magazine Proceso revealed that bullet casings from weapons carried by the Mexican army were found at the crime scene.

“We received the order from [name redacted]: ‘arm yourselves, we’re going out,’” one soldier said in a deposition with Mexican prosecutors that was obtained by the magazine. “He told us, ‘get [expletive] ready because there’s armed personnel that are going around killing people.”

The Mexican government has already conceded a state role in the incident, accusing Jose Luis Abarca, mayor of the town of Iguala, of ordering local police to kidnap the students and hand them over to a local gang to be killed. Tomás Zerón de Lucio, head of Mexico’s Criminal Investigations Agency, has claimed the students were mistakenly identified as members of a rival criminal organization. “That was the reason why they were deprived of their freedom, initially, and then of their lives,” he said in January.

The IAHCR report accuses the army of having witnessed the events as they unfolded and failing to intervene. The report in Proceso suggests soldiers actually fired on the students, perhaps mistaking them for criminals.

The Mexican government’s refusal to allow members of its military to be interviewed by international investigators comes just days after Mexicans marked the anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco square massacre, when soldiers and police fired into a crowded of unarmed protesters in Mexico City days before the start of the Olympic Games. Witnesses reported seeing dozens of dead bodies. Hundreds of people were arrested, many never to be seen again.

After decades of denying any wrongdoing, the Mexican government conceded there was a systemic cover-up and in 2006 accused former President Luis Echeverría, the interior secretary, of having organized the massacre, charging him with genocide. He was found not guilty.

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces raid mourning tent of slain Jerusalem teen

Ma’an – October 6, 2015

JERUSALEM – Israeli forces on Tuesday raided the East Jerusalem mourning tent of a Palestinian teenager killed by Israeli forces in the early hours of Sunday.

The father of Fadi Alloun, 19, told Ma’an that Israeli forces and intelligence officers raided the tent in Beit Hanina and threw stun grenades and pepper-sprayed mourners.

They also removed Palestinian and Fatah flags from the tent and detained an unidentified youth, he said.

A Ma’an reporter said Israeli forces then fired stun grenades at cars leaving the mourning ceremony, including at the private vehicle of Fatah official Adnan Ghaith.

Israeli authorities on Monday night said they would not be handing over the body of 19-year-old Fadi Alloun to relatives, despite having agreed to do so earlier that day, a human rights lawyer told Ma’an.

Israeli authorities initially said the body would only be released on condition that no more than 70 Palestinians attend the funeral.

They also demanded that Alloun’s family pay a guarantee of 20,000 shekels ($5,200), which would have been refunded if the condition was met.

Alloun was shot dead by Israeli forces after he allegedly attempted to stab a 16-year-old Israeli in East Jerusalem early on Sunday.

However, Alloun’s family has disputed that he was involved in the attack, saying saying that Israeli forces shot him dead while he was fleeing from Israelis who were trying to attack him.

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Al-Manar Cameraman Injured by Israeli Fire in West Bank

Al-Manar | October 6, 2015

sldrzgunzzAl-Manar TV cameraman, Salah al-Zayyat, was shot by the Zionist soldiers at the Qalandiya checkpoint on Tuesday in the West Bank while he was shooting the occupation attacks against the Palestinian people.

According to Al-Manar TV correspondent, Zayyat was wounded by a bullet in the abdomen during the Zionist attacks, and he has undergone a surgery in Ramallah hospital to extract the metal pieces that infiltrated into his body.

“Three others were wounded by the Israeli attacks, and dozens of people suffered from asphyxia due to the use of toxic gases by the Israeli enemy were treated in the scene,” the reporter added.

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

More Palestinians injured as Israeli forces violently attack mourners at a funeral in Bethlehem

The body of Abed al-Rahman Obeidallah at the funeral march

The body of Abed al-Rahman Obeidallah at the funeral march
International Solidarity Movement | October 6, 2015

Bethlehem, occupied Palestine – The funeral of the 13-year old Abed al-Rahman Obeidallah, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces on his way home from school yesterday, took place today in Betlehem with over a thousand attendees. They marched from the Beit Jala hospital to Abeds house in Aida refugee camp. After the burial ceremony the mourning Palestinians were violently attacked by Israeli forces as they sprayed the streets with skunkwater and fired over a hundred tear-gas canisters, shot endless rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. This resulted in more than 20 injuries. At least 13 Palestinians suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation. At least 8 Palestinians were injured from rubber-coated steel bullets and at least 2 were shot with live ammunition.
Israeli forces sprayed the streets with skunk water

Israeli forces sprayed the streets with skunk water

Excessive use of tear-gas by Israeli forces

Excessive use of tear-gas by Israeli forces

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

The Constant Cruelty of the Israeli Occupation: A No-go Zone in The NY Times

By Barbara Erickson | TimesWarp | October 5, 2015

As Israelis and Palestinians die in an upsurge of violence, The New York Times fails once again to give readers an honest look at the causes of this agonizing conflict. Missing from its pages is any real exposure of the brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine that underscores every aspect of the current crisis.

Thus we find a story today that focuses on the abstract: how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can “calibrate his response” to avoid provoking greater violence and satisfy his extremist opponents in the government. It is heavily weighted with Israeli punditry and refers to ongoing clashes and attacks, but it makes no effort to provide the essential context.

In this article by Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner the word “occupation” appears only in a quote by PLO official Hanan Ashrawi. “Palestine,” she says, “has been subject to the systematic and escalating violence of the occupation, whether in the form of settler-terrorism or at the hands of the Israeli military using live ammunition.”

Times readers are likely to dismiss her words as little more than rhetorical flourishes of the opposition, given that the newspaper has consistently failed to show the full reality of life for Palestinians, glossing over violence by soldiers and settlers and giving prominence to Palestinian attacks.

For instance, today’s report states that a Palestinian teenager was shot after he tried to stab an Israeli youth early Sunday, but it omits any mention that videos show he was chased down by a mob, shot by police, was carrying no knife and did not pose a threat to anyone in the area.

The story also says nothing of settler rampages throughout the West Bank in recent days, which have left dozens injured and forced the Red Crescent Society to declare a state of emergency after numerous attacks on its ambulances by both settlers and security forces.

Times readers rarely receive even a brief glimpse of what occupation means to Palestinians. The newspaper largely ignores the constant reports emanating from alternative media, the United Nations and monitoring groups that show how a sophisticated military power oppresses a nearly helpless population lacking even the most basic weapons for defense.

Readers remain ignorant of the Israeli abuse of Palestinian child prisoners, a situation that has been documented and criticized in numerous reports. They are unaware of the frequent Israeli attacks on Gaza fishermen and farmers and a recent United Kingdom report that states Israel has violated the 2014 ceasefire some 700 times since August of last year.

They hear nothing of the ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley, where Israeli troops harass the poorest and most vulnerable communities, burning their crops, destroying their tents and water systems and repeatedly forcing them from their homes for “maneuvers.”

They are unaware of the huge disparity in water supplies between the illegal settlements in the West Bank and the indigenous Palestinian villages, and they were never informed when hundreds of animals died in the West Bank community of Kafr Qaddoum this summer as Israeli officials cut off water deliveries during a stifling heat wave.

These constant, daily cruelties find no place in the Times, and readers likewise find no historical backdrop for the occupation. It is rarely, if ever, reported that Israel is in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a military occupying force and that the settlements are built in defiance of international law.

Without this backstory, it is not surprising when readers take Netanyahu’s claim at face value: that acts of resistance against the occupation are nothing but terrorist assaults arising out of a free-floating hatred of Jews.

Palestinians watch with dismay as Israel confiscates ever more land and resources, forcing the indigenous communities into poverty-stricken bantustans. This is the reality that is missing from the Times, deliberately obscured in the context-free reporting of Rudoren and Kershner.

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi Government threatens death penalty for tweeting – reports

Reprieve – October 6, 2015

The Saudi Arabian Government has warned that people could face execution for tweeting “rumours,” according to the state-backed Makkah Newspaper.

In an article published online on October 3rd, the paper said that a “judicial source” at the country’s Ministry of Justice had “confirmed to Makkah Online that the death penalty is the harshest of the penalties that can be enacted upon those who spread rumours which create civil discord, via social media platforms like Twitter.”

Although the report does not use a named source, the nature of state-censorship in the Kingdom makes it unlikely that such claims would be made without the consent of the authorities. In addition, the Makkah Newspaper appears to enjoy government support – according to local news reports, it was launched last year by the Governor of Mecca, in the presence of the Minister for Culture and Information.

The report, translated by human rights charity Reprieve, appears to be the first time that the Saudi authorities have specifically threatened to use the death penalty for ‘offences’ committed on social media such as Twitter.

It comes in the wake of the news that Saudi Arabia plans to execute two people arrested as children: Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was arrested aged 17 for alleged involvement in anti-Government protests and faces beheading and ‘crucifixion’; and Dawoud al-Marhoon, who was arrested aged 17, also following protests, and faces beheading. Both have had their final appeals rejected and could face execution at any time.

The UK Government has faced criticism over a bid to provide services to the Saudi prison system – which will be responsible for Ali’s and Dawoud’s executions. Despite calls from Members of Parliament and NGOs to drop the bid, it has continued to pursue it.

Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at international human rights charity Reprieve said: “Two weeks ago we heard of the Saudi government’s plans to ‘crucify’ Ali al Nimr for attending a protest when he was 17; now it appears they’re threatening social media users with the death penalty. The Kingdom is executing people at double the rate of last year, with many of those facing the swordsman’s blade sentenced to death for drug offences, attending protests or exercising their right to free speech. It is unthinkable that people could face a death sentence for a simple tweet, yet so far, neither the UK nor the US – both key allies of Saudi Arabia – have taken a strong line against this appalling behaviour. Instead, the British Government is bidding to supply services to Saudi prison authorities – those who will be responsible for carrying out the execution of Ali and scores of others like him.”

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Second Saudi juvenile to face ‘beheading’ for protests

Reprieve | October 6, 2015

A second juvenile is facing beheading in Saudi Arabia after a court upheld his conviction for a role in protests, days after the case of juvenile Ali al-Nimr sparked a global outcry.

Dawoud al-Marhoon was 17 when he was arrested without a warrant by Saudi security forces in May 2012, at the height of protests in the country’s Eastern Province. He was tortured and made to sign a ‘confession’ that was later relied on to convict him. He has been held in solitary confinement, and has been barred from speaking to his lawyer. Last week, the Specialized Criminal Court – the same body that recently upheld a sentence of ‘crucifixion’ for Ali al-Nimr – upheld Dawoud’s conviction, and sentenced him to death by beheading.

With legal avenues exhausted, both juveniles could now be executed at any time, without prior notification to their families. The executions are expected to go ahead despite concerns about the fairness of both trials; Dawoud was sentenced after a number of secret hearings took place without the presence of his lawyer, who was also blocked from receiving information about appeal hearings.

The case of Ali al-Nimr, who faces a sentence of ‘crucifixion’ – involving beheading and the public display of his body – has prompted strong international criticism, with the French government and a group of UN experts among those calling for a halt to the plans. Asked by the BBC on Sunday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said his message to the Saudi government was “don’t do it”, and that “we never stint in telling them that we don’t agree with them on these human rights issues.”

However, Mr Cameron’s government has been criticized for continuing with a Ministry of Justice bid to provide services to the Saudi prison system. Concerns were also raised last week about the UK’s foreign policy priorities after Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office, told MPs that human rights no longer had the “profile” within his department that they had “in the past”.

Commenting, Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at the human rights organization Reprieve, said: “Ali al-Nimr’s case has rightly prompted revulsion among the international community – it is therefore horrifying that the Saudi government is pushing ahead with plans to exact a similarly brutal sentence on another juvenile, Dawoud al-Marhoon. It’s also deeply disappointing to see the US and the UK – who are among the Saudis’ closest allies – failing to intervene strongly to stop these executions from going ahead. It is grossly hypocritical for David Cameron to say he opposes these sentences, while his government is bidding to support the very prisons service who will be responsible for carrying them out. The British government must urgently change its priorities – ministers must cancel the bid, and call unequivocally on Saudi Arabia to halt the executions.”

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

12 year old Palestinian killed in Bethlehem as violence explodes across the West Bank

International Solidarity Movement | October 5, 2015

West Bank, occupied Palestine – Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah, 12 was still in his school uniform when he was rushed in a civilian car to Beit Jala hospital from Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem today. The boy, from from a Al Kahder village, was shot in the heart during confrontations at Aida camp as violence explodes across the West Bank prompting the Red Crescent to declare a level 3 state of emergency across the occupied Palestinian territories. Another boy was shot in leg with live ammunition during the attack.

Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah, 12, just before being shot to death by Israeli forces in Bethlehem

Abed al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah, 12, just before being shot to death by Israeli forces in Bethlehem

Denouncing Israeli violations against humanitarian international law, the Palestine Red Crescent Society staff have endured 14 attacks on their emergency vehicles as Israeli forces and settler violence has sharply surged in a bloody three days. Attacks on PRCS have included medics being beaten by soldiers in Jerusalem, Israeli forces beating an ambulance crew with batons in the old city of Jerusalem and after one attack on an emergency crew in Jabal Al Taweel (Al-Bireh), two medics were injured. Israeli forces attacked an ambulance in al-Issawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem, before arresting an injured Palestinian who was being treated inside the ambulance. An ambulance windshield was also shattered by settlers in Burin village in Nablus. Burin underwent a frightening attack by settlers which left much of it in flames.

Reportedly 465 Palestinians have been injured thus far, including 28 shot with live ammunition and 68 injured with rubber coated steel bullets. Hundreds of others have been overcome by teargas that Israeli forces have been showering over villages and in cities where Palestinians have gathered to demonstrate against their murdering of several Palestinian youths since this past Saturday.

Young Palestinians martyrs recently murdered by Israeli forces.

Young Palestinians martyrs recently murdered by Israeli forces.

Fadi Samir Mustafa Alloun, 19, from the East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya, was shot to death by Israeli forces after allegedly attempting to stab a group of Israelis. 18-year-old Huthayfa Othman Suleiman was shot in the chest during clashes and died in the operating room. In a particularly heinous attack, Yousef Bayan al-Tabib, just six years old, was standing on the side of the road when a settler reportedly stopped his car, shot the child in the stomach, and fled the scene.

Across the occupied Palestinian territories, there have been reports of settlers slaughtering Palestinian’s sheep, attacking Palestinian cars with stones on roads and carrying out violent attacks on villages. As for Israeli forces, soldiers disguised as Palestinians assisting an injured Palestinian into a hospital in Ramallah, disabled security cameras and proceeded to arrest a Palestinian undergoing medical treatment. This is similar to other hospital raids in recent days where a variation of this tactic was repeated.

As for the Israeli government, Netanyahu today made an inflammatory statement to wage a “harsh offensive” against Palestinians; Zionist opportunism at its most typical.  Collective punishment is the usual expectation when it comes to the illegally occupying force dealing with the civilian population whose land they are occupying.  Israel launched three air strikes in the besieged Gaza strip targeting alleged Hamas ‘terror’ sites after two rockets were fired from Gaza, hitting nothing and injuring no one.

News reports of shootings, injuries, murders, arrests and raids continue to flood in as the situation unfolds at a lightning quick pace. For Palestinians enduring the brunt of Israeli incited race hatred and promoted retribution for the shooting of two Israeli settlers last week, the cavalierly imposed restrictions on al Aqsa Mosque, which have sparked outrage and violent confrontations- and the ensuing chaos, are yet another violent incursion into their lives.

October 6, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment