Monday, January 10, 2011

MJ Rosenberg Steps In It

The major story around the Israel/Palestine blogsophere last week was the Abu Rahma hoax case, and I for one was quite surprised that the Huffington Post did not get caught up in the whirlwind of accusation and counter accusation that spread around it. That all changed on Friday when we got not one but two blog posts about it from Huffington Post bloggers, one of which was MJ Rosenberg. He came out swinging this time, accusing Israel of not only killing Abu Rahma but of "whitewashing" her death and intentionally lying about it. I think this quote sums up the article pretty well:
"But this time the authorities were caught red-handed, and their whole effort to absolve themselves and blame the dead woman exploded in their faces."
Mr. Rosenberg then attempts to bury the discussion under a deluge of links and extraneous information, but not even he can fill the holes in the story. He quotes Ha'aretz as saying: "A Palestinian woman died yesterday after inhaling tear gas at a demonstration Friday in Bil'in," except that is only what the headline says. The actual article says: "While Palestinians claim her death was caused by tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers, the Israel Defense Forces says the circumstances are not entirely clear."

Mr. Rosenberg also sneers at the IDF for floating the possibility that Ms. Rahma died from a medical conditional, and that he references this article in Ha'aretz (but doesn't link to it), in which her own family talks about her visits to the doctor in the weeks before her death. These same family members would then go on to tell the media that Ms. Rahma had no preexisting medical conditions.

I am not going to get into all the details of the story surrounding this incident, as there are plenty of other bloggers who have done exactly that. What I do know are very simple things: There has never been a death from inhaling tear gas in the five years that these protests are going on, nor did anyone else at the protest even get sick. If the IDF was using more tear gas or more lethal doses of tear gas, then why did the rock throwers and protesters who literally got a face full of it not die like Ms. Rahma, who was standing hundreds of yards away and got a far less concentrated dose? And why did the Palestinian Authority bury her without an autopsy? And why did her family keep changing the story about where she was? Clearly Mr. Rosenberg cannot answer these questions either, and he knows it, which is why his article contains all manner of extraneous discussion about unrelated topics such:

-American Jews detained in BG airport.
-Cast Lead.
-The death of Omar Kawasmeh.
-The flotilla raid.  

In short I think what really happened is that the Palestinians tried to use someone's death to slander Israel yet again with a false accusation. Except that this time they not only went too far (claiming that she died from tear gas inhalation is a tough sell anyway) but Israel was ready for them with counter accusations. Clearly this made Mr. Rosenberg upset so in this article he cranked up the rhetoric and the insults to try and make up for the fact that his facts were lacking. And they are lacking. I think in the future we're going to look back on this incident as, "The Day Pallywood Went Too Far."


  1. Rosenberg must be delusional when it comes to Israel, and just as you wouldn't argue with a crazyman on the streets - why bother with him? Instead we need to focus our efforts on the new generation and make sure Jewish and Zionist education is strengthened.

    Melanie Phillips, in an address to the Ariel Conference has put her finger why people like Rosenberg are winning the psychological war against Israel - and make no mistake, we are losing, Read her address here - it is one of the most important articles of the new year.

    The enemies of Israel WANT to keep us locked-up in the tit-for-tat dialogue that exists at HufPo - I say no more! If we take her words to heart it means that we need to look beyond the HufPo battlefield and put our efforts will it will do the most good.

  2. Good ol' MJ Rosenberg forgot there was more than one side of the story. And here there is no evidence Israel murdered the woman. At least the IDF is finally responding instead of letting the Palestinians get away with it, as they so often have in the past. And this makes Rosenberg's efforts to blame Israel entirely unconvincing. Its not enough but its a good start to put Israel back on the offensive in world public opinion.


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