Silent Witness

Sometimes, what is not reported in the media can be as enlightening as what is. So when the Guardian chooses to virtually or completely ignore a particular story, a certain insight is provided into the workings of the editorial decisions made by that organisation. As we are only too aware, two recent incidents produced a plethora of articles in almost comic proportions on the pages of the Guardian and CiF: the expulsion by the UK of an Israeli diplomat over the alleged forging of British passports and Joe Biden’s decision to be insulted by the workings of an Israeli planning committee. To be honest, I lost count of the precise numbers of articles on these two subjects at some point, but both issues were done to death from any and every possible angle with speculation often rife.

Between the breaking of these two stories another incident occurred which merited only one fairly laconic Guardian article: Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan threatened to expel 100,000 Armenians from his country as a reaction to the decisions by the US and Sweden to describe the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide.

Just Journalism’s Michael Weiss has a very interesting article on this subject on Standpoint, in which he writes:

One would have expected The Guardian, which indeed reported on the nonbinding resolution passed in early March by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee recognizing and condemning the Armenian genocide, to be all over this story. It certainly was incensed at Downing Street’s sheepish reaction to theft of UK passports in the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, widely assumed to have been carried out by Mossad, and now the cause of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s expulsion of Israel’s Mossad representative at the Israeli embassy in London. Britain may not have a large Armenian diaspora but it has got a large and vocal Kurdish one, and the Kurds, too, have had their difficulties as an ethnic minority in Turkey. Also, is Turkey not a Nato ally and a perennial candidate for admittance to the European Union?

The entire article is well worth reading and can be found here.

Another story which does not seem to have received any attention at all from the Guardian is that of Muhammed Al Farmawi, aged 15, who was reported by the Gaza Health Authorities as having been killed by the IDF on March 30th during ‘Land Day’ protests in Rafah, despite the fact that Israel denied all knowledge of the incident.

“Gaza – Ma’an – A child was shot and killed east of the Yasser Arafat International Airport in Rafah on Tuesday, medics said.
Muawiya Hassanein, director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, said Muhammad Zen Ismail Al-Farmawi, 15, was shot dead near the southeasterly border by Israeli forces”

Then, four days later the same boy miraculously reappeared, alive and well.

“It turns out Al-Farmawi was among 17 Palestinians detained by Egyptian forces shortly after the infiltrated the Egyptian side of Rafah via one of Gaza’s numerous underground smuggling tunnels. The detainees, among them 12 minors, were returned to security forces at the border on Friday. They had been questioned about tunnel locations, leading to at least three closures, Egyptian security sources said.”

Should this latest incident, like others before it, raise questions regarding the credibility of official Palestinian sources and their reports of casualties at the hands of Israel? Should it be a lesson to those so eager to believe accusations of Israeli wrongdoings without sufficient proof? Of course it should, but the public apparently only has ‘the right to know’ what the Guardian’s editors want them to know and therefore on some subjects, our journalist witnesses to the events of the world prefer to remain silent, whilst on others they indulge themselves in media gluttony.

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