This was published by the indispensable Barry Rubin, who blogs at Rubin Reports
What happens when the New York Times publishes, with no investigation, an atrocity story about Israel that is not only false but ridiculously so, based on the most obvious starting point: death by tear-gas doesn’t happen?
There’s a long history of Palestinians (including the Palestinian Authority) making up atrocity stories that blame Israel and then having these widely disseminated by the mass media. This is one of the main factors leading to increased hatred or criticism of Israel. These tales are disproven but the facts never catch up with the lies. Here’s a history of the phenomenon with a number of examples.
Now we have the first phony slander of 2011. You can check out the cartoon version also. The Palestinian Authority claims that Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36 years old, died during a demonstration, killed by “poison” in tear gas fired there by Israeli soldiers.
This was put out by Saeb Erakat, one of the main PA leaders, and the story was published as true by the French press agency (AFP), the Guardian and Associated Press (note the picture of the huge funeral given her as a “martyr” to an Israeli “war crime),” The Independent, UPI, Voice of America, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, China’s news agency and main newspaper, major sites in the Netherlands here and here, and others, especially in the Middle East. Even the U.S. State Department apparently gets its information from reading such stories in newspapers. Here’s a round-up of the online reporting and an analysis of the incident appropriately entitled, “Repeating Palestinian Allegations without Evidence.”