Pro-Israel whitewash of 10-year-old’s killing unravels in court (and online)

Seham on September 29, 2011 | Mondoweiss

Pro-Israel whitewash of 10-year-old’s killing unravels in court, Max Blumenthal

abir aramin
abir aramin

Al Ahkbar English: One day in 2007, Israeli Border Police officers swept into the in the village of Anata just north of Jerusalem and began firing rubber bullets at a group of children who had thrown rocks at them. One Israeli bullet landed in the skull of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl named Abir Aramin, tearing the back of her head off and killing her. Aramin was the daughter of a prominent Palestinian activist named Bassam Aramin, who helped lead the group Combatants for Peace, a group that fosters dialogue between former combatants on both sides of the conflict. The little girl’s death sparked international outrage, generating headlines around the world.

The Israeli government went into damage control mode, denying any wrongdoing in connection with Aramin’s death and insisting without evidence that she had been struck in the head with a rock.

Meanwhile, the pro-Israel media watchdog group CAMERA claimed that the uproar surrounding Aramin’s death was a plot to inflame anti-Israel opinion and that all media reports suggesting that the Border Police killed her were categorically false. CAMERA declared that “stone-throwing Palestinians, as opposed to Israeli border police firing rubber bullets (as initially reported), may very well have been responsible for the death of Aramin.” Staffers from CAMERA called Haaretz reporter Danny Rubinstein to demand that he “clarify” his reporting on the killing by noting that “the Israeli border police are not necessarily to blame.”

And CAMERA responds:

Max Blumenthal doesn’t seem to care too much about the facts.

The anti-Israel blogger flatly lied to the readers of his blog when, in a headline, he announced that Benjamin Netanyahu called the September 11 attacks a very good thing. And today he lies again, writing that “CAMERA claimed … all media reports suggesting that the Border Police killed [Abir Aramin] were categorically false.”

On what basis does Blumenthal rest his allegation that we called the reports “categorically false”? An article in which we wrote that “the Israeli border police are not necessarily to blame,” and that Palestinian stone throwers “may very well have been responsible for the death of Aramin.”

Blumenthal is a writer. He knows that his term — “categorical” — and our phrasing — “not necessarily” and “may very well have been” — have completely opposite meanings. That is, anyone who hears “not necessarily true” but reports instead “categorically false” is being flagrantly dishonest.

On one narrow point, Blumenthal is right. Our piece about the death of Abir Aramin, written over five years ago, needed an update. It’s been updated.

You can tell CAMERA what you think here.

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