The Palestinian and Western reportage of who committed the Fogel murders is such a classic case of disinformation that it deserves a special blog.
The Fogel murders took place on Friday night, March 12, and were first reported in the Israeli news on March 13. As I wrote yesterday, there were numerous facts given in the initial report that led to suspicion that the Fogel murderers murderers had come from Awarta. However, as soon as the Fogel murders were reported, the disinformation campaign began.
Despite the fact that Palestinians had initially claimed responsibility for this horrific barbarism, Pro-Palestinian websites around the world immediately beginning to place the blame elsewhere. For example, by March 14, Daily Kos ran this amazing post: “Moreover, this killing has furnished Israel’s leaders a heyday! They now can once again rant about Palestinian murderers and beastly inhumanity, while at the same time hypocritically bemoaning the loss of such ‘innocents.’ And we shall once again hear that Israel ‘has no partner for peace.’ How, after all, can one have beasts for partners? Given the situation, why would a Palestinian commit such an act?”
At about the same time, the Ma’an News Agency, a Palestinian news website, began to concoct the Thai theory reporting that “Israeli forces on Monday afternoon rounded up all Thai workers employed in the Itamar settlement, site of the murder of five members of the Fogel family, and held them for questioning.” Ma’an did not name its sources only saying that the information was provided by “informed sources”.
From these initial pieces of disinformation, the news of Thai complicity spread like wildfire. Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Khaled Abu Toameh reported “News sites affiliated with PA cast doubt about Israeli claims that Palestinians were behind killings [and say that the] IDF arrested a Thai worker. A number of news Web sites that are affiliated with the Palestinian Authority claimed on Monday that the Itamar killings were committed by a foreign worker who was employed in the settlement. PA-controlled media outlets also highlighted the story and continued to cast doubt about Israeli claims that Palestinians were behind the killings.”
By March 16, other websites around the world had picked up the Thai theme and were wildly exaggerating, not only furthering the Thai suspect conspiracy, but amazingly implicating the ‘racist’ Israeli government for accusing Thai workers! From a noted website: “Rumors are circulating about a Thai suspect – rumors that led the Israeli government to reportedly round up hundreds of Asian guest-workers, another ugly bit of racism swirling around this mess.” And on and on and on until the nonexistent Thai worker was being blamed everywhere.
We come to yesterday. Following the arrest of the two Awads from Awarta, the disinformation campaign continued unabated. Keis Awad, the mayor of Awarta, the same mayor who dissembled to the Western media that residents of Awarta were indiscriminately being rounded up and detained—when it is now revealed that the suspected killers were in Awarta all along and were being moved from house to house to avoid capture (so that everyone in the village knew where they were), declared to reporters on Sunday that he did not believe that the two were murderers. Awad: “I demand an international investigation. These are children, it is not possible that they are guilty of this.” And Hakim Awad’s father, the same father who indoctrinated his son in the PFLP, says that poor Hakim could not have committed the murders “because he had testicular surgery last November and couldn’t walk long distances.”
By the way it is one kilometer from the Fogel doorstep to the village of Awarta. But then, who in the West would bother to check?
Finally, it turns out that the question posed by the Daily Kos post is extraordinarily easy to answer: Given the situation, why would a Palestinian commit such an act? Hakim Awad said simply that he and his friend Amjad ‘wanted to die as martyrs’. After all, after growing up for 18 years in an toxic atmosphere of continual Palestinian incitement against Israelis and glorification of death, what more could people hope for than to die as a martyr against Israel? I wonder when the people in the West will ever understand this. Probably just as soon as the media stops its disinformation campaign against Israel—in other words, never.