Thursday, December 30, 2010


The issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is a problematic one that must be solved by agreement between Israel and Palestine when the two sides are ready and able to make peace.

The "settlers" themselves have been the victims of one of the great racial slurs of our time. To be sure, there are some settlers among the several hundreds of thousands who are troublesome but we are talking of a small minority and certainly much smaller in percentage terms than the extremists on the Palestinian side whose villainous behaviour is regularly ignored or excused by some segments of the media.

Which brings me to the story of the West Bank's burning sheep which demonstrates the sheer bastardry of the media and others when it comes to dealing with Jews and Arabs in this part of the world - Leftists Caught Red-Handed: `Burning Sheep' Libel Was Faked.

A Jordan Valley Arab farmer has admitted that he concocted a story about Israeli settlers deliberately burning his sheep to disguise his own blunder of losing control of a brush fire.

Various groups agitating against the settlers immediately spread the story about the Arab shepherd who "saw settlers light a fire in the field where his herd was grazing, burning to death 12 pregnant ewes, and then drive away."

Of course there was no fact checking by those who were eager to spread yet another unconfirmed story of condemnation. It was yet another rush to judgement like the Al Dura case, the Jenin "massacre" and the flotilla fraud story.

The problem here was the story had no credibility. The supposed sheep burning occurred on the Sabbath, when observant Jews are forbidden to drive.

Despite the doubts, the B'Tselem and Yesh Din human rights group alleged that this so-called attack was another one of hundreds of supposed acts of vandalism by Jews against Arabs and the Palestinian Authority called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop "settler violence."

As has been the case with the flotilla fraud, there has been no apology or words of regret about the libels against the settlers, nor are we likely to see any sign of the lies abating.

More likely is the possibility that some sleazy journalist will repeat the lies and that some media group will not only swallow those lies but also award him or her a prize for great journalistic prowess.

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