The New York Times has a report up by Isabel Kershner on yesterday’s demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil’in against the illegal separation barrier, where the Israel Defense Forces’ use of tear-gas canisters led to the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a demonstrator.
The Times report is disingenuous at best–and that probably results from the fact that Kershner or any other Times reporter wasn’t at the demonstration, according to Lisa Goldman, a Canadian-Israeli blogger who was there.
The Palestinians say the protests are meant to be nonviolent, but they inevitably end in clashes, with young Palestinians hurling stones and the Israeli security forces firing tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.
It may be the case that at past demonstrations in Bil’in, stones have been hurled while Israel uses brutal military force against the protesters. But to write about “violence” in Bil’in in the context of the anti-wall protest yesterday, especially when a Times reporter wasn’t there, is just plain sloppy reporting–and all the more so considering that eyewitness reports indicate that there were no stones hurled yesterday.
Joseph Dana, an Israeli blogger who chronicles the nonviolent resistance movement in the occupied territories, was on the ground yesterday live-tweeting the Bil’in demo. Dana tweeted that the IDF’s claims of people throwing stones were “lies.” Goldman affirmed Dana’s tweet with one of her own.
It shouldn’t have been too hard for Kershner to speak with Goldman, Dana or any of the other people at the demonstration to find out if stones were, in fact, hurled. Instead, the world will read a distorted picture of what happened yesterday when Abu Rahmah was killed by the IDF.