it would help and it would be fair and ethical in a blog such as this, if any previous cases of Israel-kills-without-actual-
proof-but-based-on-assumption would be entered into the equation of what actually happened, especially when there are cases where Hamas & Fatah faked deaths or incorrectly accused Israel, the "Pallywood" theme. See: http://www.theaugeanstables. com/reflections-from-second- draft/pallywood-a-history/
Mackey replied to the other person who commented there:
Robert Mackey Editor, The Lede
I'm not making a point: this is a news report, not an opinion column.
So, I left this:
------------------------------no, this is an opinion column since you do not bring a true and representative plurality of opinion about this specific incident (and others occasionally as well). hopefully, you will update and we can then make a different judgment.here's an example of a problematic "opinion": you note "Despite this lack of clarity, pro-Israel bloggers treated the United Nations report as definitive and immediately pressed the BBC and other news organizations to apologize". But that same "lack of clarity" works the other way but no similar implied criticism is made by you. or do you relate to expert opinions that an Israeli round, if it had struck the domicle, would have destroyed the structure rather than leaving just a gaping hole in the roof (which is the mark of a mortar shell).
My second comment not published but there's a bit of a battle:
i find it interesting that of the 101 "civilians" killed by israel, 13 were women. subtract the 33 children (of whom how many were teenage boys recruited by hamas) and there are still 55 men and 13 women, or a ratio of 4.2 : 1 male civilian per women in a location with a baseline distribution of 1.04 : 1. I think this suggests it is highly unlikely that all of these civilians were really "civilians", and it is well known that various members of hamas are routinely identified as civilians to inflame the statistics. If one wants to get statistical about it, using a chi square test the probability of this distribution purely by chance is less than 0.1% I think this report is almost certainly quite flawed.
March 14, 2013 at 5:49 a.m.
When this first surfaced, the media was SURE it was Israel's doing, with less proof than the UN supplied blaming Hamas. Now, for some reason, it's debatable?
March 14, 2013 at 5:48 a.m.
Editor, The Lede
That completely incorrect assertion is at the heart, it seems, of a lot of angry reaction online to this U.N. report from supporters of Israel. In fact, almost none of the reports on this incident that I recall reading at the time, and certainly nothing that I wrote about it here on this blog, said that the death of the child was caused by an Israeli attack.
According to the BBC, Israeli officials told them at the time that they had targeted the house, and that appears to have influenced a Twitter update on the death the same day by one of their reporters, but I'm not sure that even they reported anywhere else that the death was definitely caused by "an Israeli shell."
March 14, 2013 at 5:48 a.m.
Robert Mackey states >
Mr. Mackey, we might consider your explanation plausible if your past history did not suggest a visceral hate for the State of Israel. What's the likelihood that the moderator will publish this critique? Slim to none is my guess.
March 14, 2013 at 5:41 a.m.
Editor, The Lede
You are of course entitled to your opinion, but it is baseless conjecture to claim that anything I have said, written or done demonstrates any hatred for any state or people.
As I wrote in the post above, partisans of each side in this conflict seem to use images of suffering as ammunition against one another. People with that mindset appear to also read any reporting of news that does not flatter their side as an attack, and assume that such work can only be motivated by bias or prejudice or hatred. My understanding, having grown up on the fringes of one ethnic nationalist conflict and later worked in the midst of another that was much more violent, is that partisans engaged in online verbal battles are so used to arguing with people who hold opposite views that they cannot accept that people with no interest at all in the success or failure of either side can be fair or report on events as they see them, without somehow choosing sides.
March 14, 2013 at 5:43 a.m.
Your language is pretty critical of "pro-Israel bloggers" who have demanded a correction (though I've seen plenty of others, including Andrew Sullivan, asking for one), yet you have significantly undersold their case and given plenty of room for irrelevant details. If this isn't slant, can you tell me what is?
Max Fisher did a much better job covering this story. Here's a key paragraph:
"Matthias Behnke, a representative of the UN office that authored the report, has since clarified to the Associated Press that the report is indeed referring to Mishrawi’s family. ...
'He said there was no significant damage to the house, unusual for an Israeli strike. He said witnesses reported that a fireball struck the roof of the house, suggesting it was a part of a homemade rocket. Behnke said the type of injuries sustained by al-Masharawi family members were consistent with rocket shrapnel'"
The fact that there was no significant damage to the house is *very* damning to the case that it was an Israeli attack. Yet you failed to include this in the story. Again, was there a reason you felt this wasn't worth including in a long news report, or did you not notice it when you read the article?
March 14, 2013 at 5:32 a.m.
Editor, The Lede
I think people can reasonably disagree with what sections of reports on other Web sites are most important to quote in the summaries we do here, and I did include a clear link to the full text of the Associated Press report above, but I have gone back and added that passage you mention to the post above, now that you draw attention to it. That does present more of the argument, sadly not included in the U.N.'s own report, that has convinced some people.
The broader issue is just that I cannot quote entire articles from other news organizations here, but always provide links, since part of the way I use this blog form is to give readers links to other reports, videos or official documents related to the story so that they can interrogate situations for themselves.
As I reported above, partisans see this U.N. finding as definitive despite questions that observers with no interest at all in either side's arguments do not. Having spent several years as a full-time fact-checker, I see this new U.N. information as important, but not definitive proof of what happened - which is, indeed, just what the U.N. spokesman you cited said as well. I'd add that it is well established that partisans of Israel often dispute or dismiss U.N. reports that are critical of Israel. Partisans of the Palestinians do the same.
I'd also add that it seems to me that partisans in this conflict, as in the other ethnic-nationalist conflicts I have observed at closer quarters, appear to be so used to engaging in verbal battles with committed partisans of the other side that they appear unwilling or unable to believe that some of us really are observing these events, and reporting on what seems most interesting about them, without taking sides.
Finally, since you mention Max Fisher's report on this same news, you might be interested in reading his comment on my post.
March 14, 2013 at 6:09 a.m.
Never should any country or organization equate Israeli morals with that of the terror group HAMAS and their Palestinian supporters. Israeli has and always will protect against the killing or injuring of innocent civilians by collateral damage. When civilians are victims of Israeli bombs its because the Palestinian terrorists hide and strike from among women and children.
March 14, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.
it would help and it would be fair and ethical in a blog such as this, if any previous cases of Israel-kills-without-actual-proof-but-based-on-assumption would be entered into the equation of what actually happened, especially when there are cases where Hamas & Fatah faked deaths or incorrectly accused Israel, the "Pallywood" theme. See: http://www.theaugeanstables.com/reflections-from-second-draft/pallywood-...
March 13, 2013 at 2:22 a.m.
I am struggling to understand Robert Mackey’s point. Minimally, the UN report means it is not a “slam dunk” that Israel was responsible despite the reporting at the time.
Regarding the BBC's Jon Donnison, it is not reasonable for him to claim any objectivity in the matter given that he was involved in initially blaming Israel for his friend/colleague’s tragic loss.
March 13, 2013 at 2:22 a.m.