Was there a massacre in Jenin? Why do the media disagree?

This article from the Washington Post describes the controversy.

The tone of Kurtz’s article seems to be that he faiults the British press for reporting a massacre without the bodies to prove it. (BTW Kurtz is a liberal – not one of my righties) This Chicago Sun Times editorial](http://www.suntimes.com/output/commentary/cst-edt-edits18.html[/url) makes the same point more strongly yet.

OTOH posters in Europe must be getting the European version.

So, was there a massacre? Was it right to report a massacre or not? What’s your opinion?

The Palestinians said there was a massacre. The Israelis said there was not, and invited the press in to bear witness. The most unbiased press seems to be saying that there is no evidence of any massacre (although there is much rubble that needs to be cleared away before anyone can say so definitely.)

This is partly (largely?) a war of propaganda. The Palestinian complaints of massacre have been widely reported throughout the Arab world. The Israeli denials and the media saying “No evidence so far” has NOT been reported in the controlled Arabic press.

Israel has free speech and a free press, and invites reporters in to judge for themselves. The Palestinian Authority, like the other Arab countries, has a controlled press that may only report what the government wishes reported.

In any dispute, I tend to believe the free press over the government-controlled press… an oversimplification, to be sure, but I guess I trust the free press more than I trust dictatorship governments.

heres CNN report saying a UN rep found it “shocking & horrifying”

I suspect that the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes.

as to why the different news sources are playing it different ways, (and Dex w/all due respect december was comparing the European news outlets to the American ones, not USA vs. Islamic),
well, that’s another whole thing. I may have thoughts/ideas/suspicions but no data to support it, so, won’t post speculation. (hint, hint december :smiley: )

I have to say I am generally on the side of Israel but “free press” my foot. They have done all they could to avoid and prevent any free reporting from where the action is taking place and the only thing they release are very carefully constructed bits of self-serving propaganda. I am not judging the operations themselves but to say there is free reporting is just not true.

Nobody has seen bodies? I have seen plenty of bodies. Bodies under toppled houses which have been there for days, bodies in the overflowing morgues, bodies piled in refrigerated trucks because the morgues are overflowing… bodies everywhere. If you have not seen them you are not looking.

Now, does this mean there was a massacre? NO, i have no idea if the killings might have been justified. A dead body means nothing. We do not know if the person was killed in cold blood or if he was fighting. OTOH, when you see bodies of women and children under toppled buildings you begin to think maybe there is something … I have seen them on TV

I am holding my judgment until more evidence comes out but to say Israel allows free press in this matter is nonsense.

Doesn’t it always?

I heard some very disturbing reporting on a local radio station, 94.1 fm in S.F., I think they identified it as “Pacifica” radio. (If its the same station I think it is, it has been quite controversial in the past). Anyway, they had two people on the line very close to the scene in Jenin, one was apparently a relief worker of some sort, an American who was there to help the Palestinian people, and another may have been a reporter, not sure. They both told of horrible things, in general terms, and getting into details seemed a bit scetchy, but definately a scene of destruction.

Neither said they saw the evidence of a massacre, but both described the most awful conditions. One spoke about a young boy who witnessed Israeli soldiers dragging dead bodies out of a building, then repetedly running over them with tanks. This biy was in terrible shape, and told the story in great detail.

This would be evidence of some very scary mindsets on the part of the soldiers, I would hate to see it come to that. Palestinian people have already lived in some horrendous conditions (regardless of whose fault it ultimately is) they deserve a life, not this sort of torture.

Well, the Canadian press is certainly not shying away from saying “massacre”, even in newspaper monopolies that tend to frown on anti-Israel sentiments.

There is an article here which is very sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, and though I cannot link to it, one of the headlines on the front page of the World section in the Montral Gazette read: “Massacre in Jenin” (if I recall correctly).

Sailor, you should remember two things. First, a large proportion of the “foreign reporters” - and if not them, than at least their crews - are local Palestinian stringers. The IDF believes, and not without some basis, that their only goal is to make israel look bad, no matter what the facts actually are. So keeping them out may be unfair, but it is practical.

Second, journalist, especially Western ones, tend to think of themself as both entitled and invulnerable, and are notoriously reluctant to follow official advice. These are admirable qualities in times of peace… the last thing the Army wants is a bunch of civilians running around in the underfoot during an extremely fierce and brutal firefight. Frankly, if I were a soldier in jenin, and i saw a guy without an IDF uniform standing on a rooftop with a metallic object held to his shoulder, I’d shoot first and ask questions later.

Complaining journalists may be bad for PR, but dead ones are worse.

Does the phrase “media bias” mean anything to you?

The media is very pro-Palestinian biased.

Reports of a massacre were widely distributed. The report of no bodied found was buried on page 18 of the Chicago Trib and offset by how awful it was that buildings were destroyed.

The Israelis have said likely a hundred or so dead. So far less than that found. Uncover the rubble. And if no massacre is found watch the nonreporting of it.

Please note the BBC report also on “Israeli human sheild use” … what is actually alleged? That they had captured Palestinians knock on the doors of houses that they wanted to search. Not shooting around them, not hiding in the Church of the Nativity with priests as your cover, not placing a terrorist operation in a population center … none of that is called “using human shields” … but getting prisoners to knock on doors is.

BTW Israeli journalists were kept out too.

What about the Israeli court ruling that they must stop burying the bodies? I have heard reports of mass graves and that the courts had to order the military to stop burying the bodies. Any truth here?

Alessan, I am not saying whether they are justified or not. All I am saying is that there is no freedom to inform on what is happening. At any rate, shutting out the press because they are biased against you seems like a very bad idea to me. Freedom of the media should be paramount and countries that do not allow it always justify it saying they are protecting the truth. Sorry, me not buying. Muzzling the press is an accusation America has directed many times at other countries and rightly so. There is no justification for doing it.

There are very disturbing indications that something very serious has happened. Whether justified or not I cannot judge. But blaming the whole thing on the media is just stupid. The media have probably only reported a fraction of what really happened because they were not there to see all of it.

The fact that the Israeli courts are investigating means they believe there is something worth investigating. Is anyone going to tell me they are also influenced by the pro-palestinian press?

On the whole my support is still of Israel because I still believe it to be a country rulled by laws and if something did go wrong, it will be investigated (as it seems it has already begun). But if Israel is sinking to the level of the Palestinians then I will revise my views.

My view:

Israel pissed off at suicide bombings
Isreal sees people in Palestine wearing darkish ominous clothing.
Israel fires tanks at people.
people die.
That’s what tanks do.

There should never have been tanks.

Take the ‘suicide bombing’ scenario to the USA…
or the rest of the world…
think about it…

Yep. Good angle. Anyone think we should have destroyed Terry Nichols hometown? I mean he did live there. How about the Atlanta Olymoic bombings? Obviously we should have just killed everyone in Atlanta that looked suspicious.

North American press?

Please, that statement is laughable on its face.

Rather the contrary, the NA press comes to the conflict with mild pro-I sympathies.

The underdog side and the fairly stunning level of devastation in the camps may be grabbing at some reporting, but to claim the (NA) media is very pro-Palestinian is nothing short of absurd.

Indeed I will. Indeed I will.


Well, using human shields is using human shields. Now, given that the reporting has noted that the terrorists hide out in the camps and are indeed part of the population (that being what resitatance movements do, as if the anti-British Jewish orgs did any different), it would be a trifle redundant.

However, soldiers in a regular army have different standards and duties in a general sense.

To be frank I don’t know how I feel about that, and I understand it happening, but let’s not be silly now.

War fever.

Am I allowed to argue bias of posters here? You see, Sweet Willy, I have found you to lean rather close to being anti-semetic (and I am not basing this on your comments concerning Israel.) However, your previous comments on Judaism (particularly the reasons the Nazis murdered 6 million Jews) seem to indicate it. So, I fear that you might be against Israel for this reason. If this comment of mine is frowned upon in Great Debates, please forgive me, as I am somewhat ignorant (I only began posting a short time ago.)

Every report I’ve read/heard mentions the smell.

Was there a Srebrenica-style “massacre”? (Rounding up unarmed people and systematically killing them, then burying the evidence in mass graves.)

Hard to believe. It would be a godsend to the Palestininans, and it would trash what’s left of the moral high ground Israel occupies. It certainly wouldn’t be condoned by anyone in power in Israel, and I would assume that the IDF has not lost all discipline.

OTOH, did the IDF flatten 100s of buildings with innocent people in them on the assumption that some of the buildings were bomb making factories and some Palestinian fighters were also there - and assume that it was impractical to spare all innocent life in a place where teenage girls blow up without warning?

Seems so.

This thread “why are the media biased except what I read” reminds me of the recent one “why are the people of Southern California, where I live, the only ones that don’t have accents”. Both OPs show about the same level of comprehension of the world around them.

Hmmm…what exactly was the reason for Nazis murdering 6 million Jews? I don’t know other than hatred of Jews.

I lean against Israel because of Israels actions.

The reason why there’s two different stories coming out is because there’s a lot of propaganda and control of the press by the Israeli government. If there was a massacre and hundreds of bodies, it is conceivable that the Israeli’s could have done away with the bodies i.e. trucked them out, without the press knowing about it because they locked the area down and would not allow the press in until they were ready to. What do they have to hide is all is on the up and up?

Take a look at how the Venezuelan coup d’etat was covered. It was widely reported that it wasn’t even a coupe, and that the president had resigned. It turns out that it was a coup d’etat and the president didn’t resign. Now, why didn’t the reporters verify their stories? All they needed to do is confirm what they heard with someone on the ground there and they would have gotten the real deal on what was happening. Instead, the accepted the information given to them by the coupters and other questionable sources.

Mandos, why do you attack a poster without even addressing his post? Do you have anything to say about the substance of his post? It seems quite reasonable to me.

Some links related to the topic at hand:

This Site attempts to debunk 6 “myths” reported widely in the press and by the Israeli government. I think it makes for interesting reading and includes cites for additional information. Do you think the “myths” have been debunked by the information provided?