Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Anti-Israeli propaganda at the Irish Examiner
An Extremely biased article by the Irish Examiner appeared on Monday the 7th of November entitled "Gaza flotilla takeover ‘put lives at risk’". The article was by one Ann Cahill, their "Europe Correspondent". It gave free rein to the statements of dishonest anti-Israeli demagogues Fintan Lane and Paul Murphy, whilst failing to even briefly mention that the Irish consular assistance from the Embassy in Tel Aviv affirmed they were in good health. The Irish Examiner has been notably pro-Palestinian in its coverage for some time, and has crossed an ethical line, such as with active promotion of pro-Palestinian events. The article prompted Dermot Meleady to write a strongly worded email to Ms. Cahill on the day of publication:
From: Dermot Meleady
Sent: Monday, 7 November 2011, 20:44:01
Subject: For attention of Ann Cahill
Dear Ms. Cahill
Your article in Monday's Irish Examiner on the intercepted Gaza flotilla makes me wonder what has happened to journalistic standards.
There are several interesting aspects to this story, aspects in which the facts are contested. First, there is the question of aid. The organisers had said there would be $30,000 worth of aid on board the ships. Yet on the Israeli navy video, we can hear the activists say they have no cargo, and the Israelis say they found no aid (or weapons) on board when the ships docked at Ashdod. What is the truth? It's important to know, since we have Micheal Martin and other calling the flotilla a 'humanitarian aid' convoy, while the Israelis call it simply a provocation.
Second, there is the conflict between what the Irish consul said at Ashdod -- that all the activists were in good health -- and the allegations made by Messrs. Lane, Murphy et al that they were maltreated by the Israeli authorities. The suggestion by the activists that a water hose could start a fire on board the Saoirse might have been expected to generate some scepticism, but none was evident in the article.
Third, the incongruity of the activists claiming to have been 'kidnapped', yet resisting being sent home from a country they profess to hate might have incurred comment, but there was none.
Fourth, there is the conflict between the measured tone of Eamon Gilmore's statement about the safety of the Irish citizens on board and your presentation of this as 'condemnation'.
Fifth, you seem to accept at face value the claim of the activists that the flotilla's problems in making the journey to Gaza in July were the result of 'sabotage', despite an assertion to the contrary by the Turkish Government. Again, it would have been nice to have heard both sides reported at least. And surely it would have added to the enlightenment of readers to have been told that 7 of the 14 Irish activists are members of Sinn Fein including former members of the IRA -- i.e. hardly 'humanitarians' of unblemished record.
I thought it was a journalist's function to be curious, ask questions, try to find the truth. Instead the readers were served with a reprint of a propaganda release by the Palestinian Solidarity movement, with a little added gloss. If you are really a campaigner with a specific political agenda to push, and not a serious journalist willing to let readers make up their own minds based on the facts, perhaps in future you might preface your reports with this information for the benefit of readers?