When you write as much as I do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you come to be almost on a first-name basis with some of the official spokespeople on both sides. So it is that I’ve read Mark Regev’s attempts to paint Israel in the best light possible in news stories around the world. I’ve heard him regularly on BBC radio as well. I can’t decide whether he’s just a decent bloke trying to do a thankless job; or whether he’s a more perfidious, fork-tongued figure for the role he plays.
This Ynetnews report on continuing Palestinian protests against the Israeli murder of Gaza Reuters photographer Fadel Shana, makes me lean toward the latter view:
“We have expressed regret and the army is conducting an investigation. It’s a tragedy,” said Spokesman for Prime Minister , Mark Regev. “There was no identification that he was a journalist. Had it been clear he was a journalist, the shell would not have been fired.”
Regev’s claim isn’t merely a mistake since every media report on Shana’s death clearly states that not only was the journalist wearing a press marking on his person, his vehicle too was clearly marked (see photos).
No Israeli source has ever contradicted this part of the story. So that would make Regev an outright liar. If he had wished, Regev could’ve claimed that the tank crew didn’t SEE the markings. That at least might be somewhat credible. But you’ll notice Regev dispenses with such nuance making a far more sweeping claim.
A shameful performance but unfortunately par for the course. If Regev had been in the hotel room with Olmert and Talansky when they exchanged envelopes filled with cash, the PR flack would’ve pointed out that the envelopes had no identification that there was cash inside and had they been clearly marked as “Cash” or “Bribe,” they would’ve been refused on the spot.