A nice, short catchy post title befitting an Israeli minister who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him in the ass. Avigdor Lieberman told the world media yesterday that Yasser Murtaja, the Gaza journalist murdered by IDF sniper fire last week, was a “Hamas terrorist:”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Lieberman said that Murtaja was a “terrorist” who had been on the Hamas payroll since 2011. He said Murtaja had used a drone to collect intelligence on Israeli forces along the border.
“This is a member of the military arm of Hamas who holds a rank parallel to that of captain, who was active in Hamas for many years,” Lieberman said. “Once again we see how Hamas uses the media, ambulances and patients, including cancer patients who are sent to hospitals in Israel,” to carry out “terrorist missions.”
Lieberman provided no evidence to support his allegations. Israel’s military said it is still investigating and was not able to confirm Lieberman’s claims.
Note that last sentence. Lieberman didn’t offer evidence for two reasons: 1. Israel almost never offers evidence; 2. He doesn’t have any.
Murtaja’s brother angrily denounced the defense minister:
In Gaza, Murtaja’s brother, Mutasem, angrily denied Lieberman’s claims.
“He spreads lies to get himself out of the impasse,” he said. “Yasser was filming the protests with simple cameras to show they are peaceful.”
Reports of Murtaja’s funeral note that no Hamas gunmen were present as would customarily be the case if the photographer were a Hamas member. Certainly no senior officer in Hamas, as Lieberman claimed he was, would have a funeral without the presence of his military comrades.
A confidential Israeli source tells me that Lieberman is lying. And yes, he used those words precisely: “”Lieberman is lying. How can ‘a Hamas terrorist’ get help from USAID?” My source knows this is the case because Murtaja has been vetted for projects by USAID:
The State Department said Tuesday that the media production company had recently received an $11,700 grant from the U.S. government. Ain Media became a USAID program beneficiary last month under a program that supports private sector development. The State Department said the grant was still in its early stages, and no equipment or technical assistance has been provided.
It said the grant was vetted according to strict U.S. government requirements of USAID-funded assistance.
Though the reporter who wrote this passage only alludes to this, let me be clear: my source knows that USAID vets all of its foreign consultants thoroughly and will not hire anyone with any affiliation with parties or organizations which are banned under U.S. law. Hamas is one such entity. So if Lieberman’s claim was true, then Murtaja could never have worked for USAID. Since he did, Lieberman’s lying.
Should you ask why my source has such confidence in the vetting process of the U.S. government: that’s because the Shabak, which is responsible to ferreting out Palestinian (and Jewish, but that’s another story) terrorists, has been forced to admit some painful errors that embarrassed it and the U.S. government in the past. I reported here that a Palestinian woman entrepreneur who’d been approved by the U.S. consulate for participation in a State Department sponsored exhibition, was arrested by the Israeli anti-terror agency and called a terrorist. The only problem: she wasn’t. Not only wasn’t she, but the State Department had done its own vetting of her and determined her record was absolutely clean. Shabak released her and conceded its error.
So some parts of the Israeli security apparatus have learned from their mistakes. And others just make it up as they go along. The upshot: Lieberman’s lying. He’s lying because the IDF is suffering a black eye for murdering a Palestinian journalist in cold blood. Not only that, Breaking the Silence just released a recent video shot by an IDF sniper as his comrade murders a Gaza protester and then shouts: “Take that you son of a bitch.”
Not good days for the IDF. So what’s the best way to distract from the bad PR? Blame the victim. In the past, Israeli police called a little Palestinian boy burned to death by Jewish terrorists a homosexual, claiming he was murdered in an honor killing. These are the sorts of lies we’re talking about. Lies which smear the victim, but which should, if there were justice in the world, smear the liar instead.
Further, note that Lieberman all but declares that any Palestinian journalist who flies a drone is a terrorist. Let’s parse this: Israel, which pioneered the use of drones in targeted killings of Palestinians, is kosher. But a Palestinian who uses a drone to capture a news event he is covering is a terrorist.
Lest you think this is a one-off event, it’s not. Israel has bombed the press offices of reporters in Gaza before. And during the current series of protests it’s continued assaulting the media. In this 972 Magazine piece, Gaza journalists demand their Israeli counterparts take their part and defend their right to practice their profession. The Israeli response: silence.
Canada’s Israel Lobby Attacks Press Freedom in Gaza Reporting
In Canada, the nation’s leading press advocacy NGO, the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, released a statement denouncing Israel’s attack on journalists in Gaza. The statement called for the Canadian government to take action as well. The Israel Lobby, via a pro-Israel advocacy group, Honest [sic] Reporting, began blasting CJFE for its violation of some imaginary tenet of journalism that you cannot engage in political advocacy. As a result, both the board chair and several Canadian Broadcasting Corporation officials sitting on the CJFE board resigned. Tonight, the remaining members are meeting to determine whether the organization will disband. Even if it survives, the staff member who wrote the original statement stands to lose his job.
Returning to Lieberman’s bald-faced lies, they remind me of the Russian response any time they’re caught red-handed assassinating a hated figure like Skripal or Nemtsov, or sabotaging a U.S. presidential election. Look for the easiest lie you can tell and throw it in the face of the western media like sand at the beach. It will confuse and annoy those you seek to distract for long enough for you to divert attention from yourself as the culprit. Keep in mind that Lieberman was born and raised in the Soviet era. Many high level Israeli officials believe he continues to be a Russian intelligence asset. So Lieberman is well-trained in this system and uses its tools whenever convenient. Nor is he the only Israeli official who does so. Virtually every prime minister and general lies serially and almost congenitally.
Any journalist who accepts his claims at face value without pronouncing the proper amount of skepticism is a fool.
17 thoughts on “Lieberman Lies – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Good day, Richard.
Was Murtaja on Hamas payroll? We cannot be sure, because Hamas hasn’t declared yet.
“A Hamas statement said Liberman’s comments were contrary to the “facts on the ground” given that Murtaja was not filming with a drone Friday. The statement did not address the allegation that Murtaja was on the group’s payroll.”
If I had to guess, I’d say that the IDF made a mistake. Than again, this is the Middle East, and things aren’t always what they seem. I counsel patience. The truth will out.
@ Frank: Murtaja wasn’t on the Hamas payroll because a highly reliable Israeli source told me he wasn’t. That’s it. I don’t need Hamas to tell me he wasn’t. And I find it rich that hasbarists would trust Hamas’ word on this when you all make a point of calling Hamas terrorists, liars, criminals, etc. Why trust their word on this when you won’t on anything else?
I don’t recall asking your opinion on this or anything else. The truth is known. Only hasbarists can’t accept it.
You are done in this thread. Do not respond here.
I am going to stick my neck out and say that the Great Return March will prove to be a disaster for Hamas, not Israel.
Hamas now has to rehabilitate 400 young men who are recovering from gunshot wounds to the legs.
I bet when the cacophony has died down a good number of these gunshot victims are going to ask, ‘What was it for?’, and, ‘Why do I have to limp for the rest of my life when the Hamas leadership gets driven around Gaza in BMWs?’
Just my two shillings.
You stuck your neck out so far someone’s chopped it off. And I must say that your brain unattached to the rest of your body doesn’t function much better than it did when it was attached.
The Great March is already a disaster for Israel. Nor do you understand Palestinians, Hamas or anything else related. The more martyrs there are the greater Hamas’ impact. The more it shows it is the only form of Palestinian resistance. The IDF could maim thousands of Gazans and it would only fuel the resistance, not quell it.
Amazing powers of empathy, Frank. You penetrate deep down to the Arab soul. And you understand what is in their hearts so profoundly. How did you learn to do this? Do tell us your secret. Because as we all know, the Arab mind is impenetrable & you seem to have done it. Did you learn these secrets from masters like Bernard Lewis? Or do it on your own?
Your two shillings aren’t worth a cold fart, so spare us in future. This sort of hasbara is rancid, racist and full of condescension.
No more than 3 comments in any 24 hour period, Frank. Remember that.
[comment deleted: Islamophobia is prohibited.]
Lieberman may well be lying about Murtaja being Hamas, but Lieberman is truthful when he says that Murtaja was flying a drone.
@Dr John: no he wasn’t. He was photographing with a camera. He may’ve used a drone at other times. But he wasn’t when he was murdered. Besides, as far as I know it’s not illegal under any law to fly a drone. Not even Usrael has declared this illegal. Summarily executing a journalist for a crime you haven’t even declared a crime warrants a war crime charge at the Hague. Which I look forward to.
The Guardian and other media have published the last footage by Yaser Murtaja filmed on the same day he was killed and it’s clearly filmed with a drone. I’m not sayng this is illegal, just stating the fact that he actually used a drone to film.
@Deir Yassin: Thanks for the correction.
It’s curious how the Hasbaristas are defending this particular murder with such vigor. I wonder why.
‘I am going to stick my neck out and say that the Great Return March will prove to be a disaster for Hamas, not Israel.’
Keep telling yourself that. I want you to believe that.
Honestly. I do. Hey, at thirty dead for the two Fridays versus fifteen hundred or whatever for a ‘Cast Lead,’ ‘Hamas’ could repeat this ‘defeat’ fifty times. That’d cover about the next year. What do you think would be left of Israel’s support after that year?
Go for it. I recommend weekly atrocities. Bomb a kindergarten or something. Say it was a Hamas rocket base.
It’ll be a stunning success. Trust me.
[comment deleted: Your comment repeated past statements you’ve already made in this thread. Comment rules frown on such repetition. If you said it once, you said it enough. It was also off-topic. Comments must confine themselves directly to the topic of the post.]
We seem to be heading into week 3 of Murderin’ Fridays.
‘At least 9 injured with live fire as Israel suppresses ongoing Gaza protests’
I wonder who’s going to crack first? On the bright side, there’s a certain resemblance to the final scenes of ‘Battle of Algiers.’ Everyone knows how that movie ends, right?
Another way of looking at it is that Israel’s prisoners are staging an almost perfect Gandhiesque protest — about as perfect as Gandhi’s actions themselves ever got.
The Israelis just keep playing General Dyer at Amritsar. No Zionist will ever be able to say ‘if only the Palestinians would be non-violent…’ ever again.
Well, the Zionists will be able to say it. Zionists will say anything. But their lie will be even more obvious than it ever was.
Make that 122 wounded. So far, though, the main English-language news media seems to be silenced.
If Israel murders Palestinians, and no one says anything, is there a crime?
Interestingly — just going by a couple of photos from the last batch of shootings — Israel seems to have stopped using illegal munitions and returned to using ordinary military rounds to shoot unarmed demonstrators.
Isn’t that nice of them?
‘GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Local activists in Gaza announced on Thursday that they had moved tents that were set up along the border with Israel as part of the “Great March of Return,” had been moved 50 meters closer to the border.
The committee in charge of the “Great March of Return” announced that they had moved the “tents of return” 50 meters closer towards the border “as a message of persistence from our people to the world that we are moving forwards towards our rightful goals.”
The activists added that the tents had been set up between 500-700 meters away from the border line…’
They’re going to come within half a kilometer of their own border?
Imagine if Mexicans tried something like this in Tijuana. I’d say Israel’s really going to have to take off the gloves now. No more Mr. Nice Guy.