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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Uh, sure he's in jail...

... in a cell that's approximately 7' x 2' x 1'

A sharp-eyed treppenwitz reader followed the link to one of the Palestinian news sources I used for yesterday's post and decided to poke around a bit to see what other 'news' was being reported over there. 

Tellingly, the motto of this particular news sources reads:  "MNA is known for being reliable, objective, accurate, balanced, and informed."  Well, one out of five ain't bad... they're reliable! 

Here's a story that may have bypassed the MNA fact checkers:

Bethlehem – Ma'an – The director of the statistics department in the Palestinian ministry of Prisoners and Freed Prisoners, Abdul-Nasser Farawnah released on Sunday a comprehensive report about the long term Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails showing that many of them have entered the Guinness Book of Records.

According to the report, Palestinian prisoner Sa'id Al-Ataba has been detained for more than 30 years which is the longest imprisonment in the world. No other political prisoner had served such a long period ; Nelson Mandela had served 26 years, and Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of former US president John Kennedy served 28 years in prison." [emphasis added]

Huh?

I'm no history expert, but I was born during the Kennedy administration and was a toddler when JFK was assassinated.  As a result I came of age in an era when the public's fascination with - and adoration of - JFK was at its high water mark. 

The mere mention of 'the grassy knoll', 'Texas School Book Depository', 'Jack Ruby' and especially 'Lee Harvey Oswald' are instantly understood - with or without context - by anyone in my generation.  And the one thing that everyone  - even the conspiracy theory nuts - agree upon is that, thanks to Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald never made it to trial, much less a prison cell.

Yet here we have a Palestinian News service reporting that he enjoyed 'three hots and a cot' for almost three decades!  No word, however, on what he has been doing since being paroled. 

It still amazes me that despite such glaring factual errors in Palestinian news reporting, the world media still relies heavily on Palestinian sources for both historical context and hard news from our region.  The kernel around which the story is built is a legitimate one.  Many Palestinian prisoners have been in jail for a very long time.  But why destroy the legitimacy of that issue by trying to turn it into some kind of world record?  Why must the Pali suffering - and Israel's behavior - be the worst that the world has ever seen? 

The answer to these questions seems to be that no matter how closely Palestinian journalism standards resemble a poorly supervised high school newspaper, the world media will continue to lap up the juicy bits and ignore the glaring factual errors.

For what it's worth, here's a photo of Lee Harvey Oswald being 'sentenced' to his record setting 'term of incarceration'... served, apparently, in a long, wooden subterranean cell:

800pxrubyshootingoswald2

Posted by David Bogner on December 25, 2007 | Permalink

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The same paper reports that Zionist control of the moon has turned large sections of it into a giant wasteland made of pigskin.

Actually that kind of sounds like a good description of Patriot fans.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 25, 2007 6:51:38 PM

We have a saying here that goes, "Wer googeln und lesen kann, ist klar im Vorteil."
("If you know how to google and how to read, advantage is definitely yours.")

Oswald served 28 days in military prison for insulting a superior officer while serving the army in Yamamoto.

Posted by: a. | Dec 25, 2007 7:27:18 PM

Uh, is anyone wondering why LHO is being lumped in with other political prisoners?

Posted by: Abbi | Dec 25, 2007 7:58:07 PM

At the risk of not being PC and/or racist, I have heard numerous times that these people have no qualms about lying or "stretching the truth" when it comes to speaking with the "infidel". Why should a news article be any different? I just see it as one more hysterical attempt to gain attention and sympathy. Also, it is a commentary on our world today where people rarely check what it is they are swallowing when they read articles. Critical thinking is in short supply a great deal of the time.

Posted by: Maya | Dec 25, 2007 9:39:26 PM

No, see, you don't understand. The evil Americans incarcerated Lee Harvey Oswald for 28 years after he had already been shot and killed! In a tiny 7' by 2' by 1' jail cell! With no food and water! And the evil Zionists are even worse!
Sheesh.

Posted by: psachya | Dec 26, 2007 3:29:37 AM

No, see, you don't understand. The evil Americans incarcerated Lee Harvey Oswald for 28 years after he had already been shot and killed! In a tiny 7' by 2' by 1' jail cell! With no food and water! And the evil Zionists are even worse!
Sheesh.

Posted by: psachya | Dec 26, 2007 3:32:49 AM

My apologies - I have no clue why I keep double-posting.
Make that triple-posting. :)

Posted by: psachya | Dec 26, 2007 3:35:25 AM

The guy in the white suit always looks like he's thinking,"Hey! Watch where you're pointing that thing, buster!"

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Dec 26, 2007 4:14:15 AM

I hope that Yigal Amir wil break all reords for incarceration, pity there wasn't a Jack Ruby around then, to save us the expense and the circus. And if you think the brit was a farce, wait until the bar-mitzvah

Posted by: asher | Dec 26, 2007 12:29:45 PM

I hope that Yigal Amir wil break all reords for incarceration, pity there wasn't a Jack Ruby around then, to save us the expense and the circus. And if you think the brit was a farce, wait until the bar-mitzvah

Posted by: asher | Dec 26, 2007 12:30:35 PM

Sirhan Sirhan has already served 39 years and had parole denied 13 times.
Mark Chapman has served 27 years.

By the way, in the photo of Ruby, which guy is John Peel?

Posted by: asher | Dec 26, 2007 12:41:20 PM

Jack... Lucky for you I don't follow football or you'd be losing another bet. :-)

a. ... days - years - what's the difference? We're dealing with very patient people here. :-)

Abbi... Because the Palis can't conceive a crime that isn't politically motivated.

Maya... I've written about this in the past but I can't lay my hands on exactly which post. But in short, I agree with you.

psachya... Thanks for clearing that up!

Wry Mouth... Most of the people in the picture haven't even begun reacting to the sound of the shot so by comparison the lawman to whom LHO is handcuffed is pretty on the ball.

asher... "... pity there wasn't a Jack Ruby around then, to save us the expense and the circus" Assassination and murder are the same thing under the law and should be equally abhorrant to anyone who truly respects the rule of law. It is telling how people who were (justifiably) horrified by the assassination of someone they respected/revered have no particular problem with the idea of someone murdering a person they find horrible/distasteful. In a democratic, free society the laws apply to all and are meant to protect all... even the criminals. I find it interesting that so many on the left didn't make a peep about the rampant abuses of civil rights during the disengagement and (like you)openly wish someone had murdered Yigal Amir... simply because both aligned nicely with their sense of personal justice. Either one needs to respect the system and the universality of the rule of law, or one is a fascist hypocrite. In this respect there is very little middle ground.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 26, 2007 12:47:58 PM

Asher... Per an interview with Mr. Peel, he wasn't present when LHO was shot.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 26, 2007 12:51:10 PM

If Yigal Amir puts himself outside of the rule of law, then he's the hypocryte for hiding behind it now.

Won't even get into the question if you could have murdered BinLaden in 2000 (or Saddam in 1989)(or Hilter in 1936)?

By the way, I was the one who had a knife pulled on him for handing out blue ribbons, where were my civil rights then?

Posted by: asher | Dec 26, 2007 1:29:41 PM

Asher... excuse my bluntness, but now you seem to be acting deliberately obtuse. It may rub you the wrong way that criminals enjoy the protection of law (and often seem to hide behind it), but without universal protection under the law, we are all vulnerable to terrible abuses by the state and its agencies (not to mention each other). Yes Amir is a hypocrite for hiding behind a law he didn't respect, but that is the price you and I pay of living in a society of laws. The old 'would you have killed Hitler in 1932 if you had the chance' exercise is a nice thought experiment or NCSY discussion topic, but it has no place in rational day-to-day decision making. Unless, of course, you have a time machine I don't know about. Lastly, it is terrible that you had a knife pulled on you when you were trying to hand out blue ribbons. But so were the many acts of violence against those handing out orange ribbons (and vandalism against cars with orange ribbons and civil right s abuses against those driving such cars). The difference is that your experience was an exception to the rule while widespread private and governmental targeting of 'ketumim' was systemic. If you can't tell the difference than I fear there is no possibility of discussing the issue rationally with you.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 26, 2007 2:00:30 PM

maybe the journalist in question (double entendre intended) has the wrong kennedy assasination in mind?

Posted by: nikki | Dec 26, 2007 2:40:43 PM

Nikki - with all due respect, I don't think an Arab journalist (or even an Arab "journalist") would confuse the name "Lee Harvey Oswald" with the name "Sirhan Sirhan".

Posted by: psachya | Dec 26, 2007 5:11:40 PM

Jack... Lucky for you I don't follow football or you'd be losing another bet. :-)

Listen Sausage Boy, or should I say Sausage King, as you did win the bet. Enjoy the thrill of victory while you have it as the curse is going to reassert itself. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Dec 26, 2007 5:12:09 PM

a. ... days - years - what's the difference? We're dealing with very patient people here. :-)

No, the sad point here is that these "professionals" not only repeatedly break journalism etiquette (thus disgracing journalism as a trade), but they are not even able to utilize technology at their hands to live up to their nobility of ideals: "MNA is known for being reliable, objective, accurate, balanced, and informed."

I keep thinking of pearls and certain animals.

Posted by: a. | Dec 26, 2007 6:15:45 PM

After two yellow cards, and annoying our gracious host, I wish to put forward a few points of clarification/explanation, relating to my comments in this topic and previous ones. I apologise for shooting from the hip, I do not apologise for my opinions, I hope nobody expects me to.
By the way I read Treppenwitz for the postings about music, kids, life in general, not for the political views, even though once I felt that way, but that was a long time ago now. Most of all though I read for the postings about the wargraves cemetery in BeerSheva, deserving of a Pulitzer prize.
First, those who pulled a knife on me and my fellow ribbon-givers (we also organized care packages to the soldiers), were not really “ctumim” rather were the marginalized tenement youth that Israel’s cities breed. Dare I say the kind of youth that the settlements are not interested in, maximum for a weekend, under close supervision. My wife has been trying to educate them for the past 23 years. Try explaining to them that their housing, schools, health-care and job opportunities would be improved with funding that currently goes on settlements but I digress again.
Actually, the real “ctumim” who we shared a junction with were nice, we made sure they had plenty of cool water, later they repaid us with ice-cream – no need to say which colour!
Second, I still maintain that an army with “prior commitments” is an army that has become tied down to routine (bad for any organization, double-plus ungood for an army) and has lost its ability to move quickly and respond.
Third, westbankmama asked where I live, much as I don’t have to reply, let’s put it this way. The walls are built of reinforced cement, (it was a heck of a job breaching them for the extension) because of the artillery, and if you go 500 yards you can see trenches and blockhouses, all a legacy of 1949->1967. Hope that gives you an answer…
Fourth, we seem, sadly, to live in different countries. By the way has anyone noticed Belgium recently?? There was I thinking that the road-blockings, tyre-burnings and other acts of vandalism were being done by the religious-right (how come nobody talks about secular-right or religious-left). That’s what I was sure I thought I saw. I also remember Emil Grinzweig (spell check). I was sure that the people who told me about antennae being removed from cars, and windows/tyres destroyed were from the “blue” camp. Sad fact is, apart from the animal-rights types, the “left” here is wishy-washy. Remember that the police and soldiers who did the disengagement were unarmed, those who open fire on “fence” protesters are not.
Like I say, we seem to live in different countries, and THAT IS SAD.

Posted by: asher | Dec 27, 2007 12:40:07 PM

asher... Apology and compliment accepted. However I have to ask the following:

1. If the people who pulled a knife on you and your fellow blue ribbon givers were "...not really “ctumim” rather were the marginalized tenement youth that Israel’s cities breed.", why did you mention the incident in such a way that anyone reading it would understand the incident to be an indictment of settler violence?

2. If your experience with the 'ktumim' you described was so positive, why wouldn't this be the example you carry around with you (and share in your comments) to describe a segment of the Israeli population?

3. Regarding the 'prior commitments' you mentioned, do you realize/acknowledge that most of what the army is doing in the shtachim has nothing to do with protecting or 'babysitting' the settlers and everything to do with protecting the center of the country from infiltration by terrorists?

4. The police who handled disengagement were unarmed and the disengagement was peaceful. Those two facts are relevant to one another and absent from your frequent comments on the topic. There were a few isolated incidents of violence by anti-disengagement people... but there was widespread and institutional incidents of violence and violation of civil rights by police. Again, no mention by you. And just as an aside, the police did not come to amona unarmed.

5. I don't accept that we live in different countries. I think part of the country has simply buried its head in the sand and has refused to see the current violence directed at the state of Israel as a continuation of the war of independence... with nothing whatsoever to do with 'the occupation'.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Dec 27, 2007 2:13:27 PM

what a mistake-a to make-a

perhaps they are taking tips from caroline glick or 'honest reporting'...

Posted by: Michael | Dec 27, 2007 7:07:14 PM

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