A clerical error led the UN to falsely accuse Israel of shelling one of its Gaza schools in the Jabalya refugee camp during Operation Cast Lead, the international organization admitted this week. For close to a month, the UN accused the Israel of hitting the educational compound ran by its Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which was sheltering more than 1,300 Gazans as the IDF battled Hamas in the camp on January 6. The strike made international headlines and was one of the many incidents of civilian deaths that led nongovernmental organization and international politicians to call for Israelis to be charged with war crimes for the 22-day military offensive.
The attack - and the hysterical media and diplomatic feeding frenzy that followed - was supposed to become Cast Lead's Qana. Israel came under enormous pressure to declare a "temporary ceasefire" - the kind of temporary ceasefire that raises the costs of reengaging the enemy, making it a de facto long-term ceasefire. You can file this stunt along with the Lebanon II "massacre" where 40 dead civilians suddenly became a single casualty.
But you can't fault UNRWA for trying. It's not like their credibility is going to be damaged just because they lied. Truth doesn't really matter when demonizing Israel. People like Obama family friend Rashid Khalidi have been openly fabricating material for decades without any consequences to their reputations:Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, has been caught in a lie. Khalidi concluded a January 8, 2009, op-ed that appeared in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune with the following quote ascribed to former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon: "The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.". The problem is Ya'alon never made this statement and both publications have since had to excise it from the op-ed and issue corrections... The distorted version of Ya'alon's words has since become a staple of anti-Israel rhetoric, leading Khalidi to employ it on more than one occasion. Before the current op-ed, Khalidi used the quote in a May 22, 2003, column in The Nation, as well as in his 2005 book Resurrecting Empire.
So I think it's unfair to suggest - as some people have been implying - that UNRWA lied for Hamas because the two organizations keep each other in business. They do keep each other in business, of course. But that's not the point.
UNRWA would lie for Hamas even if they didn't have any financial incentive. Because why not?
* UN: IDF did not shell UNRWA school [JPost]
* Hamas: We Will Murder Jewish Children All Over The World (Plus: Diplomats Trying To Stop The IDF From Winning) [MR]
* Video: UNRWA Explosion Was From Retaliatory Fire, Secondary Explosions [MR]
* List of Things That Would Cause Us to Have More Sympathy for Lebanon's Prime Minister [MR]
* Turns Out, Obama And Khalidi Are "Family Friends, Neighbors" [MR]
* Rashid Khalidi Gets Caught in a Lie [Stillwell / Campus Watch]
* Gaza Bedfellows UNRWA And Hamas [Forbes]
* UN Palestinian Stooge: "It's Obvious" That Israeli Attack Violated 48-Hour Truce That No One Knew About Until Now
* Anti-Israel Partisans Set New Record For Decades-Old Trick Of Brazenly Rewriting History, Blaming Israel
* UN Chief: Yeah, I Guess It Sucks That We've Been Helping Hamas Shell Israeli Civilians For Eight Years
Friday, February 06, 2009
I guess we can file this under "oops." From Mere Rhetoric: