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News ::
Israeli lobby hiding misinformation with misinformation
08 May 2002
Hiding misinformation with misinformation
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

HIDING MISINFORMATION WITH MISINFORMATION

On 6/5/2002, we sent out a transcript of the Media Watch program of
that day in which they accused the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs
Council of spreading misleading information.

The basis of the accusation was that the AIJAC, like Israeli lobby
groups elsewhere in the world, had claimed that Judge Richard
Goldstone had claimed he had been misrepresented in the ABC
documentary, "The Accused". Goldstone had strenuously denied being
misrepresented and had even told the AIJAC that their claims of him
being misrepresented by the BBC were false. The next day, the AIJAC
published an article in The Age reaffirming the same lie against Judge
Goldstone anyway.

Incidently, just two days before the Media Watch expose, Bianca Burd, national
vice-president of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students launched
into invective on the pages of the Herald Sun (May 4, 2002),
confidently declaring that "while Judge Richard Goldstone was
represented as having held Mr Sharon guilty, after having watched the
documentary, he declared emphatically that he never believed Mr Sharon
was indictable".

The only thing Goldstone has emphatically denied has been the claims
made about him, repeatedly, by the Israeli lobby.

You can read the complete Media Watch expose of this sordid affair at:
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/060502_s6.htm

Now, in response to the Media Watch program, the AIJAC has put out a
defiant public statement (available at www.aijac.org.au). Amazingly,
despite everything, "AIJAC stands by its view"! We are including
their statement below.

However, of particular interest to AMPAC was the following comment:

"So serious was the public misinterpretation of his comments that
Justice Goldstone found it necessary last year to make a public
explanation to qualify them in these terms: "I would not in any way
comment on any liability, criminal or civil, of Ariel Sharon and I
didn't do so." (June 20, 2001)"

Unfortunately, rather than simply face facts and admit their errors,
the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council are attempting to cover
misinformation with misinformation.

The June 20 "public explanation" that AIJAC has mentioned in their
press release originates with the Jerusalem Post at:
http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/06/20/News/News.28659.html.

AIJAC have explained Goldstone's statement has having been in response
to what they describe as "public misrepresentation of his words".
They have taken his words out of context and seem to again be
attempting to misinform. Here is the complete quote:

"In his interview with Jerusalem Post Radio, Goldstone said: "I agreed
to speak to [the BBC] as an expert on the law in general, on command
responsibility, but I said I would not in any way comment on any
liability, criminal or civil, of Ariel Sharon and I didn't do so."

AIJAC conveniently neglect to complete the quotation from Goldstone.
He continues:

"I haven't yet seen the program, but if it comes across that way it's
incorrect... I certainly didn't comment on the responsibility of
Sharon."

So Goldstone made those comments BEFORE he had even seen the program
and in reference to a HYPOTHETICAL scenario. However, since seeing
the program, he has consistently declared his satisfaction with the
way he was represented and the comments made in the BBC documentary
are accurate.


---------------------
MEDIA RELEASE

AIJAC STANDS BY CRITICISM
OF FOUR CORNERS

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is aware of the
report on Media Watch on ABC TV last night which referred to our
criticism of the ABC Four Corners program and its broadcast of "The
Accused" (first broadcast by BBC on June 17, 2001) about Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon. AIJAC stands by its view that the effect of the
program was to portray Justice Goldstone endorsing or calling for the
indictment of Ariel Sharon for War Crimes.

AIJAC acknowledges that Justice Goldstone does not share this
interpretation of his comments. However, we remain of the view that
this is the effect of his comments as they are presented in the
program and note that the same interpretation of the broadcast has
been drawn by media outlets in England, South Africa, Israel and
elsewhere. For example, the London Independent reported his remarks
under the headline "Try Sharon, says war crime judge ", June 18, 2001.
So serious was the public misinterpretation of his comments that
Justice Goldstone found it necessary last year to make a public
explanation to qualify them in these terms: "I would not in any way
comment on any liability, criminal or civil, of Ariel Sharon and I
didn't do so." (June 20, 2001)

AIJAC also stands by its criticism of Four Corners for its timing of
the broadcast and linking the 1982 massacre in Lebanon with the
current false allegations of a massacre in Jenin.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director, Australia/Israel & Jewish
Affairs Council


--

Australian Muslim Public Affairs Committee (AMPAC)
PO Box 180
PASCOE VALE SOUTH VIC 3044
Email: info (at) muslimaffairs.com.au
Web: http://www.muslimaffairs.com.au
See also:
www.muslimaffairs.com.au
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