MideastWeb Middle East Web Log

log  archives  middle east  maps  history   documents   countries   books   encyclopedia   culture   dialogue   links    timeline   donations 

Search:

False claim of 6,000 Palestinian deaths in Six Day War

06/21/2007

A false allegation that 6,000 Palestinians died in the 1967 Six Day War appears at the website of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service.

The false report originated as an inadvertent error in a Canadian newspaper June 2. It gained more visibility on the internet a few days later when Michael Getler, ombudsman of the 354-station PBS, cited it as if it were fact.

Getler devoted his June 8 column to "Six Days," a documentary film directed by Israeli-born Ilan Ziv. The ombudsman's column, titled "Versions of War," dealt mainly with Getler's discovery that "there were actually several versions of this same basic film being seen in different countries, and that the American, or PBS version, was different in important ways."

What first drew his attention to this, the PBS ombudsman wrote, were viewers' complaints that the film did not mention Israel's aerial and naval attack on the USS Liberty, a U.S. surveillance vessel operating near the Sinai coast. The attack killed 33 sailors and one Arab-language specialist of the National Security Agency.

The PBS ombudsman went on to cite a Toronto Globe and Mail preview which stated June 2 that the film "has been praised by some reviewers for not shying away from the deaths of 6,000 Palestinians during the war, something that's clearly described in every version except the one for PBS. The filmmakers describe the reasoning behind this difference as a mix of concern about American attitudes toward the continuing conflict and what PBS subscribers might make of such an inclusion."

It turns out, though, that the newspaper article was in error and the number 6,000 applied not to deaths but to the population of three Palestinian villages which Israel destroyed during the war. These villagers were deported, not killed. No standard history of the war mentions 6,000 Palestinian deaths, nor have anti-Israel propagandists made such a claim.

The error came to light after a MidEastWeb editor forwarded the PBS ombudsman's article on June 12 to a MidEastWeb e-mail list. There, another editor spotted the reference to "deaths of 6,000 Palestinians" and asked, "Is this the birth of another Jenin myth?"

The question triggered an effort to determine whether such a claim actually appeared in any version of the film.

An e-mail inquiry to the film's Canadian producer, Ina Fichman, failed to produce a response.

An e-mail request to the newspaper where the PBS ombudsman found the assertion of 6,000 Palestinian deaths also drew a blank. The Globe and Mail features editor did not respond to a request for the film critic's e-mail address.

Eventually, MidEastWeb found an e-mail address for the critic, Matthew Hays, and put the question to him.

Hays promptly wrote back to confirm that the reference to 6,000 deaths was an unintended error that crept in when he interviewed the filmmakers. He added that they had been referring to the displacement of 6,000 Palestinians, not to deaths.

The 6,000 displaced Palestinians were residents of three villages---Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba---which the Israel army destroyed on June 8, 1967.

The version of the film shown in Israel devotes considerable attention to the destruction of the villages. It interviews a witness who as a member of nearby kibbutz Harel noticed that the villages had been evacuated. He had a camera with him, so he made photographs of the empty houses. Israel knocked the houses down, and later the area became part of the Ayalon Park (known as Canada Park).

The destruction of the villages is not a new disclosure. Amos Kenan, a prominent Israeli writer, took part in the operation as an army reservist, and he wrote about it in the Hebrew press shortly after the war. His account appeared in English in "Israel: A Wasted Victory," a 1970 collection of his newspaper articles. Trish Wood, an investigative journalist, dealt with the subject in "Park without peace," a 1991 television documentary she made for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

A point that does not appear in the current documentary, at least not in the version shown on Israel Channel 10, is that one of the villages, Imwas, was widely thought to be the site of Emmaus of Christian scripture.

The current mistaken mention of deaths that didn't occur is much different from the intentional reporting of a massacre that never happened in Jenin in April 2002. In Jenin, Israel barred reporters from area, and Palestinian and other anti-Israel sources took advantage of this public-relations blunder to spread false stories of blanket bombing, destruction of the entire refugee camp, and as many as 3,000 dead. Some media organizations treated the lies and disinformation with professional skepticism, while others let themselves be carried away in a frenzy of unsubstantiated accusations against Israel. Subsequent investigation eventually found the massacre charges to be false. This finding did not receive sensational media coverage.

--Joseph M. Hochstein, Tel Aviv

If you like this post - click to Reddit!
add to del.icio.usAdd to digg - digg it

Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000600.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Joseph M. Hochstein @ 01:56 PM CST [Link]

NEWS

Middle East e-Zine

Midde East News

Opinion Digest

Late Updates

REFERENCE

Middle East Glossary

Middle East Maps

Middle East Books

Middle East Documents

Israel-Palestine History

Israel-Palestine Timeline

Middle East Countries

Middle East Economy

Middle East Population

Middle East Health

Zionism History

Palestinian Parties

Palestinian Refugees

Peace Plans

Water

Middle East

  

Blog Links

OneVoice - Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog

Bravo411 -Info Freedom

Israel News

Oceanguy

Michael Brenner

Dutchblog Israel

Dutch - IMO (Israel & Midden-Oosten) Blog (NL)

GulfReporter

Israpundit

Alas, a Blog

Little Green Footballs

Blue Truth

Fresno Zionism

Reut Blog

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blog

Simply Jews: Judaism and Israel

Jeff Weintraub - Commentaries and Controversies

Vital Perspective

ZioNation

Meretz USA Weblog

normblog

MIDEAST observer

On the Contrary

Blogger News Network- BNN

Google Sex Maps

Demediacratic Nation

Realistic Dove

Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.

On the Face

Israel Palestjnen (Dutch)

Middle East Analysis

Israel: Like This, As If

Middle East Analysis

Mid_East Journal

Z-Word Blog

Dvar Dea

SEO for Everyone


Web Sites & Pages

Israeli-Palestinian Procon

End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One Voice

Democratiya

ATFP- American Task Force on Palestine

Americans For Peace Now

Shalom Achshav

Chicago Peace Now

Nemashim

Peacechild Israel

Bridges of Peace

PEACE Watch

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Z-Word

Zionism

Zionism and Israel

Zionism and Israel on the Web

Israel - Palestina:Midden-Oosten Conflict + Zionisme

IsraŽl in de Media

Euston Manifesto

New Year Peace

Jew

Christian Zionism

Jew Hate

Space Shuttle Blog

Israel News Magazine

SEO


My Ecosystem Details
International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Link 2 us
We link 2 U.
MidEastWeb- Middle East News & Views
MidEastWeb is not responsible for the content of linked Web sites


Replies: 2 comments

E-Mail (optional)

Posted by china wholesale @ 07/18/2007 11:44 AM CST

mp3 player wholesale

Posted by mp3 player wholesale @ 07/18/2007 11:46 AM CST


Please do not leave notes for MidEastWeb editors here. Hyperlinks are not displayed. We may delete or abridge comments that are longer than 250 words, or consist entirely of material copied from other sources, and we shall delete comments with obscene or racist content or commercial advertisements. Comments should adhere to Mideastweb Guidelines . IPs of offenders will be banned.

Powered By Greymatter

[Previous entry: "Gaza Coup: Islamization is coming"] Main Index [Next entry: "Sharm el Sheikh Conference: Vision versus reality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict"]

ALL PREVIOUS MidEastWeb Middle East LOG ENTRIES

Thank you for visiting MidEastWeb - Middle East.
If you like what you see here, tell others about the MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log - www.mideastweb.org/log/.

Contact Us

Copyright

Editors' contributions are copyright by the authors and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA.
Please link to main article pages and tell your friends about MidEastWeb. Do not copy MidEastWeb materials to your Web Site. That is a violation of our copyright. Click for copyright policy.
MidEastWeb and the editors are not responsible for content of visitors' comments.
Please report any comments that are offensive or racist.

Editors can log in by clicking here

Technorati Profile

RSS FeedRSS feed Add to Amphetadesk Add to Amphetadesk

USA Credit Card - Donate to MidEastWeb  On-Line - Help us live and grow