Friday, January 06, 2012

AntiWar.Com: "Best Source For Antiwar News"--Just Not The Facts (2 Updates)

Note: the webpage in question has been taken down without a word of apology for the damage done, but there is still a cached copy here

The website AntiWar.com modestly informs us they are Your Best Source for Antiwar New, Viewpoints and Activities

If what they print is the best source for antiwar news, someone better find another source, fast.

Here is what AntiWar.com reported yesterday:
Israel Plans to Betray Promise on Prisoner Swap Deal
The second part of the agreement - to release another 550 Palestinians after the return of Gilad Shalit - may be abandoned

Israel may betray its earlier promise to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in the second phase of a prisoner swap agreement that secured the release of one captive Israeli soldier.


That agreement has already resulted in the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for five years. That first exchange took place in October, and Israel had agreed to release another 550 – a total of 1,027 – within two months of Shalit’s release.

But now a government-appointed panel in Israel recommended in a secret report Thursday to back out of the deal. Defense Minister Ehud Barak would not divulge details of the report but said Israel has “no choice but to overhaul the rules” now that Sgt. Gilad Schalit has been freed.

The second half of Palestinian prisoners, some of whom are children and minors, are reportedly serving sentences for “security offenses,” not for violent attacks or for being part of either Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

Many are political prisoners. The Israel Defense Forces apply what is called the administrative detention policy, which allows Palestinian political prisoners to be held for six months without charge or trial. Detention orders can be renewed every six months.

“It’s a primitive and racist way to hold a trial,” Qadura Fares, the president of the Palestinian Society Prisoners’ Club in Ramallah, told InterPress Services in August, “and no civilized country in the world uses such methods. Needless to say, Israel’s legal system could never do this to an Israeli Jew. Even the Israeli settlers who carry out acts of terror against Palestinians in the West Bank are not treated in this manner.”
The problem, of course is that Israel did in fact keep its word and did in fact release the remaining terrorists--last year:
Second Stage of Shalit Prisoner Release Complete

At 10pm on Sunday, 509 Palestinian security convicts were released in the second phase of a massive prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel in exchange for captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

At 10pm on Sunday, 509 Palestinian security convicts were released in the second phase of a massive prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel in exchange for captured soldier Gilad Shalit.
So how did AntiWar.com so totally mangle the story?

Here's their source for their claim that Israel is backtracking on the prisoner release:
Israel rethinking position on prisoner swaps

Israel is rethinking its policy on prisoner swaps to avoid the kind of lopsided deals that saw Israel recently trade more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a lone Israeli soldier.

A government-appointed panel submitted its recommendations in a secret report Thursday and details were not divulged. But Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel has "no choice but to overhaul the rules" now that Sgt. Gilad Schalit has been freed after five years in captivity in Gaza.

Barak told Israel Radio, "We have to get off the slippery slope we ventured on 25 years ago."
Over the past three decades, Israel has carried out a series of wildly uneven prisoner swap deals. In some cases, the freed prisoners returned to violence against Israel
This story, also from yesterday, is obviously talking about the future--about measures to prevent the necessity of considering such a lopsided exchange ever again.

Antiwar.com's reporter, who obviously has not been following the story, saw the headline, misunderstood what the article was actually about and messed up.

The sooner they admit their error, apology and dump this piece, the better.

UPDATE: Elder of Ziyon has also blogged about this (Israel-haters just make things up; their fans eat it up) and points out that Israel hate sites have already repeated the "story" from AntiWar.com:
And since Israel haters travel in packs, his article has already been copied without any thought on other anti-Israel sites.
Still waiting for the retraction and apology from AntiWar.com...

UPDATE: Arnold Roth, who with his wife established The Malki Foundation in memory of their daughter who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists, left a comment at Antiwar.com that was not published:
It's been some hours since I (and then others) told you this story is nonsense. Yet it's still here, and my earlier comment is not.
If and when you publish a retraction, you might want to take note of this.

John Glaser writes
The second half of Palestinian prisoners, some of whom are children and minors, are reportedly serving sentences for “security offenses,” not for violent attacks or for being part of either Hamas or Islamic Jihad.
The reality, which I have personally checked closely, is different. Prisoners belonging to the set of [attempted murder] or [engaged in shootings] or [planted/hurled bombs] were 358 of the 550 released in December.

Even if your political views make it constitutionally challenging for you to call these people terrorists (which most of them are), it's difficult to see how Glaser's description is right. These are violent people, convicted in court of engaging in violent acts, almost all of them against unarmed civilians. From my experience, the prisoners themselves don't deny that. They simply justify it. I assume you do too. [emphasis added]
Hat tip: Arnold Roth

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