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Journalists





NBC Corrects: Netanyahu Didn't Spread False Information on Pisgat Zeev Victim


NBC News has backtracked on a central allegation in an article last week which posited that both sides – but more so the Israeli side – is guilty of spreading misinformation concerning the Oct. 12 Pisgat Ze'ev terror attack, in which two Palestinian youths critically wounded two Israeli civilians, including a 13-year-old ("Dispute Over Viral Video of Shot Ahmed Manasrah Sums Up Israel-Palestinian Conflict")
 
As CAMERA noted earlier this week ("NBC Can't Be Sure, Assailant Ahmed Manasrah, 13, Could Be Innocent"), reporters Cassandra Vinograd, Lawazej Jabari and Paul Goldman reported on "the sea of conflicting information" allegedly disseminated by both sides, but more so the Israeli side. They identify the alleged misinformation of Israeli "President Benjamin Netanyahu" [sic], Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, and the Israeli press, on the one hand, versus the Arab media, on the other hand.
 
As Cassandra Vinograd put it on her Facebook page, the "misinformation [is] from both sides." In a gross omission, however, the piece, however, does not mention Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' outrageous charge that Israeli police executed the allegedly innocent Ahmed Manasrah in cold blood. Manasrah is recovering in a Jerusalem hospital from his injuries after being hit by a vehicle as he fled the scene of his stabbing attacks. See here for Vinograd's argument as to why the article does not include Abbas' misinformation.
 
 
The conflicting charges allegedly render the NBC trio helpless to determine whether or not Ahmed and his cousin Hassan Manasrah actually carried out the stabbings or not. They write: "The circumstances preceding the the [sic] video [showing Ahmed in agony on the ground after he fled the scene and was hit by a vehicle] could not be independently verified by NBC News." 
 
Now, in response to analysis and tweets by CAMERA staff in Israel, NBC has retracted its claim that "President" Netanyahu "himself got the facts wrong." The NBC team had reported:

Israeli President [sic] Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the sea of misinformation and misinformation -- but himself got the facts wrong, saying a Jewish child had been killed of injured -- in an impassioned speech telling Palestinian authorities to "stop lying" and inciting violence.

"An Arab boy fatally wounds a Jewish child and after that the security forces stop and prevent him fro continuing on a stabbing spree and he becomes a martyr supposedly executed unjustly?" Netanyahu told the Knesset. . . .

But as CAMERA noted on the Snapshots blog yesterday:

It's NBC -- not Netanyahu -- who is getting the facts wrong. First, Netanyahu is Israel's Prime Minister, not President. Second, Netanyahu did not say "An Arab boy fatally wounds a Jewish child."

In his Oct. 13 address to the Knesset, he said (see Hebrew speech here) an Israeli youth was critically wounded, not killed: "An Arab youth critically wounded an Israeli youth. . ."

Unfortunately, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided an incorrect English translation of Netanyahu's speech, and NBC exploited that error to falsely cast Netanyahu as the purveyor of false information.

Editors have commendably removed the false charge that Netanyahu spread misinformation about the Pisgat Ze'ev attack. The revised text now correctly states:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the sea of misinformation and misrepresentation in an impassioned speech telling Palestinian authorities to "stop lying" and inciting violence.

"An Arab boy critically wounds a Jewish child and after that the security forces stop him and prevent him from continuing on a stabbing spree and he becomes a martyr supposedly executed unjustly?" Netanyahu told the Knesset.

In addition, the following editors' note appears prominently at the very top of the article:
 
 
It states:
An earlier version of this article reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told lawmakers that an Arab boy had fatally wounded a Jewish child. That was based on an English translation of Netanyahu's speech posted on his official website. However, the Hebrew translation reflects Netanyahu did not say a Jewish child was killed but rather critically injured. The story below has been updated to reflect that.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld was the second Israeli official whom NBC accused of misinformation. The reporters said that Rosenfeld "said an Israeli died in the Pisgat Ze'ev attack -- though the Israeli Red Cross [sic] has no record of that." As CAMERA earlier wrote:
CAMERA spoke to Rosenfeld who confirmed that he and the Israeli police consistently provided foreign correspondents with correct information about the two Israeli wounded (no Israeli fatalities) during the Pisgat Zeev attack. Indeed, his Twitter feed from that day includes the following two tweets:
 
 
Now that NBC's accusations that Israeli officials have spread false information about the Pisgat Ze'ev terror attack have crumbled, will editors add that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas falsely charged attacker Ahmed Manasrah was an innocent child who was executed?
 

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