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The Only Democracy? » Featured, Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs » Israeli Army’s anonymous version of Jawaher’s death contradicted by everyone

Israeli Army’s anonymous version of Jawaher’s death contradicted by everyone

By Jesse Bacon

One of the proudest moments on this blog for me came when we were among the people covering the Rachel Corrie’s attempt to bring desperately needed supplies to Gaza in the aftermath of the 9 killings aboard the Mavi Marmara. Covering the event live on twitter as the Israeli army jammed all communications gave me a clear sense of who was trying to get the truth out as best we could,  and who wanted it stifled. I felt the army censorship personally in a way that had only been abstract for me before. Israel was able to suppress the story that night, but of course the people aboard the Rachel Corrie, as well as the Mavi Marmara continued to speak out. The short term victory was completely offset by the steady deterioration of Israeli crediblity.

Now another person is dead, this time a Palestinian protesting on her own land. Again, it is the Israeli army trying desperately to convince us that she was stricken by cancer in a single day. Fortunately, +972 magazine has gathered eyewitness testimony to demolish the army’s version of events, and I am extremely proud to have one of our tweets be part of the evidence against their ludicrous claims. . I realized that I had been guilty of magical thinking, that getting word out about a protest would somehow magically prevent anything bad from happening. Clearly that is not so. But I like to think the day when perpetrators of violence can lie with impunity is over and that will continue to be more and bigger protests, from Bil’in to Tel Aviv to Lexington, KY.

The army has also claimed that the reports about Abu Rahmah’s injuries started to arrive only several hours after the incident, in the evening. That claim is contradicted by a report sent via the Twitter account of NGO Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which reports the injury of Jawaher, including her name, in real time (click here to view). The tweet was sent at 2:36 pm Israel/PA time (4:36 am on the East Coast of the United States). Wafa, the Palestinian news service, published a report that includes the injury of Jawaher Abu Rahmah shortly after the event (click here to view).

A Palestinian man surrounded by a tear gas cloud in Bil'in on 31 December 2010 (photo: Oren Ziv)

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JESSE BACON (Philadelphia) is a freelance activist and father. He has a Masters in teaching from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is an observant progressive Jew, and is trying to be a good ally for Palestinians and all dispossessed peoples, while staying true to the best traditions in Judaism. He visited Israel and Palestine in 1996, 2001, and 2002. He served for three years on the local steering committee of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, and one year on the board of Pursue the Peace in Seattle. Read his posts here.

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