An Israeli settler attempted to kidnap an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler in the Jabal al-Mukkabir neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Thursday, witnesses said.Who were the witnesses to this terrible crime?
The child was reportedly the son of Ghassan Abu Jamal, one of the attackers who killed five Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue last November.
Abu Jamal's brother said the child, Muhammad, was walking with his uncles when he wandered some five meters ahead of the group..
A female settler then exited a car and grabbed him, running with the child for some 20 meters before relatives caught up and freed the boy.
She released the boy and fled the scene in her car.
Witnesses say she shouted: "Arabs, Arabs, they want to kill me" during the incident
So the family of a terrorist claims that some "settler" (amazing how they know that) tried tokidnap a toddler but they heroically managed to stop her before anything could happen.
Let's do a quick cost/benefit analysis.
Is there any incentive to lying to Palestinian Arab media about being victimized by Jews?
Sure! Lying about some "settler" gets your name in the paper. It makes you sound like a hero. It demonizes the enemy. It can act as a distraction from your own crimes. It can gain you supporters.
Is there any disincentive to lying?
Only if you live in a society where lying about Israelis is considered wrong. Only if your society's media would bother checking facts and call you out if it is found that there is no evidence for your lies. Only if people would be upset at someone having the audacity of lying.
None of those criteria apply to Palestinian Arab society.
Plenty of Arab media reported this fake incident as fact. Not one bothered to go beyond the statements of a family that explicitly supports murdering Jews as the sole source of the otherwise unverifiable story. And they don't want to, because the media itself is part of the fabric of a society that is founded and dependent on falsehoods.
That's why we see so many stories in Ma'an and elsewhere about unverifiable "settler" attacks - never with photos or video, even though everyone has a video camera in their pockets. That's why there are so many stories about thousands of olive trees being destroyed but the only photo accompanying the story is a generic, staged "Arab woman wailing" photo.
The fact that Arab "witnesses" and media routinely lie wouldn't be a problem if Western media and NGOs would add the skepticism that is missing from the Arab media. But they don't. Reporters will believe other reporters' stories without question unless there is something obviously wrong. NGOs make their money off of these lies. So, unfortunately, the institutions that should be acting as watchdogs instead act like lapdogs for the lies, or at best they simply ignore the obvious lies but believe the next batch of lies that sound a little more plausible.
What a system!