Letter: Journalistic negligence

By The Daily Illini

The DI recently published columns by David Johnson (Oct. 4) and Elie Dvorin (Oct. 7) repeating Israel’s fabricated and scurrilous claim that a U.N. ambulance was filmed loading a Hamas rocket. This charge was disproved by U.N. Representative Peter Hansen: “On neither count does the object shown in the film correspond to this description: it is much thinner, longer and obviously much lighter than a rocket … it is clearly a folded stretcher, a logical and indispensable accessory in any ambulance.”

This claim was later abandoned by Israel. No retraction has been forthcoming from either columnist or the DI. This is journalistic negligence.

These events highlight the insidious dissemination of Zionist propaganda by IlliniPAC (AIPAC) – of which David Johnson is an active member – and far-right Web sites like frontpagemag.com. Such charges attempt to distract attention from Israel’s recent rampage in Gaza, in which the murders of two Israeli children were used to justify murdering more than 100 Palestinians, including at least 40 civilians and many children – including at least one in while she sat in a classroom.

Below is a small portion of a broader and more informative perspective offered by Derek Summerfield, an honorary senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in London (http://


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“In conducting 238 extrajudicial executions (since September 2000) the (Israeli) army has also killed 186 bystanders (including 26 women and 39 children). Two-thirds of the 621 children (two-thirds under 15 years) killed at checkpoints, in the street, on the way to school, in their homes, died from small arms fire, directed in over half of cases to the head, neck and chest – the sniper’s wound. Clearly, soldiers are routinely authorized to shoot to kill children in situations of minimal or no threat. These statistics attract far less publicity than suicide bombings, atrocious though these are too.”

David Green

University employee