(From another email circular sent to me, dated Wednesday 30 August 2006).
Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,
One of the most serious accusations leveled against Israel during the recent Lebanon conflict was that the IDF had deliberately targeted Red Cross ambulances. According to an AP report on July 24, Israeli jets blasted two Lebanese ambulances with rockets on the previous day, striking right in the middle of the red cross that was painted on top of the ambulance in a clear violation of humanitarian and international law. Six ambulance workers and three civilians were wounded. Amateur video provided by an ambulance worker showed one large hole and several smaller ones in the roof of one ambulance and a large hole in the roof of the second. Both were destroyed.
In the coming days, other international media outlets reported this story with considerable embellishments, including ITV News (click to see video), Time Magazine, the Guardian, Boston Globe, The Age, NBC News and, finally, the New York Times, some six days later.
The following claims that appeared in the media are comprehensively debunked in a damning report by the Zombietime blog (HonestRep orting recommends reading the full text):
The report, using photographic evidence, finds that each of these claims spread by the international media is, in fact, false.
HonestReporting commends Fox News (click to see video), the only media outlet to cover this story of an apparent anti-Israel hoax. Fox states that comparisons of different photos of the vehicle in question and similar vehicles indicate that the hole in the roof had been there all along, previously filled by a vent. In addition, a comparison between a number of pictures of the ambulance show considerable rust around apparent bullet holes, indicating that whatever damage had been done to it occurred long before the recent conflict.
(To express your appreciation for Fox News’ coverage, e-mail presenter Brit Hume – email@example.com.)
Zombietime offers a possible explanation for what really happened, speculating that two previously damaged and rusting ambulances were intentionally further damaged, amateur video footage was taken of the ambulances and Red Cross workers feigned minor injuries, claiming that their ambulances had been attacked by Israeli missiles. Despite journalists’ reliance on pre-packaged footage and no proof that the other "victims" of the attack in the hospital were actually from the alleged incident, the Western press broadcast the story as fact without properly verifying such serious charges.
Why has the mainstream media not reported this hoax and admitted its mistake? HonestReporting calls upon its subscribers to contact the following media outlets and ask them the same question.
ANOTHER STAGED "MISSILE ATTACK"?
Caroline Glick writes in the Jerusalem Post about the ambulance hoax as well as Reuters’ report that an Israeli missile had been fired at one of its press vehicles, injuring two cameramen. Glick, however, states that one of the cameramen, Fadel Shada (who works for Iranian World TV network):
Is this another staged incident? To read the full article, click here.
SPACES FILLING UP FOR HONESTREPORTING MISSION
As Israel begins to rehabilitate its northern regions and tries to counter the effects of conflict on its residents and economy, many of you have asked how you can help in these efforts. On e way is to sign up for HonestReporting’s Leadership Mission from 14-20 November 2006. Not only will your solidarity contribute to the Israeli economy and tourist industry, but our special program of exclusive briefings and tours as well as meetings with top professionals in their fields, will give you the full picture of what really went on during the recent conflict, and the extent to which the Media influenced events.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your involvement in responding