No Retraction For Indie’s False Uranium Libel

HonestReporting UK recently challenged Robert Fisk’s charge that Israel had deployed a “secret uranium bomb” in Southern Lebanon during this summer’s conflict. In a fit of sensationalist reporting unbefitting a “quality” newspaper, the Independent published the story on the front page without waiting for the results of a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) investigation into the allegations.

HonestReporting UK awaited the Independent’s response to the official findings if they contradicted Fisk’s “uranium bomb”. In fact, the UNEP has declared:

No depleted uranium shrapnel, or other radioactive residue was found. The analysis of all smear samples taken shows no depleted uranium, enriched uranium or higher than natural uranium content in the samples.

However, rather than retracting or even apologising for publishing Fisk’s smear, the Independent attempts to muddy the water by concentrating its response on the evidence that phosphorous had been used by Israel, a fact to which the IDF had already admitted and was no longer in dispute. (Phosphorous weapons are legally used by a number of Western armies and were deployed against Hezbollah personnel operating in Southern Lebanon.)

Also revealed is Fisk’s failure to acknowledge the political agenda of the so-called “expert” on whose evidence he originally based his allegations. Only now does the Independent attribute Chris Busby as a Green Party activist, while his colleague is an occupational psychologist, an field far-removed from expertise in nuclear physics.

We have to wonder how the Independent has been reduced to such shoddy journalism and urge subscribers to hold the newspaper accountable for its reporting and demonisation of Israel.

Please encourage as many people as possible to respond. Weight of numbers matters Рdo not assume that someone else will write on your behalf. Send considered comments to the Independent - letters@independent.co.uk.

BIZARRE HEADLINE OF THE WEEK

Such is the media’s obsession with Israel, that this tiny nation of 7 million people becomes the focus of stories of no relevance whatsoever. We were rather surprised to see the following headline in the Sunday Times of 5 November:

Murder in Scotland as high as in Israel

The article contends that:

Scotland has the third highest murder rate in western Europe, according to a United Nations report. The high murder rate, which experts say is being fuelled by the country’s “booze and blades” culture, is comparable with Azerbaijan, Israel and Iran.

HonestReporting UK is yet to find an Israeli newspaper headline comparing its own murder rate to that of Scotland’s.

Comments to the Sunday Times – letters@sunday-times.co.uk

BBC SPEAKS FOR ALL PALESTINIANS

Without the aid of any polling data, the BBC’s Alan Johnston is able to claim that:

all Palestinians would argue that Israel grossly over-reacts to the missile attacks from Gaza.

The crudely made rockets often cause panic and minor injury, but they very rarely kill.

Does Johnstone claim to have asked every resident of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for their opinion? And how many Qassam strikes on Israeli towns, with the intent to kill and maim, should Israel have to contend with before a response is justified?

Comments to BBC Complaints – www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

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