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 apologizing 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 demonization of Israel.
Please encourage as many people as possible to respond. Weight of numbers matters – do not assume that someone else will write on your behalf. Send considered comments to The Independent – firstname.lastname@example.org.