Monday, March 13, 2017

13-Mar-17: Jerusalem and the (alleged) knife-men

The Old City and Lions' Gate [Image Source]
At about 4 this morning (Monday) there was a slightly elevated police presence in Israel's capital city because in Jerusalem it's the festive day of Purim. (Everywhere else in the world celebrated Purim a day earlier.)

An Arab assailant managed to squeeze into an occupied and cramped guard booth adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem's Lions' Gate, armed with a large butcher knife. He embarked on a frenzied stabbing attack, injuring the two Border Guard police inside.
"One of the officers fought his way out of the guard booth, loaded his weapon and shot the assailant, police said. The assailant was shot and critically wounded during the attack. He later died of his injuries." [Times of Israel today]
The Border Guard men are recovering at Hadassah Medical Center's Ein Kerem hospital where they were rushed for emergency treatment, arriving there in stable and fully conscious condition according to a hospital spokesperson.

The assailant has been named in the Arab media as Ibrahim Mahmoud Mattar, described by Israel Police as a 25-year-old resident of East Jerusalem’s notorious Jabel Mukaber neighborhood from which a significant number of Arab-on-Israeli shooters, rammers and stabbers have emerged in the past two years (click to see some relevant earlier posts).

The attacker's knife [Image Source: Foreign Ministry]
Ma'an News Agency, whose work is in large measure paid for by the mostly unwitting and increasingly unwilling taxpayers of several European countries, adopted its customary alternative-reality approach to reporting on Palestinian Arab terror, starting with the headline of its tendentious report: "Witnesses: Israeli police 'execute' Palestinian in Jerusalem over alleged attack":
Israeli police shot and killed a 25-year-old Palestinian near the Lion’s Gate entrance to occupied East Jerusalem's Old City early Monday morning over an alleged stabbing attack that left two Israeli police officers lightly and moderately injured. The slain man was identified as Ibrahim Mahmoud Matar, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood Jabal al-Mukabbir, located south of the Old City. The shooting happened ahead of the al-fajr (dawn) prayers, as worshipers were headed to Al-Aqsa Mosque inside the Old City. Witnesses told Ma'an they saw a dispute inside an Israeli police post located near Lion’s Gate, between an Israeli policeman and a Palestinian "who was carrying a stick.” Israeli police then forced the young man outside of the enclosure and “executed” him at point blank range with with four bullets, leading to his immediate death, witnesses said. Referring to the dispute that lead up to the shooting, eyewitnesses told Ma’an that Israeli police were “controlling the situation” and could have easily detained Matar without using lethal force... Following the killing, Israeli forces were heavily deployed in and around Lion’s Gate and prevented many Palestinians from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray, with witnesses saying the lockdown lasted from 4:30 until 6:00 a.m. Later Monday morning, Israeli forces raided Matar’s home in Jabal al-Mukabbir and detained his brother, parents, and his uncle, according to locals and Israeli police.
A few words about the journalistic values on display here. We follow Ma'an's reporting more closely than most people. The reflexive use by its editors of the cowardly term "alleged" to describe most Arab-on-Israeli attacks is a constant. But the mostly outlandish claims of Arab so-called witnesses and their fanciful explanations for how knives and guns ended up in Arab hands are almost never termed "alleged". 

Taking Ma'an's Palestinian-Arab-centric reportage at face-value requires a prior commitment to a thoroughly partisan view of events. In war, that's not unusual or even in some ways unacceptable. What's outrageous is that none of this could be done without the massive ongoing funding its editors and managers have gotten since its inception in 2005 from Western sources. Most of that money is from governments which means from tax-payers. And while many of the government bureaucrats in Europe signing off on those cheques and foreign aid forms are ideologically comfortable with how the money they supply is spent, it's a certainty that many, probably most, of the people actually providing those funds have no such political leanings.

NGO-Monitor does first-rate, systematic work examining how government funding from the West often gets wasted and channeled into very dark places connected with the Arab/Israel conflict. You might want to know that it has a resource page [here] devoted to shining some light on the quiet funding that is Ma'an's life-blood. 

Most people don't realize, but NGO-Monitor documents this, that for years Ma'an - an outlet for news in several languages - has been the recipient of millions (dollars and Euros) in foreign aid. Initial funding came from the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands. 

Since then, the torrent has continued to arrive from (among others) the governments of DenmarkSweden, the United StatesSwitzerlandNetherlands, the European Union and the United Kingdom. Several human rights and humanitarian juggernauts, in particular Catholic Relief Services, UNESCO and most egregiously Save the Children, have found ways to justify sending some of their budget to the Bethlehem offices of the propaganda agency. Why donors accept this is a puzzle - assuming they know.

UPDATE Monday March 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm: Elder of Ziyon notices, on visiting Facebook, that
Naturally, Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah is extolling him as a "martyr" and making sure that his act is viewed as a religious obligation. This is all to let the next terrorist know exactly how his acts will be honored.
Tragically, it usually plays out this way.

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