Saturday, July 13, 2013

They Arrest 5-Year-Olds, Don't They?

Listening to SBS World News last night at 6.30 pm, my ears pricked up when, by way of mentioning an upcoming news item, I heard a comment to the effect that Israel's arrest of a 5-year-old Palestinian boy was "heavy-handed." I can't swear to it but assume it came from newsreader Ricardo Goncalves.

The use of such a limp term - a synonym for 'harsh' - just blew me away.

Think about it. Since when does anyone arrest a 5-year-old for anything? And of all the reactions this bizarre behaviour could have elicited - 'outrageous', 'obscene', 'unforgivable', and 'unbelievable' come to mind - the best SBS can come up with is "heavy-handed."

OK, I thought, I'll revisit the entire news bulletin later on the SBS website and transcribe the exact details. When I did, this morning as it happens, the offending comment had simply vanished. Was this simply normal editing procedure or... what?

At any rate my effort was not entirely wasted because it enabled me to check out certain aspects of the news item (from the late, great Al-Jazeera) itself that had troubled me, in particular the prominence given to Israeli spin.

(Having said that, and this is another story entirely, SBS was the only channel I'm aware of that even featured this story. Ditto for the Australian press.)

Here's the transcript, along with my interpolated comments:

Ricardo Goncalves: [The issue of] children being caught up in conflict zones has been graphically illustrated in the West Bank. The Israel Defence Forces has been criticised by human rights organisations for detaining a 5-year-old child after he threw a stone at an Israeli settler's car.

Note the complete absence here of 'occupied' and 'allegedly'.

Simon McGregor-Wood (Al-Jazeera): Wadi' has just been caught throwing a stone.

'Allegedly' is missing here too.

He is 5 years old. In this video shot by the human rights organization B'Tselem, he's being detained by Israeli soldiers. Local Palestinians try to intervene. [Cut to Jessica Montell, B'Tselem's executive director]: 'You can see from the video the panic, the terror in the eyes of the child even when he understands that he's being put into a military jeep surrounded by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers. It's an extremely traumatic experience.' Soldiers take Wadi' home in this jeep. From there his father Karam and he are taken to an Israeli checkpoint for questioning. Karam was blindfolded.

Missing here is the fact that Wadi''s father was threatened with arrest if he did not comply, and that they were taken first to a military base, where Karam was not only blindfolded but also handcuffed.

The rules of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank state that the age of criminal responsibility starts at 12 and that it applies to the children of both Palestinians and Israeli settlers. But in a place like Hebron where children from both sides are often found throwing stones at each other the Palestinians complain it's only ever their children who get arrested. The Israeli army issued a statement saying at no point was Wadi arrested or taken away from his parents.

Are often found throwing stones at each other? Oh, really? Are you sure of that?

[The IDF logo appears on screen accompanied by the following words, which McGregor-Wood reads out:] It goes on to say, 'It is critical to bear in mind that even rocks thrown by children can pose a lethal threat to people. Between January and May 2013 over 2050 separate rock-throwing incidents occurred throughout Judea and Samaria, injuring well over 150 Israelis.'

I'm left wondering here why Al-Jazeera deems it necessary to highlight, visually and orally, such blatant Israeli propaganda. Would any other terrorist outfit be accorded the same courtesy?

Wadi's ordeal ended after a senior Israeli officer intervened. He criticised his men for detaining the boy in front of cameras and ordered the removal of his father's blindfold.

So this is the first officer to appear at either the military base or the checkpoint? What sort of outfit is this IDF? (Please, that was a purely rhetorical question! We all know what sort of outfit it is, don't we?) And still no mention of those handcuffs!

Both were then handed over into the care of Palestinian security officers. Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups say there has been a rise in the number of such incidents in recent months and they are demanding a legal response from the Israeli army but that may not bring much comfort to Wadi' or his father.


Anonymous said...

Did your ears picked up when you heard that 29 school pupils were slaughtered in Nigeria by Muslims terrorists in the same week that the 5 years old child was "arrested"?

Did your ears picked up when you heard that about 107 civilians were killed in Homes, Syria in the same week that the 5 years old child was "arrested"?

Did your ears picked up when you heard that more than 50 Egyptians civilians were killed during a legal protest in the same week that the 5 years old child was "arrested"?

MELC, look, the city of Hebron is covered by hundreds of B'tzelem and other organizations cameras. Each blink of an Israeli soldiers is documented. If after thousands of hours of photo shooting the only film is about Israeli soldiers questioned a child that throw stones, be sure that there is no moral army than the IDF army. Unfortunately, other children in other countries of the ME are less fortunate than this child.

Have a nice weekend

MERC said...

Are you seriously telling me that I have to comment on events in Nigeria, Syria, Egypt etc, etc, BEFORE I'm allowed to comment on the child abuse perpetrated by Israeli terrorists who are so fantastically brazen and shameless that not even the presence of "hundreds" of cameras will deter them? And that these child abusers are actually "moral" paragons?

Anonymous said...


Yes, I am seriously!! these "child abusers" are , indeed, moral paragons!!! look again at the movie, please.

MERC said...

Well, there you go, Eli. If we didn't know it before, we do now. For Zionists black is white, up is down, and wrong is right. It's crystal clear: Zionism rots the brain.

Anonymous said...

I can smell another dirty Burd?!

Anonymous said...

MELC, let me ask you simple question and be honest with me: What happened to the child? someone killed him? injured him? The soldiers even didn't touch him!!!

Look, a stone is a lethal weapon!!! the only thing the soldiers did is to spoke to the child father and warn him to take care of his child!!!! if you call this act terrorism, so I hope Hamas and other terror groups will treat our children the same way. Unfortunately, most of the time, our children return inside coffin!!

MERC said...

Some stats for you to ignore, Eli:

Killed? 1,519 Palestinian kids killed since Sept. 2000

Arrested, interrogated, detained?
7000 since 2002

And according to a June 2013 UN report increasing numbers are being subjected to torture, solitary confinement, death threats, and sexual assaults.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the number 1519 will increase as long as the Palestinians use their children as human shields, send them to throw stones and other provocations and educate them to hate Jews (Don't tell me it is "anti-Israeli" - see the latest film Khaybar). Be sure, that in each other country in the ME, in the same circumstances, the number would be 1,519,000 (if anyone even count them).

I repeat again and again, there is no more moral army than the IDF. The only army in the area that does all the efforts not to hurt civilians. In case Israeli soldiers violate the rules, we arrest them, judge them and put them in jail. Show me other country in the ME that do the same. As a father, I don't want any child would be killed but when I see the impossible situations IDF soldier are I respect them and know they will do there best to prevent casualties. I have a lot to tell you about this issue but I afraid my English is an obstacle.

UN report about torture, solitary confinement, death threats, and sexual assaults? What do you expect from a UN committee that Libya and Cuba are respected members of it?

Have a nice Sunday

MERC said...

You are clearly beyond reason, Eli. The facts mean nothing to you. Just the same old, same old Zionist excuses, denials, and finger-pointing, indicative of a closed mind and a chronic inability to take responsibility for the behaviour of the vicious, occupying, land-stealing, apartheid regime which keeps you and your 'superior' tribe in the comfort you feel you deserve.

"As a father, I don't want any child killed BUT..." says it all.

Since you've revealed yourself to be nothing more than a Zionist troll, and my time is precious, I'll henceforth be deleting your comments.

Anonymous said...

MERC...Don't jump to conclusions, I don't think the above Zionist propaganda is necessarily our old friend Eli, entertaining as Eli is.

Eli might,hopefully,have decided to look into the prospect of becoming, with a little help, a real human being.

The style and the English scream professional blabba mouth or in Pidgin English, a tok tok or a bik mouse.

As I read the above Zionist spin I swear I hear it in a very clear South African accent.

RE-read it and try it for yourself.