How a fa­tal beach blast be­came a half-truth rock­et­ing around globe

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ‘ADLOYADA’ BLOG­GER

THE BUILD up started on Twit­ter. A rep­utable pho­to­jour­nal­ist claimed he had wit­nessed Gaza chil­dren be­ing killed by Is­raeli naval shelling.

There were dozens of retweets. Soon, Peter Beau­mont had writ­ten a vivid on­line re­port for the Guardian, head­lined: “Wit­ness to a shelling: first hand ac­count of a deadly strike.” So vivid, you would have as­sumed he had seen it too. But a closer read re­vealed he did not see the ex­plo­sion and had no ex­per­tise about the na­ture and source of the shrap­nel that killed the boys. Too late: the “news” had gone global.

The ar­ti­cle makes clear that none of the jour­nal­ists who rushed to the scene saw the ex­plo­sion. The only wit­ness was a ho­tel worker who said that it “must have come from a gun­boat.”

The ar­ti­cle did not men­tion the long his­tory of chil­dren be­ing killed on Gaza beaches by un­ex­ploded or­di­nance, or rock­ets fall­ing short. There was also the pos­si­bil­ity of a “work ac­ci­dent” — a nearby Ha­mas rocket ex­plod­ing be­fore launch­ing. There you have it: the anatomy of a half-truth.

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