Sunday 7 September 2014

The plot thickens

As we at Is the BBC biased? have been almost as obsessed about BBC Australia correspondent Jon Donnison's reckless tweeting about Israel/Gaza as Jon Donnison himself has been about Israel, Gaza and BBC Watch, it's only right to note the latest twist in his ongoing battle with a multitude of Israeli spokesmen. 

He's gloating today (on Twitter), and clearly feels vindicated in his very public dispute with Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. 

The story goes back to late July - and if you want to refresh your memory of it then please read our post about it here

For those who missed it (and can't be bothered to click on that link) Jon Donnison claimed (on Twitter) that Micky Rosenfeld had told him that the men who killed the three Israeli teens were
def lone cell, Hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership. 
This, he claimed, contradicted the Netanyahu government's line [and, by implication, undermined Israel's justification for Operation Protective Edge]. 

Jon D's version of the encounter was denied by Micky Rosenfeld and came in for considerable critical scrutiny, but JD struck to his version of events: 
For those asking, I stick by 100% tweets regarding comments made to me by Israeli police spokes Mickey Rosenfeld. He said it. Period. And what's more I suspect what he said is common knowledge in Israeli intelligence circles.
We wrote this at the time:’s a case of 'he said, he said' between an Israeli spokesman and a BBC reporter now, and we'll have to watch to see where this one leads.
If it's proven, however, that Jon Donnison misrepresented Micky Rosenfeld's statements then he would surely have to be dismissed by the BBC. It's that serious.
If he's telling the truth though, then it would be greatly to his credit as a reporter and embarrassing for the Israeli government.
It then appeared to all go pear-shaped for Jon Donnison when a video was released by MEMRI showing a Hamas official, Saleh al-Arouri, claiming responsibility for the kidnappings/killings on behalf of Hamas' military wing. (See BBC Watch's account here). Nothing seemed clearer: He was wrong.

The story has lain dormant since, but two gloating tweets from Jon Donnison appeared today and brought it back to life:

That article in The Times of Israel says
The [Shin Bet] officer revealed that the terror attack is believed to have been a local initiative rather than a directive from above, and that, according to Hussam Kawasme’s confession, Marwan Kawasme arrived at his house at one in the morning on the night of the attack and said: “We wanted to kidnap one, we kidnapped three. We got tangled up. We killed them.”
It goes on to say:
Hussam, whom the Shin Bet said played a “staff officer role” in the attack, asked his brother for, and received, NIS 220,000 ($61,000) in cash in order to fund an attack, the Shin Bet said.
With the money, which was allegedly hand-delivered to Hussam’s mother in envelopes, he bought two rifles and two handguns from Adnan Zaro, 34, of Hebron, and two cars – one for the abduction and one for the escape.
No wonder Jon Donnison is gloating if the Times of Israel's account of what Shin Bet has been saying this week is correct. That is just what he said Micky R had said.

Is the Times of Israel's account correct though? Because its confidence is somewhat undercut by the Jerusalem Post's account of the same events which states:
Kawasme is described in the indictment and by the Shin Bet as a command-level Hamas operative, who obtained funding for the kidnapping from his brother, a Hamas member whom Israel expelled to the Gaza Strip as part of the Gilad Schalit deal. 
The money likely came from Hamas in Gaza.
The precise details of who, how and when Hamas officials outside the West Bank approved the operation and the funding may not be fully fleshed out until the killers of the teens are apprehended.
The plot thickens. Has Jon Donnison gloated too soon?

1 comment:

  1. Why is it better if Hamas didn't order the kidnappings? Is Donnison really trying to suggest that they're really not so bad and are not the underlying problem?


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