Drug Libel

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ABC Australia has exposed our latest weapon: Zionist Death Drugs.TM

TONY EASTLEY: A study has found there’s been a surge in the use of illicit drugs by Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

According to Palestinian drug workers a major reason for the increase is that Israeli authorities are turning a blind eye to the trafficking of drugs to Palestinians.

They claim it’s part of an effort to destroy the fabric of Palestinian life, a claim Israeli authorities strongly deny.

Middle East correspondent David Hardaker reports.

DAVID HARDAKER: Not so long ago illicit drugs were virtually unheard of in Palestinian life. Now they’re freely available.

HOSNI SHAHIN: We are working very hard, day by night.

DAVID HARDAKER: It’s Hosni Shahin’s job to try to stop it but it’s only getting worse.

HOSNI SHAHIN: We are seeing that the numbers are increasing and this makes us crazy.

DAVID HARDAKER: Hosni Shahin is in charge of the Palestinian effort to stop the spread of drugs, but the figures are defying him.

A just-completed study shows up to 60,000 Palestinians in the West Bank use drugs, with 11,000 being addicts.

In the east side of Jerusalem, where Palestinians live, the problem is even more acute. Hosni Shahin counts 20,000 drug users. Hashish is the most common drug. Then heroin.

HOSNI SHAHIN: Some of them try to sell their houses to the Jews in their own city.

DAVID HARDAKER: To get money for drugs?

HOSNI SHAHIN: To get money for drugs. If he is ready to destroy himself, you think that he is caring to destroy his family, or his brother, or his son?

DAVID HARDAKER: Researchers have found the reasons for increased drug addiction are poverty, unemployment and despair about the future. They’ve linked that to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, but they’ve also faulted the Palestinian Authority for not taking the problem seriously.

A former addict, Imad Shweiki, now works with the Palestinian anti-drug office.

(Imad Shweiki speaking)

“It’s easy for Palestinians to get drugs, especially in Jerusalem”, he says. “Here the borders are open. I have contacts with the Israelis”.

The research backs up what Imad Schweiki says. Young Palestinians are getting their drugs in areas where they’re in contact with Israelis, either in Jerusalem itself or around the giant wall, known as the separation barrier, between Israel and the West Bank.

Hosni Shahin.

HOSNI SHAHIN: There is no caring from the Palestinian side for this, and there is no caring from the Israel side for this. So you can say this place is, around the wall, it is a free market for commerce of drugs.

DAVID HARDAKER: The drug dealers are nearly always Israelis, sometimes working with Palestinians.

The Palestinian drug workers allege that while Israeli border security is generally ferocious, when it comes to drugs it is uncharacteristically lax.

Head of the research, Doctor Luay Shabaneh.

LUAY SHABANEH: There is something has to be worked out with the Israeli side, at the checkpoints and at the border points, to minimise the transfer of the drugs.

DAVID HARDAKER: From what you know, are the Israelis deliberately allowing drugs to come into the Palestinian area, or are they simply being neglectful?

LUAY SHABANEH: Well I can’t claim that they’re doing this on purpose. Maybe they are lazy, maybe are careless. I could say maybe they are careless, because they don’t feel that they are affected very much.

DAVID HARDAKER: So, in other words, that it might not matter to them. Is that what you’re saying?

LUAY SHABANEH: Yes. Yes, because I mean, we are the recipients. The drugs are coming from their side, therefore we are mostly affected not them.

DAVID HARDAKER: Israeli authorities have flatly denied using drugs as a tool of occupation. Drug workers on the ground can’t prove it, but they’re convinced that the inaction of Israeli police is deliberate and that it’s aimed at pacifying angry young Palestinians.

Hosni Shahin.

HOSNI SHAHIN: For all occupations, all over the world, the most dangerous thing for them – the youth people. So the occupation, if he can keeps the youth calming down all the time, the occupation will be, avoid a lot of problems, they will avoid it.

TONY EASTLEY: Palestinian drug worker, Hosni Shahin, ending David Hardaker’s report.

This deserves the mother of all fiskings, and Israellycool friend and reader Dr Sam has already done the job, sending the following complaint to the ABC.

Following my discussion with David Burgess, producer of AM, I present concerns on the following piece that appeared on AM.

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s2083957.htm

In particular I would note the following:

“Not so long ago illicit drugs were virtually unheard of in Palestinian life. Now they’re freely available.”

This is incorrect.

“I’m 40 years old. When I was a boy, just 13 years old, I used to watch people taking drugs in my neighbourhood. I lived in the Old City, and there were a lot of drugs around. I was the kind of kid that was curious about everything, so I tried hashish.”

The above is a quote from a Palestinian drug user from a website that is harshly critical of Israel.

Further, here’s a reference to “Palestinian and Israel people against substance abuse” conference in 1997.

“DAVID HARDAKER: Hosni Shahin is in charge of the Palestinian effort to stop the spread of drugs, but the figures are defying him.”

There is no stated qualification of this person. He does not appear to be a recognised academic or representative to the UN on illicit drug use. A search through the National Library of Medicine shows no published studies by this author.

HOSNI SHAHIN: Some of them try to sell their houses to the Jews in their own city.

DAVID HARDAKER: To get money for drugs?

HOSNI SHAHIN: To get money for drugs. If he is ready to destroy himself, you think that he is caring to destroy his family, or his brother, or his son?”

The claim that “Jews” are intentionally addicting Palestinians to steal their homes has not been supported by facts.

DAVID HARDAKER: The drug dealers are nearly always Israelis, sometimes working with Palestinians.

The Palestinian drug workers allege that while Israeli border security is generally ferocious, when it comes to drugs it is uncharacteristically lax.

Head of the research, Doctor Luay Shabaneh.

LUAY SHABANEH: There is something has to be worked out with the Israeli side, at the checkpoints and at the border points, to minimise the transfer of the drugs.

The claim that drug dealers are “nearly always Israelis” has not been supported by facts.

The National Library of Medicine will reveal there are no published papers by “doctor Luay Shabaneh.”

HOSNI SHAHIN: For all occupations, all over the world, the most dangerous thing for them – the youth people. So the occupation, if he can keeps the youth calming down all the time, the occupation will be, avoid a lot of problems, they will avoid it.

Whilst no evidence is presented, this claim is given particular status to tie up the story with untoward motives. This would appear to be a derivative from George Orwell’s 1984 and the use of “soma” to control the masses.

Conversely there have been many credible joint initiatives between Palestinian and Israeli authorities to treat and study these problems.

I draw your attention to the following:

http://www.antidrugs.org.il/template/default.asp?maincat=28

http://www.unodc.org/egypt/en/country_profile_israel.html

Above as examples of serious attempts to address this problem. There are many academic papers jointly published by Israeli and Palestinian researchers on this issue.

My Complaint therefore is as follows:

  • Considerable status was given to claims made
  • No facts support the claims
  • The nature of the claims are that Jews create addiction in order to steal houses and oppress the masses
  • The claims are odious and obviously anti-Semitic
  • There was no balance or counter to the claims
  • There was no obvious research or due diligence on the part of Hardaker in examining this issue.
  • Israel and the Jewish people have been defamed by the above claims.

I would propose the following:

  • Further discussion concerning these issues with representatives of the Australian Jewish community and the relevant ABC staff
  • An opportunity to conduct educational sessions with the staff concerned
  • A counter-balancing piece on the actual circumstances in Israel and its efforts at dealing with drug abuse.
  • A retraction and apology by the ABC to both Israeli and Jewish community representatives.

Update: Dr Sam writes that he received the following reply from the ABC:

Dear Dr Sam

I refer to your emails of 8 and 12 November and our subsequent telephone conversation of 8 January regarding your concerns about the ABC News Online report “Palestinians struggle with surge in drug use”.

In keeping with ABC complaint handling procedures, your concerns regarding the report are under investigation by Audience & Consumer Affairs. Unfortunately, we are still awaiting further key information from our correspondent David Hardaker who is currently overseas, and I am unable to provide a substantive response at this time.

On behalf of the ABC, please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Denise Musto
Audience & Consumer Affairs

Dr Sam then adds:

David, you will note that the correspondent who is too overseas to respond to a complaint in 2 months is still submitting stories on a regular basis.

Related: Zionist Death Doobies.TM

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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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