The Idiots Of Yediot (And Times Of Israel)

Israel’s largest independent news corporation, Yediot Aharonot, with its web portal Ynet, lost all journalistic credibility years ago when they became a tabloid, publishing any filth they could on Netanyahu and other politicians they do not side with. So it’s not really surprising to see Ynet (ab)use a report from Arab media, let alone a Syrian or Palestinian one.

One such event caught my eye yesterday when Ma’an news site published this piece:

Syrian prisoner due for release from Israeli jail

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Syrian man detained in Israel for 27 years is due for release on Thursday, prisoner affairs researcher Abdul Nasser Farwana said Tuesday.

Israeli forces detained Sadki al-Makt, 45, from the Golan Heights on Aug. 23, 1985. He was charged with establishing a resistance movement against Israel’s occupation of the Syrian territory and participating in anti-occupation activities, Farwana said in a statement.

An Israeli military court sentenced al-Makt to 27 years, and he has served his sentence in various jails in Israel, Farwana added.

Syrian SANA adds a few details:

QUNEITRA, (SANA)- After 27 years of imprisonment on charge of resisting the Israeli occupation and belonging to homeland Syria, long-time prisoner Sudqi al-Maqt has been released to embrace freedom and be back in occupied Golan.

Al-Maqt was arrested on August 23, 1985 and was sentenced to 27 years in jail on the charge of resisting occupation. He moved into several jails throughout the period of his imprisonment.

The released prisoner is from Majdal Shams in the occupied Syrian Golan. He was born in April 17, 1967 and was brought up within a family known for its struggle against the occupation in the Golan.

Obviously, this is the Arab narrative. Al-Maqt is a Druze from Majdal Shams, and as we’ve seen last year, some in the village are openly hostile to Israel, while others are reluctant to take sides while their relatives are within Assad’s crosshairs. So it comes as no surprise that Israel arrested Al-Maqt for “resistance”.

Cue Ynet, who having seen the Arab sources, report on the release by parroting the Syrian and Palestinian narratives without even blinking.

Report: Israel to release Syrian convict after 27 years

Sadki al-Makt, a 45-year-old Syrian convicted of taking part in anti-Israeli activity, is to be released on Thursday after spending 27 years in Israeli prison, the Palestinian Maan News Agency reported. A similar report was published by the official Syrian Arab News Agency. (Ynet)

Al-Maqt (the correct transliteration is with a Q) was Syrian for exactly 54 days in 1967, before it was won by Israel. The insistence of Arab sources in calling him a “Syrian” is the same as said sources calling Israeli-Arabs “Palestinians.” So while it is clear to me why he’s called a Syrian, it wouldn’t be inconceivable that the Ynet “reporter” thought he was an actual Syrian. The omission by Ynet of him being a Druze or residing in Majdal Shams certainly doesn’t help their case.

As an added bonus, the Hebrew version of the news flash got his name wrong.

Update: It appears that the Times of Israel have also fallen for the Arab narrative.

Israel released a Syrian citizen Wednesday after spending 27 years in prison for actions against the state. Sidqi Suleiman, 45, was originally from Majdal Shams, near the border with Syria. Druze towns in the Golan were preparing celebrations to welcome him back, Army Radio reported.

One would think that if you’re a “Syrian citizen” imprisoned for “actions against the state”, you would be released from a Syrian prison.

A revised Hebrew Ynet version now states:

Majdal Shams resident convicted of terrorist activity released from prison after 27 years.
Sudqi Al-makt, 45 ,from Majdal Shams who was sentenced to 27 years in prison after being convicted of terrorist activities against Israel, was released from prison after having served his full sentence.

Even Haaret’z Hebrew news flash gets it right:

The oldest prisoner from the Golan Heights, Sudqi Al-Makt from Majdal Shams, was released after serving 27 years in prison for security offences

So you can have an impartial news report in a few sentences. I guess we have idiots everywhere.


Judge Dan

Dan Smith has been exposing anti-Israel fallacies since the first time he opened the world wide web on Netscape Navigator, sometime in the late 90's. His lack of formal journalistic, political and sociological education means he is still capable of objective, unbiased views and opinions. A judge of media, pundits and media pundits.