Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ha'aretz Strikes Again, Again

An interesting followup to my recent post concerning the Ha'aretz article that spilled the beans about an Israeli general's rant about Turkey, in which he apparantly told Turkish PM Erdogan to look in the mirror before he criticizes Israel, in light of Turkey's track record on the Armenian and Kurdish issues. I had some questions about what it was that the general, Avi Mizrahi, actually said and if he had in fact referred to the Armenian genocide and the Kurdish issue in his talk. Since the original report only paraphrased Mizrahi, it wasn't clear just what he really said.

Emre Kizilkaya, a Turkish journalist who writes a blog called The Istanbulian, sent an email to the article's author, Amir Oren, and got back this reply [Note: Oren never responded to an inquiry I sent him]:
Maj. Gen. Mizrahi did not refer to the Armenian and Kurd issues in so many words. The indication or hint was clear and obvious to all present, but the word "Genocide" was not used. Of course, the interpretation was not denied when the report came out.
Hold the presses! A major diplomatic row broke out between Israel and Turkey over something that someone never said, but rather was divined by a journalist who may or may not have not been present at the event where what was supposedly said was never said? I'm all for scoops and airing out the truth, but attributing to someone something they didn't say -- no matter how "clear" the "hint" they are giving -- is a risky proposition and, in this case, irresponsible journalism.

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