Manufacturing Context



Further to RTE News’ Gaza translation ‘mix up’.

And their subsequent explanation.

Cunning Hired Knaves writes:

It is not just a question of her views being ‘paraphrased’, as RTÉ claims: proper paraphrasing requires due attention to the context. Her words about being ready to strap on an explosive device and fight are not because she is a combatant in one “side” of a “war”, which is what RTÉ suggests with the sequence of images and words in its report, but because she is witness to the death of children, as a consequence of precisely the kind of explosion caused by Israeli forces, but shown in the report as if it could have been generated by either “side”.

…As she says herself in the translation furnished by RTÉ: “Four to five children die every single day, where are you people? …a four-storey building fell on their heads, it is horrific”. Then: “I am ready to wear the explosive jacket and joint (sic) our fighters…all our children are dying”.
There is a vast difference between a woman saying she will join the fight because “all our children are dying”, and a woman saying she is “ready to strap on an explosive device and fight” without any context or rationale for her words, amid the suggestion furnished by the RTÉ report that even ordinary women are combatants.

…Thus the RTÉ report presents the situation in Gaza as a two-sided and even contest, but with the difference on the Palestinian side being that there is no distinction between a civilian and a combatant. The presentation of the Palestinian woman is therefore in keeping with the image of what pro-Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz once described as the “continuum of civilianality” to justify attacks that primarily injured civilian populations, and in keeping with Israeli propaganda more generally. RTÉ’s claim that it did not ‘misinterpret or misrepresent’ the views of this woman could only be justified if it were under orders from the Israeli military, and not subject to obligations as a public broadcaster in Ireland.

More here: Compounding The Deceit (CunningHiredKnaves)

Previously: Dear RTE

RTE Responds


Seanad to reconvene Thursday to discuss Gaza crisis (RTE)

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50 thoughts on “Manufacturing Context

  1. Am i still On this Island

    Says the blog that not 20 minutes ago posted footage shot on Ottoman Syria & labeled it as being shot in “Palestine” to suit an editorial slant! GOOD LADS

      1. Am i still On this Island

        Oh dear, Ottoman Syria included all of the Levant, at the time the footage was shot not a single administrative area of Ottoman Syria bore the name “Palastine” so it is manipulating a story and changing historical fact & naming conventions to suit an editorial bias

        1. jungleman

          I was simply stating a fact. I didn’t see the footage you’re talking about. But presumably the society in Ottoman Palestine was similar to that of Ottoman Syria..

      2. Am i still On this Island

        Technically the footage was shot in the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, a part of Ottaman Syria. Which would encompass modern Gaza!

        1. jungleman

          Well hang on now there! If that’s where the footage was filmed, it was in the very same region that is now Palestine. You’re being pedantic about names but it was the very same region. Your condescending “oh dear” is looking a bit foolish now.

          1. Am i still On this Island

            Well not really now is it as part of it would be Israel/ Palestine if you were addressing it as it’s current location as it would be split over 2 states! Bit again BS conveniently ignored the Israel bit for editorial bias

          2. jungleman

            You say above that it would encompass modern Gaza!! Is that not Palestine? You keep contradicting yourself, or at best you just don’t know what exactly your point is. You started by saying the footage was from Syria, then you changed that to it being from the Mutasarrifate which was in Palestine, than you say it’s from either Israel or Palestine. Make your mind up!

          3. Am i still On this Island

            Try to keep up it was filmed in Ottoman Syria, in the province of Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, which was one of several provinces within Ottoman Syria! I know it does not fit with the image you would like but it is historical fact

    1. Sidewinder

      I don’t think they’re pro-anyone, I do think they’re anti-competence though.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    Hear, hear!

    Whatever RTE say, the fact remains they showed the woman screaming out and then RTE’s Colman spoke the words from an earlier excerpt and without context. Now that IS media manipulation of the context, nothing more or less and no amount of explaining can justify it.

    1. Am i still On this Island

      Clampers, much like BS are manipulating the footage they showed earlier by applying a historically inaccurate naming convention for an area at the time the footage was shot?

      1. jungleman

        Most of Palestine is now called “Israel” but many people are of the opinion that Palestinians should be given a right of return to their homes in that region. Are you saying that because they changed the name, the Palestinians can go and lump it?

        1. Am i still On this Island

          Not sure how you are extrapolating that theory from what I posted, interesting since roman times the land has been called many things. Including greater Syria, should we allow Assad and the people of Syria to role in because of a name.

          The population at the turn of the 1900’s was 142,000 people (approx 10%) of Jewish faith. Ottoman Empire census; now fast forward 50 years and look at the population we know of the migration of European and US Jewish populations, but where did the Arab 800% increase in population come from?

          1. jungleman

            Assad is not the President of the historical Ottoman Empire, so no of course not. That’s a red herring.

            I don’t really see where you’re going re population increases. High birth rates would be the obvious answer though I presume. But in 1890 the number of Jews in Palestine was 42,000 and the number of Muslims was 432,000.

          2. jungleman

            The point I was making is that you are basing your opinion on what the region was called at different times in history, whereas I am basing my opinion on the historical demographics of the region. Therefore my argument has a bit more substance than yours.

            The fact that the state of Israel was shoved into this region is the elephant in the room. It should never have been sanctioned, and the catastrophic results of this mistake are plain to see.

      2. Disasta

        We are talking about our national broadcaster here not some blog.
        bit of a difference there eh meatbag?

      3. Helen

        if a nation is powerfully fascist, if a person is a high net individual, if the elite need support – then you can guarantee Am I still on the Island will be there to lick their arses in the hope of getting a doggy bone.

        1. Am i still On this Island

          Where am I defending Israel Helen or whoever is impersonating you these days.

  3. Jim

    Why aren’t all these pro palestine posters up in arms over the Syria or Iraqi conflicts? Far moe Muslms are being massacred in these countries

    1. ReproBertie

      You really can’t see the difference between a Civil war on one hand and a very well equipped army shelling children in an open prison on the other?

      Besides, how do you know they’re not also up in arms over those conflicts? Will a protest at the Syrian or Iraqi embassy have any sort of impact on the actions of the Islamic State?

      1. Bejayziz

        So if a less well equipped country attacks technologically more advanced country the latter shouldn’t defend itself and prevent it from happening again, thanks for clearing that one up

        1. jungleman

          The Iron Dome system seems to work well. The Israeli actions go way beyond a proportionate response.

          1. Bejayziz

            that’s a rubbish excuse…the logical course of action is to stop it at the source…I wonder actually how the anti Israeli crowd on BS would feel towards a ceasefire that stipulated Gaza must be a demilitarized zone (policed somehow) which after so many wars is the only real solution

          2. jungleman

            It is NOT a rubbish excuse. It is the law. The source of Palestinian aggression is the blockade! Why should Gaza have to agree to demilitarize unless Israel also agrees to demilitarize? Do you not agree with the two-state solution?

        2. Mani

          The behaviour of the Israelis is one of the most depressing indictments of how awful humanity is in general.

        3. ReproBertie

          Yeah, that’s nothing like what I said but feel free to justify the use of flechette shells on children awaiting evacuation by deliberately misinterpreting posts. It’s a sure sign that you’re getting desperate.

    2. Bejayziz

      plus it’s absolutely horrific whats going on in the so called Islamic State at the moment, absolute monsters yet it has been barely mentioned in the media of late

          1. ReproBertie

            No, go on. If it’s not in the media how do you know? I’ve been reading in the media about the morality police and new women’s dress codes in Mosul. If I’m reading it, given how little time I have to spend reading the papers, then it’s clearly in the media.

          2. WhoAreYa

            I have been reading all that stuff too. In fact there was a big story last week about FGM later denied.

    3. Sham Bob

      This old chestnut.
      Most of them would not be protesting the slaughter of Muslims specifically.
      For me, the difference with Israel, is the blatant pro-Israeli slant adopted in the media and political classes, which isn’t found in other conflicts. We have free trade agreements with Israel and they’re one of the most-favoured non-EU nations, despite being in breach of international law since 1948 and conducting a morally indefensible occupation. israel should be treated as a rogue state, just like the others, until it stops its crimes against the Palestinians. At this stage, Israel must owe them trillions in reparations, but no, it’s still driving them from their lands, cheered on by gobsh*tes in the west.
      In relation to Syria, the Irish government through the EU has already imposed various sanctions on the Syrian government. Also, with insurgents now putting their victims’ heads on sticks, what exactly are you going to put on your placard Jim?

      1. curmudgeon

        Indeed its Israel’s employ of media shills and tactics that bear the legacy of Nazi germany’s Goebells propaganda. And they try to get it to work on us, and they are confused and annoyed when it doesn’t. The day after Israel illegally attacked the Irish aid ships to gaza in international waters I listened to a normally bláse Pat Kenny argue lividly with an embassy spokeswoman. The lies and spin were obvious but amazingly she stuck to them without budging an inch. Fast forward a few years and you have their Facebook page replete with propaganda so obvious It wouldn’t look out of place on Waterford Whispers. ISIS and other ragtag muslim extremist soldiers did not get to go to nice colleges with gap years and the Internet and an otherwise modern western education system. Israel brainwashes their children into doing this, and then consripts them into the IDF . Palestine will simply shrink into nothing but whitewashed history. Official Ireland stands back because money.

        1. jungleman

          I remember her saying something along the lines of “they had sophisticated weaponry on board such as kitchen knives”..

  4. kurtz


    Why can’t all of this hand-wringing internet outrage be actually directed at the people directly responsible for killing children in Palestine; Netanyahu, the Israeli government and Hamas who are more than happy to use their own people as human shields.

    But no, frothing at the mouth about lazy editing at RTE is far more worthwhile.

    1. James

      Well, if our national news editor can’t present an objective version of events, then public opinion is surely going to be affected don’t you think?

    2. jeremy kyle

      I was at one on Saturday, but I don’t think Israel was too bothered by my presence.

      Not too sure what else I can do other than physically go there and protect schools from mortars with my laser vision.

  5. Bejayziz

    I’m starting to think Landon was better off getting that Lobotomy and Taylor was the unlucky one

    1. Mani

      Stick an ice pick up your nose and give it an aul hit with a hammer. You can watch plant of the apes as many times as you like then. You may even enjoy the burton version.

  6. Thomas O'Rourke

    I posted this to other articles related to this topic, but here are my two cents again – The RTÉ report of Wednesday July 23rd is distorted, even if you can’t understand what the Palestinian woman is saying in the clip mid-way through. Distortions run right through the piece, to such an extent that focusing solely on the skewed interpretation and translation of the clip misses a wider point of RTÉ’s damaging assumptions and framing throughout the piece. I was infuriated on seeing the report (which exemplifies RTÉ reporting of the assault on Gaza), and on Friday I wrote a letter to the reporter Carole Coleman and the Director of News and Current Affairs. I obviously don’t expect a reaction from them, so I have linked the criticisms again here. If you think that they are reasonable, feel free to share them:

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