Well placed journalists and human rights activists trashed Israel earlier this week over the Israeli government’s al-Dura report in a “secret” Facebook group known as the “Vulture Club”, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Peter Bouckaert, a senior official at Human Rights Watch, dismissed the report as “typical IDF lies.”
“As usual, it takes them a long time to really build up the falsehood,” wrote Bouckaert.
Bouckaert also blasted the New York Times for its coverage of the report.
“It really isn’t good journalism to write this up as if these are credible allegations when it is a pack of lies,” he wrote.
The report cleared the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) of wrongdoing in the 2000 death of Mohammed al-Dura.
“[T]he lobby uses all its strength and is able to push anything in majors [sic] English newspapers or in the NYT[imes],” wrote El Mundo reporter Javier Espinosa. “Israeli embassies call their contacts in all those newspapers and they agree to publish that information.”
“That reinforces lack of media credibility and conspiracy theories as we are being used as mouthpieces for propaganda,” Espinosa added.
Associated Press photojournalist Jerome Delay wrote, “The IDF thinks the earth is flat, btw.”
The journalists also blasted Philippe Karsenty, a French media analyst who was sued by France 2 television after he accused the network of airing staged footage of the al-Dura incident.
“And f*** no, it’s not true that ‘Everyone in France knows the footage is a hoax,’ as Karsenty says,” wrote AFP reporter Marc Bastian. “Everyone here knows that [France 2 journalist Charles] Enderlin is an honest man, and Karsenty is an extremist.”
“That’s about the kindest way to describe Karsenty,” replied Bouckaert. “I would add a few descriptive words after extremist.”
“I know, I’m always too polite,” responded Bastian.
Bouckaert, who is currently the emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, declined to discuss his comments when asked by The Washington Free Beacon saying, “The group is a secret FB group, and our discussions are confidential.” Other organizations whose representatives commented on the thread also declined to comment.