Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

BBC’s Jon Donnison Tweets Unverified Information, Again

February 25, 2013 3:28 am 3 comments

Jon Donnison's tweet.

Will the BBC’s Jon Donnison ever learn?

For those not familiar with Twitter, the letters MT at the beginning mean ‘modified tweet’. In other words, Donnison took someone else’s Tweet and modified it before retweeting it to his own followers. In this case, the original Tweet came from the none too objective Reuters correspondent in Ramallah, Noah Browning, just seven minutes before Donnison’s retweet.

Of course neither Browning nor Donnison have produced any evidence to support their claim that Arafat Jaradat, who died suddenly on February 23rd in Meggido prison, was “in interrogation” at the time of his death. At present, the suspected cause of death is a cardiac arrest, but the full investigation into the incident has of course not yet been completed.

“Investigators have already started collecting testimonies from guards at the prison and those in contact with Jaradat before his death. Defense officials have offered Palestinian Authority officials to be involved  in the autopsy, if one is conducted, and said they will be updated on the investigation.”

The so far uncorroborated rumour that Jaradat was “in interrogation” at the time of his death was promoted by the PA’s Minister for Prisoner Affairs:

“Arafat Jaradat… was arrested a few days ago. He was killed during the investigation,” the Palestinian minister in charge of prisoner affairs Issa Qaraqaa told AFP.

“We demand the creation of an international commission of inquiry to probe the circumstances of his death,” Qaraqaa added.”

The Minister seems not to have coordinated his version of the story with representatives of other Palestinian groups:

“Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, denounced Israel and accused it of negligence. He said Jaradat died because he was not properly diagnosed and hospitalized. He called on the international community to intervene to prevent similar cases.”

Jaradat had been in detention for several days:

“Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, said in a statement to reporters that the 30-year-old Jaradat was arrested on Feb. 18 after residents in his West Bank village of Saeer said he was involved in a rock-throwing attack that injured an Israeli citizen. Jaradat admitted to the charge, as well to another West Bank rock-throwing incident last year, the Shin Bet said.”

The original tweet from Noah Browning, a Reuters correspondent.

Unsurprisingly, more rioting took place after the news of Jaradat’s death became public and the violence continued into Sunday, mainly in areas around Hebron and with attempts made to block roads. In recent weeks, there has been an orchestrated rise in the level of violence, with the self-inflicted hunger strikes by four Palestinian prisoners used as leverage. As veteran reporter and analyst Khaled Abu Toameh wrote recently:

“Although the Palestinian Authority probably does not want an all-out confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis at this stage, some Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah believe that a “mini-intifada” would serve the Palestinians’ interests, especially on the eve of Obama’s visit.

The officials hope that scenes of daily clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank will prompt Obama to exert pressure on the Israeli government to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

This is why the Palestinian Authority leadership has been encouraging its constituents lately to wage a “popular intifada” against Israel, each time finding another excuse to initiate confrontations between Palestinians and Israel.”

Donnison’s latest irresponsible contribution (hallmarked, of course, with the stamp of BBC reliability) to the reservoir of unsubstantiated accusations and rumors which feed these violent confrontations shows that he has learned nothing from his previous trigger-happy Twitter blunder.

Some organizations committed to accuracy might see that as a liability.


  • Donnison cant help himself… he is either too biased or too incompetent to report from the region

  • Mihai-Robert Soran-Schwartz

    “At present, the suspected cause of death is a cardiac arrest”.
    Wrong, the author disseminates unproven claims :-)

    Correct is that
    – a cardiac arrest is not suspected at all, especially not after the autopsy already done
    – the dead had broken bones, according to the autopsy, but no external signs of recent violence.

    BBC is – compared to much Algemeiner publishes – a temple of objectivity and truthfulness :-)

  • Not only Donnison -but Donnison’s editor Jeremy Bowen

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel

    Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel – Famed Jewish-American comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld is slated to make his comedic debut in Israel later this year. Seinfeld, who was born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents from the Ukraine and Syria, will perform in Tel Aviv’s Mitvtachim Menorah Arena on Dec. 19 as part of a world tour. The comedian is most known for his enormously popular NBC sitcom Seinfeld, which ran from 1989-1998 and is widely considered one of the greatest TV series of all time. […]

    Read more →
  • Features Food American Kids Taste Israeli Food, Offer Tidbits About the Country (VIDEO)

    American Kids Taste Israeli Food, Offer Tidbits About the Country (VIDEO)

    A new video circulating online shows eight American children reacting — mostly positively — to their first taste of Israeli eggplant salad/dip, known in Hebrew as “salat hatzilim” and in other parts of the Levant as baba ganoush. The clip, by, features U.S. youngsters given a plate with schnitzel, slices of pita, hummus and baba ganoush. “If someone had a name like that, they’d be so sad,” one boy said, mispronouncing it as “ba-ga-doosh.” A few of the kids were able to identify correctly the elements on the plate […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Pioneers/Philanthropists ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit

    ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit – Forbes magazine announced Tuesday that it will host its Under 30 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Summit in Israel for the first time in April 2016. The conference is expected to bring together some 600 young entrepreneurs, with 200 from Europe, 200 from the U.S., and 200 from Israel. The summit has been hosted in Philadelphia for the past two years. It will include presentations, speeches, a pitch competition, and cultural immersion opportunities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Beliefs and concepts What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David?

    What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David? –  “What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    Israel is a holiday destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. No matter the style of holiday you are after, Israel has the answer. Whether you prefer to relax by the beach, hike up mountains in the desert, visit religious and historical sites, eat your way through the country or just enjoy some retail therapy, your journey through Israel will be one to remember. While there are obviously so many things to see and do, here is a list of 10 of […]

    Read more →
  • Pioneers/Philanthropists US & Canada Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO

    Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO – Jewish American fashion mogul Ralph Lauren announced his plan to step down as chief executive officer of the renowned fashion brand. The head of Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand will take over the position. The 75-year-old Lauren, who founded Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1967, will continue to serve as executive chairman and will continue leading the fashion house’s design team, according to a statement by the company. After the announcement, Ralph Lauren shares rose 3.79 percent while Gap shares […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports US & Canada Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish boxer Dustin Fleischer, who said his quest is to become the first world champion descended from a Holocaust survivor, stayed unbeaten with a first-round knockout. Fleischer, nicknamed “The White Tiger,” moved to 4-0 with the defeat of Ira Frank on Saturday night in Beach Haven, New Jersey, near his home, he reported after the fight on his Facebook page. The 26-year-old welterweight has won all his bouts by knockout. Read full story at JTA.

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Pioneers/Philanthropists Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Renowned New York attorney Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, one of four trustees of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was in Israel earlier this month to look at additional philanthropic options and to observe the progress of those endeavors already funded – to the tune of multi-millions. Frankel, who recently joined the prestigious Park Avenue law firm Otterbourg P.C., met with Israeli politicians and other bigwigs to get a sense from them about which projects in the country […]

    Read more →