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February 27, 2018 9:58 am

Australian TV Station Selectively Edits Ahed Tamimi Video

avatar by Simon Plosker

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Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi enters a military courtroom escorted by Israeli security personnel at Ofer Prison, near Ramallah, Jan. 15, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

On February 20, Australia’s “7.30” current affairs program — which airs on national broadcaster ABC — included a ten-minute segment on the Ahed Tamimi case.

In the report, it appears that video footage of Tamimi was deliberately cut mid-sentence. Why? To alter the impression that Tamimi was inciting violence — a key allegation in her trial.

Regarding the report in general, while there is some comment from the Israeli side — courtesy of Deputy Minister Michael Oren and NGO Monitor’s Maurice Hirsch — the bulk of the piece is overtly sympathetic towards Tamimi and her family.

This is not surprising, given that the segment was put together by Sophie McNeill, who has a history of advocacy journalism and vilifying Israel. McNeill recently came under the spotlight after Australian Labour MP Michael Danby took out two half-page ads criticizing McNeill and ABC’s anti-Israel bias.

After all of that publicity, one would think that McNeill would err on the side of caution to avoid further charges of bias. Indeed, presumably to demonstrate a semblance of balance, her Tamimi segment notes the allegation that the Palestinian teenager had incited violence. In the story, the charge is vehemently rejected by Tamimi’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, who says:

She is not saying people should act in that manner or [incite] stabbing people or … terrorist attacks. There are some people who want to read into the video what they want, but that’s not what it says.

There certainly are people who want to read into and manipulate the video — and Sophie McNeill is one of them.

Prior to the interview with Lasky, footage of Tamimi plays, with these subtitles:

Trump has declared the [US embassy] decision and they have to take responsibility for whatever our reaction is whether it’s stabbing attacks, or suicide attacks, or stone throwing.

This would seem to add credence to Lasky’s statement.

Except McNeill deliberately stopped the footage mid-sentence, editing out the rest of Tamimi’s words (in full below) thus altering the meaning and interpretation of what Tamimi says.

The actual monologue with the missing words is:

Trump has declared the decision and they have to take responsibility for whatever our reaction is whether it’s stabbing attacks, or suicide attacks, or stone throwing, everyone must do things so we can unite this way so we can get our message across in the required way, and get this result, that is the liberation of Palestine, Allah willing.

It will be up to an Israeli military trial to judge whether or not Tamimi’s statements can be deemed to be a call to violence. But that call isn’t for McNeill to make — especially by selectively editing the Tamimi footage to suit her own biases.

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