Thursday, June 07, 2018

How Much Fake News Is There in the BBC's Report on the Argentine Football Team's Refusal to Play Israel?

After reading the BBC's report on Argentina cancels Israel World Cup friendly after Gaza violence, my first reaction was that I wouldn’t be surprised if there is fake news involved in the reporting of this. Offhand, Argentina's leader and government ain’t known to be bad guys…

Read between the fake news lines, and I’m pretty sure that when

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu … was told by Mauricio Macri that "there was nothing that I could do"
the conversation was far from short and Argentina’s president was in fact being honest as well as contrite and even apologetic.

However, the
Beeb makes it sound like he is standing up to the horrid leader of Israel, strong like a rock and eager to bring the conversation to an end and hang up the phone, and like the Argentine nation is united in this admirable (sic) position!

Keep reading: the same comment can be made for the following sentence:

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said he believed his country's footballers "were not willing to play the game".
Isn’t that the gist of the story?

The footballers alone (well, some of the team members, at least) — men who are renowned for (ahem) their profound intelligence and deep understanding of international relations — made the decision, i.e., perhaps two dozen citizens of the Argentine nation (pop. 44 million), and the politicians (rightists who would not corner much respect from artists and sportsmen in the first place) were unsuccessful in their efforts to get them to budge.

Go back to first paragraph: 
Argentina has cancelled a football World Cup warm-up match with Israel, apparently under pressure over Israel's treatment of Palestinians in Gaza.
Under the pressure of whom did Buenos Aires cancel the match?!

Not the international community, apparently, nor the Palestinians or the Arabs, but under the pressure of its own football team, which left it no choice.

The Palestinians and their allies got something right:
In Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Football Association issued a statement thanking Argentina striker Lionel Messi and his teammates.

… The campaign group Avaaz, which had called for the game to be cancelled, praised Argentina's football team for what it called a "brave ethical decision".
Thanking, or praising, the football team, and neither the Argentine government nor the Argentine people.

To this,  Daniel Aronstein (who brought the BBC report to my attention) disagreed vehemently, replying as follows:
this is not a private professional team; therefore placing blame on the cowardly appeasing antisemitic shits in the argentine govt is proper. I like macri's domestic economic policies, so far. but on this he and his comrades are shit. the argentine deep state covered up their complicit involvement in the iran/hizballah terror attack and the murder of nissman who was about to expose it. they are shit. they have decided to support islamoterrorists instead of israel genesis..... (12:3 is operative. as the usa is prospering at a 5% growth rate since moving embassy to jerusalem. so now argentina will descend.)

That would be disappointing…

AFP (no friend of Israel, the USA, or the right), however, has this (gracias por
Stephen Green):
Israeli media said that late Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri, with whom he has good relations, in an effort to save the match but that Macri had said he was unable to intervene. …/…

- Argentina team 'not willing' -

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said before confirmation of the game's cancellation that he believed his country's players had been reluctant to travel to Israel for the match.

"As far as I know, the players of the national team were not willing to play the game," Faurie said.

The status of Jerusalem, always a key sticking point in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, surged back to centre-stage when Trump tore up decades of US policy [don't you love the AFP's choice of words and expressions?!] to recognise it as Israel's capital in December. 

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