Newsweek: Israel is Behind Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra

Tom O’Connor, a repeat offender when it comes to blatantly distorting facts about Israel, is at it again, in the pages of Newsweek.

This time, O’Connor makes two claims that Israel is militarily behind the Al-Qaeda linked terror organization Al-Nusra Front.

Battling for Terrorists

O’Connor says:

Israeli helicopters attacked the Syrian military Saturday as it attempted to repel an offensive by the former Nusra Front, a hardline Sunni Muslim group…affiliated with Al Qaeda.

His source for this melodramatic statement? The Syrian Army.

Yes, you read that right.

Syria has been an enemy of Israel since its creation, and during that time has been a constant source of exactly these kind of dramatic and unrealistic accusations. For example, Syria made a similar claim in March, which Israel immediately dismissed.

But O’Connor doesn’t say that his source is the Syrian army: he says his source is Haaretz newspaper. Yet Haaretz makes it clear that 1. its source is only a claim by the Syrian army, and 2. Israel denies it. O’Connor hides all of this from his readers.

Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed Israel’s policy in Syria as follows:

When we detect attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, and we have the intelligence and feasibility to carry out an operation, we will work to prevent it

Supporting Terror Groups

Not to be outdone, O’Connor goes on to claim:

Israel reportedly offered the [Al-Nusra] group medical assistance until 2015, but has since said it has cut ties.

Just like before, even the source to which O’Connor cites (Haaretz) doesn’t actually support his claims.

To the contrary, Haaretz quotes a senior Israel Defense Forces officer:

Israel didn’t give one shekel or one bullet to Al-Nusra members. There were individuals who infiltrated to receive medical treatment…that ceased a month-and-a-half ago, and there have not been any more.

To put individual medical care into context: imagine a gang member in an American city enters the emergency room and receives treatment. Would anyone in their right mind claim that the hospital has become a supporter of the gang? Of course not.

If O’Connor honestly believes that Israel did something other than what Haaretz actually states, he must provide a source. Instead, he simply misquotes Haaretz. Again.

Serial Offender

Just last week, HonestReporting critiqued another article by O’Connor, in which he twisted the words of Israel’s Defense Minister, and literally invented an Israeli policy that simply does not exist.

O’Connor’s journalistic breaches are not a matter of opinion or even context, he quite simply makes up “facts” in order to demonize Israel.

And he is a serial offender.

All of which begs the question: Why does Newsweek continue to give Tom O’Connor a platform?

Please share your considered comments with Newsweek by filling out their contact form at THIS LINK.

Featured Image: Kobi Gideon/Flash90 

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