The role of Media in misleading the Palestinian public opinion
After the publication of the report of the Palestinian State Audit and Administrative Bureau, whose findings, based on 110 reports in different sectors and institutions, showed the spread of administrative abuses and deep corruption in the official authorities. The statement of the Swedish Foreign Minister after her visit to the Palestinian President and Prime Minister came resounding, and disastrous for the authority, who even its fierce defenders could no longer compliment the Palestinian regime when she stated that “the corruption that pervades Palestine is an obstacle to European support.”
The scene was once again a surreal, catastrophic scene. On the one hand, the authority, represented by its president and prime minister, announces and documents the historical moment of the minister’s visit in pictures. On the other hand, the Swedish media promotes an interview with the minister, who did not show her visit with the kindness that the Palestinian side cheered.
Of course, if I were in the place of the presidency and the government, I would have filled the media and the pages about this high-profile visit. Recently, if the visits occurred, they became represented by an assistant deputy foreign minister eagerly awaited by those in authority. The same thing happened a week ago, with the influx of telegrams from heads of states and kings to the Palestinian president, which did not exceed a diplomatic procedure followed in the tradition of appointing ambassadors and representatives to countries.
The important thing is that the official Palestinian media, represented by the Minister of Development, Ahmed Al-Majdalani, went out to deny the news, announcing its fabrication. The people became specialists in translation sciences. The debate raged between whether the minister said: The corruption that pervades Palestine is in general or just the corruption of the authority.
It is not surprising that the smell of Palestinian corruption reeks around the world. Corruption has prevailed for years and has turned into a means of repression and killing of citizens. These crimes are more than local. The murder of the martyr of opinion, Nizar Banat, may have shaken the peace of the world that finances the authority for its survival. Still, it was certainly not the first crime in suppressing freedoms that have been worsening for years. The situation of Europe became embarrassing in front of its people who deduct this money from their taxes. Financing the corruption and oppression of a people under occupation by his authority with funds initially earmarked for the steadfastness of this people and protecting them from occupation.
In between all of this, a “report” was circulated on the QudsNet media outlet for a so-called Global Anti-Corruption Blog. Soon, this “report” made headlines in the Palestinian media on its various websites.
At first glance, I was amazed at the speed of foreign reports that might have appeared simultaneously with the Palestinian State Audit Administrative Control Bureau and Aman’s report. But I thought… that’s what “pandemic” means, as corruption reports..quick to spread.
I tried, as usual, to go back to the original report. I have never heard of an official body calling itself a “blog.” For me, blogging is closer to what I do. Because the idea of – blog – as I understand, did not occur to my mind for a name that the Palestinian media relied on publishing its reports. I started searching for something closer to logic. I did not find anything from the Global Anti-Corruption Blog through Google Drive except the Palestinian media sites, each according to his political loyalty putting a title to the news.
When I tried to search in English, it did not occur to me to start using the word “blog.” In the end, we are talking about an international report in its typical cases that will follow the internationally recognized monitoring mechanisms, especially in the auditing system. I did not find any report from any institution or association. Still, when I wrote the words literally with translation, it turned out that there is a global “blog” on anti-corruption. And I felt a little shocked, and a lot of importance when I saw that we were in the same house!! My initial reaction was: We are colleagues. The global blog is in WordPress, and it is the “home” in which I run my blog!
The Global Anti-Corruption Blog contains articles/opinions that appear academic research because it’s run bya Harvard Law Professor.
The report was written by a researcher in the name of Majd, without a clear family; only some letters do not form an intelligible word (Lh). The report, which was published on 26-7-2021, begins with the title “To cut corruption in the Palestinian Authority, cut off development aid,” which is not considered the first for the same researcher, which preceded this report by a month and was not published by QudsNet in its grand opening by finding this critical “report”!
The report/research/the researcher’s previous blog dated 06-28-2021 was entitled “A Closer Look at Corruption: Hamas and Violence in the Gaza Strip.”
The reliable report that QudsNet adopted as if it were a scoop. Would it have entered the scoop race in the previous information that dealt with Hamas?
Indeed, I support the publication of every critical, valuable, and accurate information. But the moment the news comes out of the Palestinian space and is specific to the Palestinian issue from the outside, every detail must be verified. Not everything that bears a global name and speaks in English is global. The Israeli media machine surrounds us from the inside, which unfortunately constitutes most of the Palestinian media sources when searching for “certainty regarding the authority.” There is a machine that the Zionist lobby operates with all names, colors, languages , and nationalities, filling the global space everywhere. Many reports carry a lot of truth on their face and cover fraud, deceit, and lies in a word or line as a right intended to be void.
Back to the report that spread like wildfire in the Palestinian media space. Amidst the horrific reports of what came out of the Administrative Control Bureau, which requires investigative teams and actual demands for accountability and clarification from all the parties mentioned in this report, which confirm the rampant corruption and administrative abuses that undermine any opportunity for reform and eradicating corruption, it seems that there is an attempt to keep the Palestinian man in this muddy pit from Corruption, which appears to be rooted in this authority, is not limited to this stage only.
What made me turn to this “report,” which QudsNet titled “PA officials established fake companies to steal international aid” and search for its origin was the first phrase in the second paragraph, which states that:
“Corruption in the Palestinian Authority is deeply entrenched, and just to illustrate through a few examples: between the years 2008 and 2012 alone, more than $2.3 billion in development aid funds from the European Union to the Palestinian Authority were embezzled.
I thought for a while how the European Union could keep quiet about the “embezzlement” of all these sums and continue to work with the authority.
$2.3 billion! This amount exceeds even the amount of funds allocated to the European Union’s aid to the Authority, and the aid figures are mixed with it, if we think of aid related to projects and not the aid that is provided through UNRWA, the United Nations Development Program, and others. And to understand what seemed to be inevitable according to these reports, even to someone, whose mathematical ability ends after a simple arithmetic process of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, like me, to realize that there is no Logic in the circulating numbers. There is undoubtedly something suspicious about this information – certainty – because these institutions are interested in focusing on what happened between 2008 and 2012, relying on the distance of data and the crowding out of current disasters. However, while the American report (the blog) focused here on the news sourced by The Times of Israel, it did not care to investigate the origin of the information and the fate of the reported reports. For example, he\she did not care about an official report by Euro-Med Monitor, an official observer member in Europe, which dealt with the waste of European aid funds in 2016 by Israel by demolishing and sabotaging these projects, and which dealt with figures Israel’s destruction of European projects in Palestine since 2001-2016.
The important thing is, the original report, which QudsNet quoted verbatim except for the title, used the word – embezzlement – and put it with a link to the source – hyperlink – after using the previous sentence “embedded” with a link as well.
A linking word was accompanied by the Aman report for the year 2013, which talks about the corruption of the authority since its establishment. To entrench the reader by misleading him that the article reference is Aman’sreport.
As for the word embezzlement, on which the embezzlement of funds worth 2.5 billion dollars from the European Union was based, it came from the Times of Israel in 2013, which bears the title “European Union accuses the authority of wasting 2 billion pounds sterling in aid.
Here, I raised my eyebrows in front of a “report” whose information is based on an article by The Times of Israel!!!! But here, the word “Times” makes a person (the American who thinks that the Arab reader is ignorant) believe that everything that carries the term “Times” will be his experience with the responsibility of The Times newspaper. And here, from The Times of Israel to the Times of London, from which Times Israel took its news at the time.
In the Times of Israel news, which was quoted by the Times of London that “the European Court of Auditors, a European member established in 1975 to monitor the income and expenditures of the European Union, found that Europe had little control over more than 1.95 billion pounds sterling. It was spent in the West Bank and Gaza between 2008-2012, noting “notable shortcomings.” And the story continues, “European investigators visited Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank and were told that they could not deal with matters of a “high risk” nature, such as “corruption or aid that is not used for the stated objectives.”. ” And he continues: “A spokesman for the oversight court told The Times of Israel in response: “No such report has been completed,” adding that there is a European Union report on the Palestinian Authority that will be published at the end of this year.
Even the extreme right-wing Times of Israel, which even Israelis are wary of reading, took the news responsibly with its content, despite polishing the title with something unrelated to the content.
In a futile attempt to search for the report that came out of the European Union in this regard, I could not find and did not address the scientific and research integrity of the blog of the researcher, whose name is Harvard University. The expected, who did not talk of any embezzlement or corruption but made suggestions for working.
It is worth mentioning here that what the Times of London and The Times of Israel complained about, and saw it as embezzlement, is the non-restriction of the conditions in the exchange at the time, which has become today under the title of “conditional funding” for any project in the European Union, which led to the rejection of civil organizations – self-respecting – in Palestine this support.
Here, I return to the reason that made me refer to all this research over the last two days, which is a question of the role of the media was to convey the actual event and verify it? Or is it just a resounding hacking that raises the flags of danger with the aim of scooping – which I cannot call a journalist – (because the scoop has self-investigative rules, not just transferring what is written on foreign websites and translating it literally into Arabic and adding a new title) that does not transmit media?
Exploiting the lack of knowledge of many other languages and transferring information as being certain without verifying its sources and validity is considered corruption as much as the corruption covered by these titles.
In our tragic and catastrophic situation that is sweeping it amid a technological development that has made Facebook sources of information that we do not understand valid from its slander, we need media that monitors the truth and does not promote rumors and incomplete and unscientific news just because it was written in English and quoted from a foreign website, intended initially to mislead public opinion without its awareness.
This is a disaster more significant than the disaster of corruption that we are talking about fighting.
Corruption is not only the theft of money, looting, embezzlement, nepotism, and fraud.
Corruption is driven by reported media that does not convey integrity, research, and initial media evaluation.
The scoop is not about translating a news story and changing its title. This does not differ from the stolen scientific research approach that we suffer within our universities, education, and press.
Work-based on the other’s ignorance and lack of information, as if we do not live in an information space that moves towards you with a compliant search to serve you in any language, and source.
These researches and reports are an essential part of our calamity that contributes to misleading and scattering public opinion when we desperately need someone to shine some light for us in this misleading and scattered darkness.