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May 29, 2011

In Ha'aretz, Conscious or Not?

Earlier this month, we flagged a Ha'aretz interview in which an Israeli Arab had an implausible memory of events that occurred before his birth. Now we have another example of implausible Arab testimony in Ha'aretz -- this time it's what the interviewee claims not to remember that does not add up.

On May 27, Amira Hass wrote about a Palestinian teen who suffered injuries including a fractured skull during his reportedly violent arrest on "Nakba Day" ("Teen hospitalized with fractured skull after violent Nakba Day arrest"). Her account is based on the testimony of the 15-year-old and his parents, including the following:

One of the policemen then knocked him unconscious with a rifle butt.

He said he was taken aboard a police jeep, from which he was removed at a gas station near the exit from the village. The police woke him up by pouring water on him, then beat him until he started spitting blood and lost consciousness again. He said he has no recollection of the next 24 hours, until he woke up Monday afternoon at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, surrounded by police.

Hass later quotes a spokeswoman for Hadassah Hospital, who counters:

Hadassah spokeswoman Yael Bosem Levy told Haaretz that A.A. arrived at the hospital fully conscious.

In other words, Hass reports the conflicting claims about whether or not the teen was conscious when he arrived at the hospital as a he said/she said dispute, in which the facts could not be determined.

And, yet, it was easily possible to determine which side was telling the truth. As Hass herself reports elsewhere in the article:

According to his discharge papers, A.A.'s condition on arriving at the hospital was as follows: drowsy, suffering from grade 8 pain (on a scale of 10 ), a bleeding scalp, subdural bleeding in the face and chest, scrapes on his back and multiple bruises on his limbs. A CAT scan found the boy had a cracked skull and a tear in his liver.

According to hospital records, the teen was "drowsy" -- not unconscious -- when he was admitted to the hospital. If he was not telling the truth about that aspect of his story, what else did he lie about?

We are reminded in this instance about Mohammed Omer and his contradictory tales of detention, abuse and loss of consciousness.

May 31 Update: In a subsequent story about the same case, May 30, Hass no longer reports the youth's consciousness (or lack thereof) upon arrival at the hospital as a he said/she said dispute. Instead, despite the hospital records to the contrary, Hass reports as fact the family's version in which "the boy arrived at the hospital unconscious."

Posted by TS at May 29, 2011 03:38 AM


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