Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat Newspaper Retracts Smear Against Israel……!

The Tundra Tabloids was informed by a tipster yesterday that the Helsingin Sanomat, -the Finnish capital’s flagship newspaper- had published on its online edition of the newspaper (31.07.08) a smear against Israel.
The article states that an Israeli human rights group (Yesh Din) claims that Israel seldom prosecutes soldiers who have violated the law. The original article reported Yesh Din’s claims that from 2000-2007, only 132 cases were brought before the courts. But the group’s (Yesh Din) findings have been seriously disputed, for instance in the Jerusalem Post:
“The IDF on Wednesday presented its response to an NGO report that claims the Judge Advocate-General’s Office is closing cases and refraining from filing indictments against soldiers who mistreat Palestinians in the territories.
On Tuesday, Yesh Din-Volunteers for Human Rights released a report claiming that a mere 6 percent of Military Police investigations into IDF conduct in the territories in the past seven years culminated in indictments. Yesh Din also reported what it claimed was a low proportion of commanders who filed complaints against subordinates suspected of misconduct. A Jerusalem Post inquiry on Wednesday revealed different statistics.
In 2007, as an example, close to 160 investigations were opened against soldiers following reports received by the JAG. In its report Yesh Din did not mention the investigations opened by the JAG and claimed 26 investigations originated within units and by commanders of soldiers suspected of misconduct. In 2006, the IDF said Wednesday, 74 out of 152 cases were opened following JAG reports. Yesh Din claimed that only 14 investigation were opened following complaints that originated within units and filed by commanders.
“It is regretful that even though the organization had these statistics it decided not to publish them,” the army said. The IDF also said that since the beginning of 2008, 170 cases had been opened by Military Police, out of which already 30 indictments against 36 suspects had been filed.”
News organizations are notorious for taking the statements issued by these NGO’s at face value, giving little regard to whether they are actually accurate or not. The damage created by these highly political organizations is immense, yet, the media treats them as unbiased sources of information. What a friendly and convenient relationship! What is noteworthy, is that the HS actually had someone of character at the helm in the foreign news editorial dept., and changed the headline to read:
The TT’s tipster also adds: “The article relates the human rights group’s accusations at length, but the final paragraph informs the reader that IDF denies the accusations, and that the Jerusalem Post reports very different statistics than the human rights group. The earlier headline was: “Human rights group: Israeli soldiers are seldom indicted”. Also, the original article bore no mention of the IDF (and Jerusalem Post) position on the matter.”

One can only hope that this marks the beginning of a new trend for that paper. *L* KGS

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