Friday, August 31, 2012

Inventing Nasrallah quotations

"A few months after the “Sayed Anwar” stories, the front page of The Washington Times screamed: “Hezbollah calls for global attacks; Wants to export suicide bombings.” This was a new Paul Martin story, written under his own byline. But it turned out to contain at least one fabricated quotation attributed to Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah: “I encourage Palestinians to take suicide bombings worldwide. Don’t be shy about it” (4 December 2002).
The story conveniently appeared at a time when the Canadian government was considering a ban on the Lebanese armed resistance group’s political-social branch. But Neil Macdonald of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation conducted an extensive search of the TV archives in Lebanon and concluded that Nasrallah had never said it, or other quotes in the story.
“I watched the videos. I watched the speeches,” Macdonald told The Toronto Star at the time. “I have done more research than maybe the Canadian government has done, certainly more than Paul Martin has done … He came up with three quotes, one of which, to be charitable, was a gross mistranslation, and the other two were never even uttered” (“Curious silence greets discredited Hezbollah tale,” 13 December 2002).
A Lexis-Nexis database search for the “don’t be shy” quotation found it was first used by Stewart Ain in the 29 November edition of The Jewish Week (“Israel’s Might Examined After Attacks In Kenya …”). The quotation was unsourced." (thanks Asa)