Matt Duss fact-checks Jennifer Rubin and Andy McCarthy, an excercise almost guaranteed to bear fruit:
In the wake of the horrific murders of five family members, including three children, in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, a number of conservative blogs have been pushing a story that crowds of Palestinians in Gaza turned out to “celebrate” the murders. The story was picked up by the Washington Post’s neocon blogger, Jennifer Rubin, who wrote, “The initial reaction of Palestinians [to the Itamar murders] was grotesque, if not predictable." ...Teeing off Rubin’s post in an article subtitled “Islam is as Islam does,” National Review’s Andrew McCarthy transmogrified the story into a condemnation of all Muslims.
Turns out there's scant evidence that it even happened:
A little research revealed that all of these claims are based on a single story from last Saturday in the Israeli tabloid Ynet. When I contacted Elior Levy, the writer of the Ynet story, he responded that the item was originally “published in [the] Safa’ web site. It is a news agency located in Gaza.” Safa is widely perceived to be Hamas-affiliated. Levy sent me a link, but noted that “I think that they don’t have [an] archive.”
Levy also noted that the site “put a picture there of a man that gives candies on the road of Rafah to drivers. The title says Candies in Rafah celebrating the mission in Nablus.’” (Nablus is the Palestinian city near the Itamar settlement.) I contacted a number of people who work in Gaza, none of them had seen or heard anything about “jubilant crowds,” or even moderately pleased crowds, thronging Gaza’s streets in celebration of the murders.
Duss did find a photo of one guy handing out sweets on the street.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.