“Uvda” means "facts" in Hebrew, and it's the name of a highly popular television program hosted by investigative reporter extraordinaire Ilana Dayan. It was anticipated that Monday evening’s program would shed some light on an explosion which occurred last Purim in the Israeli town of Ariel, seriously wounding a messianic pastor’s son.
But Uvda failed to live up to its brand name, as it was sorely lacking in anything of substance concerning the unresolved case.
Dayan started out the show by claiming that the incident, which severely injured a messianic pastor’s son, was most likely carried out by Jewish terrorists. But for slightly less than 30 minutes we were treated to high school basketball footage, hospital footage, footage of surveillance cameras (the actual cameras, not what they surveyed), some personal interviews, some speculation, and a few hallelujahs - all accompanied by ominous background music.
Rather than a serious piece of investigative journalism, in the end we were left with yet another public relations piece for the evangelical/messianic community – whose members are portrayed as a benign, spiritual and persecuted people. And, of course, the villains are painted in ultra-Orthodox black - although it should be noted that while representatives from the counter-missionary organization Yad l’achim were featured throughout the program, the organization was cleared of any involvement in the Ariel incident.
Dayan’s handling of the case was mild when compared with other reports, yet she still managed to implicate Orthodox Jews without a shred of evidence (there has been a police gag order in place on this case since day one).
The overall shoddy treatment of the entire Ami Ortiz case by the media, legal experts, and evangelists with an agenda, teeters terribly close to the border of blood libel territory.
In the coming days, I’ll be reviewing the few facts we do know, and what Ilana Dayan chose to ignore.
While you’re waiting for me, you can start with the initial report which was issued immediately after the blast from the Bethlehem office of the Palestinian Ma’an news network.
They reported on an “ambiguous explosion” and that “Israeli police said the cause of the explosion is unclear and could have been caused by a firecracker during the Purim celebrations”. But there was something more in that inital 5:27pm report:
Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for sending a parcel bomb to an Israeli settler in Ariel near Nablus.They said in a statement, "Fighters of the Al-Aqsa Brigades – Struggle and Return Battalion - detonated a new kind of explosive device through a parcel mailed to the Ariel settlement near Nablus."The statement added that the explosion came in retaliation for the assassination of Hizbullah's military leader Imad Mughniyya and the ongoing Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
to be continued...