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The “Seven Lies”

Arutz Sheva November 14, 2003

The following are excerpts from an article by Dr. David Zangen (Maariv, Nov. 8, 2002), which was re-distributed this week by the Government Press Office following the Supreme Court decision to allow the screening of the movie “Jenin, Jenin.”

Dr. Zangen served in Jenin during the Operation Defensive Shield battles of April 2002 as an IDF regional brigade doctor.

“I watched Muhammad Bakri’s film Jenin, Jenin in a limited forum, with Jerusalem Cinematheque Director Leah Van Leer and several journalists. After the private screening, I responded and indicated each lie and lack of credibility. One of those present at the screening was outraged: ‘If you don’t accept the facts in the film, you apparently don’t understand anything; how can you be a doctor?’

“For a moment, I forgot that I had been in Jenin last April, serving as a regional brigade doctor, while this viewer had, at best, been fed on rumors. Bakri expertly weaves together lies and half-truths until it becomes very difficult not to be seduced by the distorted picture he creates.

“I did not succeed in convincing the Cinematheque management to cancel the screening [but] I was invited to its premiere screening in Jerusalem and I arrived in order to explain my position to the
audience. Following are several points that I wished to raise to the audience:

“1. Dr. Abu Riali, director of the hospital in Jenin, claims in the film that the western wing of the hospital was shelled and destroyed and that the IDF knowingly hit the hospital’s water and power supplies. There never was any such wing and in any case, no part of the hospital was either shelled or
blown up. IDF soldiers took care not to enter its grounds even though we knew that it was serving as a refuge for several wanted fugitives…

“2. Another impressive part of the film is the interview with a male 75-year-old Jenin resident who mumbles and cries and tells how he was taken out of his bed in the middle of the night, shot in the hand, and after he failed to obey the soldiers’ command to get up, was shot again in the foot. I met this very same old man… He had indeed been lightly injured in the hand and was suffering from a minor scratch on the foot, but certainly not as the result of a bullet. IDF soldiers transferred him to a secure station that had been set up to treat wounded and there he was treated by me, among others. One of the military doctors identified diagnosed a heart problem… We transferred him to Afula and he stayed there for three days in the internal medicine department for treatment of his heart problems…

“3. Another person who was interviewed spoke about a baby who suffered a chest wound from a bullet that entered through his chest and exited his body, creating a hole in his back. According to the film the baby died after IDF soldiers prevented his evacuation to hospital. A baby’s body with this type of injury has never been found. Moreover, such an injury would have been fatal, and evacuation would not have saved his life. What is this baby’s name? Where did his body disappear to?

“4. The same person interviewed also told how, using his finger, he opened the baby’s airway in his neck after he was injured. Again, a complete lie. Such an action cannot be carried out with a finger. This witness adds that tanks ran over living people many times until they were completely
crushed ­ this never happened and is imaginary.

“5. The film mentions a mass gravesite that IDF soldiers dug for Palestinian dead. Every international organization that investigated the matter concur that there were 52 Palestinian dead in Jenin, and that all the bodies were returned to the Palestinians for burial…

“6. Israeli planes that supposedly bombed the city are mentioned in the film. There were no such planes. In order to prevent civilian casualties, only focused helicopter fire was used.

“7. …The film systematically and repeatedly uses manipulative pictures of tanks taken in other locations, artificially placing them next to pictures of Palestinian children.”

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