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US: Lebanon war victims sue al-Jazeera

Apocalypse

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US: Lebanon war victims sue al-Jazeera

Plaintiffs claim Qatar-based network 'intentionally reported live coverage of locations of missile strikes inside of Israel to aid Hezbollah'; demand $1.2 billion in damages


Adi Gold
Published: 07.13.10, 12:42 / Israel News

NEW YORK – On Monday, the fourth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, a group of 91 Israelis filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit in a US federal court against al-Jazeera, claiming the Qatar-based new network’s war coverage aided Hezbollah, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported.

The plaintiffs are civilians who were wounded during the war or are relatives of victims of the Katyusha rockets that were fired on northern Israel for 34 days in the summer of 2006. The Kaplan vs. al-Jazeera suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The attorneys representing the plaintiffs said, "al-Jazeera intentionally reported live coverage of the locations of the missile strikes inside of Israel in violation of military censorship regulations, in order to enable Hezbollah to aim the missiles more accurately.

“Al-Jazeera camera crews in Israel during the war were repeatedly detained by the Israeli police for broadcasting real-time information regarding the location of missile strikes, which Hezbollah utilized to more accurately aim their missiles at civilian population centers,” the attorneys claimed.

(...)

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder of Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center (ILC), said, "Without the assistance of al-Jazeera’s on-the-ground spotters, Hezbollah would have been unable to accurately aim its missiles into Israeli cities. Al-Jazeera, which has offices in New York, aided and abetted Hezbollah terrorism and is responsible for the injuries suffered by the victims of these attacks.”

According to her, al-Jazeera will claim it was "just doing its job".

"It won't help them. They consciously violated the censorship laws for a specific purpose. That's what matters," Darshan-Leitner said.


US: Lebanon war victims sue al-Jazeera - Israel News, Ynetnews

A good thing they took it to the US courts, it looks like they'll win this lawsuit.
 

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I guess my only question is...why should an American court even care?
 

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I guess my only question is...why should an American court even care?

Al-Jezeera has an office in New York, which allows these people to use an American court to sue al-Jazeera.
 

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Has anyone in that region ever heard of Google Earth ?:confused:
 

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Good point. Do these 91 Israelis have American citizenship, too?

Probably not.

Has anyone in that region ever heard of Google Earth ?:confused:

Google earth does not provide instant information. Al-Jazeera's real-time report did, which went completely against every censoring rule that was laid out by the Israeli government and the IDF during that war.
 

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Probably not.



Google earth does not provide instant information. Al-Jazeera's real-time report did, which went completely against every censoring rule that was laid out by the Israeli government and the IDF during that war.


You need to explain this to me. Hizbollah knows exactly where the Israeli towns and villages are. The rockets that they own aren't very accurate so no matter how hard they tried or what information they had they couldn't hit anything with precision.
Their aim was to hit towns and villages and to terrorise the inhabitants who fortunately have good shelters and they remained there during bombings. Those who were killed or injured were taken by surprise.

What good is anyone indicating where populated areas are ?
 

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You need to explain this to me. Hizbollah knows exactly where the Israeli towns and villages are. The rockets that they own aren't very accurate so no matter how hard they tried or what information they had they couldn't hit anything with precision. Their aim was to hit towns and villages and to terrorise the inhabitants who fortunately have good shelters and they remained there during bombings. Those who were killed or injured were taken by surprise. What good is anyone indicating where populated areas are ?
I imagine the gist of the lawsuit is that Al-Jazeera acted/functioned as a "spotter" with their real-time coverage of Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli cities such as Netanya.

In most militaries, spotters for projectile-weapons provide real-time bracketing information to the firing battery. With each new salvo, range/azimuth etc corrections are made based upon where the spotter said the previous shells/rockets landed.

If Hezbollah knows where the previous rocket salvo landed courtesy of Al-Jazeera, targeting corrections can be made for the next salvo. Such information is indispensable.

Like I said, I imagine this data-connection is the thrust of the lawsuit.
 

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I imagine the gist of the lawsuit is that Al-Jazeera acted/functioned as a "spotter" with their real-time coverage of Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli cities such as Netanya.

In most militaries, spotters for projectile-weapons provide real-time bracketing information to the firing battery. With each new salvo, range/azimuth etc corrections are made based upon where the spotter said the previous shells/rockets landed.

If Hezbollah knows where the previous rocket salvo landed courtesy of Al-Jazeera, targeting corrections can be made for the next salvo. Such information is indispensable.

Like I said, I imagine this data-connection is the thrust of the lawsuit.

Fine but when salvos are fired the inhabitants are already in the shelters. Those who were killed or wounded were taken by surprise, were they not ?
 

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Fine but when salvos are fired the inhabitants are already in the shelters. Those who were killed or wounded were taken by surprise, were they not ?
Bad luck is irrelevant. What is relevant is physical harm and the circumstances either causing or contributing to such physical harm.
 

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Bad luck is irrelevant. What is relevant is physical harm and the circumstances either causing or contributing to such physical harm.

That's not the point though Shayah, I'm sure that like most Israelis you have the military expertise, but I have the skills of a war photographer who covered that region for many years.

In order to transmit real time, beside the TV crew and their huge cameras and sound equipment you also need satelite equipment. Even with my small camera compared to that kind of equipment I was always spotted by the military and not allowed to photograph certain things that they judged to be secret.

How on earth could Al Jazeera out of all TV crews get away with filming in REAL TIME what they were not allowed to. I'm dazzled.

Anyway, let's wait and see the outcome of this law suit.

Personally I think AlJazeera is damned when it's not objective and damned if it is by covering the suffereing on teh Israeli side as well.

As I said, let's wait and see before getting too excited about it.
 
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Shayah

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In order to transmit real time, beside the TV crew and their huge cameras and sound equipment you also need satelite equipment. Even with my small camera compared to that kind of equipment I was always spotted by the military and not allowed to photograph certain things that they judged to be secret. How on earth could Al Jazeera out of all TV crews get away with filming in REAL TIME what they were not allowed to. I'm dazzled.
From my experience, most foreign media organizations simply put something like "TV Crew" or "Journalists" on their vehicles. Close inspection of corporate ID papers would be necessary to determine a specific organization.

As I said, let's wait and see before getting too excited about it.
I'm not at all excited. You asked some questions and I'm simply trying to provide some answers. It should be a legally interesting case at any rate.
 

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From my experience, most foreign media organizations simply put something like "TV Crew" or "Journalists" on their vehicles. Close inspection of corporate ID papers would be necessary to determine a specific organization.

A TV crew consists of a cameraman, a soundman and often but not always an anchorman. The crew needs to leave their vehicles and cover on the ground while a technical crew transmits real time through satelite. Believe me, they don't go unnoticed unless if they stayed in their cars and filmed while driving, but in that case the real time transmission won't function.


I'm not at all excited. You asked some questions and I'm simply trying to provide some answers. It should be a legally interesting case at any rate.

Thanks for answering Shayah. I'm not saying you're excited, but it's a way of saying like "let's not get all wrapped up" before we know the results.

edit: in most cases tv organisations are very clearly identified by stickers that they have on their cameras and microphones.
 
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I'm not saying you're excited, but it's a way of saying like "let's not get all wrapped up" before we know the results.
The results don't impact me one way or the other. My professional field is medicine, but I find the law and some court cases fascinating.
 

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Al-Jazeera's real-time report did, which went completely against every censoring rule that was laid out by the Israeli government and the IDF during that war.

So, they're being sued by Israeli citizens in a US court for breaking Israeli censorship rules? Just trying to clarify.

And they are being sued because they actively passed on live information to Hezbollah about the locations of potential Israeli civilian targets in northern Israel, from their teams on the ground in southern Lebanon? Is that what has been alleged?

I just noticed in the AP report (quoted by Haaretz) that...
"Israel's military censor prohibited media outlets from reporting the locations of rocket strikes during the fighting, and Israeli police detained Al Jazeera crews several times for violating the edict and broadcasting real-time information, though no formal charges were ever filed."

So, is the civil case being filed because of the lower standards of proof required than in an Israeli criminal case? If not, why was no action taken by the Israeli government?
 
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So, they're being sued by Israeli citizens in a US court for breaking Israeli censorship rules? Just trying to clarify.

And they are being sued because they actively passed on live information to Hezbollah about the locations of potential Israeli civilian targets in northern Israel, from their teams on the ground in southern Lebanon? Is that what has been alleged?

Sorry to be interfering, from their teams IN Israel and not in South Lebanon.
 

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Sorry to be interfering, from their teams IN Israel and not in South Lebanon.

Sorry, my confusion. I'm quite surprised that Israel allows Al Jazeerah to operate at all on Israeli soil. It's a professional and non-partisan news outfit, but I'm surprised that the Israelis recognise it as such.
 

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Sorry, my confusion. I'm quite surprised that Israel allows Al Jazeerah to operate at all on Israeli soil. It's a professional and non-partisan news outfit, but I'm surprised that the Israelis recognise it as such.

It's a good thing that they do but I'm curious to see what this whole fuss is all about. As far as I'm concerned what they are being accused of is technically impossible.
 

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Sorry, my confusion. I'm quite surprised that Israel allows Al Jazeerah to operate at all on Israeli soil.
Why? Because it's an Arab media outlet? It would be vastly more surprising to see an Israeli channel filming in Qatar.

It's a professional and non-partisan news outfit, but I'm surprised that the Israelis recognise it as such.
It's not always non-partisan. It's internal coverage of Fallujah II was heavily biased towards the indigenous and foreign insurgents.
 

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It's a good thing that they do but I'm curious to see what this whole fuss is all about. As far as I'm concerned what they are being accused of is technically impossible.
Why is it technically impossible? Anyone with a simple Thuraya could even act as a spotter.
 

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Why? Because it's an Arab media outlet? It would be vastly more surprising to see an Israeli channel filming in Qatar.

Al Jazeera is based in Qatar and relations between Israel and Qatar ok. They have embassied in the other's country and I don't think there's much hot news coming out of Qatar.


It's not always non-partisan. It's internal coverage of Fallujah II was heavily biased towards the indigenous and foreign insurgents.

It is quite objective and certainly biased at times but in my opinion not as nearly as biased as let's say Fox News.
 

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Why is it technically impossible? Anyone with a simple Thuraya could even act as a spotter.


Because we are talking about live coverage and that as I explained needs a whole team wth satelite equipment.
 

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Al Jazeera is based in Qatar and relations between Israel and Qatar ok. They have embassied in the other's country and I don't think there's much hot news coming out of Qatar.
I know exactly where Al-Jazeera is based, hence the reference to Qatar.

It is quite objective and certainly biased at times but in my opinion not as nearly as biased as let's say Fox News.
Like you say, it can be both objective and biased. A Jekyll and Hyde personality.
 
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