Monday, April 13, 2020

UK: Did pharmacy publication’s Gaza story steal from antisemitic site?

Via The Algemeiner (Adam Levick):
Last week, we posted about a grossly misleading article at the London-based site, blaming Israel for Gaza’s COVID-19 healthcare problems. describes itself as a leading portal for pharmaceutical professionals “with pharma news, pharma events, and pharma service company listings.”

Their “report” on Gaza reads like a hatchet job you’d expect from an anti-Israel propaganda site, certainly not at a pharmaceutical industry publication. Following our post, we tweeted that the article was retracted by editors without explanation — and their tweet was deleted.

However, it turns out that they simply republished it with a different url, slightly different headline, and some largely superficial textual alternations.

Though the headline was changed from “Israeli blockade has made COVID-19 a ‘death sentence’ in Gaza” to “Palestinians fear Israeli-Egyptian blockade may be a ‘death sentence’ for COVID-19 patients in Gaza,” some new sources added, and a few paragraphs re-arranged, the new piece doesn’t represent a substantive departure from the original.

But, upon further analysis, we’ve concluded that the article(s) share a curious degree of overlap with a piece published at Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), a virulently anti-Israel publication that often peddles antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories.

CAMERA has written that WRMEA brands Israel’s defenders “fifth columnists,” “Israel-firsters,” “viruses,” “bacteria,” “cancer,” and an “alien intrusion” operating “against the interests of the United States.” The White House, the State Department, Congress, and the media have been characterized by WRMEA as “Israeli-occupied territory.” The ADL reported that WRMEA “frequently serves as an apologist for Muslim American groups advocating antisemitism and support for terrorism.”
The WRMEA article, “Gaza on the Ground,” by Mohammed Omer (a former Electronic Intifada contributor), was published in their May print edition, but was online by April 5 at the latest — a day before the Pharamfile piece. […] 
One last note:

It looks like the journalist who wrote the Pharmafile pieces, Conor Kavanagh, is a hardcore Jeremy Corbyn fan. See the YouTube channel he highlights on his Twitter profile,
See this video where he defends Jeremy Corbyn, and this one where he “debunks” the “Hysteria around the British Anti-Semitism Row.”
read more

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