New Zealand’s ‘Scoop Independent News’ has published an article on the subject of the Global March to Jerusalem by Julie Webb-Pullman – a self-described freelance writer who has been working for Scoop since 2003.
Abdul Aziz Umar, second from right
The article includes a video interview – made by Webb-Pullman and uploaded by Scoop to YouTube – with Abdul Aziz Umar, whom she describes as follows:
“After the meeting, I spoke with Dr Abdul Aziz Umar, one of the prisoners released in last year’s exchange. Dr Aziz Umar holds a PhD in English Literature, and was a Professor at An-Najah University in the West Bank. On his release from prison, he was exiled to Gaza.”
Webb-Pullman’s video opens with the title:
The claim by Webb-Pullman that Umar’s blindness is a result of Israeli inaction – and implied cruelty – is a lie.
In a 2008 appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court, Umar himself stated that he was blinded in both eyes as a result of an illness when he was about 20 years old – i.e. around 1980.
Webb-Pullman makes no attempt whatsoever during the interview to challenge Umar’s own lies regarding the “division” of Jerusalem, the “racist separation wall”, “attacks on holy places” or “damaging archaeology”.
Neither does Webb-Pullman apparently see fit to inform her readers that the reason for Umar’s detention by Israel was his involvement with a Hamas terror cell which carried out a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem café in 2003 in which seven people were murdered. She is equally silent on the fact that Umar recently toured South Africa in order to promote the Global March to Jerusalem among Muslim Brotherhood supporters there.
The disgracefully low standards of journalism displayed by Webb-Pullman and Scoop Independent News can, however, be better understood when one appreciates the fact that Julie Webb-Pullman is in fact not a journalist at all, but a seasoned political activist.
Webb-Pullman is a member of ‘Kia Ora’ – an activist group described by GMJ endorser and International Advisory Committee member George Galloway in an e-mail to the Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s media advisor as a “the Viva Palestina sister organization in New Zealand“.
Webb-Pullman was a member of the Kia Ora delegation to a ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy to Gaza in October 2010. Her fellow travelers included Global March to Jerusalem spokesman Zaher Birawi (whom she also recently interviewed for Scoop) and GMJ organizer Kevin Ovenden of ‘Viva Palestina’, as well as Welsh activist Pippa Bartolotti.
In fact, Webb-Pullman wrote an article for Scoop at the time, enthusiastically describing her meeting with Hamas leaders in Gaza and offering her autographed scarf for auction. Scoop therefore cannot claim not to be aware of Webb-Pullman’s political bias – which is made all the more ironic by the fact that in 2005 she filed a complaint with the New Zealand Press Council regarding alleged problems of “accuracy, fairness and balance and confusion of facts and opinion” by a journalist.
George Galloway (centre) congratulates the Kia Ora Gaza team for their “significant contribution to the success of the international aid convoy to Gaza”. From left: Roger Fowler, Julie Webb-Pullman, Pat O’Dea, Hone Fowler, Mousa Taher and Chris van Ryn
Left to Right - Rahmah Zarrincalaki, Julie Webb-Pullman, Mahmoud Zahar, Samah, Pippa Bartolotti, Summaya Zahar
Julie Webb-Pullman (to the right with white hat) in conversation with Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud al Zahar.
Obviously, the general public in New Zealand cannot rely on the reports put out by Hamas sympathiser Julie Webb-Pullman and her enablers at Scoop Independent News for information regarding the Global March to Jerusalem or indeed any other event in the Middle East.