Why does the media continue to quote propagandist Mads Gilbert?
Portrayed as the epitome of courage under fire, Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert has appeared on television screens around the world and in the pages of many newspapers, including the BBC, CBS, CNN, ABC, Independent, Sky News, and New York Times. Now, the AFP reports:
"There's a very strong suspicion I think that Gaza is now being used as a test laboratory for new weapons," Mads Gilbert told reporters at Oslo's Gardermoen airport, commenting on the kinds of injuries he and his colleague Erik Fosse had seen while working at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
The two medics, who were sent into the war zone by the pro-Palestinian aid organisation NORWAC on December 31, said they had seen clear signs that Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), an experimental kind of explosive, were being used in Gaza.
"This is a new generation of very powerful small explosives that detonates with an extreme power and dissipates its power within a range of five to 10 metres (16-98 feet)," said Gilbert, 61.
"We have not seen the casualties affected directly by the bomb because they are normally torn to pieces and do not survive, but we have seen a number of very brutal amputations... without shrapnel injuries which we strongly suspect must have been caused by the DIME weapons," he added.
In a separate AFP report, Gilbert claims: "Gaza in 2009 is becoming a new bloody chapter in Palestinian and Middle Eastern history that is, unfortunately, comparable to Sabra and Shatila," in an attempt to smear Israel for the 1982 massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps that was committed by Christian Phalangists.
But who is Dr. Mads Gilbert? Is he a credible and objective medical practitioner? Noting Gilbert's many media appearances, Melanie Phillips writes:
Gilbert was presented as just an ordinary doctor. But Gilbert appears not to be just an ordinary doctor. He is a political activist and member of the Norwegian Maoist 'Red' party. Not only is he viscerally hostile to Israel and a long-standing activist in the Palestinian 'solidarity' movement, but he even supported the 9/11 attacks. A reader posting on this website -- which features a video of further inflammatory remarks by Gilbert -- provided his own translation of Gilbert's remarks to this effect, as well as Gilbert's Wikipedia entry which contained the following (translated from Norwegian):
Shortly after the attack on the World Trade Center in the United States in September 2001 stirred the excitement when Gilbert defended oppressed moral right to attack the United States. 'If the U.S. government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, they have also suppressed a moral right to attack the United States with the weapons they had to create. Dead civilians are the same whether they are Americans, Palestinians or Iraqis.' On the direct question whether he supported the terrorist attacks on the United States, Gilbert said: 'Terror is a bad weapon, but the answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned.'
Why are media outlets relying on a radical Marxist anti-Israel propagandist for comment? And why are they portraying him as a neutral and objective source? Write to any media you see continuing to quote Dr. Mads Gilbert.