Disgraced Excalibur contributor Lama Aggad submitted this comment on Headlines and Deadlines which again contained a series of errors:
"I applaud the efforts that all of you have put against my informative article. And I hope such efforts can also be used against the illegal Israeli occupation. I am proud of what I have wrote, and I’m proud of the negative exaggerated reaction that I have received from the pro-Israeli community.
You have indeed proven that freedom of speech is NOT an option when it’s against the Israeli view even though I have completely avoided showing favoritism to either side and prejudicing a peaceful manner trying to cover the Palestinian point of view whom are living under oppression because of the Israeli illegal occupation. Not to mention the information mentioned in my article are backed up with valid source and the information are not linked in any way to those who have died in that attack. and the ages mentioned in the article are not referred to them. I am very proud that educated people like your selves have fallen in to such trap (which is expected).
As well such exaggerated reaction is expected too since the information I mentioned about the school are the same information that the western media and Israel failed to hide. Lastly, the term Holocaust describing Gaza’s situation was used by Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy defence minister in February 29, 2008. It wasn’t me who insulted the Jews who have died in the horrific holocaust, it was Matan Vilnai. There for I reject that accusation in all its forms.
Again I sincerely applaud your team efforts to distort my article in to something that does not exist. Well done! Regards, Lama Aggad"
Contrary to Ms. Aggad’s statement, Vilnai’s comments were horribly mistranslated by a series of news services. As Melanie Phillips wrote:
"This reported remark by deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai caused widespread shock and absolute horror. For an Israeli minister to use the word ?holocaust? to describe a limited war of Israeli self-defence, when for Jews of all people the ?Holocaust? means one thing: genocide ? and this at a time when the calumny of the ?Jews as Nazis? is rampant around the world, putting Israel and the Jewish people at risk ? was simply beyond belief.
It was indeed without any credibility ? because Vilnai never said it. It was an appalling mistranslation by Reuters, the source of the BBC story. Vilnai said:
?The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger ?shoah? because we will use all our might to defend ourselves’.
Reuters translated the Hebrew word ?shoah? as ?holocaust?. But ?shoah? merely means disaster. In Hebrew, the word ?shoah? is never used to mean ?holocaust? or ?genocide? because of the acute historical resonance. The word ?Hashoah? alone means ?the Holocaust? and ?retzach am? means ?genocide?. The well-known Hebrew construction used by Vilnai used merely means ?bringing disaster on themselves?."