≡ Menu

Why Does Hamas Use Human Shields and Other Lies Hasbarists Told Me

Israeli synagogue used for terror

Monument to synagogue used to hide explosives for pre-State Jewish far-right terrorists

During Operation Cast Lead and the Lebanon War before that, you heard the accusatory drone of the pro-Israelists that Hamas and Hezbollah used civilians as human shields, exploited mosques, ambulances, and schools to hide weapons, etc.  The general line was that Arab terrorists violated civilized norms and forced Israel to lower itself to their level in order to protect Israelis.

The only problem?  Most of the claims were rubbish.  We now know that Judge Goldstone actually attempted to document Hamas use of human shields in his report and could not do so.  We know of numerous incidents of the IDF using Palestinian children as human shields and have video and photos to prove the practice.  Two soldiers were recently found guilty of doing so in Gaza.

One of the more troublesome claims is that terrorists even debase their own religion and its holy sites in their fight against Israel.  While such a claim may or may not be true, I managed to find a written source which confirmed that Jews did precisely this during the Mandatory period before the State was created.  And Amir Terkel has gone one better.  He’s found a historical monument that documents the practice.

The point of all this is not to say that Palestinians are all right and Israelis all wrong.  Rather, the point is that whatever propaganda you attempt to use against one side may come back to bite you unless you’re careful.

Bufferfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedintumblrmail
youtube

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • AriJay October 10, 2010, 9:24 PM

    Richard,
    1. i have no idea what validity the Goldstone report has, as israel didn’t cooperate with the Goldstone committee (big mistake on israel part in my opinion)
    2. i have no idea what lies you are referring to, but during the second lebanon war, and operation cast lead, IDF spokesman division released UAV footage that showed rockets that are being fired from mosques and schools, idf spokesman can be contacted, so is the archive of Arutz 2, 10 and 1, who all broadcast the footage.
    3. it is one thing to hide weapons in religious places, it is totally different to commence actual fighting from such a place, i don’t think that such an activity was ever documented during the years prior to the re-establishment of the israeli state.

    • Richard Silverstein October 10, 2010, 10:20 PM

      I never saw such footage & tend to disbelieve anything released by the IDF unless independently verified. There is absolutely no record of truth in virtually anything the IDF spokespeople say. In fact, I’d be very tempted to argue that this is bogus and never heard such claims made by any credible media source. And I have very little interest in going off on a tangent about this. You can wait for the inevitable next war & we can debate it then.

      But it is utter hypocrisy for the IDF & its apologists to decry alleged Palestinian behavior that pre-State Jews used.

      • Yakov October 11, 2010, 7:04 AM

        Your preconception about the IDF spokespeople is as wrong as Israel’s far-right’s preconception about Al-Jazeera. I have seen many of these clips showing Hezbollah and Hamas use civilian targets as cover. A few google searches will find them.

        • mary October 11, 2010, 7:42 AM

          I’ve done those searches, and I never saw anything except what the IOF CLAIMED were Hamas firing from what they CLAIMED were schools, homes, etc. Besides, in urban warfare the battlefield is the streets of the city, and of course the IOF had no qualms about dropping bombs on civilian neighborhoods.

          • bar_kochba132 October 11, 2010, 7:51 AM

            Okay, let’s say the IAF dropped bombs indiscriminately on civiliann neighborhoods. Wasn’t that what HAMAS and HIZBULLAH did in their wars against Israel with their rockets?. So we in Israel are no wore then they are. You always like to prove how bad we Israelis are. Well, so we are no better than they are. So why do complain about us all the and not them if you are in search of righteousness?

          • Richard Silverstein October 13, 2010, 11:08 PM

            let’s say the IAF dropped bombs indiscriminately on civilian neighborhoods. Wasn’t that what HAMAS and HIZBULLAH did in their wars against Israel with their rockets?

            Except that the IAF (w. their comrades in the ground forces) killed 1,000 in 4 wks in Lebanon & 1,300 in 3 wks in Gaza while Palestinian militant rockets killed perhaps 20 people over 8 yrs time. Hezbollah has more advanced weaponry and killed around perhaps 30-50 with their rockets during the Lebanon war. Not a even match wouldn’t you say?

          • Yakov October 11, 2010, 9:29 AM

            to paraphrase you, which you CLAIM are civilian neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are civilian, but the houses are not always so.

          • Nathaniel October 11, 2010, 9:45 AM

            Ignoring the evidence of war crimes by Hamas is no less pathetic then Israelis ignoring the Goldstone report. The IDF’s videos are legit and can be easily verified as being in the location claimed by using google earth.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmXXUOs27lI&feature=fvst

            http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Gaza,+Beit+Hanun,+Palestinian+Territories&sll=31.391158,36.101074&sspn=5.644286,11.634521&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Bayt+Hanun&ll=31.539901,34.540168&spn=0.005505,0.011362&t=h&z=17

          • mary October 11, 2010, 2:27 PM

            Yakov, even firing on suspected enemies within a civilian neighborhood is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. You’re endangering the civilians.

            Because Hamas has no military installations, they do operate guerilla fashion, but Goldstone found no evidence of Hamas using civilians as human shields.

            I don’t accept the validity of any video issued by the IOF. Look at the Mavi Marmara videos, as an example. They even issued phony video filmed on another boat, claiming it was a shot of passengers “clubbing” the commandos on the deck. A comparison of that boat to photos of the Mavi Marmara taken before the flotilla sailed shows they are two different vessels.

        • Richard Silverstein October 11, 2010, 11:44 AM

          Your preconception about the IDF spokespeople is as wrong

          I’ve documented many, many lies of the IDF in the course of writing this blog. Other media sources have documented further lies. Their record is shoddy & entirely lacking in credibility.

    • Ariel October 11, 2010, 1:56 PM

      AriJay,

      Here’s a thought – Let’s take your claims at face value, let us assume for a second that Hamas has used schools and mosques as launch sites for rockets, and has deliberately used civilians as human shields. You don’t seem to have any moral problem with that actually, you only use that claim to support Israel’s bombing of such sites. Hypocrisy at its very worst.

      Another thing, as someone who has served in Gaza back in 2001, my unit’s rules of engagement included firing on civilians in Beit Hanun without any Hasbara lies of human shields. They were there, they don’t like us, it’s fair game. That’s what we were told.

      And here’s one for Non-Israelis, apropos the notion of hiding among civilians. Back in the late eighties/early nineties, all army vehicles had black number plates with white markings. During the suicide bombings of the mid nineties, the Hamas threatened to target army officers. As a result, the army switched to using the regular civilian black on yellow on all of its “regular” cars to make them indistinguishable from civilian ones. It’s a good example to keep in mind whenever the “Hasbara” creeps dig out that sad old excuse for war crimes.

  • AriJay October 11, 2010, 5:32 AM

    @ Richard, if you are willing to provide the funds, maybe we would be able to run our own UAV during the next war. or in other words, who else would be able to release such footage, and if you don’t trust the Israeli media, “Huston we have a problem”

    you are missing one thing about all this, and that is the LEHI underground was operating out of the consensus of the “yeshuv” in fact’s many times they were haunted by the members of “Yeshuv” and was turned into the British, it is known as the “The Hunting Season” (the term is available in Wikipedia)

    hence the usage of religious places as a hiding ground for weapons cache wasn’t supported as an act of the “Yeshuv”. very similar such a behavior is supported by Hamas and Hezbollah and isn’t supported by PLO.

    • bar_kochba132 October 11, 2010, 7:56 AM

      Sorry, but the righteous, progressive Left also had “illegal” arms dumps, called “slicks”. The Hagana had one under the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv. In fact, in recent years, slicks were found on Left wing kibbutzim that were put there AFTER the state was founded. There are various theories as to what those who put them there were going to do with them. One said it was to allow the members to join Soviet troops who were going to come to Israel to “liberate” it from capitalism. Secondly, they may have been intended to overthrow the Israeli gov’t and to install a regime more to their liking. The third theory is that many of these kibbutzim underwent a severe split in the early 1950′s in which some members continued to support Stalin even though he was planning a massive antisemitic purge, while the others opposed Stalin, so the arms were designed to prepare them for a shootout in order to take control of the kibbutz.
      Thank G-d, none of these things ever came to pass.

      • Richard Silverstein October 11, 2010, 11:46 AM

        Everything but yr first sentence (which was useful) is a sack of garbage. It’s the equivalent of satanizing the Israeli left. Disgusting. Where is your proof? All speculation, rumors & pure garbage. You make me feel like taking a shower. Yuck.

    • Richard Silverstein October 11, 2010, 11:40 AM

      if you don’t trust the Israeli media

      Didn’t say that. I said I don’t trust the IDF spokespersons.

      LEHI underground was operating out of the consensus of the “yeshuv”

      It wasn’t just LEHI that used synagogues. Other Jewish resistance groups did as well & it was supported by the consensus. DOn’t you know yr Zionist history?

  • Arijay October 11, 2010, 2:28 PM

    Arial,

    1. you don’t need to assume Hamas and Hezbollah are firing rockets from schools and mosques, all you need is to look at the youtube link Nathaniel posted.

    2. no rules of engagement ever involved shooting non involved civilians, this is utter BS and a lie.

    3. The IDF uses yellow plates only in administrative vehicles, because IDF moved from owning the vehicles to leasing them, what you stated as the reason is BS. all fighting related vehicles are marked according to the international law.

    • Ariel October 11, 2010, 11:24 PM

      AriJay,

      1. Remember the truck with the Kassam rockets that was “surgically” bombed? IDF spokesperson had a field day with that one until the palestinians rightly pointed out that the the alleged rockets were gas welding canisters:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/01/surgical-strike-israel-human-rights
      I prefer to hear both sides before I accept something, especially when one of the sides is the IDF and its spokespeople, I suggest you do the same.

      2. I love Hasbara drones, I really do. Anytime things don’t fit Hasbara lines it is “utter BS and a lie”. Sorry to disappoint you but this is first hand account. I was stationed in Erez Industrial Zone, we had mortars fired at us from a nearby field that was about 400 meters away and between us and Beit Hanoun. Orders were to fire in the general direction, despite the fact that Beit Hanoun was about 800 meters away and we would certainly be firing heavy machine guns at it. When I brought it up before my battalion commander he shrugged his shoulders and said “they don’t like us over there”.

      3. The yellow number plates excuse is BS, nothing is stopping the army from leasing the vehicles and then giving them an army plate for the duration of the lease. However, it goes well with Hamas’s excuse for bombing civilians since they claim that it is impossible to distinguish between soldiers and non soldiers.

      I would stop yelling “BS” all over the place if I were were you, it draws attention to the fact that you are full of it. Get your facts and logic straight before you try to accuse others.

      • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 12:16 AM

        It’s great to have commenters here who’ve served in the IDF to rebut the stuff published by others. Thanks for being here.

      • Shirin October 12, 2010, 1:41 PM

        no rules of engagement ever involved shooting non involved civilians

        Then I guess all the Palestinian children who have been killed by IOF snipers with shots to the head and upper body are the result of the IOF’s inability to shoot straight.

    • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 12:09 AM

      no rules of engagement ever involved shooting non involved civilians

      None except the explicit military doctrine for Cast Lead that was published in Haaretz which specifically said that all Gazans were to be considered hostile & potential combatants. Besides, you weren’t in Gaza then so how would you know? I presume if you had been you would’ve already boasted to us that you were part of the most moral army in the world during that massacre. Since you didn’t we can safely assume you don’t know what you’re talking about on this subject as well.

  • Paul October 11, 2010, 2:30 PM

    The premise of Palestinians using human shields is absurd; it presupposes that the Israelis would not shoot in fear of hurting Palestinian innocents. What Palestinian could possibly believe this? A useful rule of thumb in these matters is that whatever the IDF claim the opposite is true. Hence self defense from an occupying army is aggression, aggression by the occupied is self defense, care to avoid collateral damage is wanton fire power etc. It is close to foolproof

  • AriJay October 12, 2010, 4:58 AM

    Ariel thank you for you response few things.

    1. you were ordered to fire after being fired upon, and you were ordered to fire at those who fire you, and that is with accordance with the 4th Geneva Convention, who dose not prevent an army from retaliating against hostilities in the presence of civilians, you were NEVER ordered to shoot at non involved civilians, and if you did that was ש Superior Order and you should have refused.

    2. the IDF does it’s best to identify every target, sometimes there are errors. from attacking own forces, to misidentifying foreign ships in times of war

    3. on thing prevents the IDF from installing it’s own license plate on a leased car, and that is the israeli law. you can’t get into a rental car agency, get the car and put your own plate, because you don’t own the car you just rent it. same situation exist.

    as for Richard’s question, like most israeli male i served in the IDF, where is non of your business. when between the years of 87 to 2002.

    • Ariel October 12, 2010, 6:37 AM

      AriJay,

      Please, next time you having absolutely nothing to say, please don’t quote conventions. Thousands of those sleeping in their beds in Beit Hanoun had nothing to do with the mortar fire that was aimed at us. By the time we returned fire in the general direction of the mortar fire, the ones who fired would be out of the way and we would be just be killing innocents in Beit Hanoun. The whole excuse of “We didn’t tell you to shoot at innocent people, just in a general direction” doesn’t work unless you close your eyes and really really want it to. As to the “who fired first” – Our operations officer used to brief us that if things seemed too quiet at night, to just let off some shots so that they know we’re there. Gee, according to your logic, you should now be explaining to Hamas why they did the right thing to fire at us! According to conventions of course.

      Give me a break with the license plates. One of the laws defining an official army (and if you read through the conventions you will find it) is that it must distinguish itself from the civilian population. If your “leased car” excuse had any validity whatsoever, the leased cars would have some military emblem or decal identifying themselves as such. You are trying to find excuses to something that the army readily admits, or at least doesn’t try too hard to cover up. Do you actually believe the stuff that you are peddling here or are you just trying to avoid being yet another Hasbara failure?

    • Shirin October 12, 2010, 12:22 PM

      the IDF does it’s best to identify every target, sometimes there are errors.

      So, the reason they kill and maim such a high percentage of children, women, and other civilians is that they can’t shoot straight?

      …to misidentifying foreign ships in times of war

      Ah yes, like an American intelligence vessel in international waters that had clear markings on its hull, and was flying a huge American flag. They “misidentified” it after flying low over it observing it for hours. Uhuh. Right.

    • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 12:45 PM

      Disingenuous as always. The Geneva Convention does not allow anyone to fire directly on civilians or civilian residences, which is what his orders were. Pls. do show us where it says this. And you’re totally disingenuous to make such a claim given that the vast majority of those killed during Cast Lead WERE civilians. What this shows is that Israel really doesn’t care about killing civilians because in Gaza a civilian is no different than a militant. The orders of battle for Cast Lead said this & Haaretz published the info. Go find it (it’s linked in a post here).

      A career IDF officer. That explains a lot.

  • AriJay October 12, 2010, 6:56 AM

    Ariel,
    if your operation office directed you to fire “just so they would know you were there ” he violated the strict restriction of opening fire, which is the reason i simply do not believe your nice very convincing “story”, by the way from your story i understand that you were not part of a combat unit, but rather served as a something else, am i right ?

    i’ll give you a brake with the license plate, it will not change the facts, IDF leases all the administrative vehicles, he doesn’t own them and can’t mark them with IDF plates. all other IDF equipment (form airplanes to tanks) are marked accordingly.
    failure at hasbara ? i am not trying to lahasbir anything, simply stating my own opinion as i hope you do as well.

    • Ariel October 12, 2010, 7:46 AM

      AriJay,

      Sorry to disappoint you but I was always part of a combat unit (until I hit 40 last year). You claim that “he violated the strict restriction of opening fire”? I’m trying not to laugh out too loudly here. It’s always funny when I run into someone who served in army intelligence, or basically pushed pencils in the army. The self important “none of your business” retort that you gave when no one has even asked where you served in the army is a dead giveaway for Army Intelligence.
      Just for your information – Another combat soldier would have disagreed with me on our mission there, or whether Palestinians were indeed innocent, on our right to be there. Thing is, I have yet to come across another combat soldier who doesn’t know that we frequently fire first.

      If you don’t want to give me a break with the leased vehicles, then please explain why the IDF doesn’t bother to put decals marking the car as an army vehicle. Back in the early nineties it was mandatory to put the decals on all rented cars. Your excuse just doesn’t stand, sorry.

    • Deïr Yassin October 12, 2010, 11:07 AM

      AriJay writes “I’m not trying to lahasbir anything”.
      I don’t speak Hebrew but would love to know if that’s a verb and what the radicals (I guess you use that word as in Arabic) and the word do mean precisely. Thanks a lot.

      • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 1:03 PM

        l’hasbir is the infinitive verb form of hasbara.

      • shmuel October 12, 2010, 1:03 PM

        The three letter root in modern Hebrew is s.b.r meaning “having an opinion”. It is borrowed from the original Aramaic first occuring in the book of Daniel, and frequently used in Talmudic discussions. The use in the word “hasbara” is knowm as the hiphil form, a form commonly used as a causative action, in this case meaning “causing to have an opinion” = “to explain”. Hasbara means “explanation”. In modern Arabic the root implies “to probe” or “to examine”.

        • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 1:14 PM

          That’s incomplete. In contemporary Hebrew it has the added connotation of propaganda or “public diplomacy” if you’re being very charitable (which isn’t warranted in my opinion).

          • shmuel October 12, 2010, 1:24 PM

            I think you’re splitting hairs – propaganda in Hebrew has a separate word – ta’amulah.
            I think both sides of an arguement use propaganda to explain, and both sides believe their explanation to be the right one. Calling the other side’s explanation propaganda is just belittling it without necessarily refuting it. Not all propaganda is lieing, and not all explanations are accurate.

          • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 6:55 PM

            No, again you’re being disingenuous. Hasbara has the connotation of government propaganda put forth for the sake of the so-called needs of the nation. While it indicates the government “explaining” its position to the world, the explanation is entirely tendentious & one-sided, which is why using the term public diplomacy is a misnomer when it comes to Israeli hasbara. Taamula can be any form of propaganda, government or otherwise.

            YOu ain’t gonna win on this, buddy. My Hebrew is as good as yours (or better it appears) when it comes to this stuff.

          • Shirin October 12, 2010, 2:19 PM

            both sides of an arguement use propaganda to explain, and both sides believe their explanation to be the right one.

            There is more than enough evidence to prove conclusively that the Israeli government and military habitually knowingly, calculatedly, and unashamedly lie. In fact there have been times that I have wondered whether the Israeli government and military lie by preference.

            In June, 1967 I got my initiation into the reality of government lying as I sat in my living room with the BBC on and listened, utterly shocked, as Abba Eban stood in front of the United Nations and lied to the whole world. Later, of course, the Israeli government was forced to admit what we had all known at the time – that it was all a lie.

            Is there anyone who seriously believes that Colin Powell actually believed the blatant rubbish he spewed at his 2003 dog and pony show at the UN? I don’t.

            Does anyone seriously believe that the Israeli military really thought it was attacking an Egyptian vessel when it tried to sink the USS Liberty?

            Does anyone actually buy the story that the attack on Qana was a mistake, or that the UN was allowing Hamas fighters to hang out in and use the UN school as a base of operations during the massacre of 2008-09, or that Israel’s security necessitated the destruction of
            virtually all of Gaza’s production and food processing abilities? Does anyone here believe that the Israeli government believed its stories that it was not depriving Gazans of food, medicine, and other necessities of life when it was only allowing in a fraction of the minimal amounts necessary? Does anyone actually buy the claim that Israel never opens fire on unarmed civilians, and that hundreds of children have been shot in the head and upper body completely by accident?

            Does any really think that the term “perception management” means anything other than deliberately misinforming and misleading the target audience?

        • Deïr Yassin October 12, 2010, 2:07 PM

          # Shmuel)
          Thanks a lot. That was exacly what I was looking for: a philological explanation. I see, Hebrew also has a derived form expressing the causative action.
          I’ll leave you discussing the exact meaning of ‘Hasbara’ with Richard. I know what I need to know on that account.

  • Arijay October 12, 2010, 8:34 AM

    Kind of arrogant of you to assume that i was either a “pencil pusher” or belonged to the intelligence divisions.
    the only reason i stated it’s not anyone’s business is because it really isn’t.
    could you please elaborate on the open fire procedure as you know it within the IDF ? the one that i know is a bit different.
    if that’s what your operation officer did, he violated orders.

    as for the yellow plate – it’s pointless to debate that.

    • Ariel October 12, 2010, 9:28 AM

      AriJay,

      Not “arrogant”, “experienced” maybe.

      Anyway, the general subject of this thread is whether Hamas or Israel use or have used human shields. Bringing up the rules of engagement is going seriously off topic.

      However, the debate about IDF administrative vehicles posing as civilian ones is on topic, which is probably why you seem to think that it’s pointless. Try to answer a simple question – Do you understand that not marking army cars as such (for whatever reason) constitutes “hiding among civilians”?

      • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 12:51 PM

        I just saw a picture of the Kirya (IDF headquarters) in Tel Aviv. How ’bout that for “hiding among civilians?”

    • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 1:12 PM

      Your being a career officer is relevant as to how you portray the IDF here. I didn’t say it totally discounts yr views to which you’re entitled. But it allows us to put them into context.

  • Arijay October 12, 2010, 10:01 AM

    Ariel, one who generalized everything out of his experience is a bit narrow minded.

    Rules of engagement are on topic as you stated that you fired toward civilians, and you are trying to claim you were ordered by your superior office for doing so. i don’t buy that, and you can’t prove that.

    as for the civilians cars, civilians car’s are used during off duty hours for transportation to and from your post station, same logic applies to the car as it applies to a soldier on a leave, a soldier on a leave can wear civilians clothing, and can drive a civil car, and it doesn’t constitute hiding among civilians. you are somewhat skewing the matter.

    • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 12:54 PM

      you can’t prove that

      Are you daft? He was there. He knows what he was ordered to do & the conditions that existed. If he says he was ordered to fire on civilians that’s what happened. If you can prove otherwise pls. do so. As a career officer I think you have a vested interest in defending the IDF. This is a characteristic that limits yr credibility.

    • Ariel October 12, 2010, 2:01 PM

      AriJay, actually I have some proof, Hebrew only unfortunately:
      http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-1581749,00.html

      I really hate that article, the editor took what I said and made into the headline that read “Ariel Shatil found his buddies sniping at innocents in Beit Hanoun”. You see now why I’m not too fond of militaristic pencil pushers – Any combat soldier would tell you that you cannot “snipe” with machine guns, especially not with the 0.5 Brownings. I got a lot of flak about that headline from people in my unit, however they did agree that the rest of the things attributed to me were 100% accurate.

      Again, you might claim that it is my account of things and doesn’t constitute “Proof”. However, IDF spokesperson never once tried to contradict anything that I’ve said there. Believe me that if I wasn’t where I said I was he would be having a field day.

      • Shai October 12, 2010, 5:54 PM

        Y’know, I look at the talkbacks to that article and I am somewhat relieved. I thought things were getting much worse among the Israeli public but apparently they were just as horrible back in 2002.

        • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 7:07 PM

          I wouldn’t feel relieved if I were you. Trust me, things are a lot worse now. I’ve been writing this blog since 2003 & observing the I-P landscape for decades before that. The situation now is as dire or more dire than I’ve ever seen it. The only thing that will bring peace is if it gets worse for Israel I’m sorry to say.

  • AriJay October 12, 2010, 5:43 PM

    Richard, just to answer few of your reply
    1. IDF orders prohibit firing at non involved civilians.
    2. I never said that the 4th Geneva convention approves such a thing, what i said is that if hostilities brake, they permit firing at the sources of fire, even if those are located within civilian area. the responsibility for civilian casualties is on the firing side. AKA if someone fires from a populated area, and you retaliate and as a result civilians would die, the responsible party is the one that fired from that neighberhood.
    3. The Kirya is as hiding among civilians as the Pentagon is, the Syrian army headquarters is, and almost every army headquarters that i know. it doesn’t consider hiding among civilians as there are known boundaries for the military facility, everyone inside is a target everyone outside isn’t.

    • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 7:05 PM

      IDF orders prohibit firing at non involved civilians.

      Those were most definitely NOT the orders of battle for Cast Lead. Since you didn’t serve then, & the Haaretz rpt is documented fr. soldiers & specific documents related specifically to that Operation, you’re out of date & wrong.

      In Cast Lead there was hardly any shooting fr. the Palestinian side (as confirmed by the fact that there were almost no dead–3, I think–or wounded fr direct combat operations). So you are then conceding I take it that in every instance in which the IDF faced no direct fire & killed civilians, that those were war crimes? Glad we cleared that up.

      The Kirya is in the middle of Israel’s largest city & surrounded by other civilian buildings on all sides. The Pentagon is not surrounded by civilian buildings.

  • AriJay October 12, 2010, 6:05 PM

    Ariel,
    your office was an idiot who violated orders, and you know that as well as i do.

    • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 7:08 PM

      Then you agree that every officer during Cast Lead who behaved precisely the same way is an idiot? Glad we’ve got that one figured out.

    • Ariel Shatil October 13, 2010, 7:05 AM

      AriJay,

      So my CO was an idiot? Which one of them? The battalion commander who gave the order? The Colonel who approved it? The Captains and Lieutenants who carried it out? I guess that they were all idiots but the bottom line is that I was the one punished. What kind of message do you think it sends out to anyone else who questions orders?

      Don’t think that it stops at the army level, I brought the subject up before Mossi Raz when he was still an MK. He told me that he never heard anything about it and ran away as quickly as he could. Ran Cohen’s reply was pretty similar. It was pretty surprising because I definitely remember Mossi Raz calling out to soldiers to disobey illegal orders promising that Meretz will help them out if they do so. Apparently, shooting at unarmed civilians didn’t seem important enough for them.

      Bottom line is this – The whole system supports those whom you call “Idiots”. People like me who disobey their orders are ostracized. Despite that, you still claim that the IDF acts lawfully and with restraint and demand proof when someone claims otherwise. Are you beginning to understand how daft it sounds?

  • AriJay October 12, 2010, 8:00 PM

    Richard, please provide a link supporting your statement about the rules of engagement during cast lead. don’t forget the the IDF provided an early warning to those in the area we attacked and asked all civilians to leave, to prevent them from being hurt. even with that warning puts out, IDF fired selectively only at targets that seemed as a threat to the soldier.
    since you never had anything to do with urban combat, please ask any one with some urban combat experience and he will tell you that with respect to the number of people living in the Gaza strip, the number of casualties support my statement. please compare it to the number of casualties in any city you guys operated in Iraq, it was much less in Gaza.
    Since you think the IDF committed war crimes in Gaza i’m sure you think the American forces committed the same in Iraq right ?

    • Shirin October 12, 2010, 10:27 PM

      the IDF provided an early warning to those in the area we attacked and asked all civilians to leave, to prevent them from being hurt.

      What a mountain of lies. For starters, where, exactly, were the civilians supposed to go, particularly given that the borders were sealed? Second, you seem to be unaware that many of those civilians, including women, little children, and elderly were attacked and killed or wounded even as they tried to leave carrying white flags. Third, I happen to have very close friends living in Gaza, and the story they tell is quite different from the one you keep repeating and repeating here. In the first place, none of my friends had a chance to leave, so they hid in their homes for weeks, terrified that they would be bombed to smithereens over their heads, or that the Israelis would come in looking for “Hamas fighters” (of which there were very, very few) and harm or kill them or their kids.

      even with that warning puts out, IDF fired selectively only at targets that seemed as a threat to the soldier.

      Yeah, they fired “selectively” at groups of women and children carrying white flags as they tried to flee. They fired so selectively that the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian human beings they killed were civilians, including hundreds of children. They fired so carefully that in one case they herded an entire extended family, men, women, children, and elderly into one house, and bombed it selectively, then refused to allow anyone to get near the house to assist the wounded or look after the children whose parents and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles had been slaughtered like fish in a barrel.

      the number of casualties support my statement.

      No, they don’t. When the number of civilians killed is three times the number of combatants killed that does not support your claims. When the number of children killed is nearly the same as the number of combatants killed that does not support your statement. Neither do the eye witness accounts of Palestinians, Israeli soldiers, and international aid workers do anything at all to support your statement.

      Since you think the IDF committed war crimes in Gaza i’m sure you think the American forces committed the same in Iraq right ?

      Absolutely, they did. They committed war crimes in 1991, they continued their crimes for 13 years, and they started a whole new bunch of crimes in 2003 (well, 2002, really), and they continue to commit war crimes there. So what? Is that supposed to mitigate Israel’s crimes in Gaza?

    • Richard Silverstein October 12, 2010, 11:28 PM

      please provide a link supporting your statement about the rules of engagement during cast lead

      I told you the story is linked in a post here. YOU do the spade work by searching through all posts related to Cast Lead. If you can’t find it after doing yr homework I’ll try to help you.

      the IDF provided an early warning to those in the area we attacked and asked all civilians to leave, to prevent them from being hurt

      So let’s see what really happened. It rained leaflets down on communities where people were holed up inside buildings in fear of their lives. It made cellphone calls telling them to leave their homes because they would be in a free fire zone. Then they had a choice of emerging fr. their homes into that free fire zone or staying put & being considered a miitant by any IDF soldier who might enter. Those who decided to leave their homes were in many instances mowed down in cold blood (again read my blog for past posts which document not one but many such instances). Those who stayed in their homes were often shelled mercilessly by tanks or artillery which is how the Zamouni clan was slaughtered. You were damned if you did & damned if you didn’t.

      And you have the unmitigated gall to come here & tell us the IDF behaved decently with these people? Your deliberate ignorance, yr willful naivete angers me deeply. Again, you weren’t there. You don’t know what happened except what your former employer tells you happened. And frankly, when you write total tripe like this it makes me suspect that you remain on the payroll either literally or figuratively.

      As for firing at targets that seemed to be a threat. You may be describing some scene in yr imagination. But EVERY credible account of Cast Lead in much of the Israeli AND mainstream media describe (& this is confirmed by accounts of veterans of the massacre AND the GOldstone Report) of a virtual free fire zone in much of Gaza in which everything moving was shot at & everything living (that wasn’t IDF) was killed. And they describe this not in an isolated incident but as the standard procedure. If you haven’t read these accounts then stop wasting your time here & go back and read everything that you’ve missed. If you have read these accounts, then you’re either a dupe or a willful liar in stating the nonsense you have here.

      Please don’t insult our intelligence with what you’re trying to pass off here as credible. It isn’t. And you do neither yrself or yr side any favor by publishing such garbage. It offends me. It disrespects the memory of those murdered…1,100 of them civilians, 300 of them children. Go chew on that and I hope it makes you sick to yr stomach.

      Iraq is off topic. Nice try. Deflection is a tried & true tactic of the hasbarist. Again, inferior. You can do better.

  • Deïr Yassin October 13, 2010, 12:51 AM

    As I wrote on another file “Breaking the Silence” has been nominated by the Green Party and the United Left Party for the Sakharov Peace Prize of the European Parliament.

    NGO Monitor and the indefatigable Gerald Steinberg have started approaching parliament members asking them not to let “Breaking the Silence” win the prize.

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/breaking-the-silence-nominated-for-eu-prize-1.318535

  • AriJay October 11, 2010, 12:19 PM

    well maybe i don’t know my Zionist history as well as i should, so please elaborate my knowledge a bit and expend my knowledge base. stating empty statements….any one can do.