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IDF Closes Book on al-Samouni Killings, Whitewashes Massacre

al samouni family mourns its dead

Surviving members of the al-Samouni family mourn their dead (AP)

Yesterday, the IDF informed B’Tselem that it intended to close the investigation of the massacre death of 21 members of the al-Samouni clan in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.  You’ll recall this was one of the three most egregious incidents of the war which the Goldstone inquiry focussed on in its Report.  During the fighting, scores of family members were forced to leave their home by the IDF and told they could shelter in a nearby building.  The officer who who directed them never reported what he’d done and an air strike was later ordered on their new refuge by a separate IDF unit which had no intelligence about who was sheltering there.

In the attack, 21 family members including mostly women and children were savagely killed.  Here is B’Tselem’s summary of the events that led to the massacre:

On 4 January 2009, soldiers gathered about 100 members of the extended a-Samuni family in the house of Wael a-Samuni, in the a-Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City. The next morning, at 6:30 A.M., when a few members of the family tried to leave the house, the military fired a missile or shell at them, killing Muhammad a-Samuni and wounding two other persons. A few seconds later, the military fired two more shells or missiles that hit the house directly. The house collapsed on its occupants, killing 21 persons, including many women and children, and injuring dozens of other family members.

Despite repeated requests by the Red Cross, B’Tselem, and other human rights organization, the army prevented removal of the injured people for two days, until 7 January. After the wounded persons were evacuated, the army demolished the house with the dead bodies inside. It was only possible to remove them from under the debris after the army withdrew, about two weeks later.

Among those killed were nine children: Muhammad, 6 months old, Mu’atasem, 1, ‘Azzah, 2, Nassar, 5, Fares, 12, Ishaq, 13, Razaqeh, 14, Isma’il, 15, and Huda, 16.

Breaking the Silence testimony reveals that the two-day delay in allowing ambulances into the location of the massacre caused four wounded family members to bleed to death.

The IDF did little more than express crocodile tears and promise an investigation. Now, it has washed its hands of the matter and given itself a clean bill of health.  The military says that mistakes were made that led to unfortunate consequences, but that the mistakes were inadvertent and therefore not culpable:

The Military Advocate General informed B’Tselem today that it has closed the Police investigation in the complaint submitted by B’Tselem into the killing of 21 members of  the a-Samuni family in the Gaza Strip. The file was closed without taking any measures against those responsible. In a letter sent to B’Tselem and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza (PCHR)…Major Dorit Tuval…wrote that the investigation completely disproved any claim about deliberate harm to civilians, as well as haste and recklessness regarding possible harm to civilians, or criminal negligence. The military’s response does not detail the findings of the investigation, nor does it provide the reasons behind the decision to close the file or any new information about the circumstances.

col ilan malka

Col. Ilan Malka, the 'al-Samouni butcher' (Dudu Azoulay)

This is eyewitness testimony from surviving family members.

As a result of the whitewash, Col. Ilan Malka gets off with a clean bill of health.  You see, he’s the officer who pulled the trigger and killed these innocent people.  Here’s what I wrote about this in 2010:

Molko specifically approved the IAF missile attack on their compound.  Before he approved the strike, several air force officers warned him that the target site might contain civilians, a warning he ignored.  Malka himself denied he had received such a warning.

…An Amira Hass article in yesterday’s Haaretz described the events that transpired to put the Samouni in the target sites of an Israeli jet.  Her account makes clear that there are officers even higher up the chain of command who bear responsibility for the grievous errors of judgment that precipitated the attack.

In light of of John Brennan’s boasting the other day about the “wise” and “just” U.S. use of drones to combat terrorism, it’s instructive that only one of many grievous errors that brought about this tragedy involved drone video that erroneously led an IDF operator to conclude that al-Samouni men, who were in reality searching for firewood in the cold morning air, were terrorists preparing an attack.

Here is how Amira Hass reported on this subject:

The many incidents described in the human rights organizations’ reports indicate that the drone photographs are not as precise or clear as they are said to be, or that the technology considered “objective” also depends on commanders’ interpretation: Children playing on the roof are liable to be regarded as “scouts,” people trying to speak to their relatives over the phone are liable to be “signal operators for a terrorist brigade,” and families that went to the garden to feed the goats, squads of Qassam launchers.

And here is my follow-up commentary from the same post, which is quite relevant in light of the Brennan speech:

Malka was essentially warned by air force personnel that what they were seeing on the drone screens might not be what the commander thought it was.  It is a clear case of a commander in the field who is unaware of the deficiencies of the technology on which he is basing his judgments (or aware of them and proceeding anyway), placing too much trust in blurry pictures viewed by someone in a remote war room.

Judge Goldstone can pat himself on the back over all this because his later renunciation of his own Report let the IDF off the hook.  Now that a suitable interval has passed between the Report, the tragedy and now, the army can abscond from any responsibility, as it always does.

Here is a listing of all the tragic Cast Lead incidents for which B’Tselem has filed formal complaints.  In none of them, has the IDF disciplined anyone (though it has disciplined three unnamed officers and charged three others with various infractions).

I’m experiencing a bitter laugh as one of the IDF’s cracker-jack hasbara flack, Capt. Barak Raz has been regaling his Twitter followers with a special ethics workshop conducted by Prof. Moshe Halbertal for IDF officers.  It allows Raz to crow about the purity of arms and all the other bulls(&t that passes for sincerity when it comes to the IDF.  You can be sure Raz and Halbertal offered the al-Samouni as a model of the IDF’s probity and accountability when it comes to ethics.

Though the Israeli military thinks it can slip the dismissal of the al-Samouni case past people without noticing, I don’t feel like letting that happen.  The massacre and cover-up reminds me of the little puppy who’s yet to be house-trained.  The way they used to do it in the old days was to rub the dog’s nose in it (happily, most dog owners don’t do that anymore).  Though the IDF is not a wayward puppy, it does need to have its nose rubbed in the dog shit it’s created, whether it likes it or not.

The message must be that you can’t kill innocent civilians with impunity.  And that if you do, and after your investigation you hold no one accountable, then the world and international justice will eventually hold you accountable (even if Richard Goldstone won’t).  As the name of the Israeli NGO holds: Yesh Din (“there IS justice”).

Let’s close with my summary of the al-Samouni case as it stood at the time I wrote my 2010 post, which appears almost prescient in hindsight:

We will see whether there is impunity or accountability in the ranks of the IDF over this incident.  No doubt the IDF wishes to do just enough but no more to mollify its international critics.  The prosecutor will make a big show of examining the evidence, may even call Malka and others to testify.  But in the end it will undoubtedly find insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.  And so another crime of the Occupation will be swept under the rug, at least as far as Israel is concerned.  But the problem is that this method works less and less successfully.  The world tends not to forget these incidents and places declining faith in the IDF’s word that it has done its best to ensure these things don’t happen.

For Hebrew readers, I commend to you Idan Landau’s blog post, which is the most comprehensive account of the massacre and rebuttal of the IDF’s defense of its actions.

{ 45 comments… add one }
  • uri May 4, 2012, 12:06 AM

    Who do you think you are? Do you have any clue about how moral the army is? No you don’t. You sit in America and write your Arab loving blog. Have you served a day in the IDF? Very easy of you to spread your hatred of the IDF. An officer in my unit was killed in Gaza in Cast Lead. A paratrooper officer from 202. Numbers that mean nothing to you since you never wore a uniform. You are disgusting. Go live in Gaza. Or Nablus. Let’s see you post this comment, you big open-minded liberal.

    • Richard Silverstein May 6, 2012, 1:01 AM

      A total of three IDF soldiers were killed by Palestinian militants during Cast Lead. As opposed to 1,100 Palestinian civilians. And you expect me to cry bitter tears over this alleged officer? BTW, what was the name of the officer and can you provide any evidence you served with him? I doubt it. What I believe is you’re full of hot air. But I await your offer of any proof or evidence for your claims.

  • sass May 4, 2012, 12:49 AM

    Col. Ilan Malka, the ‘al-Samouni butcher’ will soon be Gen. Ilan Malka , leader of the most moral army on earth.

  • SimoHurtta May 4, 2012, 2:05 AM

    Well Palestinians, their supporters and the human rights organizations have the capacity of creating registers and use modern face registration programs. Sooner or later these war criminals have to step out of the tiny Israel and/or will use their other passport.

    Israeli and occupied Palestinians should create their versions of Simon Wiesenthal Center and Jewish Documentation Center. Groups taking videos of the passengers of El Al planes and Israeli tourist around the world and on the Palestinian side a project to photograph every Jewish soldier on roadblocks, house demolitions, demonstrations and in raids. Video cameras outside the settlements etc. When a match of a war criminal is found give to that so much publicity as possible. Soon every Jewish soldier and settler had to use a black mask all the time when they step outside their base.

    Israel is afraid most of the negative in West and around the world publicity, more than of the military resistance (which de facto benefits more Israel than Palestinians). The videos some weeks ago where that fat colonel was beating those demonstrators was a bigger success for the Palestinians’ case than a couple thousands of rockets fired from Gaza. The more there is evidence the higher are the possibilities to find justice some day. Even for Ilan Malka. The pictures and videos of tens of thousands Israeli soldiers on roadblocks and demonstrations makes it impossible for them to deny that they personally had participated in the cruel occupation and human rights violations. Israel must be made so “proud” that no soldier dares to show their face.

  • Joel May 4, 2012, 4:26 AM

    Col. Malka wasn’t trying to reach a high body count or attain a quota for missiles fired that day. He believed that he was targeting an enemy that could attack IDF troops or fire rockets at Israeli civilians.

    Richard made a mistake in an article and mixed up ‘plaintiffs’ for ‘defendants’. Malka made a mistake and it cost 20 civilian lives.

    Richard is a blogger and spills ink. Malka is a commander and spills blood.

    • Richard Silverstein May 4, 2012, 10:02 AM

      In an accountable, professional military he would’ve been relieved of his command. When you have massive lethal firepower it’s not enough to believe something is then case especially when you’ve been warned by others, as he was, that it isn’t. You have to make eve effort to be sure you’re right. He didn’t.

      There are a number of instances here in which I could’ve engaged in behavior I consider reckless by publishing personal information that would be deeply intrusive. I chose not to because I thought long and hard about what my duty & mission is here. Something Ilan Malka didn’t do. Not to mention refusing to allow emergency personnel to evacuate the dead, wounded & dying. It was inexcusable & inhumane.

      Likening a typo to killing 21 defenseless civilians is stupid & typically hasbarific of you. You make me sick.

      • Joel May 4, 2012, 5:04 PM

        ” I chose not to because I thought long and hard about what my duty & mission is here.”

        And how long did Col. Malka have to make this life and death command decision? At lot less time than you took and he made his decision in a war zone, not in his den.

        • Richard Silverstein May 6, 2012, 12:49 AM

          Ah yes, Col. Ilan Malka the brave Israeli soldier making life & death decisions in a split second, which justifies his every mistake. BTW, the IDF drone operators & those viewing the video monitors warned him that the images didn’t necessarily agree with his interpretation. Yet he went forward anyway. Plus, his own troops had placed the family in that house, yet not bothered to tell him that. He was inept himself & his troops were further inept. He doesn’t get a “bye” for such ineptitude. 21 people died because of it. He’s responsible. Period.

          And you’re damn right someone has to hold him accountable. If your own army and political echelon won’t do so then you’re damn right I’m going to do it. Someone’s got to. Malka is at best an inept officer & at worst a war criminal. Your country won’t deal with it, which opens you & him to oversight by an International Criminal Court and watchdogs like me. Don’t like it–tough s(&t. Clean up after yourself or others will & you won’t like how they do it.

          • Joel May 6, 2012, 6:28 AM

            “Plus, his own troops had placed the family in that house, yet not bothered to tell him that.”

            So Malka didn’t know there were civilians in the house?

          • Richard Silverstein May 6, 2012, 1:17 PM

            The soldiers monitoring the video stream told him the family members viewed could likely be civilians. He ignored the warnings. I’ve said that Malka & his subordinates are guilty of ineptitude & negligent murder. But you can’t do the sly game you’re attempting, which is to fob off blame to his subordinates. He ultimately made the decision to destroy the home & kill the 21 civilians. You can’t abscond from his responsibility.

  • blabalabal May 4, 2012, 5:28 AM

    This is as opposed to the investigations Hamas carried out into the more than 100 suicide bombings a decade or so ago that killed over 1000 innocent israeli civilians, which were called war crimes and crimes against humanity by the UN and human rights groups ?

    • Deïr Yassin May 4, 2012, 6:21 AM

      Thank you for confirming that the Israeli self-identification as “The-Only-Democracy-In-The-Middle-East” is just as ridiculous as if Hamas claimed the same. A part from the fact that comparing occupiers and occupied, oppressors and oppressed, thiefs and dispossessed is flawed.
      You could’ve mentioned the killings of civilians in Syria or in Afghanistan by the US army too, anyhow you sticked to the first talking-point in the Hasbara Manual.

      Channel Four/Dispatches made a very strong documentary back in 2009 “Children of Gaza” where we follow four kids in Gaza after Cast Lead, among them sister and brother Amal and Mahmoud al-Samouni.
      In my opinon the best documentary on the impact of Cast Lead. A MUST.
      link to palestinevideo.blogspot.com

      • Deïr Yassin May 4, 2012, 6:54 AM

        More documentaries on the al-Samouni-family:
        1) Witness/al-Jazeera: “A girl called Jewel” about Almaza al-Samouni:
        Two parts: link to aljazeera.com
        2) “Gaza, Where Could the Birds fly ?
        About Mona al-Samouni
        link to youtube.com
        3) The al-Samouni-family responds to Goldstone Backtrack on Israeli war crimes:
        link to youtube

        • Deïr Yassin May 4, 2012, 6:59 AM

          Too many links (awaiting moderation).
          Sorry. I correct the third link: The al-Samouni Family responds to Goldstone Backtrack on Israeli war crimes:
          link to youtube.com

    • lifelong May 4, 2012, 6:45 AM

      The premise of your comment is severely flawed, and i’m not sure you actually see it.

      By definition a suicide bombing consists of the perp committing suicide during the act, i.e. he dies. What exactly is there left to investigate?

      Nevermind that Hamas gained control of Gaza in 2006…

      • blabalabal May 4, 2012, 6:56 PM

        [Comment deleted: This blog’s comment rules prohibit repeating yourself. You’ve published four comments which say almost the same thing. Your future comments will be monitored to ensure you’ve read the comment rules and respect them]

    • Richard Silverstein May 4, 2012, 10:10 AM

      Hamas killed 1000 Israelis? I’m calling your bluff on that. Prove it.

      As for Hamas not investigating its own acts, of course they should. And of course the international criminal court should haul both Israeli generals like Malka AND Islamic Jihad before it. But I’d like to hear you confirm you’re in favor of Israelis being held accountable along with Palestinians. Because if you’re not then you’re just a typical hasbara apologist. Which is it?

      • blabalabal May 4, 2012, 6:39 PM

        Yes, yes, yes

        I was technically wrong and you were technicaly correct in that Islamic Jihad and the Al Aksa Mayrtrs Brigade are also responsible for some of these attacks as well as Hamas.

        But out of all these, Hamas has by far the greatest amount of innocent Israeli blood on its hands however.

        I was correct in that over 1000 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks in the First and second intifadas.

        Between 1989 to 2000 there were 405 israeli civilian deaths at the hands of palestinian terrorists.

        From 2000 to 2008 there were 1,218 deaths at the hands of palestinian terrorists including 540 persons who died in the suicide bombings.

        Btselem has a table listing the names and details of the 492 Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians inside Israel during this period from 2000 to 2008.

        link to old.btselem.org

        Deliberate mass murder attacks on unarmed non-combatants as all these deaths were, is a Crime Against Humanity under international law. There is no excuse for murdering civilians. Does not matter what israel did. Deliberate mass murder of civilians ordered at the highest levels of the palestinian leadership was a war crime no ifs ands or buts.

        No investigation has ever been conducted into these 100s of deliberate murders and no Palestinian has ever been charged by the Hauge for war crimes.

        • David May 4, 2012, 8:52 PM

          By this reasoning, the 1400 dead from Cast Lead are innocent victims of terror as well. Would you agree?

        • Richard Silverstein May 5, 2012, 1:44 AM

          For every one Israeli civilian killed there are six Palestinian civilians killed by the IDF. Therefore your country has six times the blood on its hands and six times more to answer for before the International Criminal Court. I repeat, when you acknowledge Israelis should be brought before such a Court for crimes against humanity then I’ll concede Palestinians should. Until then, you’re a fraud.

          You’re also a hasbarist who’s seeking to monopolize the discussion & score propaganda points. Read the comment rules very carefully & respect them or you’ll find your rights to comment here restricted.

        • sass May 5, 2012, 2:52 AM

          It is universally accepted that anyone living under a military occupation has a right to resist by any means.From the standpoint of international law, two points must be made, Palestinian atrocieties are in the service of what the world regards as a legitimate purpose, the ending of the occupation. Israeli atrocieties are in the service of what the world regards as a illegitimate purpose, entrenching the occupation .
          Palestinian violence has always been reactionary to Jewish violence.

          • Bob Mann May 5, 2012, 5:20 AM

            Do you really think that blowing up teenagers at a dance club, or senior citizens at a hotel, or people riding a bus qualify as universally accepted means of resistance? I would beg to differ as the majority of world leaders (including Palestinian leadership) condemned these actions.

            Also seems odd that you would use the phrase “Jewish violence” as opposed to Israeli in your last sentence.

          • Richard Silverstein May 6, 2012, 12:45 AM

            Those under Occupation have the right to resist. But “by any means?” Not sure of that.

    • SimoHurtta May 4, 2012, 10:33 AM

      Are the suicide bombers alive today? No, but the Israeli bombers and shooters are. What is the basic difference as a crime against humanity to shoot with a tank’s 120 mm cannon civilians or drop a 1000 kg bomb on women and children or explode a suicide west among civilians in a restaurant? Israelis call those numerous massacres made by them as mistakes (after those laughable investigations), Palestinians theirs as a form of resistance. The reality is that without occupation there would be no resistance. The Israelis have and have had for a longtime an alternative, Palestinians have no options.

      Even if we use the term defending somebody as an justification for the violence, there is a profound difference. Israeli soldiers are defending their loot and those benefiting of the looting done during the past decades, the Palestinians are defending besides their relatives and people also their livelihood and culture. Using the excuse that G-d gave us this 4524 years, 3 days and 16 hours ago is not a very convincing justification for people who mainly have had no links to the land for thousands of years.

      • blabalabal May 4, 2012, 6:48 PM

        The suicide bombings were organized and ordered from the highest levels of the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aksa Mayrtrs. Do you think just random kids woke up one morning, built themselves sophisticated extremely lethal bomb vest, hid them under thier clothing, snuck into Israel, chose targets for maximim casulties ?

        If you really honestly think these kids and even young girls in some cases did this all by themselves without orders or help with planning, explosives etc. and the Hamas leadership was shocked by these terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians then I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

        • David May 4, 2012, 8:56 PM

          But do you agree that the victims of Cast Lead are innocent victims of terror? I don’t see how you can avoid it. It is a crime to drop bombs on civilian targets, particularly defenseless targets. By your measure, everything the IDF does in Gaza and elsewhere is a crime of terror.

          And I agree that the IDF is defending ill-gotten gains and property stolen from others, whereas Palestinians are just trying to live some kind of life in the midst of Israeli terror.

          • Jericho Siemens May 6, 2012, 3:57 PM

            The victims may indeed be considered innocent, but the IDF actions are not terrorist. The actions are military one’s, aimed to protect the nation of Israel and its civilians. I will concede that you can argue that Palestinian actions are done as resistance acts to the occupation, or self defence – and thus they are not terrorists either.

            In this case – where both sides are fighting for their own independence – do not expect either side to be apologetic for its actions. Also, given this view – no war crimes were ever committed by anyone side.

            You can also argue that the majority of Israeli and Palestinians are not innocent – as they continue to support the aggressive acts of of their respective leaderships. As such, let the bombings of women and children continue on both sides -and let the strongest side win!

          • Richard Silverstein May 6, 2012, 9:19 PM

            This is the most cynical, disgusting comment published here in some time. Not to mention that you’re being disingenuous in claiming you accept the justification for Palestinian violence. You don’t as you’ve shown in previous comments here. You merely seek to create a situation in which no one can be held accountable for the current mayhem. That’s nihilism. I reject your cynicism.

        • SimoHurtta May 5, 2012, 1:06 AM

          Well blabla (you have chosen a suitable name for yourself) do you think that the young Jews using the Merkava tanks, F15, drones, high power rifles, artillery with white phosphorous grenades etc have build the weapons they use. Do you think just random kids woke up one morning, built themselves sophisticated extremely lethal weapons and walked to the occupied areas and begun their normal “fun” by kicking old ladies. The Jewish tortures in concentration camps like the soldiers killing the people around the walls are commanded by Zionist leaders who give them the orders. Increasingly in Jewish religious tones. So why blame Hamas for the resistance, blame Zionists for the costs of the occupation. Israel can end its occupation project tomorrow if it wants.

          If you really honestly think these Jewish kids and even young girls in some cases did this all by themselves without orders or help with planning, explosives etc. and the Israeli leadership was shocked by these violent attacks on Palestinian Christian and Muslim civilians, then I have some swamp land in Finland to sell you. By the way blabla in Finnish the name of Finland is Suomi meaning originally the land of swamps.

          Funny that you offer me swamp land in Florida (Pa-Hay-Okee), normally you offer stolen land in Palestine. Well maybe your swamp in Florida was stolen from the original owners, Native Americans, or from the state. By the way did G-d give you that swamp of yours? I admire your ability to get land with low own costs.

        • Richard Silverstein May 5, 2012, 1:45 AM

          Murders of Palestinians were ordered at the highest level of Israel’s leadership. Yet you shed not a tear because you’re a racist.

  • Deïr Yassin May 4, 2012, 7:24 AM

    Though this closed ‘investigation’ only concerns the air stike that killed 21 members of the extended al-Samouni-family, there were more killings in what is called the “Zeitoun District Massacre” prior to the air strike on Wael al-Samouni’s house.
    Amal and Mahmoud’s father was killed at short distance when he opened the door.
    48 members of the al-Samouni-family were killed in the various attacks.

    • David May 4, 2012, 8:59 PM

      Israeli terror is quantitatively (and qualitatively) much larger than Palestinian terror. There isn’t a single Palestinian jet fighter. Not one. And tanks? Zip.

  • Clif Brown May 4, 2012, 9:29 AM

    I don’t understand why the IDF even bothered to contact B’Tselem when the Obama method is so much easier – simply say “We must look forward and not back”

    That phrase closed the book on the entire term of the Bush administration and allowed several participants to come out with books in which they brag of what they did and others to make good money giving speeches about it all.

  • moeniee May 4, 2012, 10:26 AM

    Clif is right, next time a murderer gets caught in the united states he should use the same phrase Obama used ” We must look forward and not back”

  • Rain May 6, 2012, 2:57 AM

    And here’s the rub. Armies in conflict kill citizens every day and are rarely held accountable. Whether the act is advertent or inadvertent is not always clear or established. I understand the outrage of those who write on this blog at this incident in Gaze. But I do wonder two things 1) Why we don’t see the same pouring of outrage when the US and NATO forces acted in a similar way? Thousands of citizens were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2) If most countries have perpetrated the same actions, whose hands are clean enough to call Israel to task? Continued conflict will for sure will bring more of these incidents. The onus to move forward is on Israel, but the responsibility for either the continuance or ending of this conflict lies with both sides

    • Deïr Yassin May 6, 2012, 7:14 AM

      Wat do you know about peoples’ outrage concerning killings in Afghanistan and Iraq ? This blog is about Israel/Palestine, and if you want to discuss US and Nato killings I’m sure there are blogs for that too, or you could set up one yourself.
      As Blabla further up the thread (maybe your twin ?) you’re just sticking to the first point on the Hasbara-list: “look, it’s the same – or even worse – elsewhere”.
      And in occupied Palestine, there are no “armies in conflict”, only the IDF. And I wonder if you use the word “incident” about 21 Jews being killed by a kamikaze !

      • Bob Mann May 6, 2012, 10:20 AM

        This blog also addresses US and NATO killings. In fact there was a post from that topic just a few days ago:

        Obama National Security Chief Calls Drone Strikes “Just,” “Wise,” But Concedes We Attacked Militants Knowing Civilians Would Be Killed

        link to richardsilverstein.com

        • Deïr Yassin May 6, 2012, 10:46 AM

          Yes, you’re right, but the main topic of this blog is Israel/Palestine and this particular article is about Israeli brutality.
          “Rain” is the second hasbara-drone claiming exactly the same thing, so why didn’t he comment on the killing in Afghanistan on that particular thread ?
          In fact, you haven’t addressed the killing of the al-Samouni family or the closing of the “investigation” either, and it only confirms my impression of you right from the start: you’re a hasbarista too, you’ve just moved on to Hasbara 303. Always nitpicking on comments who are “pro-Palestinian” but I don’t recall the same meticulousness when it comes to Zionist comments.
          “Objectivity is not 5 minutes to Hitler and 5 minutes to the victims” (Jean-Luc Godard, great film-maker and pro-Palestinian humanist).

          • Bob Mann May 6, 2012, 11:11 AM

            Thanks for your response and correction. I appreciate that.

            Hasbarista – is that someone who serves coffee in an attempt to present Israel in a positive light?

            I guess it’s good to have a sense of humor.

            Didn’t Godard call Israel a “cancer on the map of the Middle East” or is that just a rumor?

          • Deïr Yassin May 6, 2012, 11:51 AM

            I don’t know if Godard said that, and I think the comment policy prevents me from saying whether I agree with such a statement or not, but I’m sure you could google it. Normally you’re better prepared than “Didn’t he blahblah”.

            And of course you’re a pro-Israeli who’s always trying to minimize the misdeeds of that State behind a facade of some flawed objectivity and you’re constantly trying to draw attention elsewhere, as in that comment on the Beduins in the Sinai.

            In three comments on this thread you still haven’t adressed the al-Samouni massacres but been nitpicking on totally unimportant details.

          • Bob Mann May 7, 2012, 9:36 AM

            I don’t really trust Google when it comes to alleged quotes. They are so many fabricated ones out there, especially with respect to Israelis and Palestinians, that I almost never assert that a quote was definitively made unless I have the strongest possible evidence.

            I have no idea what the rest of what you wrote has to do with anything. I don’t consider myself pro-anything other than peace. My goal is for Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace with one another. I believe the occupation should end and a Palestinian state should be established, something along the lines of what is laid out in the Geneva Accords.

            If you don’t think the issues facing the Bedouins in the Sinai are related to the issues facing the Bedouins in the Negev then I don’t know what to tell you. They certainly both very much relate to the actions of current and past Israelis governments.

            I’m not sure what comment you are looking for with respect to the al-Samouni killings. I read the article, what is there to say? I try to post only if I have something interesting or insightful to add or if I see something that I believe to be an error that ought to be corrected.

          • Deïr Yassin May 8, 2012, 4:30 AM

            If you don’t trust google and seem very conscious about the fabricated quotes, why did you then ask “didn’t Godard blablab” ? A typical procedure of introducing doubts about someone based only on rumours.
            And don’t you think your “quote” seems pretty close to the “wipe Israel of the map”-stick ? I think “cancer on the map of the Middle East” sounds weird in English, and even more in French, Godard’s native tongue.
            I think google is okay, if you use it with intelligence. I tried to google your quote and it only came up with exactly the same wordings, on dozens of Zionist web-sites. I didn’t find any interview with Godard stating that, or any serious newspaper quoting him, so…
            But I guess you came up with that quote in order to dismiss Godard’s fine comparison on objectivity. Saying that giving the same amount of attention to Hitler and his victims isn’t objectivity, has of course been interpreted as antisemitic by the usual witch-hunters who knew that Godard was probably hinting at the Palestinians and the Israelis, and only Zionists have the right to include Hitler.

    • SimoHurtta May 6, 2012, 12:26 PM

      Israel and its fanatical (= religious) supporters use so much propaganda, that Israel’s hollow moral is one cause for so many people to show their contempt towards Israel. Israel and the Zionist Jewish movement portray their victim role so frequently in sometimes so absurd connections that the counter reaction is to demand from Israel those moral standards it claims to have and what it demands from others.

      Let us take the example of the Fogel family case. Israeli propaganda machine uses tirelessly this sad event as an example of “Palestinian general attitude”. Compare that event to the many times more severe wiping off the al-Samouni family of this planet and other to the deliberate killing of hundreds civilians in Gaza and Lebanon under the “blessing” of some religious leaders. You are now going to destroy the homes of the Palestinian terrorists who murdered the Fogel family, but the religious Jewish bloodthirsty soldiers go unpunished. What is the moral in this? Israelis simply say OOOBS small mistake after years of “inspections”.

      Already since the S/S Patria massacre Israeli army (Haganah then) where Jews killed 260 fellow Jews show that the army’s inspections are worth zero. Israelis claimed in their inspection that “cause of the tragedy was the poor condition of the ship’s superstructure and therefore it was unable to withstand the pressure of the explosion”. It goes to the same category of collected Israel record stupidity than Golda Meir’s whining how the Jews can’t forgive Palestinians because they force Jews to kill Palestinian children.

    • Richard Silverstein May 6, 2012, 11:32 PM

      You didn’t bother to read my denunciation of Obama administration drone/targeted killing policy in these places? If you did, they why are you saying such narischkeit? If you didn’t, then do a better job of reading & researching before you make such empty claims.

      Two evils don’t make a single good. This isn’t a zero sum game in which only the good, decent & pure may haul Israel before the ICC. Warlords in Africa, mass murderers in Africa & the Balkans have been brought to justice regardless of whether the accusers have pure hands. The same will happen to Israel if it doesn’t take steps to hold its army killers responsible. Just watch Serbia hand over its killers to the Hague. Do you want the same for Israel? That day is coming. Don’t know when, but it’s coming.

      • TheAZCowBoy June 8, 2012, 11:35 PM

        Interesting the IDF’s drones that murder, maim and spay chemicals on Palestinian children playong soccer in open fields causing eyes irritaions and chemical burns seem to have (((slipped))) your attention. Why?

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