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Col. Ofer Winter: Poster Boy for IDF’s New Dirty 200, Ceasefire Dies (Again)

ofer winter idf war criminal

Col. Winter’s genocidal battle plan for Operation Protective Edge

After Operation Cast Lead, peace activists prepared a list of 200 IDF officers who played major roles in the sowing the killing fields of Gaza with blood.  I’m hoping someone is right now preparing a similar list for Operation Protective Edge.  The level of mass mayhem in it far exceeds that of the prior campaign.  More dead, more injured, more orphans, more devastation.

Remember this name in particular: Ofer Winter.  He’s the poster boy of IDF war criminals.  He was also high on the list of those accused of similar acts during Cast Lead.  It was he who wrote the genocidal battle plan announced to his troops in the accompanying image:

History has chosen for us to be the bayonet point of battle against the Gazan terrorist enemy which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel’s military campaigns…

God, the Lord of Israel, make our path successful, as we are about to fight for Your People, Israel, against an enemy who defames your name. In the name of the IDF fighters…make the phrase “For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” come true, and we shall answer: Amen.

ofer winter

Col. Ofer Winter, author of Rafah massacre

Lest you think I overstated the term “genocidal” above, anyone who knows their Bible will recognize this language.  It is the language used to describe those tribes which the Israelites wiped out in their campaign to capture the land of Israel and populate it with their offspring.  Tribes like the Amalekites, Moabites, Jebusites and others were all exterminated in battles in which the ancient Jews followed what they perceived as God’s will in taking over the land.

Winter’s Givati brigade played a key role in the slaughter in Rafah (English edition) in the last week of the war in which 160 Palestinians were killed by vengeful IDF forces seeking vengeance after a Hamas attack that killed an IDF major, sergeant and captured Lt. Hadar Goldin.

These troops were member of Givati.  So when the deputy commander named Eitan came on the scene of that attack he begged Col. Winter to allow him to pursue the Palestinian fighters who’d taken Goldin into the tunnel in which they’d fled.

Winter permitted him to do so only after exploding a grenade in the tunnel, which would’ve killed Goldin and his captors if they were still there.

Then Winter and the rest of the IDF proceeded to rampage through Gaza both from air and land.  They annihilated any vehicle approaching the hospital in Rafah in case Goldin was being brought for treatment.  The attack was relentless and unlike any other previous one in this horrific war.  Heavy artillery, air bombardment, striking anything that moved (as Zvi Bar’el wrote in the column I translated yesterday).

Here is how Haaretz characterized Winter’s “on the ground” interpretation of Hannibal:

The Givati command headquarters…used the Hannibal procedure to find Goldin. They did so without the immediate authorization of the Gaza Division and Southern Command.

This was the most aggressive action of its type ever carried out by the IDF, military sources said. In addition to the use of special forces, an armored column moved quickly about one kilometer into Rafah’s built-up area…Israeli air support was also called in.

This procedure takes a risk with the life of a captured soldier to stop the abduction. But officers in the General Staff said this week the procedure does not permit the killing of a captured soldier to thwart the abduction. Still, some soldiers and junior officers might believe the killing of the abductee is preferable to an abduction.

Let’s again be clear in ways that few other Israeli or foreign journalists are willing to be.  This was not an attempt to save Goldin or free him.  It was an attempt to kill him.  It was also an attempt to kill his captors and show Hamas that this will be the fate of anyone who attempts to capture an Israeli soldier.  But this is a lesson that Hamas refuses to learn, because it is motivated by the same stubborn, zealous nationalism that impels the IDF.  Hamas is willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of its nation including the lives of its fighters.  And taking an IDF soldier hostage advances the struggle for Palestine.  So it is a chance not only worth taking as far as they are concerned, but even a desired and noble sacrifice if one were to lose one’s life in taking it.

There is also another aspect of the Rafah slaughter that must be considered when weighing charges of war crimes.  Besides killing Goldin under the execrable Hannibal Directive, this day that Haaretz reporters are now calling Black Friday was one of mass vengeance against not just those who killed the two soldiers, but also against everyone, including civilians, in the area from which the attackers came.  This was not just collective punishment, an act clearly prohibited under the laws of war, it was collective murder.

So Col. Winter, you’ve earned your number 1 spot in the new Dirty 200 list of IDF war criminals.

On a related matter, the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire has now ended.  In talks in Cairo, Egypt and Israel offered no flexibility regarding Israeli demands to lift the illegal siege of Gaza.  Therefore, as expected, the ceasefire appears to have failed.  Rockets have begun to fly from Gaza into Israel.  The latter has announced Hamas has rejected the ceasefire attempting to pin the blame on it for a resumption of hostilities, while omitting Israel’s intransigence as the leading factor in the failure of the talks.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Shmuel August 7, 2014, 11:48 PM

    You forgot to mention Hamas’s intransigence in not accepting Israel’s demands.
    Or are the negotiations supposed to be that Egypt and Israel surrender to Hamas’s demands otherwise more war?

    • Oui August 8, 2014, 5:18 AM

      What’s the point, you actually think this is a smart comment? Are you contributing anything at all or are you just performing the hasbara act. Wrong time and wrong place after the horrible crimes against humanity. The status quo is not an option for the Palestinian people, neither in Gaza under Hamas or on the West Bank under the PA and Abbas.

    • Donald August 8, 2014, 10:24 AM

      Hamas demands are entirely reasonable. The blockade on the people of Gaza never should have happened in the first place. I would oppose an equally draconian blockade being placed on Israel, even though there is far more justification for it. But no worries–if that somehow happened the US would break it on the first day.

      Having said that, I wish Hamas hadn’t fired these new rockets. Israel will have no qualms about killing more civilians.

    • Richard Silverstein August 8, 2014, 11:04 AM

      @Shmuel: You mean Israel’s demands that Hamas disarm itself so that it can’t defend GAZA from future Israeli invasions? That’s certainly a winning hand to play.

      • Imran Kahn August 8, 2014, 1:32 PM

        Beacause Israel “invades” gaza all the time.

  • Melissa Barnard August 8, 2014, 5:26 AM

    “Israel’s intransigence as the leading factor in the failure of the talks”. Do you actually have any source for this accusation, or are you just desperate to find some way to blame Isarel for the fact that Hamas has chosen to end the cease-fire? One thing is clear, that Hamas couldn’t care less about the welfare of the Gazans that it rules with such an iron fist.

    • Donald August 8, 2014, 10:24 AM

      Hamas wants the blockade lifted. Israel refused.

    • Richard Silverstein August 8, 2014, 10:50 AM

      @Melissa Bernard: Don’t you read the news? Many outlets are reporting Israel offered Hamas nothing in the ceasefire talks. Next time why don’t you check the news before accusing me of making things up.

  • Shmuel August 8, 2014, 5:27 AM

    The status quo is not an option for Israel either. That’s why there was a small beginning of negotiation for a few days. After a status quo of 40 odd years Hamas couldn’t wait another day or two to see what happens?
    More fighting will improve their situation?
    Now more innocents will be killed thanks to Hamas’s impatience

    • Richard Silverstein August 8, 2014, 10:47 AM

      @Shmuel: Of course the status quo suits Israel. It’s desperately fought to maintain it since 1948 since a real solution would mean giving up too many prerogatives & regional hegemony.

    • David August 8, 2014, 7:35 PM

      @Schmuel Let’s be clear here. If more innocents are killed they will be because of Israeli heroic guns and bombs on a nearly defenseless civilian population despite the fact that such killing does not stop rockets. So the death of the innocents will be gratuitous. The real problem with all this blather about rockets and tunnels is that they are not the issue at all. Israel is determined never to negotiate, period, as any negotiation means giving up control that Israel possesses. The idea in Gaza is to destroy Hamas as a part of a Unity government so there will be no pressure to negotiate at all.

      I firmly believe that Israel is extorting just such an arrangement from the US. They will stop killing children if, and only if, the “peace process” and “negotiations” go away never to return. They hold the gun to the kid’s head and tell US and world public opinion that unless they bury any expectation of negotiations, they will kill the kid. This is Israeli ethics. Very classic extortion.

      • Mary Hughes Thompson August 8, 2014, 9:01 PM

        A truce was signed November 21, 2012 which included the following:
        “Israel agrees to “stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals”. In exchange it committed “all Palestinian factions” to “stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border”.”

        The truce – announced in Cairo by Egypt’s foreign minister, Mohamed Kamel Amr, and the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton – also included a pledge to open border crossings.

        Israel violated the ceasefire before the ink was dry, and hundreds of time since. Israel admits that Hamas never violated it, not once. Yet the border crossings remained closed, and Israel continued to kill Palestinian fishermen, farmers and others at will, frequently making incursions into Gaza just for the pleasure of driving tanks over agricultural fields ready to be harvested.

        The Palestinians in Gaza have learned that Israel can not be trusted, so who can blame them if they demand the blockade be lifted before they sign any ceasefire? I mean, would you trust Israel? I wouldn’t.

        link to theguardian.com

  • Shmuel August 8, 2014, 5:36 AM

    And Oui, what is ‘performing the hasbara act’?
    Is that just some knee-jerk reaction from you to dismiss an opinion not in accordance with yours? Is use of slogans relevant or ‘smart’?
    Do you have the answer to a serious question: are the people of Gaza better off now or before Hamas began firing rockets into Israel? History will prove that each time there was some operation against Hamas the Palestinians are worse off. Also tomorrow they will be worse off than today because of Hamas intransigence.

    • Daniel Rocha August 8, 2014, 6:45 AM

      This is a sacrifice that must be done in order to accomplish justice. War is hell, but it is an imperative necessity in many cases. For example, deter the Nazis, to end the Japanese Empire, to end slavery in USA (secession) and in many Caribbean Islands (slave revolts), war for independence in countless countries.

      You have to understand that living in a prison or as 3rd class citizens, or a vermin, for the whole life is a sacrifice people are ready to go through in order to live decently and not to live in humiliation

      • Mary Hughes Thompson August 8, 2014, 9:14 PM


        Are the people of Gaza better off than they were before Israel invaded them again?

        Were Jews and others in the Warsaw Ghetto better off after they decided to stand up and fight the Nazis who with their vastly more powerful weapons were determined to annihilate them?

        Of course not. But like the Jewish Resistance in Warsaw, the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza – backed by the people of Gaza – are telling Israel: “If you are going to kill us anyway, and it seems you are, you’ll have to do it while we are standing tall.” Sort of like that Masada story, where Jews allegedly decided they preferred death to slavery.

        “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” Emiliano Zapata

        • Steve Rhodes September 29, 2014, 5:55 PM

          Well said Mary . I totally agree .

    • David August 8, 2014, 7:43 PM

      Of course they are better off. The world knows that they will plainly sacrifice for justice and they have respect for this worldwide. If you take out the paid for propaganda of the Zionists, nobody respects Israel for this genocide, no matter what they say, no matter what phony excuses they articulate. Nobody, not even its friends. Everybody has clearly and vividly seen the Zionist beast in all its pathological glory and nothing will be the same for Israel going forward. All the organizations dedicated to lying for Israel working overtime will not put this humpty dumpty back together.

  • Ari Greenfield August 8, 2014, 11:20 AM

    I don’t mean to go off topic but I’m curious if there is a way to set my email subscription settings to receive notifications of new comments w/out first having to comment on a story and checking the “notify me of follow up comments” box? In other words, is it possible to receive automatic new comment notifications in the same way I get automatic notifications each time a new story is posted?

    Hopefully this makes sense….

  • Oui August 8, 2014, 3:02 PM

    Jewish CIDI in Amsterdam coordinated a full-page ad in Dutch conservative newspaper De Telegraaf. The intent was for prominent citizens to join forces against anti-semitism as a result of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

    Dutch politician and Islamophobe Geert Wilders signed up in support for the ad, however his name and signature did not make the final draft. Geert upset of course, he got suppport from another single-person party Herman Loonstein of Federatief Joods Nederland.

    • shachalnur August 9, 2014, 5:30 AM

      De Telegraaf let CIDI place this ad for free.

      Holland and anti-Semitism is a twisted affair,stemming from WW2 and the moment an actor, Jules Croiset,enacted his own abduction and even carved a swastika in his chest,blaming anti-Semites..

      de Telegraaf has a very dubious history if it comes to WW2,and it’s a paper in dire financial trouble,on the verge of collapse.

      CIDI has lost most credibility for lying and Hasbara for too many years,and the current face is Esther Voet,a very arrogant self rightious creature that causes nausea in most people in Holland.

      The reaction of most Dutch is very negative to CIDI and Telegraaf’s behaviour and if there’s anything creating anti-Semitism in Holland it’s organizations like CIDI,people who seem to have only one goal:create hate towards Jews.

      Why can these people do this?

      basically official(CIDI created)Dutch WW2 history is the cause,and it sounds like this:

      Hitler personally came to look for the Jews to put them into the trains and into the gasschambers.

      And the Dutch were too busy being active in the resistance.

      The truth is more the opposite,though.

      This twisted narrative has caused a special situation in Holland: CIDI and organizations like them can puke any rubbish,and anybody(Jew or non-Jew) questioning the official version will be flattened or blackmailed.

      People in Holland ,Jew or not,are really getting upset with the CIDI’s of this world,and the fact this sick psy-op is going on has more to do with the fact that Holland(and CIDI) is very connected to the London Banker-side in their confrontation with BRICS.

      Comparing Loonstein(Orthodox Jew) with Wilders is not correct,the latter is controlled opposition,whipping up hate against Muslims,like CIDI whips up hate against Jews.

      • Oui August 9, 2014, 1:00 PM

        Thanks for the expansion on CIDI and their new president Esther Voet. You are harsher than I would write, their previous president Ronny Naftaniel was quite moderate. Perhaps CIDI has to compete with Likoed Nederland in this age of increased hasbara and propaganda. The stats of incidents of anti-semitisme would see a sudden increase when either Israel would do a bombing run on Hezbollah or Palestinians and when the Feyenoord hooligans would visit Ajax FC in Amsterdam. LOL

        I did write quite some criticism about Likud minister Uri Rosenthal handling Dutch foreign affairs.

        If you followed my link, Herman Loonstein voiced his support for Geert Wilders who was banned from the CIDI ad.

  • poirefrais August 8, 2014, 9:26 PM

    Netanyahu has been criticized, leaned on to ‘finish’, what he started. It’s what he wanted, all along.
    Maybe the UNWRA bombing forced a temporary ‘lull’, but that’s all. No willingness to agree to an end to the siege, or even attend the negotiations.
    it was a farce, and always was, the last years, with the non’peace’ talks.
    Stiff necked Netanyahu has an objective and it wasn’t the tunnels.
    I do not know, where to hear the most current, factual, non biased news, but I thank you for your posts, Richard.
    There must not be any more US military aid. Now. How to stop it?
    Not one person is safe in Gaza. Netanyahu must be stopped. People and children are being mutilated and killed.
    I heard Obama authorized food-supplies drops/humanitarian aid attack in Iraq, and air strikes, if considered necessary;
    – “innocent people facing violence on an horrific scale..US cannot stand by” and turn a blind eye ..
    I heard ‘minority’ groups are being persecuted in Iraq, I do not know about these militants, but innocent people have been reportedly, brutally killed and are in danger.

    Today, in Gaza, more strikes, more children died, when Israel attacked today, more deaths. What is missing is Obama’s refusal to condemn (not ‘concern”) Israeli blockade and stop the funding of this war on civilians– and to make the same statement he made today, about not standing by and doing nothing.
    , and no threats of airstrikes, either.

  • poirefrais August 8, 2014, 9:47 PM

    On recognizing what is ‘ barbaric’ :
    Obama: “We must do more”, and how it weighs on ‘our conscience’.
    link to youtube.com
    “Sanctions against Israel must be on the table.”

  • Stretch August 8, 2014, 11:18 PM

    Mr Winter could be a future PM of Israel.

  • Fred Plester August 9, 2014, 10:23 AM

    The large numbers of civilian dead have produced the inevitable response from the British public:

    link to bbc.co.uk

    Public opinion is not informed by fine political detail, but by the sheer size of the civilian body pile, in Gaza as in Northern Iraq.

  • Oui August 9, 2014, 10:42 AM

    President Obama Talks to Thomas L. Friedman About Iraq, Putin and Israel

    “It is amazing to see what Israel has become over the last several decades,” he answered. “To have scratched out of rock this incredibly vibrant, incredibly successful, wealthy and powerful country is a testament to the ingenuity, energy and vision of the Jewish people. [Wow! Do I hear Republican runner-up Mitt Romney talking?] And because Israel is so capable militarily, I don’t worry about Israel’s survival. … I think the question really is how does Israel survive. And how can you create a State of Israel that maintains its democratic and civic traditions. How can you preserve a Jewish state that is also reflective of the best values of those who founded Israel.”

    Added my comments to the interview …

    NYT Interview On Foreign Policy Arguments: Hogwash Mr. President!

  • Richard Silverstein August 8, 2014, 10:54 AM

    @Yoni: If you’re bored let us not stop you from finding more exciting pursuits like those Gaza WAR apps that let you play at killing Palestinians.

    As for playing bad poker hands I’d say Israel is also playing a losing hand. It’s like an addicted gambler who loses his shirt believing each time he bets that he’s going to win & wipe out his previous losses.

  • Richard Silverstein August 8, 2014, 10:57 AM

    @leeor: Col. Ofer Winter is going to star in the new one as I said. We’ll add new names as we uncover them. I doubt you can support your claim with credible evidence, but why don’t you try before I call you a liar? BTW, Bar Kochba too engaged in a losing war as Bibi did. But at least he was fighting to free Judea from Roman occupation. That’s a justification Bibi doesn’t have.

  • Richard Silverstein August 8, 2014, 11:01 AM

    @Frank: Sorry but I do since it’s been widely reported & leaked in the media.

  • leeor August 10, 2014, 2:22 PM

    Which comment, that one of mine you just deleted? What exactly was I lying about, you admitted yourself that the previous list was a mess, and anyone reading the job descriptions can clearly see that some of them were uninvolved low-ranked non-combat soldiers.
    As for Col. Ofer Winter, you’re free to do whatever you wish with him, he has made a complete joke of himself even here in Israel with his religious quotes. I’m willing to bet that it’ll affect his career pretty negatively (as it did for Amidror, if you recall). No one likes an officer with a Messiah complex. It’s bad enough to have MPs like that.

  • Richard Silverstein August 10, 2014, 6:39 PM

    @ leeor: I’m guessing you’re a secular Israeli. Given the settler-Orthodox composition of the IDF officer corps & his “heroics” during this war, I’m guessing he’ll be in line for chief of staff in a few years.

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