14 thoughts on “James Miller, Subject of ‘Death in Gaza’ Murdered by IDF, May Yet See Justice – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The Captain was exonerated twice. He is innocent. The Brits have no basis for asking for his extradition and there is obviously a political motivation here. The fact that his rifle barrel doesn’t match the deadly bullet IS not proof that the barrels were switched. The Brits have to provide proof that the barrels were switched. It’s ironic that the Limeys are so clever that they know that Captain al-Heib killed James Miller, but they still haven’t figured out whose responsible for the wrongful killing of Jean-Charles de-Menezes. Hypocrites.

  2. Bravo for blogging this important issue .

    The Brits may not have pushed for this case , if it was not the Family of the victim who pushed and Demanded Justice . Usually they close the lid on many cases of abuses and crimes when it suited them . 3 britons who had been tortured in saudi were refused to sue the saudi family full stop . that s not right but Blair somehow believes he does not want to waste the dollars Saudi spends on arms and in hotels and at Rolls Royce .

    But hopefully , the responsibles of the deaths of Hunderell , Miller , Corrie , , ian hook , Raffaele Ciriello , Imad Abu zahra , and many many more . will be punished , but i wont hold my breath . peace to you great site

  3. The Captain was exonerated twice. He is innocent.

    Exonerated twice by an IDF that hardly ever investigates its mistakes let alone prosecutes anyone for them. I trust British justice on this far more than Israeli.

    The Brits have no basis for asking for his extradition

    Amir is known for making such sweeping unwarranted judgments & interestingly always in defense of Israeli interests when they conflict with Palestinian ones. You’ll never hear him criticize Israeli interests, at least not here. How can you justify such statements? Do you have the evidence before you? Are you a military prosecutor or government official involved in the case? Have you explored the physical evidence?

    Unlike IDF officials or intelligence operatives who make similar statements, when the British attorney general, esp. one who is Jewish, says he has evidence that the physical evidence was tampered with, I take such statements extremely seriously. If the evidence wasn’t tampered with then the IDF should be able to prove a physical chain of custody that would’ve prevented the evidence fr. being tampered with. Let’s examine the logs. I’m pretty sure the Brits have strong evidence of tampering otherwise they would not have made such a potentially incendiary charge.

  4. So why don’t the Brits make their evidence public, like you are demanding with the evidence against Bishara?

  5. They’ve presented their evidence to Mazuz because they want him to prosecute. If either Mazuz or the Brits do prosecute the evidence will all come out in due time.

    As for Bishara, the Shin Bet had an opportunity to prosecute him & present whatever actual (as opposed to trumped up made-for-media) evidence they have in a court of law (which is what the Brits want to happen in the MIller case), if they’d really wanted to do so–by refusing to allow him to leave the country. They chose to let him go.

    I would welcome a full trial of Bishara & believe he should’ve returned & dared the Israelis to try him. But I’m not him. I fully understand though what it must be like to be an eternal target of persecution & prosecution by the Israeli security services. It’s not a life I’d relish.

    Here in the U.S. we had many supposedly traitorous figures in the U.S. in the 1960s & 70s who were similarly hounded, many of them either to jail or early graves by our FBI & CIA including Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, Daniel Ellsberg, virtually all the Black Panther leaders, the Chicago 7, the list goes on and on.

  6. Richard – Can you speak to the issue of Miller’s accused killer being an Arab-Israeli. I’m not sure if that has made a difference, but I’m interesting in hearing from you and your readers on it.

    Thanks.

  7. the issue of Miller’s accused killer being an Arab-Israeli. I’m not sure if that has made a difference

    I am not sure of the precise ethnic identity of the soldier. He clearly is Arab. But as to whether he is Druze, Bedouin or Israeli Arab these distinctions make a difference. Most Israeli Arabs refuse to serve in the IDF, while Druze and Bedouin serve readily and often with distinction. The officer convicted of killing Tom Hurndall was a Bedouin.

    I think it an especial tragedy when an Arab (whether Bedouin, Druze or otherwise) kills someone like James Miller who is protesting the Occupation, which inflicts such tremendous suffering on the former’s Palestinian cousins. It creates a great, ironic ring of tragedy.

  8. Since the question came up, the captain is a bedouin.
    Yesterday’s Haaretz (Hebrew print edition) had an article, almost a page long on the case, by Akiva Eldar. It was a the start of the second intifada. Twenty minutes befroe the incident the force of 9 soldiers were shot at from the direction of where the film crew was later. It was a very dark night. The investigation found that the bullet which was removed from Miller’s neck was not shot from the barrel of any of the nine soldiers. Since the weapons were collected several days after incident, it was possible for them to change the barrels. The investigation took this into acount. The nine soldiers were interrogated including with a polygraph test. One of soldiers was imprisoned with an undercover informer. None of these tests were able to confirm that the soldiers switched barrels or that any of the soldiers knew that the others switched barrels. How likely is it that nine different people can fool a polygraph test? The investigation took the film footage (which can be seen at youtube) and peformed ballistic and forensic tets at the site of the incident and concluded that the force most probably could not see the white flag or hear the calls made by the film crew that they were journalists, from where they were stationed. They concluded that the first two gunshots were fired from a different direction and the rest were fired by the Captain. According to Mazuz the evidence exonerating the captain is weighty and forcefull (my translation). The British investigative team concluded that all the gunshots came from the same direction, but did they perform ballistic tests at the site of the incident?
    I would say you are pretty careless with the term “murder.”

  9. Twenty minutes befroe the incident the force of 9 soldiers were shot at from the direction of where the film crew was later.

    But there was no shooting at all at the precise time the patrol confronted the film crew. Plus, 13 seconds before Miller was murdered one of his crew screamed out that they were filmmakers thus clearly notifying the soldiers of their identity.

    The investigation found that the bullet which was removed from Miller’s neck was not shot from the barrel of any of the nine soldiers.

    You mean the “IDF investigation,” don’t you. The highly dubious, clearly self-interested IDF investigation which almost never finds fault w. any action by the IDF (see the recent exoneration of the Border Police in the murder of Abir Aramin). You phrase yourself in quite an oblique way so as to say that none of the guns examined fired the killing shot, while you admit that the barrels might’ve been switched. Which means that tampering, as the British AG has claimed was entirely possible. Which would turn this case into a conspiracy to subvert justice–a very serious charge.

    According to Mazuz the evidence exonerating the captain is weighty and forcefull

    Yes, this is the same AG who claimed essentially that Moshe Katsav was a rapist & then did a flip flop explainging the evidence wasn’t so strong after all & that all he could justify was slapping the fellow’s wrist. How trustworthy is such a legal figure? And if the evidence is so forceful why did Mazuz respond to the British AG with an offer to reexamine the case?

    There are so very many cases in which Israeli soldiers have deliberately shot & killed journalists, filmmakers & unarmed civilians that calling this a murder is by no means a stretch.

    Having now reviewed the Akiva Eldar column you reference above, I find it unconscionable that you imply the article supports the case against charging Al-Heib. You neglect the following interesting material from Eldar regarding the testimony of the nine soliders in the IDF APC which killed Miller:

    However, he [AG Mazuz] continues, “contradictions were found in the [soldiers’] testimony on this matter.”

    Mazuz also mentions “contradictions on certain points between the testimonies of the soldiers” regarding the circumstances of the incident, but he emphasizes that “there is no real debate, because at the time of the last shots, around 11 P.M., the only one firing was the commander of the force, First Lieutenant H.” As opposed to the announcement by the IDF spokesman, who claimed that at the time of the incident there were exchanges of fire in the area, Mazuz points out that the investigative report determines “that for quite a while prior to the last firing carried out by First Lieutenant H., there was quiet at the scene

    According to the report, H. and his soldiers knew in advance that there were journalists at the site.

  10. I would like to point out to Amir that a British investigation was carried out at the scene within 36 hours of the incident, commissioned by channel 4. No Israeli forensics were taken at the scene which was bulldozed by IDF forces 48 hours later. The Paskal (surveillance) tape for that area, for that night went “missing”. Lt Heib was the most senior of all those interrrogated and his polygraph was inconclusive. He said in his testimony “I could have hit the Brit, but there was no match found between the bullet and my gun…” We have all heard that the rifles were not impounded for two weeks allowing ample time for tampering.
    Also noteworthy is the fact that the investigation process in such circumstances has been changed by General Mandelblitt (Israeli Judge Advocate General) in response to the obvious flaws in the original investigation that made the gathering of sufficient evidence more difficult. If he had had faith in the original investigation would he have done this? Don’t feel too confident that Heib has been “exonerated” until you have a better idea of what happens in the process to “exonerate” him – and that is the purpose of the process – not a lot!

  11. Amir, your writing indicates you don’t give a hoot about any truth which might implicate Israel in a negative fashion. Unfortunately much conform the current political climate in Israel. What is remarkable that people like you find it even worthwhile the effort to keep up appearances to the contrary.

  12. i’ve read several cases like this, and none of this solved yet. because of some factors :

    1. the investigation is invalid or too subjective
    2. the evidence is not enough or maybe invalid if its taken by the way that violate the court’s rule of evidence
    3. there is no response from the army since they said that its a part of their military objective

    i just wanna know, is there actually one case that is solved with the army compensate the victim family or being arrested by the order of the court?
    i know there are cases where they actually do compensate the family without actually make a thorough investigation by the court.

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