12 thoughts on “‘Not an Element of Truth’ in Gaza War Crimes Stories – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Speaking on my own behalf and not on JTA’s:

    JTA reported the story earlier this week (http://is.gd/pc4n) as it was understood then, and followed up briefly with a blogpost consisting chiefly of other people’s criticism of our coverage. We would be remiss in our reporting if we did not also publish the army’s rebuttal as well as criticism of the charges from other prominent sources.

    Nowhere in his post does Ami assert any sort of personal ruling on the matter, nor did he remotely “accept at face value” the positions of CAMERA and Liebler. His title, with its hanging question mark, seems to reflect that, from an objective standpoint, this story has become an unresolved matter. Unfortunately, just because you’ve already convicted the accused doesn’t make you right.

    I’ve had the same issue with you, time and again for years now, Richard. You are looking for demons around every corner, and since you’ve already convinced yourself that they’re there, you always find them.

    1. Dan gets most things wrong here. First, Ami wasn’t reporting the army’s criticism of the report (except indirectly through CAMERA & Isi Liebler). He was in actuality reporting the unfounded accusations of two highly partisan sites which used almost no facts in smearing the IDF soldiers’ testimony. And the Maariv story which Eden refers to isn’t even an official IDF statement about the war crimes charges. It is a personal, unofficial investigation by the commander of the unit accused of war crimes with a vested interest in clearing his unit & reputation.

      Even using the term “blood libel” with a question mark conveys far too much credit to those two sites’ accusations. Does anyone in their right mind except pro-Israel nationalist sites & individuals believe the soldiers’ testimonies come remotely close to being blood libel? If not, then why would Eden choose to use this term?

      So this is not, as you claim, “an unresolved matter.” These incidents happened. The soldiers who were there recounted them. No one who was there has denied them directly & in their own words. In fact, the AP today carries a story from the Gaza side tying the 2 most horrific incidents to specific, named Gazans who died in the incidents the soldiers’ recounted. The circle closes…yet to you it is still unresolved. This is typical of JTA pulling punches on behalf of a faulty Israeli policy.

      It is once again typical of JTA (& Dan unfortunately, at least in this instance) that when he looks at IDF behavior in Gaza he doesn’t see demons, he sees an unresolved matter. 30 Palestinian medics murdered. White phosphorus raining down on civilians, 1,000 civilians dead. Women and children killed in cold blood by IDF soldiers’ own testimony. Israeli & international human rights groups calling for war crimes investigation. THose aren’t demons and I’m seeing things, right?

      Dan, it’s unfortunate in defending your employer and your friend & co-worker, Ami Eden, that you go soft on what happened in these incidents recounted by the soldiers, preferring to give credence to a self-interested IDF commander, a Likudnik propagandist who never served in the IDF, & an anti-Arab group that never met an Israeli war it didn’t support.

  2. Yes, it is the JTA blog format’s fault, not yours.
    (This is not the first time I have noticed you getting sloppy with quotes).

  3. People believe what they want to believe.

    Even if a neutral investigation would take place, managed by people of sterling honesty and integrity and a report confirming these conclusions issued, the now substantial army of knee-jerk deniers and accusers would emerge full force to soothe their minions consciences.

    1. I suspect that many of the commenters on this site were once, like myself, supporters of Israel. Events DO change the way people see things and their opinions.

    1. JTA’s blogmaster doesn’t cotton to my criticism of his grahpical choices for the JTA blog so he introduces a bit of snark in an attempt to insult me. Not only that, he calls me an “asshole” in a private e mail which he doesn’t have the guts to do in his comment here.

      You’ll notice in this blog that my blockquote system has a line from the top to the bottom of the quote which clearly indicates where it begins and ends. The JTA blog has one quotation mark at the beginning of the quote but nothing indicating where it ends. Though it is true that the blockquote is indented, when typefaces and font sizes are small, sometimes indentation isn’t enough to make the quotation clear. Though of course Dan’s choices are always superb and unquestionable.

  4. Richard, Ami Eden left a huge impression on me. It took a while till I traced him. I encountered him vocally in the media discussion of the J-Street’s first poll. He was in fact the only person among many journalists who actually asked the kind of questions, I would have asked myself, at the very end of the audio briefing of the 2008 poll.

    Based on this knowledge, I am assuming that Eden, is actually passing on the decision to the leader. Go read this two statements compare with our article and decide if it is wise to call this blood libel.

    To compare such reports to the behavior of converts during the Middle Ages is not only idiotic, but a perversion of our history. Not to mention that Liebler insults the soldiers doubly by comparing them to medieval Jewish “turncoats” who did great damage to their community.

    Here I guess I would use even a harsher critique. It’s not especially ingenious to use blood libel in the context of war atrocities.

    To me it feels that the use of Blood Libel in such a context is highly dangerous. It’s pretty easy to see where such an accusation can lead a fast-dot-connecting mind.

    But then? Maybe that’s why it is used.

    Oh, I have no preview button. Can I submit at all?

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