Charges of IDF “Wanton Killing” Crumble
The brigade commander of the unit linked to alleged “wanton killings” in Gaza launched his own investigation after hearing of the charges, speaking with actual eyewitnesses, all of whom said that the alleged killings did not took place. The original charges, based only on hearsay and rumors, have therefore been refuted and should be retracted.
The brigade commander’s findings were reported in the Israeli newspaper Maariv, in a story titled “IDF Investigation Refutes the Testimonies About Gaza Killings.” [Hebrew text here] According to the story:
Two central incidents that came up in the testimony, which Danny Zamir, the head of the Rabin pre-military academy presented to Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi, focus on one infantry brigade…
Regarding the incident in which it was claimed that a sniper fired at a Palestinian woman and her two daughters, the brigade commander’s investigation cites the sniper: “I saw the woman and her daughters and I shot warning shots. The section commander came up to the roof and shouted at me, ‘Why did you shoot at them.’ I explained that I did not shoot at them, but I fired warning shots.”
Officers from the brigade surmise that [Israeli] fighters that stayed in the bottom floor of the Palestinian house thought that he hit them, and from here the rumor that a sniper killed a mother and her two daughters spread.
The other alleged incident, the killing by a sniper of an elderly woman, also seems not to have taken place:
Regarding the second incident, in which it was claimed that soldiers went up to the roof to entertain themselves with firing and killed an elderly Palestinian woman, the brigade commander investigation found that there was no such incident.
But this time the perpetrator of the slander was not a Palestinian. It was an Israeli, Danny Zamir, along with the Ha’aretz newspaper and its reporter Amos Harel. Here’s what CAMERA had to say about Zamir:
Since, as Ha’aretz put it, Zamir “does not hide his political opinions,” it seems likely that his former students at the left-leaning Kibbutz-affiliated school knew what Zamir wanted to hear at the meeting, and that only a self-selected group attended. In any event, some of the attendees certainly did not disappoint Zamir, who had been imprisoned by the IDF in 1990 for refusing to serve in the West Bank. They recounted tales of “murder in cold blood,” including seemingly eyewitness accounts of a sniper shooting a woman and two of her children merely because they made a wrong turn, and another sniper killing an old woman.
Zamir wrote an article about the discussion for the academy’s newsletter, which he then provided to the Israeli newspapers Ha’aretz and Maariv, triggering in Ha’aretz alone multiple stories extremely critical of the Israeli army’s alleged conduct (here, here, here, here and here), as well as numerous stories in the foreign press, such as the New York Times, which put its initial report on page one above the fold (here and here). Both the Ha’aretz and the New York Times reports ignored detailed testimony by soldiers of exemplary conduct by the IDF, such as soldiers leaving an envelope of cash for the Palestinian homeowner whose house they had occupied.
(the complete article is here)
Now I’m going to repeat something that I wrote on February 6 in the article about al-Dura linked above. I can’t find a better way to say it:
Many important people in Israel have internalized the propaganda of Israel’s enemies. They are prepared to believe that IDF soldiers would continue to fire on a target like al-Dura and his father, who are obviously not firing back and not even armed, for 40 minutes. This is not the same as saying that ‘accidents happen’, it is agreeing that the IDF is either criminally negligent or deliberately murderous, which is what the Arab and European press constantly say.
It seems to me that some Israelis and Jews have a moral inferiority complex. Even though they would not admit this, deep down they are not sure that Israel has a right to exist. Although they understand intellectually that Israel is in a life and death struggle with the Arab world and Iran, emotionally there is a feeling that we are wrong.
I’ve often criticized people who seem prepared to believe anything bad about Israel, even if it doesn’t make sense, like the accusations that the IDF deliberately targeted civilians in Gaza. Apparently many Israelis, even those that believe themselves to be Zionists, share this propensity.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?