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Beitunia killings and the media's incredibly high bar for Palestinian stories

Faced with the most striking evidence, the Israeli media continues to treat the Palestinian version of the killings as a fabrication, demanding more and more evidence of wrongdoing; that is how the public is taught, day by day, that the reality of occupation isn’t worthy of its attention.

The mother of Nadim Siam Abu Nuwara mourns over her son who was shot and killed by Israeli army during a Nakba Day protest near Ofer military prison the previous day, May 16, 2014. Mohammed Awad Salemeh Abu Thaher, 22, was also shot and killed at the same demonstration.

The mother of Nadim Siam Abu Nuwara mourns over her son who was shot and killed by Israeli army during a Nakba Day protest near Ofer military prison the previous day, May 16, 2014.

Ever since I left working on the sports pages and began dealing with current affairs, I remember myself trying to initiate stories on the Palestinian issue. Writing about the West Bank and Gaza seemed to me the most crucial contribution an Israeli paper can make. Besides, there were always great stories, of all kinds, in the occupied territories.

Israelis walk around feeling they know everything about the occupation and the conflict, but my impression has always been that this more of a defense mechanism than a fact of life. I often meet internationals who have traveled on the ground and know their way around better than most of the Jewish public. The more I deal with the occupation, the more I understand how much more I have to learn.

But the real problem in the media organizations I worked for was never a shortage of knowledge or good stories, but rather, self-censorship. In the most grotesque moments, the orders came straight from the top. I specifically remember an op-ed by our publisher at Maariv, Ofer Nimrodi, published during Cast Lead. In it Nimrodi apologized to his readers and to the army’s soldiers and generals, for a text by one of our regular columnists that criticized the IDF’s conduct.

Another time, the late editor of Maariv, Amnon Dankner, stood on the newsroom floor screaming at the editor of the the weekend magazine: “Israelis don’t want a picture of an Arab terrorist with rotting teeth on the front page of their holiday paper!” The thing that made him jump was an exclusive interview one reporter got with Laila Khaled in Amman.

Things got worse after Cast Lead. After the operation ended, we sat – the magazine’s editor and myself – with the heads of human rights organization B’Tselem. They presented us with the findings of their investigations, documenting numerous cases of civilian casualties, which could have been avoided, or at times – even seemed intentional. The attempt to turn this into a feature story was buried under excuses from the paper’s editors: it was a non-item, not interesting enough, not new, and so on. We all began to seriously deal with some of those cases – and the IDF even ended up putting soldiers on trials – only following the Goldstone Report and some publications in the international media.

The threshold for Palestinian stories has been on the rise ever since. To get a story published that actually dealt with Palestinians, it needed to be increasingly unique. Most of the time, there wasn’t even a real need to censor anything. Everybody in the paper understood.

Readers hated such stories, too. At a time when newspapers are collapsing, this is no small thing. Israelis often ask why their own human rights organizations turn to the international community with their stories and findings, but they should actually be wondering why neither the public nor the Hebrew-language media are interested in this material.

For a story to break into the mainstream conversation, it had to really have rare qualities: say, a blonde Danish guy who is rammed with a rifle by an army colonel during a bicycle protest in the Jordan Valley. Plus, there was a need for awesome media, preferably video. Testimonies by real people – which has always comprised the heart of journalistic writing – account to nothing when it comes to Palestinians. Photos are only slightly better.

If one thought that video cameras or mobile devices would solve this issue, as far as the Israeli media is concerned, not much has changed. A new myth emerged – that most Palestinian material is fabricated, or “manipulatively edited,” or any other nonsense that is meant to cast doubt on the entire event, and not less important – to deprive it of any context, as if the protest is not taking place under occupation, as if there is no reason for this “riot,” and so on.

There is always the chance that a video is manipulated or fabricated, including the current clips from the protest outside Ofer Prison – the one showing the killing of two Palestinian minors. Yet such fabrications are the rare exception, not the norm a journalist encounters. Most videos are real, most witnesses are reliable.

Specifically, there are 21 gigabytes of videos from the Beitunia shooting, taken from four security cameras; there are hours of tape from that day. There are the real bodies of two dead Palestinians. There are the reports from the hospital they were taken to. Even Israel doesn’t doubt the basic facts – that a couple of teens were killed in that protest.

And yet, when it comes to the Israeli media, the common response was rather skeptical. On Channel 10, Yaron London – not a raving right-winger – actually concluded that this was a fabrication. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and the headline in Israel’s most widely read paper, Yisrael Hayom, said pretty much the same thing. The other important daily, Yedioth, spoke of “a controversy.” The military correspondent in the widely watched Channel 2 News, Roni Daniel, sounded doubtful. They all chose to be blind, and to hell with their responsibility to the public.

This is why the Israeli mainstream seems to be divided between those who doubt the Palestinian version and those who think that shooting at unarmed protesters is not such a bad idea. This is why political decisions are taken in a public atmosphere that is as mean as it is ignorant. The results are as catastrophic as one could expect.

Two more notes: (a) because of the sensational character of the West Bank coverage in the Israeli media, directly resulting from the rise of the emotional and journalistic threshold to absurd levels, the “coverage” becomes an aggregation of bizarre, unrelated incidents, most of them not that severe. Someone is hit, another guy is threatened with a loaded gun – the sort of stuff you see in every city. Palestinians are killed almost every week in the territories, homes are demolished on a regular basis; people are arrested, beaten and humiliated every day. But if you ask the average Israeli, he thinks that what takes place in the West Bank is not that different from the pushing and shoving at the entrance to a rock concert anywhere else. That’s what they see.

(b) As far as the media’s dealings with the security forces goes, it’s the exact opposite: the bar is constantly lowered. The most heavily edited, most manipulative clips shown on Israeli television in recent years were from the Mavi Marmara. The IDF confiscated all the media from the numerous journalists on board, but released only several clips of few seconds each, edited, marked with arrows and other graphics, put in slow-motion at times. Did any of the journalists, local and international, who aired these clips bother to demand the release of the raw footage? Did anyone ask “what happened prior to those images?” as they do now?

At times, those clips only served the political needs of senior generals. On the day the army’s chief of staff testified before the committee investigating the raid on the Mavi Marmara, and “by pure coincidence,” the IDF Spokesperson released a (heavily edited) clip showing MK Hanin Zoabi confronting soldiers on board the ship. You could guess what the center of the media’s attention was that day.

Related
WATCH: Footage shows Israeli army’s killing of two Palestinian teens
Human rights NGO: Investigate senior IDF officers over Ofer killings

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    COMMENTS

    1. Tomer

      Anyone with half a brain understands the incidents were totally fabricated by the Jordanians that now call themselves the “p” people.

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        Half a brain. Can’t argue with that.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Rab

      The reason for so much skepticism has to do with the non-stop lies by the Palestinians and their allies.

      Take the Jenin fight in 2002 as an example.

      Take the Al Dura affair.

      Take Palestinian leaders saying one thing in English and something completely different in Arabic. Or worse, Hamas being completely straightforward about their goals.

      Take the countless lies and attacks in the UN, led by Palestinian allies.

      Consider the numerous lies NGOs brought forth in Cast Lead on behalf of the Palestinians, not the least of which was how many were killed and whether they were civilians or not (egregiously trying to prove there were more civilian deaths than fighter deaths). Poor Goldstone actually had to walk back from his own report.

      Along with trying to blow Israelis up, Palestinians and their Arab state friends have used the media and foreign bodies of influence such as the UN to press their agenda. Of course there’s going to be reluctance to accept their stories at face value.

      And Noam, please don’t act so surprised. Many Israelis who side with the Palestinians have participated in these lies either by supporting them or finding ways to excuse them or to deflect attention from the real issues at hand. Your own website here is advocating openly for boycott of Israel.

      So it’s not a lack of interest or some gap in the Israeli psyche, there are plenty of Palestinian-side-of-the-story articles and TV news pieces. Rather, it’s a lack of faith because Israelis understand they are in a war and the other side is doing what it can to gain advantage, leverage and what they hope will be victory. Israelis are being prudent by recognizing that it’s not justice, peace or truth that are being sought, but destruction of Israel and what this society has built. Nobody, except for a few extreme leftists, is naive.

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        Yep. Sure.

        And Isreali politicians never, or at least rarely lie.
        Like all politicians worldwide, actually, except for those dirty Arabs of course!

        Am I right? Rab? Am I?

        Reply to Comment
        • Rab

          Well, there’s a former Israeli PM who is going to prison and a former president of Israel who is going to prison, so apparently Israeli politicians do lie.

          Why, what’s your point?

          Reply to Comment
    3. annie

      great article noam, thanks. i’ve pretty much given up on israeli society fixing itself. it’s time for international investigations and retributions to follow. this has to end. of course, the most common israeli response will be that we’re the problem and we’re all singling out israel. so be it, let them say it. we need a fundamental change to take place (for the better) and the chance it will come from within is nil.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Indeed, it’s all Israel’s fault. It’s all our fault. The other side is immaculate. We can’t fix ourselves. Let the International Community come in and fix us with “investigations”, “retributions” and BDS. We need to be punished and taught a lesson. And who is the “International Community” exactly? Well , that’s the good ole Europeans and the Muslims, that’s Iran, Saudi Arabia, CAR, Indonesia, DRC, Pakistan, Cuba. Afghanistan, Venezuela, Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, etc. Let these eminently civilized and enlightened members of the International Community come in and bring the Jewish State to her knees and put the Jewish People in their place. What a disgusting self-hate! What a sickening delusion! Obviously you and your ilk have failed miserably, time and time again to achieve your political goals through the ballot box and now resort to blackmail and appeals to foreign governments to punish Israel, destroy her economy and ability to defend herself with the sole goal of subverting the democratic Will of the People Of Israel in your idiosyncratic favor. That is treason, ma’am. And that’s undemocratic.

        Reply to Comment
        • annie

          treason? self hate? it’s unfortunate you can’t take the criticism seriously and need to resort to exaggeration. no one called anyone emmaculate yet clearly the situation is compounding. if there’s delusion here it’s israeli society and it’s a very sad state of affairs you can’t see this murder for what it is and apparently have no compunction to find the killer(s).

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            One the one hand you claim that ‘no one called anyone immaculate’. On the other hand you claim that ‘Israel is to blame for everything’. Both claims are mutually exclusive and can’t be correct at the same time. Regarding your claim of murder I will tell you this: in a democratic society founded on the Rule Of Law, you may not call anyone (including IDF soldiers) a murderer without due process and lawful criminal conviction. This is not just a matter of law but also a demand of common decency and civility. A Military Police investigation is ongoing re the alleged murders. The results thereof we fervently await. In the mean time, would you be kind enough to use the video clips and make a coherent case for murder? Shouting ‘murder’ and just pointing to the video clips as evidence ain’t remotely enough – or “is the bar incredibly high”?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Tzutzik

      “… and retributions”

      Think before you act. We will no longer believe nice slogans like your kind, Annie dear, came up with:

      “Arbait macht frei”

      Hurt us, and be prepared for consequences.

      Reply to Comment
      • shachalnur

        Could you at least spell it correctly,you monoglot.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          “Could you at least spell it correctly,you monoglot.”

          Talking to yourself again, Shachalnur?

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Ohhh ok then. Arbeit. Happy now?

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            “Rabota delayet svobodnym”

            Nikolsky Gates of Solovetsky Kremlin(1920’s)

            Origin; London Banker controlled Bolsjeviks.

            Kein Schwanz ist so hart wie das Leben.

            Especially yours.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Blah blah blah twitter on, twit.

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Keep reading.

            The teacher will come when the pupil is ready.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            I am a stiff necked Jew. You are wasting your time with me.

            Then again, I might manage to teach YOU a thing or two. One never knows.

            Pins and needles anyone?

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Happy to hear at least your neck is stiff,wie das Leben.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            On October 17th 19… Whatever, Mrs Faputznik took her dog for a walk.

            At the same time ….

            As a consequence, because of both those highly significant events, the world changed profoundly.

            That’s how your reasoning goes Shachalnur. Two plus two equals five … Yea, right and fairies and hobgoblins and …

            Reply to Comment
    5. Danny

      As a general rule, Israelis think most if not all Arabs are natural born liars and cheats, and the mistrust in Israeli society for Arabs runs very deep. Of course, the fact that their own government is made up of expert liars and cheats – with the head of it being a man who literally never got caught telling truth about anything – fails to alter their perception and mistrust of Arabs.

      Anti-Arab racism in Israel has reached the point of no return, and there is literally nothing the Palestinians can say or do that will extract any sympathy for their plight from the average Israeli.

      Unfortunately, the only solution to the status quo is BDS because Israelis will respond to direct threats, even if they don’t believe that anything wrong is going on in the occupied territories.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        “Unfortunately, the only solution to the status quo is BDS because Israelis will respond to direct threats”

        We will respond. But not in the way that haters like you Danny expect us to.

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          You will respond in the way most human beings respond to motivational stimuli – you will change your ways in response to punishment and reward. The problem so far has been that Israel has gotten only reward and no punishment for its behavior. That will change, and so will you.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “You will respond in the way most human beings respond to motivational stimuli”

            “you will change your ways in response to punishment and reward”

            Funny that. Are you saying that the Palestinian Arabs are not human beings? Are you a closet racist Danny?

            Reply to Comment
    6. Ginger Eis

      It is unfortunate that far-leftist Jewish NGO’s and journalists are now begging for the right to be mediocre and for their inferior journalistic works to be treated as master pieces! This is un-Jewish and thus a sad day in the House Of Zion. Dear Mr. Sheizaf, allegations of murder, war crimes and crimes against humanity belong to the most serious of crimes. In Israel’s case such allegations are used as very powerful weapons of war to smear and dehumanize Jews AROUND THE WORLD and to delegitimize the Jewish State with the goal of bringing about her destruction. Israelis understand that very well and will fight back vigorously with vehemence. When you accuse us of murdering Palestinian-Arabs “on a daily basis”, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity and demand the arrest and trial of IDF Officers in International Criminal Tribunals, it hurts us personally and as a People. As the plaintiff, you bear the burden of proof. When called upon have to prove your case beyond REASONABLE doubt, you have no right to complain that “the bar is incredibly high” and demand of us to equate your mediocrity with excellence. The two video clips provided by you et al. as evidence of “cold blooded murder” of Nadeem Siam Nawara and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh are in fact proof of NOTHING and would NEVER be accepted as evidence in any court in any Western democracy and because you are unable to meet the “reasonable-doubt” standard, you demand special treatment and want the bar lowered. What a pity. What a Chutzpah!

      Reply to Comment
      • Itamar

        Dear Ginger, what court system do you recommend these people’s families should turn to?

        Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        I have no choice but to praise your accaimed reading comprehension, Ginger.

        I quote you:
        “When you accuse us of murdering Palestinian-Arabs “on a daily basis”

        I quote Noam’s text:
        “Palestinians are killed ALMOST every WEEK in the territories”

        *Applause*

        Really, I’m genuinely impressed!

        And by the way, name ONE Army of any state that at leat one war that HAS NOT commited any war crimes.

        Except for the IDF of course. They have NEVER, EVER committed any war crimes of any kind, not even of the smallest kind!

        Furthermore, would statements from trained and professional doctors and medical experts also be “proof of NOTHING and [] NEVER be accepted as evidence in any court in any Western democracy”???

        I’m just asking, because I live in another country in the Western World, and my experiences differ “slightly”.

        Or is that maybe only the case because those medical professionals are Palestinian, and for you and others, by definition dirty, lying scum?

        Reply to Comment
        • Felix Reichert

          That one line was supposed to read:

          And by the way, name ONE Army of any state that at has fought at least one war, that HAS NOT commited any war crimes.

          Reply to Comment
        • Steve

          Felix ~ “Except for the IDF of course. They have NEVER, EVER committed any war crimes of any kind, not even of the smallest kind! ”

          A very arrogant statement, every Army, including the IDF has, don’t lie.

          Reply to Comment
        • Shmuel

          Get over yourself Felix. Contrary to your implication Israel has charged soldiers who commit crimes. Many times. Here is just one example:

          http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE98S0FH20130929?irpc=932

          Your problem is that contrary to your expectations, Israel does not charge it’s soldiers with crimes every time an allegation is made against them which would be every day, as Ginger said. But neither does any other army. Because allegations are just allegations, not crimes.

          As far as your call to ban us, that just reveals your fascist mentality. You guys love to criticize but hate to be criticized.

          Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            How often were there soldiers acquitted?
            And how often, if actually convicted, did they receive more than a symbolic slap on the wrist as punishment?

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            Felix

            You made an allegation and I produced evidence that your allegation was an empty allegation and not backed up by facts.

            I’ll stop there. You know why? Because you sound to be the type of fellow who will believe whatever you want to believe. That we are evil. I don’t see it as my life’s mission to keep on providing you with more and more facts which you will just continue to question. Nor do I aspire to extinguish your hate for us. You want to hate us? Then please do.

            You want to play the human rights dude? Go and play it with your own army. Or on Hamas, you will find that they too, like us are less then perfect (sarcasm).

            But above all, if you want less human rights violations, then be against the war mongers. And remember, in this 100 year conflict, we are not the war mongers. We are not the ones who claim that all of Palestine is ours. The Arabs claim that. That is why they won’t end the war with us. Because we are still here.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            And another thing Felix.

            Could you please give us an instance when Palestinians punish terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians including our children?

            Look at the links which Tzutzik gave below. You will find that rather than punishing their terrorists, Abbas the “peacemaker” rewards them and decorates them.

            I suppose that does not upset a do gooder “liberal” like you, does it Felix?

            Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        When Israel says that it is the homeland of all the world’s Jews then the world has the right to think of all Jews as occupiers and oppressors. The world has the right then to point the finger at the world’s Jews and place the blame for some of what Israel does on those Jews.

        As a Jew I say that Israel is NOT my homeland. It never was and it never will be and I will not accept the blame for what my tribe does because they do not do it in my name. But I will blame the members of my tribe who are responsible for what they do, including the murder of the two boys and the murder of other Palestinian children. I will blame those who two days ago destroyed 1500 fruit trees belonging to a Palestinian family who has owned the land since Ottoman times. The trees were destroyed in order to drive the family off the land so that a nearby illegal settlement can take their land. I blame. I blame. I blame the damned occupation that has taken far too many lives on both sides. I blame those who want to continue the occupation. I blame.

        Those two boys were not killed in my name. They were killed in the name of Israel. Many hundreds of Palestinian kids have not been killed in my name. Thousands of Palestinian homes have not been demolished in my name. Illegal settlement have not been built in my name. I am an American with enough baggage as an American to not want to take on Israeli baggage as well.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          ” the world has the right to think of all Jews as occupiers and oppressors.”

          “As a Jew I say that Israel is NOT my homeland. It never was and it never will be”

          That says it all!

          Our intrepid Jan disavows any affiliation to us. I say good riddance. We don’t need the likes of her. Let America have her. If they want her.

          But then she says that it is ok to vilify all other Jews, even non Israeli Jews for everything real or imaginary that Israel does or does not do.

          Not only that, but in order to prove how much she is not affiliated with us, she overlooks all context, all history all evil that Palestinian Arabs commit against us. She acts as if the “poor Palestinians” are just blameless victims and we just victimise them for no reason.

          How about their terrorism Jan?! How about the endless violence, their intransigance? Their inability to acknowledge any of our rights Jan? Going back for at least 100 years before there even was an Israel or occupation? Everything is all our fault, right Jan? And you expect us to take people like you seriously?

          Well then think again Jan. people like you with your pompous self righteousness just pour oil on the fire! Get over yourselves. If you cannot do good, if you cannot act with fairness and wisdom then just shut the fuck up and mind your own business, OK? If you don’t want to be affiliated with us then go and live your own life. Leave us alone. We don’t need you or your advice, OK?

          Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Oh,it’s Grand Inquisitor ZuSick at it again.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            ZuSick? LOL. You want to be childish and call me names?

            OK, I will play with you too Sheik-Al-Noor, Arab Psy Op specialist. Albeit a clumsy one. LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            LOL?

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Ye LOL. Any more questions?

            Reply to Comment
    7. Felix Reichert

      Vile and barbarous comments, as always.
      Have you thought about banning some of these individuals, 972 staff? Constructive discussions with them are impossible, so why not just throw them out?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Mr. Reichert, I am certain you neither worth- nor have earned my time and energy. Be gone!

        Reply to Comment
      • BaladiAkka 1948

        It took them years to ban The Trespasser so I don’t think it’ll come soon. In fact the comment section here is oocupied by right-wing supremacists, but maybe it’s not that bad: international readers get a clear view of how ugly Zionist thinking really is.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          ” how ugly Zionist thinking really is.”

          And your shit does not smell, Balad?

          Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          It is interesting how the comment section to +972 is often crowded with right wing shouters with whom no reasonable and honest conversation can be had. They really drag down the level of discourse. I’d suggest ignoring most of their intentional provocations. It’s utterly useless to talk with them. As one commenter correctly said, economic and legal sanctions, now. The time for talking is long past. These folks understand only force. Nonviolent force is the only way to go.

          Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            “It is interesting how the comment section to +972 is often crowded with right wing shouters with whom no reasonable and honest conversation can be had.”

            You wouldn’t know what a reasonable honest discussion is if you fell over one.

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            “If the dogs bark,it is because we are moving forward”

            Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          You wish.

          Reply to Comment
          • BaladiAkka 1948

            Oh, the vile racist The Trespasser is still aroud. Only locked up in an asylum with occasional internet connexion, then….

            Reply to Comment
    8. Rab

      Continuing my point above about how frequently we find Palestinian lies and libels about Israel, I just saw this claim by a Palestinian female journalist:

      “There had been an air strike on a police compound, and I was there afterwards. The thing about the Israeli military, when they start an air strike, they wait for civilians and medical teams to arrive, and then they strike again, so they can have biggest number of casualties. So there were strikes maybe four minutes apart, which was the time it took me to arrive from a very nearby hospital.”

      http://blog.ted.com/2014/04/25/eman-mohammed/

      This is a Palestinian journalist talking at a very public forum. You, Noam, know it’s an absolute lie and you know the IAF doesn’t work in this way. Quite the opposite. Yet, here we are again.

      So please, let’s not be naive about why Israelis have such a high threshold for acceptance of Palestinian claims. The reason is simple: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Tzutzik

      To the self righteous ones in here who always rile against Israel but never look at what Palestinians do to Israelis:

      “Within the past month, Palestinian Media Watch has reported that Mahmoud Abbas has honored Issa Abd Rabbo, who brutally murdered two Israeli university students, Ron Levi and Revital Seri in 1984 while they were hiking south of Jerusalem. He had tied the two up at gunpoint, placed bags over their heads, and then proceeded to murder them in cold blood. Abd Rabbo is presently serving two life sentences for this horrific act of terrorism. Yet, this has not stopped Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s supposed partner for peace, from exalting him.”

      http://unitedwithisrael.org/mahmoud-abbas-rewards-terrorists/

      I know Felix, Danny, Balad, and other assorted Palestinian apologists, you will say: “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. Right? And you want to lecture to us?

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        Here is another instance of how your much revered Palestinians treat terrorists who murder Israeli children:

        “Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas awarded the “highest order of the Star of Honor” to terrorist leader Nayef Hawatmeh, continuing a policy to honor terrorists who murder Israelis, Palestinian Media Watch said, in a statement.

        PMW said Nayef Hawatmeh is the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), which was responsible for several high-profile terror attacks, including the killing of 22 schoolchildren and 4 adults, after taking them hostage in Ma’alot; the killing of 9 children and 3 adults in an attack on a school bus; the killing of 7 in a Jerusalem bombing; the killing of 4 hostages in an apartment building in Beit Shean, all of which took place in the 1970′s. In addition, the DFLP has participated in and claimed responsibility for dozens of other terror attacks, including a suicide bombing near Tel Aviv that killed 4 in 2003.”

        When are we going to see such things mentioned here in + 972? Or is all of this somehow irrelevant? Only the alleged evil that we do is relevant? Be it proven or unproven? We are guilty without fail the moment incidents are reported? Before any investigations? And no mention must be made of evils that the Palestinians perpetrate and promote?

        Reply to Comment
    10. Tzutzik

      The following comment by Jan who claims to be Jewish, is worth another mention:

      ”the world has the right to think of all Jews as occupiers and oppressors.”

      Now let’s just do a hypothetical and change that sentence slightly as follows:

      ”the world has the right to think of all Arabs as terrorists and murderers”

      If someone said the above about Arabs, the Jans of this world would rightly label the person making such a claim to be a racist bigot.

      Notice however that Jan does not apply the same standard to herself about Jews and none of the so called moral people on this site have come out and condemned Jan for making that comment about Jews.

      If Jan is indeed Jewish, she exhibits a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome. If she is not, then she suffers from an acute case of double standards.

      Either way, she is not a surprise. We are used to having put up with double standards but many of us who don’t suffer from Stockholm syndrome, thanks to being citizens of a free and independent Jewish country, are not turning the other cheek when we are confronted with such blatant bigotry even from fellow Jews who should know better.

      Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        Had Netanyahu and others not claimed that Israel is the homeland of ALL the world’s Jews my comment would not have been what it was. When Netanyahu tells me that my homeland is Israel and not America, the land of my birth and the land of my parent’s birth, then I have a right and a duty to speak up.

        As an American I spoke out against the Vietnam War, against our death penalty, against the aggression against Iraq, against the US support for right wing death squads in El Salvador, against the US backed coup in Chile etc. As an American I have that right. It is too bad that some of you think that as a Jew who has been told that Israel is her homeland I don’t have that same right.

        Were I a Muslim I would speak up in no uncertain terms about the injustices and murders that some Muslims commit around the world. But I am not a Muslim. I am Jewish, not by religion but by heritage and I have the right to speak out against injustices that the Israeli government commits in what it believes is my name. If some of you don’t like it that is just too bad.

        I wish that I could support what Israel does but I do not have a double standard. I cannot say that if Israel takes land it is OK but when someone else does it it is wrong. I can’t say that when Israel destroys homes, 25,000 since 1967, it is OK but when another country does that it is wrong. Some of you may operate on a double standard but I don’t.

        Reply to Comment
        • You have every right to say what you say, Jan. More so – you are far more working for the preservation of Israel than the haters that attack you, who pretend they are for Israel while in fact they are only for preserving their hate and racism. Every sound argument, proof of rational thinking and clear spoken truth is welcomed and badly needed in this sea of insanity and senseless viciousness. You have my greatest respect for what you have posted on this article here. Bravo.

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          • Tzutzik

            “You have every right to say what you say, Jan”

            Congratulations Jona, you are a bigot too. This is what Jan said:

            ”the world has the right to think of all Jews as occupiers and oppressors.”

            Substitute the word “Jews” with Muslims and see what the so called “liberals” will do to you.

            Hypocrites. You are all bigoted, prejudiced hypocrites. It is because of people like you Nazism was possible.

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        • Tzutzik

          Netanyahu and others have the right, even the duty to offer Israel as the home for all Jews who wish to make Israel their home. Had there been an Israel during the Shoah, a lot more Jews would have been saved by such an offer.

          As for you Jan, please feel free to reject the offer. We do not need the likes of you. Other Jews too have not taken up the offer but they are not as hostile to us as you are. As such, you have no right to call them all oppressors and occupiers. They are not responsible for what WE do or don’t do. But by making that statement that you made, you reveal yourself to be a bigot.

          As for what we do. Like all humans, we are far from perfect. But neither are we the monsters that you make us out to be.

          Yes, we are occupiers. That is not a crime. Nor is it illegal although we do not want to be occupiers. On the other hand, neither do we want to give up strategic assets, land, prematurely without being assured that peace would follow. And certainly we are no longer willing to give up land unilaterally because we remember what happened the last couple of times when we did so. The Arabs take it as a weakness and their attacks on us escalate. Under the circumstances, yes we will continue to be occupiers until such time as we can conclude an acceptable peace deal with the Arabs. Again Jan, there is nothing illegal about occupation. Germany and Japan too were occupied for many year after WW2.

          As for your accusation that we are stealing THEIR land. First of all, what we took is not their land. East Jerusalem for instance is NOT their land. And some of the other land, a small percent of Judea and Samaria we will have to keep for our security. The rest, at least two Israeli prime ministers offered to give up in return for peace. With land swaps. But your much revered Palestinians wanted Israel itself as part of the peace deal. So there was no deal.

          I’ll close by saying to you Jan is that you have not done your homework. You only read publications that reinforce your preconceived views and bigotry. So your accusations against us and false self righteousness falls flat on it’s face. You come across as a bigoted individual full of prejudice. We are glad that you don’t want to be part of us. Our gain is America’s loss. I feel sympathy towards America for having to put up with the likes of you. You have never made a single decision in your life by thinking things through on your own. You base your decisions on ideology and dogma formulated by others. We in Israel need thinking innovative people not automatons like you Jan.

          Reply to Comment
          • Jonathan Moremi

            Let’s quote you:

            “Yes, we are occupiers. That is not a crime.”

            Let’s quote a “bigoted, prejudiced hypocrite” in your eyes:

            “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. … They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”

            (Ben Gurion, quoted in The Jewish Paradox : A Personal Memoir (1978) by Nahum Goldmann)

            Why indeed.

            And he also said:

            “We are the aggressors and they defend themselves.”

            (Address at the Mapai Political Committee, 7 June 1938)

            Clever man that bigoted, prejudiced hypocrite Ben Gurion.

            Case closed.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Jona: “Let’s quote you”

            Tzutzik: “Yes, we are occupiers. That is not a crime.”

            Thanks for quoting me Jona. I repeat, occupation is not a crime.

            The occupation came about because of a war of aggression that the Arabs initiated against us in which they promised to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Until such time as they repudiate that intention by recognising Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and by signing a peace deal, the occupation will continue.

            I repeat. The allies occupied Germany and Japan for years after WW2. That was not a crime either.

            As to what Ben Gurion said, are you serious Jonah? He paraphrased the belief of the Arabs. He did not say he agreed with those beliefs.

            Last but not least, let me quote YOU Jona again:

            Jona:“You have every right to say what you say, Jan”

            Jan:”the world has the right to think of all Jews as occupiers and oppressors.”

            All Jews, Jona? Only a bigot says such things. You and Jan are bigots. Just as much as anyone accusing ALL Muslims of whatever would be considered an Islamophobe and a bigot …

            Reply to Comment
          • Jonathan Moremi

            Stop dreaming. Ben Gurion was not paraphrasing anything here:

            “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country.”

            The wording proves you wrong. It was Ben Gurion’s opinion he expressed here. You just can’t take the truth of this man.

            And your view of history begins AFTER you took the land. And from there on you play the victim. No one is buying that fairy tale anymore, give it up.

            Ben Gurion was clear on this: “We have taken their country. ”

            Yep.

            So stop lying. The man knew precisely what he was talking about. And you do too.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            The only liar is you Jonathan.

            There is no way that ALL of Palestine is Arabic. We, most of us always accepted the two state solution. Two states for two peoples. We were in Palestine longer than Arabs but we recognise Arab rights too.

            People like you and too many Arabs on the other hand want ALL the land to be Arab owned. Look at the Middle East. The land that Israel is on, including the “settlements” represent 0.5% of the land mass that Arabs already own. But you want to own Israel too? Well you won’t.

            But you Jonathan are not only a liar but you proved yourself to be a bigot too. Anyone who holds the view that “ALL” Jews or “ALL” Arabs or “ALL” whoever are monolithic, is a bigot. That is the very definition of a bigot. Go look it up Jonathan:

            “Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust or hatred on the basis of a person’s ethnicity, evaluative orientation, race, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            By the way, how are WE playing the victim? Jonathan dear?

            You bigoted bastards never cease playing the poor “Palestinians” victim card. Haven’t you read this very thread?

            Now get used to this dear Jonathan. We have been here long before the Arab invaders who came here after us. And long before various other invaders were in America, Australia and New Zealand. We are back here now after a longish exile and we are staying. Get it? No?! Then lump it. We are still staying. Get used to it or don’t we don’t care. You can stand on your bigoted heads but we will still stay here. You wanna hurt us for it? Well then we will see what will happen. Just do your worst.

            Now let’s get real. Bigotry is passé Jonathan dear. You are in the minority. Most people could not give a fuck about you, us and your Palis. They just want to live their lives and mind their own business. So, you bigoted haters will remain impotent. And that is better for all concerned because we won’t be turning the other cheek if you do something silly. But hey, you already know that. Don’t you? So take care now …

            Reply to Comment
        • Marcos

          So. Jan is against America and Israel. What a wacko

          Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Those filthy liberals believing in human rights and democratic standards. Traitors, all of them!

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          • Marcos

            Right !?! Plus, she is old. Not worth listening to.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Those filthy liberals believing in human rights and democratic standards. Traitors, all of them!”

            Those filthy hypocrites who lecture us but never stop making excuses for Palestinians. Get it Felix?

            If you lecture one party then lecture the other party too, otherwise you guys are not liberals. You are just part of the lynch mob that lines up against us. But the days of us being lynched with impunity are over. Get over it!

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          • shachalnur

            US and Israel are starting to look more and more like Europe pre-1940.

            Deathtraps for Jews.

            And guess where 80% of Jews are living?

            Let’s hope it’s not by design.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “US and Israel are starting to look more and more like Europe pre-1940.

            Deathtraps for Jews.”

            Are you having wet dreams again Shaky baby?

            Reply to Comment
    11. If you are unsure of what is happening in Israel, the mid-east and the world, READ YOUR BIBLE. It is all explained therein.!

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    12. Lisbon Portugal

      Lol. Jan, can you say narcissist? Yes, the PM of Israel was addressing you individually in his speech. And I don’t think you regaled us enough about all the fascinating protesting you have done since 1968. And try to use the pronoun “I” more in your sentences, especially to start them.

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    13. directrob

      Since Rwanda we know that the media can cause harm by incitement and also by underreporting. By not properly investigating and reporting on wilful killings and other serious crimes the media are creating a climate of impunity. In some sense that makes them direct responsible for what happens in the OPT.

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    14. Pedro

      It is 2017. Looking back with the hingsight evidence of video takes, witness statements (including journalists), forensic evidence and high-tech analysis, we can see that most of the condemnation of this article was based on uninformed or unjustified nationalistic and racial bias. Shame on you. Those young boys did not deserve to be shot, just as the three settler teenagers who were murdered a few weeks later (Pappé claims in retribution) did not deserve their fate either.

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