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Yet another IDF Spokesman lie

An IDF Spokesman officer tries to mislead the public on the issue of freedom of assembly in the West Bank

“The IDF Spokesman is lying, as usual” – these immortal words were not uttered by yours truly or any other backstabbing, well-poisoning and self-hating leftist, but rather by Major General (Aluf) Uri Sagi. And as a rule, Sagi is right on the money.

We had another one today: Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich (you may remember her from that classic piece of reasoning, “They had AK-47s, ergo they came from Gaza”) wrote on Twitter that “Today- legal march for human rights in Tel-Aviv.people holding signs etc. In #Nabisaleh there was illegal violent riot just like every week!”

Sneaky. Lt. Col. Leibovich would have you believe there are legal demonstrations in the West Bank, just as anywhere else, and that those dastardly Palestinians just can’t demonstrate peacefully like other people, but must riot.

There are no legal demonstrations in the West Bank.  Act 101 of the Military Acts in power in the West Bank says that any ten people “walking around, or gathering in order to move around from place to place, for a political purpose, or for any issue which may be considered political, whether they’re actually moving or not” is an illegal assembly. An illegal assembly is also any “ten people or more, who gathered together in a place where a speech is made on a political issue, or an issue which may be considered political, or to debate such an issue.”

So, now we have to decide whether Lt. Col. Leibovich is blissfully ignorant of the legal situation in the West Bank, or whether she was knowingly selling the public a load of bullshit.

Me, I’ll go with General Sagi.

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    1. Jon Garfrunkel

      Thanks for +972’s reporting on this.

      You neglected to source the Sagi quote. A Google search shows me that you had wrote about it last year, in regards to a comment from Sagi in 1992. He’s since resigned from the army. So it’s not like he was saying that today. (it’s equivalent to an American quoting Gen. (retired) Colin Powell)

      Grant your right to mock the IDF spokeswoman with a 20-year old quote, but I think there’s a substantive news story here. Haaretz simple reported that “An Israeli military spokeswoman said they are investigating the incident.” But wait — doesn’t the IDF spokeswoman’s twitter comments prejudge the whole case? (She responded to Joseph Dana showing a slingshot and said “this is what he was doing.”)

      Bear in mind that there’s been a whole lot of ink spilled on these pages about the integrity of “liberal Zionism.” The point it serves, obviously, is to bridge to traditional Zionists, who want to believe that the land of milk and honey is also the land of democracy and justice. If these military investigations are a sham, then the honorable press needs to be diligent about monitoring them.

      All that said (and in the absence of any IDF investigation), there are legitimate questions that have been brought up by IDF defenders in the comments — who is Tamimi, why was he wearing a mask, was he throwing rocks, and what was he specifically protesting?

      Reply to Comment
    2. directrob

      “there are legitimate questions that have been brought up by IDF defenders in the comments — who is Tamimi, why was he wearing a mask, was he throwing rocks, and what was he specifically protesting?”
      Not really, those questions are an effort to do damage control.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Peter Wilson

      I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The fact remains that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank (Palestine) is illegal. Therefore any acts of violence by the IDF or its surrogates, the settlers, toward palestinians is illegal. Therefore Palestinian deaths at the hands of the IDF is murder, no less. You see, no matter how apologists dress it up it still remains illegal. Now tell me its not, and quote the relevant section of International law to support your contention.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Who was Tamimi? Why does that matter? Is there any person in the world that it is legitimate to shoot in the face with a tear gas grenade?

      Was he throwing rocks? Let’s say he was. Throwing a rock at an armored jeep. Again: How does that make it legitimate to shoot him in the face with a tear gas grenade?

      Why was he wearing a mask? Oh, okay, now I get why it was legitimate!

      What specifically was he protesting… Seriously?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Branko


      “Who is Tamimi” : He is a dead protester. Someone that was shot when protesting against IDF. Shot in the head with a teargas canister which was shot in a way that is contradictory to the IDF orders about how to use this weapon. BTW, Tamimi is a common family name in Nabi Saleh. If you look him up, you will find his pictures with his family in their family home in the village.

      “Why he was wearing a mask”: He was wearing a mask so that he doesn’t get recognized and snatched out of his bed in the middle of the night in an army raid.

      “Was he throwing rocks”: Quite possibly. Don’t see why that justifies shooting him in the head, from close range with a tear gas can. If you are wondering whether throwing stones at an army jeep is a crime worthy of this punishment, you will get to an easy answer by looking up a number of stone-throwing settlers that were shot in the head with a tear gas canister while perpetuating the same crime. You know, what? Go look up a number of tear gas canisters that were shot at all when settlers are throwing stones at the army or Palestinians.

      “What was he protesting”: he was protesting theft of his village spring by the nearby settlement of Neve Tzuf who wanted to build a spa there. The spring is owned by a Nabi Saleh resident, Bashir Tamimi (note the same family name). You can read more about it: http://972mag.com/nabi-saleh-a-tiny-villages-struggle-againt-the-occupation/13472/.

      These are all detailed and piercing questions. I cannot but hope that you will demonstrate the same inquiring, unrelenting spirit when you present similarly piercing questions to the IDF spokesperson.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Jon Garfrunkel

      All — thanks. I meant no offense through my questions; by “legitimate” I meant they at least were newsworthy versus the other judgmental (that is to say, racist/offensive) comments from Haaretz/JPost/Ynet comment responses.

      Remember, you don’t need to answer for *me* — the answers need to reach the potentially sympathetic readers of Haaretz, who aren’t quite convinced that Palestinian protests are wholly nonviolent

      re: “I cannot but hope that you will demonstrate the same inquiring, unrelenting spirit when you present similarly piercing questions to the IDF spokesperson.”

      Well, it’s not like the IDF spokesperson will respond the average New Yorker, unless that New Yorker is a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which I am not. FWIW, I RT’ed a MondoWeiss post to @IDFSpokesPerson, to no avail. But, as a contributor to major Jewish organizations, I have to point out that +972 has made me aware that we can’t stay silent to the truth. As MondoWeiss points out, we’ve now left behind the era of the IDF even pretending to say “we regret the loss” etc. It’s terrible, and this should begin to shake more American Jews to the core that we may be complicit in this as well.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Law 101 concerning demos is a nuke that cannot be used because it so contradicts the freedom enjoyed in the U.S. that it would be impossible to cover the outrage. In fact, as B’Tselem has reported, that law has been used only a handful of times.

      This is not to say that the US is not moving forcefully in the same rightist direction.

      There’s also the practical difficulty of rounding up an entire demo group and taking them in. Under the law, how could you select one here and one there without grabbing them all, since everyone at the demo would be equally criminal simply by their presence. All the U.S. funding in the world couldn’t build enough holding pens for so many perps…and why bother when they are already in holding pens called the West Bank and Gaza?

      Reply to Comment
    8. A.R.

      “there are legitimate questions that have been brought up by IDF defenders in the comments — who is Tamimi, why was he wearing a mask, was he throwing rocks, and what was he specifically protesting?”

      These are totally dumb questions. The only question is: WHY an occupation army is there? Why they shot at protesters willing to have their land free? Occupation of west bank is ILLEGAL. All the rest, is only noise.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Jon Garfrunkel

      A.R. — thanks for missing my followup comment.

      Reply to Comment