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Posts Tagged ‘Israel Defense Forces

The accents of the Israeli team

For many, following all the ins and outs of the Israeli-Palestinian saga can be confusing.  Hamas did that, the Israeli army did that.

They started the war. No, they started the war.  They broke the ceasefire.  No, they broke the ceasefire.  Hummus belongs to them. No, it belongs to them.

It is all very overwhelming.  One thing is glaringly clear.

American journalists seem to have a much easier time having conversations with Israeli officials than they do with their Palestinian counterparts.  The reason is obvious.

All of Israel’s official mouthpieces speak perfect unaccented English.  And why wouldn’t they?  After all, they are not from Israel.

 

Amer Zahr published this August 6, 2014:

Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, and speaker living in Michigan. He is also the editor of “The Civil Arab.” Email Amer Zahr.

Here are the cast of characters acting as Israel’s cheerleaders to the American public.

1. Peter Lerner is the foreign press spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces.  He was born in London in 1973.  He immigrated to Israel in 1985.

Hebrew, one of the two official languages of Israel (yes, Arabic is an official language too, because Israel is a democracy), is his second language.  You might have wondered why Peter Lerner sounds more like a spokesperson for the Queen than he does for Israel.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

20140805_zahr

2. Dore Gold is a diplomat who has served in many Israeli governments.  He was once Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.  He is currently the president of an Israeli think tank in Jerusalem.  He was born in Connecticut, attended high school in Massachusetts, and earned a BA, MA, and PhD from Columbia University in New York City.

He has appeared on television numerous times during Israel’s latest offensive defending and explaining the policies of the Netanyahu government.  As you might expect, his English is perfect.  Mr. Gold lives in Jerusalem.

He might even live in a house that once belonged to Palestinians:  trust me, in Jerusalem, it’s a safe bet.  You might have wondered why Dore Gold sounds like a Yankees fan.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

3. Mark Regev is the official spokesman of the Netanyahu government.  In 1960, he was born in Australia, where he grew up and finished college.

He immigrated to Israel at the age of 22, when he began his graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  He has remained in his adopted homeland ever since.  Hebrew is also his second language.

You might have wondered why the official Israeli spokesman sounds like Crocodile Dundee.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

4. Michael Oren was most recently Israel’s ambassador to the United States.  He was born in upstate New York.  He earned his MA and PhD from Princeton University in New Jersey.  He immigrated to Israel in his mid-twenties. He has lectured at dozens of American campuses.

He articulately defends Israeli policies on American televisions across our great country.  Well, he is usually articulate, if you don’t count his recent interview on MSNBC when he suddenly (and quite conveniently) couldn’t hear Andrea Mitchell when she asked him about reports that Israel had eavesdropped on John Kerry last year.

But even when he flusters and fumbles, he speaks eloquent East Coast English.  You might have wondered why Michael Oren sounds like an American university professor.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

5. Micky Rosenfeld is the Israeli police spokesperson to the foreign press.  He speaks English flawlessly.  That’s because he is English.  Yup, he was born in England and grew up there.  He is blond and blue-eyed.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.  He grew up with Duran Duran, the English Premiere League, and bland food.

The garlicky cuisine of his new homeland must have come as a bit of a shock to him.  You might have wondered why Micky Rosenfeld sounds like Piers Morgan.  Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

6. Ron Dermer is Israel’s current ambassador to the United States of America. He has been all over CNN in recent weeks.  He attended the University of Pennsylvania before moving to Israel is his twenties.  He was born in 1971 in Miami Beach, where both his father and brother were once the mayor there.

He is one of Netanyahu’s closest advisers, writing many of his speeches, in English I assume.  He is highly educated, yet for some reason he still sounds obnoxious and rude during just about every interview.  You might have wondered why Ron Dermer sounds like a whiny kid from Florida. Why wouldn’t he? He is, after all, a foreigner in the land of Israel.

 

Now I don’t really mind that all of these Israeli messengers speak perfect English in American, Australian, and British accents.  However, I do mind that with all that Western education they still can’t pronounce “Hamas.”

They insist on continuing to say “Khamas.”  This is just offensive.  Hamas is already frightening enough with its crappy rockets, ancient rifles, and hooded militants.

Do they really have to add that chilling “kha” sound?

Do they do that with all “h” sounds?

It would make some nursery rhymes seem just downright scary.  “Khumpty Dumpty sat on a wall” just sounds alarming.  C’mon guys. It’s “Hamas,” like “happy.”  Just think that.  Hamas. Happy. Hamas. Happy. See, it works.

In any case, this is the cast of characters acting as Israel’s cheerleaders to the American public.

Justifying racial supremacy, ethnic cleansing, and indiscriminate bombing campaigns definitely sounds better when it’s done in an accent we can all relate to.

But I’m sure every American listening to them still wonders why all these Israelis sound like the next door neighbor.  Why wouldn’t they?  They are, after all, foreigners in the land of Israel.  Foreign colonist settlers.

Proofs: Gaza Children specifically targeted by Israeli snipers

IDF Sniper Admits On Instagram To Murdering 13 Gaza Children

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An Instagram post by an Israel Defense Forces sniper boasts of murdering 13 Gazan children in one day.

An IDF Combat Engineering Corps Soldier, specifically, David D. Ovadia posed with a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle.

Ovadia posted his comments on the Instagram account of Palestinian Sherrii ElKaderi.

The image was quickly screen captured in case Ovadia came to his senses and realized that he could be prosecuted for his admission of war crimes.

It is unclear and perhaps unlikely that the Barrett was used in the commission of such crimes, as this weapon is usually reserved for the best of the best marksmen.

In any event, Ovadia is in active deployment and openly confesses to killing Gazan civilian children.

While not specifying what weapon he used, the posting of himself with the .50 caliber rifle was obviously meant to be visually intimidating to Palestinians.

In the mean time, while more information is gathered on Ovadia, the “hacktivist” group “Anonymous” took control of his Instagram account, deleting it entirely.

For “good measure” Anonymous sources said that they hacked the websites of the Mossad intelligence agency in Israel “for the brave IDF Sniper”, in reference to Ovadia.

By 11:30, they had taken down the Israeli Ministry of Defense as well, and similarly attributed it as a response to Ovadia’s confessions.

If you agree that Ovadia’s admission of war crimes against Gazan children needs to be FRONT PAGE NEWS, share this with someone you know who cares!

(Article by Ari Simeon and Isa Abu Jamal)

Zana Messia posted 
Israel-Gaza conflict: time-lapse shows air strikes destroying entire neighbourhood in an hour -…
telegraph.co.uk

 

 

Israel moral defeat only? Couldn’t even venture 2 miles inside Gaza 

The Israeli ground forces refused to advance until the air force carpet bomb the land ahead of their incursions.

Remember in 1956, 1967 and 1982 when Israeli forces entered “Arab” Capitals? This is history: Resistance is in the hand of the fighting people and not the lax governments to preserve and safeguard the dignities of their citizens against invaders and occupiers.

Humanity is still fine and getting aware of the brutalities exercised by apartheid Israel.

Demonstration in support of Gaza resistance to preemptive genocide is spreading around the world, cities and capitals.

‎#فلسطين #غزه  شعوب الدنيي بألف خير ...‎

 

Israel’s moral defeat will haunt us for years

We have passed 1,200 dead Palestinians.

How many more?

 published this July 28, 2014 |
Palestinian rescue officers removing a body on Saturday from the rubble of a building where at least 20 members of the Al-Najjar extended family were killed in Khan Yunis. Photo by AP

If victory is measured in the number of dead, then Israel and its army are big winners.
From the time I wrote these words on Saturday, and by the time you read them on Sunday, the number will no longer be 1,200 (70-80 percent civilians) but even more.How many more? Ten bodies, 18? Three more pregnant women? Five dead children, their eyes half-open, their mouths gaping, their baby teeth poking out, their shirts covered with blood and they are being carried on a single stretcher?If victory means causing the enemy to pile up a number of slaughtered children on one stretcher, since there are not enough stretchers, then you have won, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – you and the nation that admires you.

And the trophy also goes to the Startup Nation, this time to the startup renowned for knowing and reporting as little as possible with as many international media and available websites as possible. “Good morning, it was a quiet night,” the Army Radio host announced cheerfully on Thursday morning.

In the day preceding the happy announcement, the Israel Defense Forces killed 80 Palestinians, 64 of whom were civilians, including 15 children and 5 women. At least 30 of them were killed during the same quiet night, from overwhelming shelling, bombing and firing from Israeli artillery, and this is without counting the number of injured or the number of houses blown up.)

If victory is measured in the number of families wiped out within two weeks – parents and children, one parent and a few children, a grandmother and daughters in law and grandchildren and son, brothers and their children, in all the variations you might choose – then we also have the upper hand.

Here, names from memory: Al-Najjar, Karaw’a, Abu-Jam’e, Ghannem, Qannan, Hamad, A-Salim, Al Astal, Al Hallaq, Sheikh Khalil, Al Kilani. In these families, the few members who survived the Israeli bombings in the past two weeks are now jealous of their dead.

And let’s not forget the laurel wreaths for our legal experts, those without whom the IDF does not make a move. Due to them, blowing up an entire house – whether empty or filled with residents – is easily justified if Israel characterizes one of the family members as an appropriate target (be he senior or junior Hamas member, military or political, brother or family guest).

“If it is legal according to international law,” a Western diplomat told me, shocked by his own state’s position in support of Israel, “it is a sign that something stinks in international law.”

And another bouquet of flowers for our advisers, the graduates of the exclusive law schools in Israel and the United States, and maybe also in England: They are certainly the ones advising the IDF why it is permissible to fire at Palestinian rescue teams and prevent them from getting to the wounded.

Seven members of medical teams on their way to rescue the injured were shot to death by the IDF during two weeks, the last two only last Friday. Another 16 have been wounded. This doesn’t include the cases is which IDF firing prevented crews from driving to the disaster scene.

You will surely recite what the army says: “Terrorists are hiding in the ambulances” – since Palestinians do not really want to save their wounded, they don’t really want to prevent them from bleeding to death under the ruins, isn’t this what you are thinking?

Does our acclaimed intelligence, which did not discover during all these years the network of tunnels, know in real time that in every ambulance that was hit directly with IDF fire, or whose trip to save an injured person was blocked, there are really armed Palestinians inside?

And why is it permissible to save a wounded soldier at the cost of shelling an entire neighborhood, but it is not allowed to save an elderly Palestinian buried under the rubble?

Why is it forbidden to save an armed man, or more correctly a Palestinian fighter, who was wounded while repulsing a foreign army that invaded his neighborhood?

If victory is measured by the success at causing lifelong trauma to 1.8 million people (and not for the first time) waiting to be executed any moment – then the victory is yours.

These victories add up to our moral implosion, the ethical defeat of a society that now engages in no self-inspection, that wallows in self pity over postponed airline flights and burnishes itself with the pride of the enlightened.

This is a society that mourns, naturally, its more than 40 soldiers who were killed, but at the same time hardens its heart and mind in the face of all the suffering and moral courage and heroism of the people we are attacking.

A society that does not understand the extent to which the balance of forces is against it.

“In all the suffering and death,” wrote a friend from Gaza, “there are so many expressions of tenderness and kindness. People are taking care of one another, comforting one another. Especially children who are searching for the best way to support their parents. I saw many children no older than 10 years old who are hugging, comforting their younger siblings, trying to distract them from the horror. So young and already the caretakers of someone else.

I did not meet a single child who did not lose someone – a parent, grandmother, friend, aunt or neighbor. And I thought: If Hamas grew out of the generation of the first intifada, when the young people who threw stones were met with bullets, who will grow out of the generation that experienced the repeated massacres of the last seven years?”

Our moral defeat will haunt us for many years to come.

Israel AGAIN kills children playing in a park! ONCE MORE! An empty park! No Hamas or resistance rockets being fired! Just kids enjoying their first day of EID! TEN CHILDREN KILLED! Then bombing the most densely populated hospital in Gaza, al-shifa! The Israeli pilot knew for a fact he will be murdering hundreds. But did not give a damn! Because that’s who they are. They are terrorist, blood and war loving creatures. Wake up people. Everyone should be speaking up against these illegal war crimes.

Israel AGAIN kills children playing in a park! ONCE MORE! An empty park!

No Hamas or resistance rockets being fired! Just kids enjoying their first day of EID!

TEN CHILDREN KILLED! Then bombing the most densely populated hospital in Gaza, al-shifa! The Israeli pilot knew for a fact he will be murdering hundreds. But did not give a damn! Because that’s who they are.

Israeli pilots are terrorist, blood and war loving creatures. Wake up people. Everyone should be speaking up against these illegal war crimes.

LIVE UPDATES: Operation Protective Edge, day 21
Obama gets tough with Netanyahu, for Gaza and/or Kerry
B’Tselem petitions High Court to allow radio ad naming 5 dead Palestinian children

 

How the BBC devalues Palestinian lives and acts as mouthpiece for Israeli propaganda

Mind you that this article was published before this new preemptive war on Gaza and the burning live of Palestinian youth.

Amena Saleem Posted in News this June 29, 2014

Why is the BBC seemingly determined to shield Israel from bad publicity by withholding important news stories from its audiences,?While pushing anti-Palestinian stories provided by the Israeli army?

Palestinian funeral

Funeral of 14-year-old Palestinian boy Yousef Al-Shawamreh, shot by Israeli soldiers, 19 March 2014

Over the last 5 weeks, the trend in BBC reporting to ignore events that show Israel in a negative light, while affording coverage to tenuous claims from the Israeli army that it has uncovered Palestinian “terror” plots, has become quite glaring.

On 19 March, a 14-year-old Palestinian child, Yussef Shawamreh, was shot in the back and hip by Israeli soldiers as he foraged for edible wild thistles on his family’s land in the occupied West Bank.

The child bled to death.

His two friends, aged 12 and 17, were seized by soldiers dressed in black fatigues and wearing black face masks, and taken to a nearby illegal settlement, in handcuffs and blindfolds. There, they were beaten for failing to answer questions in Hebrew, a language neither understands.

By any standards, the cold-blooded killing of a 14-year-old by soldiers, and the subsequent abuse of his young friends, is appalling. The media outcry if the boy had been Israeli and his killers Palestinian can only be guessed at.

As it is, with the dead child being Palestinian, the BBC ignored the story.

The previous week, the BBC also failed to report on the killing on 10 March of university student Saji Darwish, also in the West Bank. Saji, a university student, was shot in the head by Israeli forces as he tended his goats.

Prevailing news agenda

When challenged by Palestine Solidarity Campaign on its failure to report on the killings of young Palestinians by the Israeli army – two in 9 days – BBC Online’s Middle East desk wrote back saying: “There is no mandate to report every killing.”

And so killings of Palestinians went by with the BBC’s journalists feeling under no obligation, or mandate, to report any of them.

Pressed further, the Middle East desk wrote back again to say: “The fact that we did not report the death of Yusef Abu Aker Shawamreh [sic] should not be construed as evidence of bias. There can be occasions where an incident does not get mentioned, possibly as a result of the prevailing news agenda.”

So what was the prevailing news agenda around the time of these youths’ deaths? According to BBC Online, it would appear to be an overwhelming concern with Israel’s security, and the threat the state claims it faces from Palestinians.

On 5 March, BBC Online ran with the story “Israel ‘halts weapons shipment from Iran.’” The article begins: “Israel says it has seized a ship carrying advanced Iranian weapons made in Syria that was heading towards Gaza.” The alleged weapons were surface-to-surface missiles.

The story continues: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the shipment was a ‘clandestine operation’ by Iran, and added that the weapons would have been used against Israel.”

Credulous BBC news team

The BBC’s source for the story is, in its own words, “the Israel Defense Forces.” There is a link from the BBC’s page to the story on the Israeli army’s website.

The story is based entirely on the claims of the Israeli prime minister and Israeli army officials, and doesn’t even begin to question how surface-to-surface missiles could possibly be smuggled into besieged Gaza.

Nor is the timing of the Israelis’ find questioned by the credulous BBC news team. The announcement came just days before EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s relationship-building visit to Iran (which denied any involvement in the shipment).

Instead, the Middle East desk chose to run a corresponding feature headlined “Israel’s clandestine battle with weapons smugglers.”

An incredibly lengthy report, written by the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus, it claims to reveal how the “major shipment of weaponry heading to the Gaza Strip from Iran throws a spotlight on alleged ongoing attempts to arm militants there, and Israel’s aim to thwart them.”

The feature continues in predictable BBC form, with subheadings such as: “So how does this compare to previous Gaza arms interceptions?”

All Israeli allegations of where the arms were headed and what they were to be used for are taken as fact.

There is no critical analysis at all of Israel’s sudden announcement.

“Israel has lied”

However, while the BBC remained oblivious to the absurdities of claims that a missile-loaded ship might be headed to Gaza, under land, sea and air blockade, and to the possibility that it was acting as a pliable conduit for Israeli propaganda, more sceptical news organizations challenged Israel’s allegations.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran a story headlined: “Netanyahu’s display of seized ship: meaningless Hollywood-style propaganda.”

Columnist Amir Oren writes: “From David Ben-Gurion’s time to the present, Israel has lied when it believed it had to.”

In its report “Doubts surface on Gaza destination of rockets seized by Israel,” the respected news agency Reuters quotes an unnamed US official as saying: “You look at those things and it’s obvious they couldn’t have been slipped into Gaza.”

Even the right-wing Times of Israel chose to cover the story from all angles, and not just from Israel’s perspective, as the BBC had done. Its report is headlined: “Iran arms ship may have been bound for Sinai, not Gaza.”

Correspondent Marissa Newman refers to investigations by US and Middle East intelligence analysts which concludes that: “Israel may have obfuscated [the ship’s] real destination in order to spare Egypt the humiliation of conceding the security unrest in the peninsula.”

Fact or speculation?

Compare these reports, responsibly analyzing the possibility that this story was no more than Israeli propaganda, with the BBC’s decision to use Israel’s claims as an opportunity to manufacture a feature on how an embattled Israel is fighting a “clandestine battle” with weapons smugglers.

Even when US doubts about the story began to emerge, the BBC refused to report on them, sticking with the Israeli side of the story which paints Palestinians in Gaza as violent militants.

Questioned on why the BBC is so willing to believe and report on all Israel has to say, the online Middle East desk replied: “The veracity of all stories can be called into question if there is not independent verification, but this depends on the reliability of the source and the credibility of the available information.”

And who is the source for this story? Back to the Middle East desk: “The article makes it clear that the announcement has come from Israel, i.e. that is the source.”

In other words, the BBC’s news teams are willing to throw journalistic values to the wind and accept Israel – a country which remains implicitly dishonest about its nuclear arsenal – as a credible and reliable source, in a way it probably wouldn’t do with any other country.

The Middle East desk certainly places what Israel has to say above what US and Middle East analysts have to say. Asked to follow up its original story by reporting on their doubts about the arms shipment, the Middle East desk replied that “to comment further would be purely speculative.”

So, according to the BBC, what US officials have to say is speculation, but what comes out of the mouths of Israeli officials is fact.

Promoting Israel’s viewpoint

On 21 March, BBC Online ran another story that could be viewed as propaganda for Israel under the headline: “Israel uncovers longest Gaza tunnel.’” The BBC’s source once again is the Israeli army, and a link is provided to the story on the army’s website as verification for its authenticity.

The BBC reports: “A spokesman said it was the longest tunnel found to date and was meant for use in attacks on Israeli civilians.” The story came five months after a similar BBC story headlined “Gaza ‘terror tunnel’ uncovered inside Israel.”

In the intervening five months, BBC Online carried no stories on how tunnels between Gaza and Egypt have served as a lifeline to the Palestinians, held under an illegal blockade for seven years. When the BBC reports on tunnels under Gaza, they are solely “terror tunnels.”

And so, in March, the BBC ignored the killings of Palestinian youths in the West Bank, choosing instead to run dubious stories on arms shipments to Gaza and “terror tunnels,” both of which propagate Israel’s hasbara viewpoint of Palestinians as terrorists hellbent on its destruction. The truthful image of Palestinians that Israel does not want promoted – that of victims of unprovoked Israeli aggression – is kept from BBC audiences.

This week, BBC Online airbrushed another historical moment from its news pages. This time it was the comments of US Secretary of State John Kerry, blaming Israel for the breakdown of talks with the Palestinian Authority, which the BBC decided to withhold from its licence fee-paying audience.

Incredibly, the BBC begins its article in a way that placed the blame on the Palestinians for the collapse of the talks, a claim made by Israel. Once again, the BBC reported from the viewpoint of Israel. The US perspective that Israel precipitated the breakdown was not reported.

So why is BBC Online’s Middle East desk seemingly so determined to shield Israel from bad publicity by withholding important news stories from its audiences, while, on the other hand, pushing anti-Palestinian stories provided by the Israeli army?

Could it be anything to do with the desk’s editor, Raffi Berg, who took up his post in August 2013, and was exposed by The Electronic Intifada for having sent emails to BBC journalists asking them to promote the Israeli perspective in their reporting?

It is, of course, impossible to say. But what can be said, by just looking at its reporting of Israel and the Palestinians over the last five weeks, is that it is becoming almost impossible to hide the pro-Israeli bias of BBC Online’s Middle East desk. For that, the BBC should surely take collective responsibility.

Source: Electronic Intifada


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