Michael Oren finds Israel vindicated by UN report that it slaughtered 101 civilians, including 33 children

Israel/Palestine
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A few days ago, Phil reported on Yousef Munayyer’s take on the nauseating Wolf Blitzer interview with “CNN analyst” (and former Israeli Ambassador to the US) Michael Oren on the recent IDF sniping murders of two Palestinian teenage boys. Oren suggested the boys might be alive and well, recounting a well-rehearsed but fabricated history of Palestinian death performances staged to tug at the heartstrings of deluded Western liberals:

Remember the Mohamed al Doura case which helped trigger the second Intifada, great questions whether Mohamed al Doura could have been shot by Israeli forces, whether he was shot at all.
In 2006 a report from Gaza about a family of eight Palestinians killed supposedly by Israeli tank fire. It turned out upon further investigation that they were killed by a Hamas mine, and even in 2012, during the latest fighting in Gaza, a picture of a Palestinian man holding the body of his son purportedly killed by Israeli planes, it was on the front page of the “Washington Post.” It turns out that that picture was staged as well.

In the al-Dura case, an Israeli investigation concluded that the Palestinians faked the entire affair. Although cameras captured the father and son caught in crossfire while at least six or eight bullet holes were forming in the wall inches from their heads, supposedly they were actually highly skilled, extraordinarily fearless actors who were not injured at all! The Israeli investigators adopted this theory that had been relentlessly promulgated by a French analyst named Philippe Karsenty. You can catch any number of his presentations on youtube. I attended one in New York and felt like I was the only person in the room not drinking the Kool-Aid.

Israel apparently did concede that the Palestinian family slaughtered on the Gaza beach in 2006 was dead, but its own investigation cleared it of any wrongdoing. Israel blamed Hamas for planting on a beach frequented by lots of ordinary folk a land mine that just happened to explode under the sand at the same time Israel was firing shells a couple hundred meters away.  A good analysis debunking the land mine theory can be found here.

Then there is this last episode of the WashPo front page photo of a father grieving over the baby he was carrying that Oren claims turned out to be “staged as well.” The incident took place on the first day of the Israeli attack on Gaza from November 14 to 21, 2012. The father was a BBC employee named Jihad Misharawi, cradling his 11-month old son Omar. Here is the original WashPo photo and article.

About four months later, the UN Human Rights Commission issued its annual report on Israel/Palestine, including an addendum that focused on the November events. The report referred to the incident as follows:

On 14 November, a woman, her 11-month-old infant, and an 18-year-old adult in Al-Zaitoun were killed by what appeared to be a Palestinian rocket that fell short of Israel.

So did Oren get this one right? Of course not. First of all, the UN report’s speculation regarding the source of the explosive, if accurate, does not remotely suggest that the event was “staged” at all, as Oren claimed. The WashPo photo was of a real father wailing over the real death of his real baby. Oren’s entire point that this incident constituted evidence of Palestinian fakery, cited in support of his speculation that the two teenagers recently shot to death on camera were well-trained Pallywood actors, is absurd.

Even more importantly, the UN report relied upon by the Israelis, including Oren, who seek to absolve Israel of fault for killing the Misharawi baby, was a comprehensive 16-page report that referred to this incident in a single sentence. Far from exculpating Israel of blame for the seven days of carnage, the report was a stern indictment of Israel for killing over a hundred civilians, including 33 children and 13 women, and injuring hundreds more. The report also condemned Hamas for firing rockets that landed in Gaza, possibly killing six civilians, including one woman and three children (including the Misharawi incident).

The UN report painstakingly recounted numerous incidents in which Israeli forces shelled civilian locations, resulting in civilian deaths. Just a small sample:

13. On 19 November, a father, his 12-year-old daughter, and his 19-year-old son were allegedly killed by a drone missile while collecting spearmint in a farm adjacent to their house in Ahmad Yassin Street, north of Gaza City. Information collected by OHCHR indicates that the victims were farmers. In a similar case, on 21 November, an 84-year-old man working on his olive farm and his 14-year-old granddaughter were killed by a missile that landed in their farm, east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip.

14. On 19 November, two civilians, including a boy, were walking next to a field on a paved road in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, when a missile hit them, killing them instantly. A three-year-old girl was injured in the same incident. . . On the same day, two farmers and a school guard were travelling in a truck reportedly carrying tomatoes in Dier El Balah, central Gaza Strip, when an Israeli airstrike hit their truck, killing the three of them. . . On 21 November, an 8-year-old boy was killed and five other children as well as an 80-year-old man were injured, in an airstrike in Zaitoun area, Gaza City. The children were reportedly playing in the privately-owned courtyard when the missile hit.

15. On 20 November, two 16-year-old boys were killed, allegedly by a drone missile, while hunting birds in an open area located approximately 700 meters away from the fence, east of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Relatives of the victims reported that the IDF did not grant access to the ambulances to retrieve the bodies for at least five hours. . . On 17 November, the IDF targeted a 31-year-old civilian in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, who was attempting to rescue three persons who had been hit and killed by a missile that struck a farm just a few minutes prior.

16. The IDF targeted residential buildings and properties during the last few days of the crisis, with some reports estimating that a total of 382 residences were destroyed or sustained severe damages due to Israeli attacks. In certain cases, attacks on residences resulted in casualties among civilians.

17. On 18 November, an Israeli air strike without prior warning hit a three-storey house belonging to the Al-Dalou family in Al-Nasser neighbourhood, central Gaza City. The airstrike killed 12 people, five of whom were children and four were women. Ten of those killed belonged to one family.

And on and on and on. Peruse the entire report yourself if you have the stomach for it.

Can you imagine the perverted mindset of the dedicated hasbarists who culled through the UN report’s mountain of damning evidence that the IDF routinely targeted civilians with lethal force, only to rejoice at finding this one isolated nugget where Israel may be blameless?

To recap, the UN report trumpeted by Oren and others explicitly condemned Israel for numerous lethal attacks killing 101 Palestinian civilians, 33 of them children, while raising the possibility that errant Palestinian rockets killed an additional six civilians, including this one particular baby.

While it almost seems beside the point, it is by no means certain that the Misharawi baby died from a Hamas rocket rather than from Israeli shelling. The UN conclusion appears to have been based mostly on the fact that damage to the Misharawi home was much less than that usually caused by an Israeli missile. However, Misharawi himself attributed the death of his son and sister-in-law on “shrapnel” and “secondary explosion” and dismissed the Hamas rocket theory as “rubbish.”

When CNN hired Oren as a consultant, it ostensibly was to provide “balanced but insightful commentary.” Right! Someone has to counterbalance Wolf Blitzer’s blatant anti-Israel bias. Thanks for the insight, Michael Oren!

About David Samel

David Samel is an attorney in New York City.

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  1. just
    June 2, 2014, 10:44 am

    And the hasbara brigade/faithful zionists endlessly and dutifully trumpet the Oren/Blitzer caca.

    Despicable.

    Thanks, David.

  2. Annie Robbins
    June 2, 2014, 10:57 am

    for background: Famous Gaza killing featured in ‘New Yorker’ broke the ceasefire that led to ‘Operation Summer Rains’ (w/video)

    link to mondoweiss.net

  3. seafoid
    June 2, 2014, 11:02 am

    It’s all clean and makes sense in Oren’s echo chamber. Israel shoots to kill but there’s no blood and nobody dies. He thinks he’s helping Jews. He isn’t.

    Not in the real world beyond the range of the IDF.
    link to theguardian.com

  4. just
    June 2, 2014, 11:19 am

    S.O.P.

    “Oren, Historian Armed
    Posted on January 5, 2009 by Tony

    An unremarkable op ed in the LA Times that trots out Israel’s boilerplate arguments that bombing the crap out of Gaza is actually an attack on Iran, was penned by Yossi Klein Halevy and Michael Oren. What is remarkable, though, is that Oren, AIPAC’s favorite historian, is listed simply as “a distinguished fellow at the Shalem Center and a professor at the foreign service school of Georgetown University.” What they forgot to note, of course, is that Oren is currently in Gaza, in the uniform of the Israeli Defense Force, in which he is a reserve officer whose current duty is as a media officer working to shape perceptions of the Gaza operation. I’d have thought that should have been made clear.”

    link to tonykaron.com

    He’s only traded in his fatigues for a suit, he’s still a “media officer”.

  5. Shmuel
    June 2, 2014, 11:23 am

    Thanks very much, David, for taking the time to expose Oren’s balanced but insightful commentary, blatant advocacy for his former(?) employer, lies.

  6. Ecru
    June 2, 2014, 1:44 pm

    Those Israelis recently “killed” in Belgium? Complete fakery – they’re presently working a fish and chip shop in Whitby. I know because I heard it from a person who was told it by a person who was told it by a magical menorah.

  7. Walid
    June 2, 2014, 1:51 pm

    “Remember the Mohamed al Doura case which helped trigger the second Intifada, great questions whether Mohamed al Doura could have been shot by Israeli forces, whether he was shot at all.’ (Oren)

    Actually, the 2nd Intifada was triggered by Sharon with his stupid stroll on the Haram grounds accompanied by 1000 goons. It was already in the air and Sharon provided the needed spark to set it off. That was at noon September 28, 2000.

    Mohammed al-Dura was killed in Gaza during a firefight 3 days later on September 30, 2000.

    Oren’s history is the pits.

  8. amigo
    June 2, 2014, 2:01 pm

    If Palestinians deliberately misinterpreted a report to enhance their case , Oren and fellow propagandists would scream blue murder and accuse all Palestinians of being liars and dishonest war mongers.

    Are Oren,s lies and deceit considered aiding and abetting war crimes and shouldn,t he be locked away for the rest of his (un) natural life.

    Goebbels would have been proud of this lying toad.

  9. Walid
    June 2, 2014, 2:12 pm

    “Israel apparently did concede that the Palestinian family slaughtered on the Gaza beach in 2006 was dead, but its own investigation cleared it of any wrongdoing. ”

    There was also the slaughter on November 8, 2006 that had the valiant IDF shell the densely populated neighbourhood of Beit Hanoun, Gaza in the middle of the night while the civilians slept; of the 18 Palestinians that died, 11 of them were women and children killed in their beds. 40 other people were severely injured by the tank shelling. Israeli wrote off the whole incident as a simply misinterpreted order received by the tank corps. Of course, all the IDF gunners and their commanders were cleared in an IDF internal investigation.

    The EI story and gory youtube of the aftermath are on the internet.

  10. Nevada Ned
    June 2, 2014, 2:29 pm

    Michael Oren is like a Holocaust denier.

    • Hostage
      June 2, 2014, 7:57 pm

      Michael Oren is like a Holocaust denier.

      There’s no difference at all, in the sense that he is publicly denying, trivializing, or condoning war crimes and crimes against humanity that targeted Palestinians, as such, and that his comments constitute a crime in many jurisdictions where CNN is broadcast.

      • Kathleen
        June 2, 2014, 10:13 pm

        thanks Hostage….you tell it like it is

  11. traintosiberia
    June 2, 2014, 6:04 pm

    Self regulation is urgently needed for the press. CNN should not be called a media anymore . One exAIPAC staffer is transmitting information,conducting analysis,hairsplitting the assumed controversies,and sending the message own air to millions and the person supposed to be raising a different take or possibility is the person representing the country that AIPAC represents.
    What about asking Chinese military staffer debating Tianamen Square with the Chines premier on Hongkong TV?

  12. LeaNder
    June 2, 2014, 6:39 pm

    Important topic, David. Well done.

    One minor note: “alleged” always leaves a loophole one can try to slip through. ;)

  13. bilal a
    June 2, 2014, 8:58 pm

    The monopoly of Oren Blitzers is monotonous.

    How about affirmative action for Gentiles in the Media/Film bizness?

  14. Kathleen
    June 2, 2014, 10:11 pm

    Boycott CNN. Wolf Blitzer and team part and parcel to the rebranding Israel effort based on complete lies.

    Micheal Oren is on NPR on a regular basis. Keep contacting your Reps demand that aid to Israel be cut off. Keep it up…let them know we are out here

    • seafoid
      June 3, 2014, 7:52 am

      It’s a sign of the trouble at Hasbara Towers that they had to roll Oren out at CNN.

      • just
        June 3, 2014, 9:09 am

        You know what? Even when he was a US citizen, he always only served Israel and the Zionists.

        (from wiki)

        Military service

        “In 1979, Oren began his military service in the Israel Defense Forces. He served as a paratrooper in the 1982 Lebanon War.[15] His unit was caught in a Syrian ambush on the second day of the war. His commander was killed and nearly everyone was wounded. He then joined a unit stationed in Sidon. A day after his wedding, in the summer of 1982, Oren returned to Beirut.[5]

        Following his regular military service, Oren volunteered to work with the Zionist underground in the Soviet Union. Sent to make contact with Zionist groups in the Ukraine, he was repeatedly arrested by the KGB.[16]

        During the Persian Gulf War he was Israeli liaison officer to the U.S. Sixth Fleet.[15] He was called up for reserve duty for the 2005 Gaza disengagement, and participated in the evacuation of settlements.[17] He served as an officer in the IDF Spokesman’s Office during the 2006 Lebanon War.[15] and the 2008-2009 Gaza War.[18]

        In February 2009, he delivered a lecture at Georgetown University on “The Gaza Operation: A Personal and Historical Perspective”.[19] The Today Show broadcast a special segment, “The Oren Family at War.”.[20]”

        lots o’ blood on his hands… I guess CNN (and all of the MSM outlets that allow him to spew) respects that.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    June 3, 2014, 12:09 am

    RE: Can you imagine the perverted mindset of the dedicated hasbarists who culled through the UN report’s mountain of damning evidence that the IDF routinely targeted civilians with lethal force, only to rejoice at finding this one isolated nugget where Israel may be blameless?” ~ David Samel

    MY ANSWER: Absolutely yes, I most certainly can imagine that “perverted mindset”, even with my hands mind tied behind my back. In fact, I began associating that “perverted mindset” with Michael Oren quite some time ago, not long after Netanyahu made him Israel’s (i.e. Likud’s) ambassador to the U.S.
    After reading only the first few comments he made as ambassador, I sensed that he was a truly extraordinary human being, namely: he was the type capable of producing propaganda films as depraved and shameless as Der ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew) and Jud Süß (Süss the Jew) [not to mention his being capable of insisting that his own children be killed rather than allowed to live under something other than Nazism]; and the type that sees concentration camps as providing a golden opportunity for conducting medical experiments on humans (especially on the highly sought after identical twins) without the hindrance of “quaint” concepts like ‘medical ethics’ (including the necessity of obtaining the ‘informed consent’ of subjects being experimented upon).
    As I have mentioned before, I prefer not to analogize to the Nazis due to the potential for its being seen as analogizing to the Holocaust. In most cases an analogy to Italian fascism (Mussolini and his Black Shirts) works almost as well as an analogy to the Nazis, and it has the advantage that it cannot be reasonably construed as referring to the Holocaust. Unfortunately, in the case of Oren, an analogy to Italian fascism (Mussolini and his Black Shirts) simply does not “cut the mustard” for me, so I will make this an exception where I resort to analogizing to the Nazis (especially Goebbels and his propaganda ministry).

    • DICKERSON3870
      June 3, 2014, 12:53 am

      P.S. Upon further reflection, when I feel compelled to resort to a Nazi analogy (because an analogy to Italian fascism doesn’t “cut the mustard”), I will follow the example of some of the progressive Israelis at +972, and specify that I am only analogizing to the Nazis of the early 1930s, and not to the Nazis from 1942 on (which means that I am retracting the inclusion of Mengele’s experimentation in the analogy as it was used above in reference to Oren).

  16. Talkback
    June 3, 2014, 8:17 am

    Desperate …

  17. traintosiberia
    June 3, 2014, 8:22 am

    link to independent.co.uk
    CNN booted out Octavia Nasr and waited for an opportunity to kick out Sanchez .Tthe remotely appeteciative of Palestine or of Lebanese Shia will find themselves lying dead in the CNN run blind information alley .

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