Gaza rules: Kill 2 Palestinian women on cellphones in an orchard so Israeli soldiers face zero risk

Activism
on 83 Comments

The anonymous soldier testimonies from the 2014 Gaza onslaught released today by the Israeli veterans group Breaking the Silence (and reported in the Washington Post, the Independent, and Guardian) suggest more madness than method in Israel’s overwhelming and indiscriminate attacks in Gaza. “Fire at every person you see,” is the Independent’s headline.

Underlying the testimonies, though, are two new doctrines of war that the Israeli military has adopted at the highest level in order to combat violent Palestinian resistance: 1, zero risk to Israeli troops, 2, destruction of entire neighborhoods as a form of deterrence and collective punishment.

1. The first rule of engagement is, When an Israeli soldier is in doubt about any activity on the other side, pull the trigger; Israeli soldiers want the risk to be on the Palestinians. This rule upends a principle stated by Israeli authorities years ago (notably the philosopher Moshe Halbertal), of ostensibly doing everything possible to avoid harm to civilians in line with international law. Rather, it reflects thinking formulated by philosopher Asa Kasher and former general and intelligence chief Amos Yadlin back in 2003, arguing that because Israeli soldiers are also citizens of the state of Israel, when Israel sends them into battle, the Israeli army owes them protection more than it owes civilians of the enemy.

In these testimonies, Palestinian civilians aren’t really even civilians. As a lieutenant said:

There is this rigid dichotomy. There are those involved [Palestinians involved in the fighting] and those uninvolved, and that’s it. But the very fact that they’re described as ‘uninvolved’, rather than as civilians, and the desensitization to the surging number of dead on the Palestinian side – and it doesn’t matter whether they’re involved or not – the unfathomable number of dead on one of the sides, the unimaginable level of destruction, the way militant cells and people were regarded as targets and not as living beings – that’s something that troubles me. The discourse is racist

So Israeli soldiers become civilians in terms of the protection afforded them by the army. Israeli civilians are the top priority, then comes an Israeli soldier, then after him comes a Palestinian civilian, and at the bottom is the Palestinian militant. This goes against international law.

2. The second doctrine is the Dahiya doctrine, developed during the second Lebanon war in the Beirut neighborhood of Dahiya, of bombing portions of the enemy’s cities to ashes. This idea reflects an understanding of asymmetrical war:  We can’t really ever win the war, we can’t wipe out the militants, but we can buy time between rounds of conflict by making so much damage that it will cause them to think 20,000 times before they pick a fight. So responding proportionately is a strategic error, we have to bomb them so much as to create deterrence.

These two doctrines together explain the Gaza operation. And they are rules that by definition will kill a great number of civilians. Though Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence says that the civilian deaths were not intentional, as such.

“We’re not talking about a situation where generals in command centers are plotting as the civilian death numbers are rising, but sadly we’re very far away from the official line where they say we did everything to reduce civilian casualties. Because anyone who gives these orders and anyone who sets these regulations cannot say that anymore, it’s just a blunt lie.”

Consider the leaflets that the soldiers dropped on neighborhoods, and that the Israeli military has said constituted sufficient warning to residents. The leaflets gave a deadline for residents to leave, and had a map showing where they could go. For instance, residents of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza were told to go to Jabaliya refugee camp.

After that, the entire neighborhood of Beit Lahiya became an old-school battlefield ala the second world war, where anything goes.

Innocent people don’t exist. The area has to be “sterilized,” according to one testimony. “There’s no such thing there as a person who is uninvolved.”

Another: “No one should be there at all. If there is [any Palestinian] there – they shouldn’t be.”

“After the leaflets, Beit Lahiya is not a neighborhood any more,” says Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence.  “We’re at war… Drop the leaflet, anyone who is there is not ‘not involved,’ you shoot.

In one of the most horrifying cases in the testimonies, Israeli soldiers saw two women walking in an orchard in southern Gaza, 800 meters away from troops. An officer decided they were scouts for militants.

The lookouts couldn’t see well so the commander sent a drone up to look from above, and the drone implicated them. It saw them with phones, talking, walking. They directed fire there, on those girls, and they were killed. After they were implicated, I had a feeling it was bullshit.

On what was the incrimination based? Breaking the Silence asked.
Scouts. “The [Palestinian girls] can surely see the tanks, and they can surely see the smoke rising from all the engineering work.” After that the commander told the tank commander to go scan that place, and three tanks went to check [the bodies]. They check the bodies, and it was two women, over age 30. The bodies of two women, and they were unarmed. He came back and we moved on, and they were listed as terrorists.
The testimonies describe a pattern in which commanders authorized a large radius of “collateral damage” when a target was fired on. As the definition of what constituted an approved perimeter for a missile strike was relaxed, artillery officers were able to adjust their targets in such a manner that they could end up firing shells very close to schools

An Air Force veteran described the loosening of restrictions:

[A]fter the APC in Shuja’iyya, (an incident in which seven IDF soldiers were killed when a rocket hit their armored personnel carrier) and when the brigade commander was killed…  things weren’t done the same as they were before…

There were many, many targets that [weren’t attacked] because they didn’t qualify under the firing policy, and then after Shujai’yya for example, suddenly some of those targets did get approved. The sort of problematic targets that were at a certain distance from some school – suddenly stuff like that did get approved
Shaul says that Israel crossed lines it had not crossed before: “In 2002 in Gaza during the second intifada, in order to fire one shell, a colonel needed to approve it. In Operation Protective Edge [the 2014 operation] you could have a 19-and-a-half-year-old sergeant who commands a tank firing dozens of shells a day and no one asks a question. It’s war.”

He goes on, “What we understand is that the IDF has changed its way of fighting, basically abandoned the ethical code without having any conversation, without having any discussion. It’s a mad doctrine, and the IDF didn’t adopt it formally. Even some people in the general staff think it’s mad, but this is the way we fight.”

Today the IDF released a statement saying that Breaking the Silence was irresponsible because it did not attempt to discuss its findings with army command. Breaking the Silence then released a letter from late March to the IDF in which it sought to share the testimonies and get a response.

“What I’m describing, I know it sounds mad,” Shaul says. “And it is mad, and that’s why we’re so mad.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

83 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    May 4, 2015, 11:38 am

    Nevertheless, and notwithstanding, and other high-sounding phrases of mitigation, these soldiers and their officers (up to the highest!) are described by Israel-apologists as “the most moral in the world”.

    Could be. What do we know of other armies? Taking ISIS for comparison, perhaps Israel would come out ahead. USA? Russia? China? North Korea? South Korea? Guatemala? Chile? Most of Latin America under the dictators? I have no personal experience to guide me and have read no testimonies, but fear the worst.

    What does seem clear is this: putting international law to one side for the nonce, this behavior by IDF does not seem to me ethical, not even “Jewish” as my limited experience of what “Jewish” might mean leads me to suppose. Especially when I recall one particular detail of Gaza-2014: it was a preplanned “lawn-mowing” Dahiya-style operation, that is, a deliberate mass-killing, triggered by an Israeli assassination and then justified as response to the (to the assassination responsive) rocket fire out of Gaza. That is to say that all that killing and destruction of property cannot be seen simply in terms of laws of war-in-progress but should be seen as felony murder, that is, as killing etc. done in the course of what was initially and “ab ovo” an Israeli crime, a deliberate and law-breaking (felonious) aggression (war-in-initiation). The murderous onslaught and slaughter conducted by Israel was not necessary, was illegal, and should not have occurred.

    In that view, saving the lives of Israeli soldiers “as Israeli civilians” at the cost of Palestinian civilian lives is sickening — saving the lives of people ordered to be, and who became for the while, murderers is more like it.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      May 4, 2015, 1:04 pm

      I was going to say the same. Even these soldiers – brave as they are to come out like this – have been ziowashed. Take this for example:

      “What we understand is that the IDF has changed its way of fighting, basically abandoned the ethical code without having any conversation, without having any discussion. It’s a mad doctrine, and the IDF didn’t adopt it formally. Even some people in the general staff think it’s mad, but this is the way we fight.”

      The IDF never ever had an ‘ethical code’. How does this young man think the siege of Beirut, which killed 2000 people, the vast majority civilians in 1982, probably well before he was born, fitted into the IDF’s ‘ethical code’?

  2. a blah chick
    May 4, 2015, 12:33 pm

    I have one quibble: I do not believe the IDF abandoned its former “standards” because they never had them to begin with (insert Nakba here).

    I’d say more but I’m too upset to be constructive.

    • just
      May 5, 2015, 7:54 am

      +1, abc!

      Now it’s state- sponsored terrorism on an even grander scale. Committed by an IOF (some US citizens) with advanced weaponry (much of it US made and supplied).

      All of it given the US (and others) stamp of approval in the guise/lie of “self- defense” and for “the most moral army in the world.”

      What’s that deafening silence from Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Ave and Foggy Bottom?

  3. Marnie
    May 4, 2015, 12:50 pm

    So it’s verboten to be Palestinian in any way, shape or form, be ye fighter, infant, doctor, farmer, student, mother, grandparents – you are going to be killed at some point simply because you refuse to leave your homes, your lands and your heritage and of course, you are TERRORISTS, every single fighter, infant,doctor, farmer, student, mother, grandparents – ALL TERRORISTS, not a single civilian among you. The IDF wants a sterile environment.

    How much longer is the world going to watch, be horrified and then turn the channel.

    The Palestinians are stripped bit by bit not only of their identity as native people of Palestine, but as human beings. Its ironic, maybe that’s not the right word, but as the Palestinians are going through this process of dehumanization by the apartheid, racist zionazi state, the IDF soldiers are being stripped of their identity as soldiers and are now civilians. With weapons, low tech and high tech, made possible by the USA. So does that mean now that all “Israelis” are soldiers?

    “Underlying the testimonies, though, are two new doctrines of war that the Israeli military has adopted at the highest level in order to combat violent Palestinian resistance: 1, zero risk to Israeli troops, 2, destruction of entire neighborhoods as a form of deterrence and collective punishment.”

    The IDF is the most cowardly, corrupt, genocidal army in the world!

    • echinococcus
      May 4, 2015, 2:16 pm

      So it’s verboten to be Palestinian in any way, shape or form

      Exactly. So why is everybody stuttering when the only possible word to describe this is genocide?

      • Marnie
        May 5, 2015, 12:03 am

        It must depend on who’s the target of genocide!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68XlAMy0k-s

        PS – How do you get video to post?

      • echinococcus
        May 5, 2015, 4:29 pm

        Thank you for the link, Marnie. That clip is enough to prove that our constitution and the usual propaganda about the US are lies only.

    • Kay24
      May 4, 2015, 2:44 pm

      The IDF is one of the most brutal, and vicious armies in the world. They are cowardly too, since they pick on women and children.

      Here are the thugs from Tel Aviv displaying their evil behavior during one of their routine arrests.
      The question is, would these scumbags kick an Israeli or Jewish man if he had a child in his hands like this?

      • Neil Schipper
        May 4, 2015, 7:56 pm

        Brutal? Vicious?

        The ideologized mind is a wonder to behold.

        The video shows an arrest by professionals of a healthy, well-built twenty-something. (Of course, we have no context.) The man is resisting by clinging to a 3 year old girl as a shield. It looks as if the whole thing goes down with not a drop of blood shed.

        From 0:38, we see the cop gingerly extricate the girl from the fray, cradling her just the way a man should. With the girl safe, the cop returns his attention to the main event. Then the girl, suddenly intrigued by the cop’s bald pate, reaches out to give it a stroke. This is very funny. Also funny is the cop’s lightning head flinch — it is after all still a highly charged situation; he recovers in an instant, and allows her to proceed with a tender massage! (Who needs cat videos?)

        From 0:48, “mom” (finally) approaches to retrieve the girl from the cop; he hesitates: can this woman be trusted with the precious cargo? mom almost wrenches the girl’s arm from its socket. The girl appears to be less comfortable with “mom” than cop.

        There is a gratuitous slap at 1:19, probably as traumatic as the first two minutes of training of a recruit in either the IDF or Hamas.

        This could be a training video for how to do things right. I hope a lot of American cops watch it. I very much hope Arab cops watch it.

        And again: the ideologized mind is a wonder to behold.

      • Kay24
        May 4, 2015, 10:35 pm

        Ah, what delusion can do to some. It is all the little girls fault, after all the gentle IDF have a wonderful habit of picking on women and children. Here is another brilliant video showing how the IDF does things right. They are such honest elements, and even accused of the Palestinians killing their own. Yeah, that koolaid is stunningly powerful.

        http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/05/20/idf-murders-two-palestinian-youths-in-cold-blood/

        And the true story:

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.591738

      • Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 8:43 pm

        “Kay24” what astounds me is that Schipper doesn’t know that his comment says a lot more about him than it does about the incident recorded.
        And what it says is very bad. Yup, that’s it, Schip, a few words from you and everybody will start saying ‘Damn I’d better go see my optometrist, my eyes must be failing me, since Shipper says I didn’t see what I saw.’

        I’ll pass over the misogyny and misopedia.

    • eljay
      May 4, 2015, 2:49 pm

      || Marnie: The IDF is the most cowardly, corrupt, genocidal army in the world! ||

      I suspect it’s not the worst army in the world, but it is very far from being the “world’s most moral army” it claims to be.

      Which isn’t surprising, given that the IDF is the army of the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, belligerent, intransigent and supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel – a state that is very far from being the “moral beacon” it claims to be.

    • Walid
      May 4, 2015, 7:22 pm

      “Underlying the testimonies, though, are two new doctrines of war that the Israeli military has adopted at the highest level in order to combat violent Palestinian resistance: 1, zero risk to Israeli troops, 2, destruction of entire neighborhoods as a form of deterrence and collective punishment.”

      Easy doctrines to follow, Marnie, especially when they can do it for free. Israel doesn’t pay a penny for all the munitions it dumps on the Palestinians nor does it pay a penny for any fuel used to dump it by any of its military vehicles and warplanes; the US taxpayers do. It’s a nation of freeloaders.

      • Neil Schipper
        May 4, 2015, 8:09 pm

        From public sources I calculate that 0.5% of U.S. defense spending provides 13% of Israel’s defense spending.

      • Marnie
        May 5, 2015, 1:15 am

        That’s exactly right. They don’t pay a dime, everyone else does. It’s one of the biggest welfare states in the world. And off topic, but the continuing “Look what we’re doing for Nepal” crap is nauseating. Like I said before, it’s easy to be generous when you’re spending someone else’s money and the ziostate is in constant need of PR to try to deflect what they do on the ground in the ME.

      • Neil Schipper
        May 5, 2015, 6:41 am

        1 penny = 1 dime = 20 billion dollars

        Math is is easy.. on planet Mondoweiss

      • mariapalestina
        May 5, 2015, 6:37 pm

        @Marnie “Look what we’re doing for Nepal.. (sorry, no reply option)

        Not sure they did anything for Nepal. They borrowed a Nepalese Govt helicopter to rescue some Israeli trekkers, located a few Israeli babies born to Nepalese women acting as surrogates for Israeli gay couples so these infants could make alliyah to their ancestral homeland (not sure quite how they get to be Jewish) And of course they achieved their prime objective: Deliver a Nepalese baby. They found a woman, already in a hospital, and helped deliver her healthy son, live on national TV & video blasted around the world within seconds. Then, their work finished, and within a week of their arrival, they began to pack up their cameras and media teams and return home to Israel as heroes. Excuse my cynicism, but so long as thousands of children in Gaza, — homeless, hungry, injured, orphaned or traumatized — continue to be ignored by the people responsible for their plight, I have no patience with this kind of hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement on the part of Israel.

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/some-of-idf-team-to-leave-nepal-as-search-persists-for-missing-trekker/

      • Neil Schipper
        May 6, 2015, 12:21 am

        Rereading, I must confess that I’ve failed my own math challenge. Apologies to Walid and Marnie for the misquotes.

        It should be:

        not a penny = not a dime = $20,000,000,000

  4. amigo
    May 4, 2015, 1:01 pm

    “1. The first rule of engagement is, When an Israeli soldier is in doubt about any activity on the other side, pull the trigger; Israeli soldiers want the risk to be on the Palestinian “.

    Does this mean we no longer have to listen to Mark Regev claiming Israel takes every possible precaution to avoid killing civilians .May we also hope hopknee and co will quit trying to push that lie down our throats.

    • a blah chick
      May 5, 2015, 7:33 pm

      “Does this mean we no longer have to listen to Mark Regev…”

      I muted that idiot sone time ago. I only broke the embargo last summer when Jon Snow handed him his head.

      Want to keep yourself in a cold sweat? Try to imagine the pillow talk between him and Miri.

      {Shudders}

  5. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    May 4, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Morality aside, the IDF’s unwillingness to take — as opposed to inflict – casualties is their fundamental weakness as a fighting force. That is why, for all their technical superiority, they have not won a war for 4O years.

    A real army has to be prepared for the fact that some, maybe many, of their members will not come home after a war. In Israel, by contrast, ”soldiers” consider ”war” to be a good chance to post some sexy pics on their Instagram page. The IDF’s best known invention, the Merkava tank, is basically an armoured cocoon. I suppose that’s what comes of a whole generation growing up thinking that being a ‘soldier’ means harassing pregnant women at checkpoints. And that’s why when, faced with a courageous, committed fighting force in Hizballah, the IDF ran away. Twice.

    • ckg
      May 4, 2015, 1:52 pm

      Finkelstein has at various times, most recently at Syracuse U, made the following argument which I paraphase:

      In most societies they tolerate combat casualties much more than they are willing to tolerate civilian casualties. Israel is a different kind of society. It’s the kind of Spartan society in which military or combat casualties are the source of much greater anguish and torment than civilian casualties. So the first rule of combat is: Soldiers are not supposed to get killed. If you see a building in the distance you don’t ask any questions. You demolish everything in sight, so there will be nobody to even take a sniper shot at you.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 4, 2015, 2:27 pm

        Finkelstein is correct. In Israel, soldiers are much more precious than civilians. I think that’s partly because just about every Israeli – or at least Israeli Jews, who are all that count – has been a solider at some point. This includes women, even though, despite the hasbara about the IDF being such a female-friendly army, only 3% of combat forces are women.

        Then, as Finkelstein says, there’s the fact that Israel is a macho ‘Spartan’ society, where ‘deterrence’ is crucial to the national psyche. The death of soldiers wounds in a way that the death of civilians -insofar as anyone is a civilian in a country with universal conscription – ever can. Add to that the racism which is rampant in Israeli society and one can see just how sick the joke of the ‘world’s most moral army’ really is.

      • Keith
        May 4, 2015, 4:33 pm

        CKG- Your comment made me reflect upon the situation in the US where the killing of a police officer is cause for huge outpourings of sympathy and funeral parades even though statistically the average police officer is one of the safer occupations, much more safe than a clerk in a 7-11. On the other hand, the shooting of unarmed civilians (particularly Black) is ho-hum business as usual. Additionally, these shootings frequently involved shooting in volleys of multiple rounds, usually referred to as “spray and pray,” a term carried over from overseas operations where our soldiers simply empty their magazines at the slightest provocation or perceived threat. In Seattle’s King County, police shot an unarmed man 16 times as he reached for his wallet. Miraculously, he survived and sued. Police departments tend to favor ex-military and that, along with the militarization of the police, has resulted in the police becoming something of an occupying force, brutalizing Blacks now, others to follow as neoliberalism takes its toll. I have linked to both a story about the 16 shots and another where to a video showing a Black man armed with a knife confronting 6 police officers and one police dog. He appears to turn away and the officers open fire 46 times.
        http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/judge-wont-toss-lawsuit-by-man-police-shot-16-times/

    • Marnie
      May 4, 2015, 4:02 pm

      “A real army has to be prepared for the fact that some, maybe many, of their members will not come home after a war.”

      “And that’s why when, faced with a courageous, committed fighting force in Hizballah, the IDF ran away. Twice.”

      They only like to brutalize those without the materials to fight back. If there was ever a level playing field, they’d be through, screaming for their mother’s and fathers. They’re scared of children for God’s sake! Chickenshit bastards all.

      • Walid
        May 4, 2015, 7:12 pm

        “And that’s why when, faced with a courageous, committed fighting force in Hizballah, the IDF ran away. Twice.” (Marnie)

        It’s about to happen again probably in the coming few days. Now that the snow has melted, the big battle is about to start on Syria’s Qalamoun border with Lebanon between Israel’s pals ISIS/Nusra and the Syrian Army/Hizbullah as well as the Lebanese Army since Qalamoun is ISIS/Nusra’s portal into Lebanon and Israel as usual will surely become involved by providing them with air and other support. One could guess what would follow; Nasrallah’s Tuesday evening televised message will surely discuss Qalamoun and the need for Israel to keep it in its pants.

      • Walid
        May 5, 2015, 12:17 pm

        More for Israel/ISIS fans about the big battle between ISIS/Nusra and Hizbullah/Syrian Army. The awaited big battle started today in Qalamoun, Syria today. 12 terrorists killed but also a senior Hizbullah commander.

      • Citizen
        May 5, 2015, 6:06 pm

        The Zionist military has always been a BS unit, starting with the 1947-’48-’49 war that ended in the Armistice or Green Line–the Arab fighters who actually fought (mostly in area of UN partition for Palestine) were ill-trained, poorly equipped. The Jewish fighters, trained by experience in the US and UK military units of WW2, with then good equipment furnished by both US and Czech surplus, inter alia.

      • Walid
        May 5, 2015, 10:13 pm

        It seems that the “big battle” hasn’t actually started. Nasrallah in his Tuesday evening speech declared that the Lebanese Army is unable to prevent the terrorists from overrunning Lebanon’s eastern border so Hizbullah has taken it upon itself to do so and will be the one to decide when the big battle will start, not ISIS and not its Nusra, Qaeda, Israel associates. His speech in most part berated Saudi Arabia for its continued destruction of Yemen despite having declared that the bombings are over and to describe the US’ long term project of fracturing Middle East countries by starting civil wars everywhere that would go on for many decades. Nasrallah referred to the recent Congressional decision to begin directly arming the Sunni and Kurdish factions of Iraq while continuing to stall supplying the promised arms to the Iraqi Shia-led government, which he said is a recipe for an Iraqi civil war.

      • just
        May 5, 2015, 10:47 pm

        Thanks, Walid.

        ;~ {

    • RoHa
      May 4, 2015, 7:12 pm

      “The IDF’s best known invention, the Merkava tank, is basically an armoured cocoon.”

      To be fair, that could describe just about any tank.

      The Merkava is basically an old British Centurion tank that has been turned around to put the engine in the front. This gives greater protection to the crew from frontal attack. Tanks usually have the thickest armour at the front. With the Merkava, the idea is that a shot has to go through the armour and the engine as well.

      Belgium was going to buy some Merkavas, but then that saw what happened to Merkavas in 2006, and decided to take their business elsewhere.

      • John O
        May 5, 2015, 3:30 am

        And tanks are just so 20th century, too!

      • Citizen
        May 5, 2015, 5:56 pm

        If memory serves, the Merkava has a back door exit. I don’t think any other tank has this feature.

  6. ckg
    May 4, 2015, 1:34 pm

    Gaza 2014: “There aren’t supposed to be any civilians there. If you spot someone, shoot.”
    My Lai 1968: “They’re all VC, now go and get them…Who is my enemy? Anybody that was running from us.”

  7. tree
    May 4, 2015, 2:18 pm

    Will jon s respond to this? He insisted that every Gazan killed was the fault of Hamas and that Israel was only bombing military targets. Will he just ignore what even IDF soldiers have said about what was done to the people of Gaza?

  8. Donald
    May 4, 2015, 2:27 pm

    It’s interesting to see how the Washington Post tries to downplay the brutality though it still comes through even in their report. But the other reports are better, making it clear that the death and destruction were obviously part of a deliberate policy.

    • ckg
      May 4, 2015, 3:12 pm

      Yes. And the Washington Post even manages to put in some shoot and cry:

      “I am ashamed of this,” said the 21-year-old [soldier].

      Oh, the anguish.

  9. Marnie
    May 4, 2015, 3:59 pm

    Where are the Dingaling Brothers? As they have all wept and wailed about “innocent Israelis” targeted by Hamas rockets (Hamas firecrackers that do nothing but BANG), do they do any weeping and wailing over the entire Palestinian people who have been basically reduced to being walking targets for the IDF, every single one of them?

  10. gracie fr
    May 4, 2015, 4:02 pm

    More of the same from Neve Gordon in the LRB…..

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/2015/05/04/neve-gordon/the-day-after

  11. Kay24
    May 4, 2015, 7:28 pm

    It seems Lauryn Hill came to her senses in time.

    “Lauryn Hill cancels Israel concert, citing inablity to perform in Ramallah as well
    American R&B and hip hop singer says she didn’t want her presence to be misconstrued, alienate her Palestinian fans; Hill’s planned performance was target of BDS campaign.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/1.654993

    • Marnie
      May 5, 2015, 12:08 am

      Hurrah! Thanks for posting Kay24 – I was so saddened by her plan to play “Sun City” – thank God she won’t do it.

      I don’t know why any person of color would ever agree to play the ziostate in the first place – thank you Lauren for cancelling (sorry to Ramallah fans but imagine they’ll be ecstatic about her moral decision).

  12. Jackdaw
    May 5, 2015, 2:12 am

    It would not be entirely unreasonable to assume that the women with the cell phones were not ‘spotters’ for Hamas.

    Of course, I wasn’t there.

    • a blah chick
      May 5, 2015, 7:15 am

      So why didn’t they run when they saw the drone?

      But you do make a good point. Maybe the kids on the beach were spotters too.

      • Jackdaw
        May 5, 2015, 2:32 pm

        The beach kids were struck from above with drone guided rocket.
        I don’t imagine it easy to distinguish a kid from an adult looking down from above. That said, I must concede that I don’t see how anyone on that beach, child or adult, proved a threat to the IDF.

        Of course, I can be wrong too.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 5, 2015, 5:54 pm

        Jackdaw,

        Are you going out of your way to display your ignorance?

        If by ‘beach kids’ you mean the 4 Bakr cousins, they were NOT ‘struck from above’. They were shot by gunboats who had just fired at the beach, and then, half a minute later – easily enough time to know who they were aiming at – targetted the boys. Journalists Ayman Mohyeldin and Peter Beaumont, who had been playing football with them only moment earlier, witnessed the killings. They said that they were frantically gesturing at the ships and shouting ”They’re only kids!” but STILL they were murdered.

        There is really no doubt that these boys were deliberately targetted. All of this was very widely reported at the time, but I guess you somehow managed to miss it. Seems that there’s a lot you manage to miss.

      • Mooser
        May 5, 2015, 8:59 pm

        “Are you going out of your way to display your ignorance?”

        No, he thinks the fact that he can display his ignorance means he’s very powerful. They all have that illusion. It’s not true.

      • Jackdaw
        May 6, 2015, 12:10 am
      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 6, 2015, 4:15 am

        @jackdaw

        Not that I’d trust the NYT above the journalists who were actually there and saw the boys being murdered by a warship, but can you tell me where, exactly, that article claims the boys were killed by an air strike?

      • Jackdaw
        May 7, 2015, 2:41 am

        @Max

        “The four dead boys came quickly to symbolize how the Israeli aerial assaults in Gaza are inevitably killing innocents.. “

  13. Bornajoo
    May 5, 2015, 3:39 am

    “The IDF never ever had an ‘ethical code’. How does this young man think the siege of Beirut, which killed 2000 people, the vast majority civilians in 1982, probably well before he was born, fitted into the IDF’s ‘ethical code’?” (MDM)

    This is exactly what they did in lebanon in 1982. It’s exactly how my brother described it; shoot anyone and anything that moves in order to reduce the possibility of Israeli casualties. Pummel and obliterate all surrounding areas with no regard for civilians

    Same doctrines but probably even worse now

    • Citizen
      May 5, 2015, 5:49 pm

      “Shoot at any suspicious spot”–IDF soldier was told, he testified.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      May 5, 2015, 5:58 pm

      The IDF never even entered Beirut. That had been the original plan, but with the usual cowardice that characterises that ‘army’, they stopped outside the city, laid it to siege, and in the usual cowardly IDF fashion, bombarded it from the air. In his excellent book, David Hirst describes how Sharon, in a fit of pique, would call up airstrikes that could kill hundreds of people in one go.

      If they had entered Beirut and not just indulged in indiscriminate bombing, civilian targets would probably have been much lower, but IDF casualties much higher. However, the chances of dealing a decisive defeat to the PLO would also have increased. However, for Israel, protecting their ‘soliders’ always comes first, and that is one of the reasons the IDF is such a lousy army, propaganda to the contrary aside.

      • Bornajoo
        May 5, 2015, 6:07 pm

        Your comment is absolutely spot on MDM. My brother was stationed on the very periphery of Beirut and they blasted the Shit out of it from a distance. It was all about minimising IDF casualties with no regard whatsoever for civilian casualties. Anywhere they did need to physically get into was literally obliterated first of all

        Same method as protective edge

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 5, 2015, 6:22 pm

        Your brother served in the IDF in Lebanon? Yikes!

      • Bornajoo
        May 5, 2015, 6:28 pm

        Yes. He actually volunteered back in the old brainwashed days. He’s ‘cured’ now and cannot believe he did it. Got out, never went back and tries to forget. A very sick time indeed

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 6, 2015, 9:29 am

        I think the 1982 invasion of Lebanon was the very last time anyone could say, with even a tiny shred of plausibility, that joining the IDF was in any way justifiable. The siege of Beirut changed all that, even among some Zionists. They’ve been fretting about the ‘soul of Israel’ ever since.

      • Walid
        May 6, 2015, 9:43 am

        “The siege of Beirut changed all that, even among some Zionists. They’ve been fretting about the ‘soul of Israel’ ever since. ” (MDM)

        To the point of having made 2 movies about their escapade in Lebanon glorifying their sick mentality and sick actions.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 6, 2015, 12:20 pm

        @Walid

        But weren’t they ‘shoot and cry’ films? As in, ”Yes, Israeli soldiers did terrible things but they were just a few bad apples led astray by incompetent leaders and provoked by the tewwowist keezbalakh.”. The usual fretting over what war does to the ‘soul of Israel’ rather than to the Arab men, women and children whose lives are destroyed by it?

      • Mooser
        May 7, 2015, 3:25 am

        “He’s ‘cured’ now and cannot believe he did it.”

        And if I remember right, Bornajoo, you told us he found someone to “take his hand and Samba through life” with him, too, which is always well, so nice!
        (I always get some naches thinking about it)

      • Bornajoo
        May 7, 2015, 10:57 am

        “And if I remember right, Bornajoo, you told us he found someone to “take his hand and Samba through life” with him, too, which is always well, so nice!
        (I always get some naches thinking about it)”

        You remember well MDM!

      • Mooser
        May 7, 2015, 10:35 pm

        You remember well”

        Good. It is nice to think about. But my memory hasn’t been so good lately. I’ll be forgetting my own name next, if I haven’t already!

      • Bornajoo
        May 8, 2015, 3:03 am

        Thanks for the link Mooser. Brazilian Samba (organ style) . Amazing. Did I hear somewhere that you are a maestro on the organ too?

  14. Neil Schipper
    May 5, 2015, 7:41 am

    In the above comments we find:

    a) Israel vilified for overvaluing their civilians (by waging war when a few “firecrackers” kill a few civilians)

    b) Israel vilified for overvaluing their fighters (treating fighters as having the value of civilians)

    The contradictory claims just keep swooshing to and fro.

    As it turns out, Israel lost about 70 soldiers against some 3 civilians, and Hamas lost (if memory serves) maybe 700 fighters against some 1400 civilians.

    There is a huge difference in the ratios, with Israel “spending” 23 soldiers, and Hamas “spending” 0.5 soldiers, to “account for” the loss of each one of their own civilians.

    Gaza needs better government.

    • John O
      May 5, 2015, 9:20 am

      You could also interpret those figures as showing that Hamas guerrillas are much better shots than Israeli soldiers.

    • Donald
      May 5, 2015, 10:23 am

      Your argument is a waste of time–either Breaking the Silence testimonies give a fair picture of what happened or they don’t. You are just looking for a cute set of debating points to gloss over the brutality Israel displayed.

      • RockyMissouri
        May 5, 2015, 12:10 pm

        Because he can’t explain, or justify the HORROR of it. Unconscionable …describes it accurately.

      • Neil Schipper
        May 5, 2015, 6:15 pm

        I’m noticing what I believe to be insincere, manufactured outrage. Faux-outrage. Having little to do with the death and suffering of guerilla war, little to do with how the IDF conducts its side of that war (particularly in comparison to how such wars are fought elsewhere). It has everything to do with a pre-existing certainty that Israel’s cause is evil, and that of Hamas (on which point, subsequent comment to follow) is noble in comparison.

        This is chapter 41 in its entirety from the report:

        “We were about to launch the rocket and then one of the soldiers yells at them not to shoot because he could hear people inside the house”

        Unit: Infantry • Rank: First Sergeant • Location: Northern Gaza Strip

        When a [combat] engineering unit enters a house they blow up a wall, open up a hole, enter and then start by throwing grenades into the larger spaces. A grenade inside a house is super intense – within seconds the whole place is full of smoke. The platoon commander throws a few grenades into the larger spaces, you turn on a flashlight fixed to your weapon and start shooting at all sorts of places. And then he and his team go in first. One platoon was about to ‘open’ a house with a MATADOR (portable anti-tank rocket), and there was a field interrogator – usually that’s a reservist who speaks Arabic who comes around with an electric megaphone and shouts really loudly that if anyone is in the house they should come out. They were about to launch the rocket and then *** yelled, “Don’t shoot” because he could hear people inside the house, he saved an entire family. They found this family in one of the houses and moved them to another house, a two- minute walk from there. It was very weird, protecting them. We put them in the guest room. They were all sitting there on a sofa, on a mattress, sitting and not saying a word. There were a few kids there, and a few women and someone who was definitely the father. He had the air of a father. *** guarded them first, and he had a bag of jelly candies in his pocket and he said he didn’t know whether to give them some. In the end we did give the kids some candy. This is a dilemma we knew from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). You have no reason to be nice to a Palestinian at a checkpoint – he won’t like you any better for it. You’re a son of a bitch, you’re oppressing him with this checkpoint you’re manning. And he said the same thing: “These kids, what’s going on now is for sure the most traumatic thing to have ever happened in their lives until now – if I give them some jelly candy will they really feel any better? What kind of crap is that?” In the end he did give them candies, ‘cause they were cute. And we brought them water, and then we realized they weren’t drinking or eating because this was during Ramadan and we had barged in before their Ramadan meal. An hour later somebody came around to escort them to the main route and bid them good luck.

        This is the voice of a sensitive young person thrown into a harrowing situation.

        May every war now being fought, and every war yet to be fought, produce such testimony.

        But it — and much else that I’ve sampled in the document — provides nothing close to evidence for war crimes, nor for the viciousness and sadism that the likes of you incessantly accuse the people of Israel of being.

        Looking at the named funders and supporting organization on page 3, it appears that, at heart, this is war testimony with a purpose, an agenda in place before any shot was fired. It’s a politicized production.

      • Neil Schipper
        May 5, 2015, 6:29 pm

        .. the viciousness and sadism that the likes of you incessantly accuse the people of Israel of being responsible for.

      • Kris
        May 5, 2015, 8:01 pm

        @Neil Schipper: “It was very weird, protecting them….An hour later somebody came around to escort them to the main route and bid them good luck”

        Such a nice touch–escorting this terrified family to the main route and bidding them good luck after destroying their home! Probably these Palestinian children will never forget such kindness.

        @Neil Schipper: “It has everything to do with a pre-existing certainty that Israel’s cause is evil, – ”

        What is Israel’s “cause,” anyway?

      • Mooser
        May 7, 2015, 10:52 pm

        . “the viciousness and sadism that the likes of you incessantly accuse the people of Israel of being responsible for. “

        “The likes of you”? Gee “Schlepper” what do you mean by that? Why, it almost sounds like you think we are prosteh leit, or something.

        Oh well, it doesn’t surprise me, Neil. When the blood of royalty, a natural aristocracy, runs in your veins, well, a guy knows he’s something special and I can’t blame him for looking down on the common run of humanity. They might as well be “human dust”.

    • a blah chick
      May 5, 2015, 1:15 pm

      Gaza needs better government, because electing anyone Israel doesn’t like can be fatal.

      Gaza needs for the blockade to end, period.

    • Citizen
      May 5, 2015, 5:45 pm

      @@ eil Schipper
      So, you say HAMAS lost 700 fighters, and the Palestinians as a whole in Gaza lost double that in civilian lives? (Among those 1400, 500 children) You see nothing to scream about there?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      May 5, 2015, 6:02 pm

      All your ‘argument’ shows is that the ‘world’s most moral’ army, for all its fancy boys’ toys, killed way more civilians than Hamas did, even proportionately. Nearly all the Palestinian dead were civilians. Nearly all the Israeli dead were militants. The same was true for the July war on Lebanon. It’s obvious the IDF is targetting civilians.

      Oh, and this new hasbara tactic of concern trolling about the people of Gaza is ludicrous. You must think we’re all thick as two short planks if you seriously believe anyone here thinks you give a toss about the people of Gaza.

  15. a blah chick
    May 5, 2015, 7:21 pm

    “Don’t shoot” because he could hear people inside the house, he saved an entire family.”

    Too bad this soldier wasn’t around to save the other 60 or 80 whole families wiped out.

  16. iResistDe4iAm
    May 6, 2015, 11:07 am

    War Crime Exhibit A1
    Murder of unarmed civilians in cold blood

    New video shows Palestinian youths killed by Israeli army on Nakba Day posed no threat to soldiers
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/palestinian-israeli-soldiers

    War Crime Exhibit B1
    Collective punishment

    Photo Essay: Israeli soliders destroy Qawasmeh and Aisha family homes in retribution attack
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/soliders-kidnapping-retribution

    War Crime Exhibits C1-C122
    Extrajudicial murder of civilians
    Wilful destruction of residential homes

    As of 4 August 2014, at least 122 families had lost three or more family members in the same incident since Israel began its July assault on Gaza.
    Some of the Palestinian families that were wiped out by Israel:
    – 25 members of the Abu Jamea family, including 18 children.
    – 20 members of the Al-Najar family, including 11 children.
    – 18 members of the al-Batsh family, including 6 children.
    – 16 members of the Abu Amer family, including 4 children.
    – 16 members of the Abu Jabber family, including 4 children.
    – 13 members of the al-Agha family, including 4 children.
    – 11 members of the Balata family, including 4 children.
    – 11 members of the Hilo family (# of children not reported).
    – 10 members of the al-Ghoul family, including 3 children.
    – 10 members of the al-Astal family, including 3 children.
    – 10 members of the al-Qassas family, including 6 children.
    – at least 111 other families who lost 3-9 family members.
    http://imeu.org/article/israels-mass-killing-of-palestinian-families-in-gaza

    Initial findings: 25 members of a single family killed when their house was bombed, apparently without warning
    http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20140721_killing_of_abu_jame_family

    Israel/Palestine: Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians
    http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/07/15/israelpalestine-unlawful-israeli-airstrikes-kill-civilians

    Gaza counts the cost of war: ‘Whole families smashed under the rubble’
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/15/-sp-gaza-counts-cost-of-war-whole-families-smashed-under-the-rubble

    Israeli forces displayed ‘callous indifference’ in deadly attacks on family homes in Gaza
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/news/2014/11/israeli-forces-displayed-callous-indifference-deadly-attacks-family-homes-gaza/

    War Crime Exhibit D1
    Murder of unarmed civilian in cold blood

    War crime: video shows sniper killing of wounded Gaza civilian
    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/war-crime-video-shows-sniper-killing-wounded-gaza-civilian

    War Crime Exhibit E1
    Extrajudicial murder of civilians (4 children aged 9-11)

    Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israeli-palestinian-children

    War Crime Exhibits F1-F3
    Extrajudicial murder of civilians
    Wilful destruction of places or areas designated for the sole protection of civilians (UN schools)

    Gaza school attack denounced as ‘criminal act’ by UN chief
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/03/israel-air-strike-un-school-gaza-rafah

    ‘Children killed in their sleep’: Israeli artillery fire hits UN school, killing at least 20
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/children-killed-in-their-sleep-israeli-artillery-fire-hits-un-school-killing-at-least-20

    Israeli forces shell UN school where displaced Palestinians gathered, killing at least 9
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/displaced-palestinians-gathered

    War Crime Exhibit G1
    Wilful destruction of places or areas designated for the sole protection of civilians (hospitals)

    Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/hospital-evacuate-patients

    War Crime Exhibit H1-H4
    Extrajudicial murder of civilians
    Wilful destruction of residential homes and civilian infrastructure
    Collective punishment
    Crimes against humanity

    Cease-fire breaks down: Israeli shelling kills 50 after reported capture of soldier
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/israeli-shelling-reported

    Israel’s attacks in Gaza town ‘a war crime’
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/08/israel-attacks-gaza-town-war-crime-20148109292997298.html

    Gaza conflict: 360-degree panorama of flattened town of Khuza’a, Gaza
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/gaza/11012640/Gaza-conflict-360-degree-panorama-of-flattened-town-of-Khuzaa-Gaza.html

    Palestinians search through the remains of their homes after Israel destroys 13-story Gaza apartment building
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/palestinians-apartment-building

    War Crimes (Summary)
    People:
    – 2,147 Palestinians were killed, including 530 children and 302 women. 81% were civilians, compared to 9% of the 70 Israelis killed.
    – Among the dead were 16 journalists, 23 health care personnel and 11 UNRWA employees.
    – 10,870 Palestinians were wounded, including 3,303 children and 2,101 women. A third of the injured children (around 3,000) will suffer permanent disabilities.
    – 100,000 Palestinians were evacuated from their homes either because of Israeli threats or because their homes were destroyed or seriously damaged. They have found refuge in UN facilities or with other families, with dozens of people housed in the same home.

    Buildings and Equipment:
    – The total number of homes partially or completely destroyed since the start of this latest war on Gaza reached 17,132: 2,465 homes were completely destroyed and 13,644 homes seriously damaged. Tens of thousands of additional homes suffered less-severe damage.
    – The number of mosques targeted totaled 171; 62 mosques were totally destroyed.
    – 10 churches were damaged.
    – 222 schools were destroyed, including 141 government, 76 UNRWA and five private institutions. In addition, six universities were demolished.
    – 29 hospitals and primary health care clinics were damaged, along with 36 ambulances.
    – 55 fishing boats also were destroyed affecting 3,000 individuals dependent on them for a living, along with 48 NGO‘s that provide the civilians with services.
    – 372 businesses, factories and other industrial or commercial operations were damaged, as well as 19 financial institutions.

    Economic Impact:
    – The direct and indirect economic losses from the war are estimated to be $3.6 billion.

    Israeli Assault on Gaza in Numbers
    http://euromid.org/en/article/608/Israeli-Assault-on-Gaza-in-Numbers

    • just
      May 6, 2015, 11:24 am

      Thank you. Maybe Mrs. Fatou Bensouda will take a gander.

      ;-(

  17. socialconscience
    May 6, 2015, 6:26 pm

    Neil Schipper you accuse the ‘ideologized’ beholding wonders such as brutality and viciousness….

    I note your catalogue of events seems to ignore totally:

    1. the haymaker to the head that the victim sustains in the first 5 seconds of the video whilst holding onto the little girls, presumably his daughter

    2. The little girls reaches out to the lady, presumably ‘mom’

    3. And this hero of the hour who seems to have ‘rescued’ the same little girl from the man who appears to be her father lays atleaast 2 boots into the victim as he is prostrate on the ground, held into submission by 3 or 4 burley armed men.

    you also describe parts of this video as ‘funny’

    the brutality in this video made me sick from it’s first 5 seconds

    Neil Schipper YOU make me sick

    the occupation dehumanizes not only the persecuted civilians but also its protagonists…

    cant you see how your comment contributes in it’s own way to these problems?

Leave a Reply