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IDF fiction in ‘New Yorker’ portrays Palestinian demonstrators begging soldiers to shoot them so as to get into papers

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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Help. There’s a piece of propagandistic fiction in the New Yorker this week that must be categorized as Israeli army literature. Written by a former Israeli soldier, Shani Boianjiu, “Means of Suppressing Demonstrations” is told from the point of view of Lea, an Israeli soldier, and characterizes Palestinians as “informed consumers” of world opinion who seek to force Israelis to shoot them so as to gain sympathy. 

Reminiscent of Golda Meir’s statement that Palestinians forced us to kill their sons. And this at a time when Five Broken Cameras is seeking to educate Americans about the murderous occupation. Palestine is the “West Bank” in this piece. No mention of territories or occupation.

Some of the gory details. Emphases mine:

Lea looks at a newspaper account of Palestinians killed on a Gaza beach:

The picture in the newspaper showed [a Palestinian girl] screaming on red sand, amid the body parts of the seven people who had been her family.

“I know,” she said. “This is a manipulation.”

The world said that the Israeli Army had done it with artillery fire, but the Israeli Army knew that the family had been killed by a dormant shell that Palestinian militants had left by the sea…

The occupation is all about security. Not that the author uses that word:

Route 799 cut through the West Bank, but had been closed to Palestinians since 2002, when the motorcyclists were shot….

A grand old theme– honor killings, and Israeli lenity:

The story in the newspaper that Tomer brought to the barracks that night was about a girl who’d been killed by her mother. The girl was an Israeli Arab from a northern village, and she had got pregnant by her neighbor, who had raped her and was expected to receive a harsh sentence. A picture showed the girl on the day of her high-school graduation, smiling and wearing jeans. She had a generous, good-girl smile. She looked like the kind of schoolgirl you couldn’t even gossip with about soap-opera characters. The mother was expected to receive a light sentence, because she had acted in the name of honor, and out of passion, and one has to respect another’s culture.

Here’s the meat. Palestinian demonstrators, approaching soldiers as bank customers approach tellers, begging to be suppressed so as to manipulate the press:

“Officer, we are here to demonstrate against the restriction of our mobility, which is a collective punishment and against international law,” the demonstrator said, in solid, accented Hebrew.

She put one hand on her weapon and one in her pocket. “How come there are only three of you? This is hardly a demonstration.”

“I do apologize, Officer. We have a wedding this week in the village, and, you see, other people, they are not serious,” he said. He bowed a little when he spoke. “Is there any way you could disperse us just a little—enough for a press blast, or something?”

She had meant to be cruel, but the man was rather sweet. He looked more like a bank customer asking for an increase of his credit limit than like a demonstrator.

…maybe they just wanted something symbolic” [Lea says of demonstrators]…

“The thing is, no one is going to write a story about a few noise crackers,” the man said. “That’s the thing, Officer.”…

The demonstrators are called “informed consumers.” The Israeli army follows strict moral rules:

the demonstrators would come with lab goggles and surgical masks. She could not use gas against them. They looked like mad scientists and she wondered where they had got those costumes, in their pathetic town in the West Bank and all. The boy wore cheap plastic sunglasses over his goggles, and she smiled when she saw them, so he smiled back.

But when the man with the Guns N’ Roses T-shirt shouted, “It’s rubber day!,” her face hardened. She used only her chin to signal him. She let him come closer than she had before.

“No,” she said. “A rubber bullet could kill you guys. This has gone on long enough.”

“You have to have means and intent to kill for us to shoot,” she said. “That’s I.D.F. Guidebook 101.”

“Please,” the man said. “We need to be in the newspaper. Page 5, even.”


The arrest of a child was always at least page 5, she knew. He’d be out in days; he’d probably be out in days.

…“Whore,” the man said to Lea as Tomer took the boy by the arm. It was what he needed to say to her. After all, she was a female checkpoint officer. He played the role of the poor Palestinian

“Lea,” Tomer said, right before they reached the base. “Let’s remember to take bets on which page in the news this arrest will be. What do you say, Lea?”

And in case you didn’t think it could get worse, it does. The author is interviewed by Willing Davidson of the New Yorker and speaks of the “wild requests” of the demonstrators and the “compassion” of the soldier protagonist. Imagine the New Yorker describing demonstrators’ demands as “wild” during Vietnam, or the Jim Crow south!?

I think being desireless is one of the lowest places a person can be, and I know that, for myself, when I was in that situation I was truly fascinated by people who wanted things—even if those people were actually in much worse situations than myself, even if the terrible situations those people were in created their ability to have strong desires. I needed the demonstrators to have some power over Lea, so that some of the bizarre events I was planning for the story could unfold. I felt that Lea’s respect for the demonstrators’ strong desires was a way to justify her giving in to some of their wild requests, because when you lack desire completely and see someone else who is able to want something badly, the temptation to gratify them can be very strong, no matter the circumstances. I think it is one of the stranger ways in which what people sometimes call compassion works.

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49 Responses

  1. Helena Cobban
    Helena Cobban
    June 19, 2012, 11:25 am

    No, this is ways than Golda. She claimed that the Palestinians somehow ‘forced’ the Israeli soldiers to shoot them. (It was never specified how this force was exerted… ) Now, this guy claims that the Palestinians strongly ‘desire’ to be shot, and the Israeli soldier gives in to their desire– and this is an example of her ‘compassion’.

    Lying disinfo and BS. I can’t imagine why Remnick published it. His decision to do should be strongly criticized!

    • lysias
      June 19, 2012, 11:52 am

      Was this Remnick’s decision? The New Yorker has a fiction editor. In 2008, it was Deborah Treisman. I don’t know if she’s still the one with that job.

    • Krauss
      June 19, 2012, 3:51 pm

      Lysias, the piece is over 6 pages. And I doubt Remnick lets even a single paragraph escape his eye, and most certainly not a full page. 6 pages under his nose without any proofreading? There’s a limit to naivité.

      The piece is disgusting. There’s no other way around it. It’s a pure plantjob to affect the liberal classes. Remnick sold out. It’s too bad because he gave the impression of actually caring about these issues.

      The New Yorker is the magazine for the liberal class to read aside from New York Reviews of Books. So again, the smell of plantjob by concerned Zionists is overwhelming.

      And this should serve as a reminder to those who think that the next 5 years ins’t going to be hard, because the last 5 went fairly smooth. It’s going to be grueling, because the Zionist propaganda machine is going overboard. And as Phil noted, this is truly a racist and disgusting piece. But Israel has special rules. New Yorker would never do this to the civil rights movements, but then again the targets of that movement may have been oppressors, but they didn’t have the advantage of what Max Blumenthal likes to call ‘J postive blood’.

      Sad, but true.

      • Avi_G.
        June 19, 2012, 4:18 pm

        Krauss says:
        June 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm

        The piece is disgusting.

        You’re right. Propaganda should be more subtle, like the way you peddle your anti-Arab racism under the guise of benevolent European liberalism.

      • Krauss
        June 19, 2012, 5:31 pm

        So if I was an anti-Arab racist, wouldn’t I praise the article?
        Logic is a hard thing to do.

      • Avi_G.
        June 19, 2012, 6:31 pm

        Krauss says:
        June 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm

        So if I was an anti-Arab racist, wouldn’t I praise the article?

        Apparently you do not understand the meaning of the word “subtlety” in the context of propaganda.

        Reading comprehension must be rocket science where you come from.

      • Sumud
        June 20, 2012, 12:04 pm

        Propaganda should be more subtle, like the way you peddle your anti-Arab racism under the guise of benevolent European liberalism.

        What are you talking about Avi_G? Can you provide some links – I’m interested to read what has offended you.

      • Les
        June 19, 2012, 5:25 pm

        Some here have come to believe that Remnick was somehow easing up on his support for Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Were Remnick actually come to oppose the occupation, the New Yorker’s owners would fire him as he surely knows.

  2. William Burns
    William Burns
    June 19, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Still pushing the “unexploded shell” story? That’s just sad.

  3. Donald
    June 19, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Someone should do a serious study of racists who think they are liberal. It seems like an orchard full of low-hanging fruit for any grad student looking for a thesis topic.

  4. Sumud
    June 19, 2012, 1:59 pm

    Maybe in the next New Yorker we might read a nice story about jews killing children to bake matzo and also about how the jews made up the holocaust. I can’t see any difficulty with getting that past the fiction editor – based on the tripe Phil quotes above.

    • Les
      June 19, 2012, 7:34 pm

      If anyone can name a supporter of the occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians who is not a racist, any number of Remnick’s staffers are the kind of liberals who should be able to do just that.

  5. annie
    June 19, 2012, 2:28 pm

    even if the terrible situations those people were in created their ability to have strong desires

    it’s so overwhelming. of course the terrible situation would stimulates for every and any person a strong desire for freedom. but this statement, which was not edited by the new yorker for some unfathomable reason, speaks to an ability to desire freedom. the idea that the occupation/imprisonment creates the ability to have a desire that is completely natural for any human being, is outrageous.

    as if palestinians were not normal human beings with the natural ability to feel what any person would feel.

    • Bumblebye
      June 19, 2012, 3:10 pm

      OT, but beyond fiction – after the latest appeal failure, Julian Assange has sought refuge in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London!

      • ColinWright
        June 20, 2012, 2:57 am

        Obviously, precisely what if anything happened in Sweden has yet to be determined — but offhand, it seems a pity that someone’s personal failings should undermine what was otherwise a fine development.

        Obviously, the publication of all and sundry has its drawbacks — but it’s a lot better than the successful concealment of all and sundry.

  6. Citizen
    June 19, 2012, 3:38 pm

    “They came to me, walking right up the road of theirs we had forbidden them to trod on, begging for me to shoot them, so they could make the back pages of the local rag.
    I felt sorry for them–everybody wants something, a Warhol moment–all the modern world begs for that. It was the least I could do. At first I tried to just wing them, so they’d remain alive to see if they made page 5, but they came back, again and again. Until finally I shot them point blank in the forehead. It was the least I could do. I made a few copies of page 5 after that–in case their relatives wanted them. I don’t want a reward. I feel much better. I was glad to be of service to mankind. I am a compassionate kind of girl.”

  7. Citizen
    June 19, 2012, 3:55 pm

    See the discussion of the introspective approach in this article, from the same magazine: Why Smart People Are Stupid via @NewYorker

  8. justicewillprevail
    June 19, 2012, 4:00 pm

    An extraordinary demonstration of how ideology and self-obsession have completely perverted israeli thinking. Sanity has completely deserted these people, as they construct ludicrous, self-serving narratives to justify their slimeball occupation and relentless violence. The depths of their racism is grotesque, military service clearly rots your mind with its construction of a fantasy enemy only believable to those deeply embedded in a cult. Pathetic and dangerous stereotyping which can only fuel more psychopathic violence by the laughably ‘moral’ IDF.

    • ColinWright
      June 20, 2012, 4:14 am

      It actually makes one wonder about the exact psychological structure of Israeli society. I mean, people get pretty weird: what exactly did the Aztecs think they were doing with their flower wars and their massive human sacrifices (and they were massive)? More innocently, the Aborigines with their ‘dreamtime’ and such may be quite harmless — but it really is pretty hard to relate.

      Not to mention the Nazis. And these — and even Israelis — are physiologically identical to the rest of us. And I’ll do them the credit of thinking it all makes sense to them.

      I think that leaving aside moral judgement, it has to be considered that the Israelis may be very, very different. It’s probably a mistake to engage them on the assumption that they think just like us, or actually share the same values. They ferociously CLAIM to share them, of course — but I don’t think they do. It’d be almost impossible to rise to the level of dispassionate analysis required, but I think it would be illuminating to approach Israel from an anthropological point of view.

      Then figure out how to halt the whole project, of course. I mean, it may be a culturally subjective judgement, but what is going on there really is horrible.

    • ColinWright
      June 20, 2012, 4:25 am

      ‘Sanity has completely deserted these people, as they construct ludicrous, self-serving narratives to justify their slimeball occupation and relentless violence. ‘

      That’s just it. It’s improbable that they are all insane. Therefore, as a group, they have some version of reality that is constructed very differently from ours. I mean, you, and I, and most people posting on this board are no doubt all very different people, and could in all likelihood manage to merrily have ferocious differences of opinion ad infinitem — but I suspect we’d all respond more or less identically to a broad range of situations. I suppose that’s what a culture is.

      I think that Israel must diverge from that common culture very significantly in various respects. It’s going to be nice when it’s gone and the whole thing can just be analyzed as a matter of intellectual interest. Like reading about Anabaptist millennial cults during the Reformation or something.

      A single text is suspect as a source, and I can’t bring myself to read it in the first place, but this story is kind of a cultural artifact. Rather than condemning it, we should read it as we might read a medieval romance, as providing us with valuable insights into the mentality of its author and her culture. It’s a kind of Chason de Roland — only it tells us about 21st century Israel rather than 11th century France.

  9. lysias
    June 19, 2012, 5:08 pm

    This Atlantic piece, Julian Assange Might Want to Think Twice About Seeking Asylum in Ecuador, is prejudiced against President Correa’s government in Ecuador, but it does give a lot of the background for Assange’s choice of an asylum.

    This Forbes piece is less hostile to Correa: President Of Ecuador, Where Assange Now Seeks Asylum, Is A WikiLeaks Fan And Calls Assange “Persecuted”.

    • lysias
      June 19, 2012, 5:22 pm

      Cardinal Mindszenty lived 15 years in the U.S. embassy in Budapest, where he had been granted asylum.

      • ColinWright
        June 20, 2012, 3:06 am

        Julian Assange stuck in the Ecuadorean Embassy for fifteen years is just as thoroughly out of action as Julian Assange stuck in a Swedish jail for some similar length of time.

      • lysias
        June 20, 2012, 12:25 pm

        Julian Assange is a computer expert. He has a show on RT television. I don’t see why both activities could not proceed perfectly well from the inside of an embassy. (The interviews I have seen him do on RT were long-distance.)

        Anyway, the inside of a Swedish jail isn’t what they have planned for him. They plan to bring him to America, and there to subject him to Bradley Manning-type treatment.

  10. Bumblebye
    June 19, 2012, 5:46 pm

    As well as being an IDF graduate, she’s a Harvard graduate.
    This appears to be an excerpt from a semi-biographical book she’s written:
    “The People of Forever are not Afraid: Coming of age in the IDF”
    Certainly 100% indoctrinated, from the cradle on, and probably 100% committed to the zionist vision of total destruction of Palestine.

    • seafoid
      June 20, 2012, 12:15 pm

      The People of Forever are not Afraid: We are paranoid – wasting 3 years of my life in the IDF”

  11. MRW
    June 19, 2012, 6:20 pm

    First things first: this is just lousy fiction.

    The quoted dialogue above is strained and works only for the obtrusive author, who ought to stay out of the story. Even though there might not be accomplished fiction writers on the New Yorker staff, surely there are seasoned journalists. Any trained journalist would recognize that you don’t advance a story or insert your personal manifesto in quotes or dialogue. It ain’t done unless you’re a rank amateur. It’s no different in fiction. It’s a matter of craft.

    I mean, this is painful to read, no matter what your pro- or anti-hasbara opinion is:
    “Officer, we are here to demonstrate against the restriction of our mobility, which is a collective punishment and against international law.”

    A character that talks in UN-speak to advance Ms. Boianjiu’s POV? Jesus. If she studied fiction at Harvard, then Harvard has gone downhill…horribly.

  12. DICKERSON3870
    June 19, 2012, 6:42 pm

    RE: “The picture in the newspaper showed [a Palestinian girl] screaming on red sand, amid the body parts of the seven people who had been her family. . .The world said that the Israeli Army had done it with artillery fire, but the Israeli Army knew that the family had been killed by a dormant shell that Palestinian militants had left by the sea…” ~ the fictional Lea

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Gaza beach explosion (2006)]:

    (excerpts) The Gaza beach blast was an incident on June 9, 2006 in which eight Palestinians were killed and at least thirty others injured in an explosion on a beach near the municipality of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip.[1][2] The aftermath of the incident was captured on video and showed a distressed eleven year old girl, Huda Ghaliya, reacting to the loss of family members, most of whom were killed in the incident. The footage of Ghaliya, which received considerable media attention, was broadcast on news networks around the world, making her a symbol of Palestinian suffering.[3] The German newspaper ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ questioned the reliability of the video footage.[4][5]
    On 9 June 2006, between 4:31 and 4:50 p.m., Israeli artillery and a navy gunboat fired 8 artillery shells at the beach, with two shells landing 200 metres away from the family.[6] The Israeli army and Israeli officials initially took responsibility.[2] A subsequent investigation by the Israeli Defence Forces concluded that the explosion was not caused by the shelling of the beach and blamed it on a Palestinian land mine.[7][8][9] This investigation was criticized by Human Rights Watch[10] and The Guardian.[11] The IDF acknowledged a flaw in the report in that it omitted mention of two 76mm naval shells, the IDF maintains had landed too far away to have caused the explosion. At this point, the IDF acknowledged that the cause of the blast may have been an unexploded 155mm artillery shell from an earlier shelling, but suggested it might have been used as an IED by Palestinians.[2]
    Huda Ghaliya’s sister Ilham was reported in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz as saying her father caused the lethal explosion when he handled unexploded ordnance left behind from a previous incident,[12][13] however other sources list her as one of the immediate victims of the explosion.[14] Her brother Ayham, in an interview with the same newspaper, said the explosion was caused by an incoming shell.[15]. . .
    . . . The Israeli army claimed it was targeting Qassam rocket launchers, shelling the beach 250 metres away from the blast, ten minutes prior to it. An Israeli military investigation later concluded that the family was not hurt as a result of the Israeli shelling.[20] The Times and Human Rights Watch expressed doubts regarding the IDF investigation, saying that it failed to account for two shells fired from an Israeli naval vessel at the same time as the explosion and called for an independent inquiry into the deaths.[10]
    On June 16 it was reported that Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst and battle damage assessment expert at Human Rights Watch,[21] had examined a piece of shrapnel removed from the abdomen of one of the victims and had concluded that the shrapnel was part of an artillery fuse.[22] . . .

    SOURCE –

    • gaza beach (VIDEO, 02:28) –

    • Palestinian family murdered by Israelis (Graphic) (VIDEO, 02:50) –

    • DICKERSON3870
      June 19, 2012, 7:03 pm

      P.S. A FEW MONTHS LATER – “IDF panel: Errant shell in Beit Hanun likely result of human or technical error”, By Avi Issacharoff, Amos Harel and Aluf Benn, Hasaretz, 11/08/06
      GOC Southern Command: Shells were aimed 500 meters from where they hit, artillery may have malfunctioned.

      (excerpts) An Israel Defense Forces inquiry committee, headed by Major General Meir Kalifi, is examining two main options for what caused an IDF shell to stray 500 meters off course to the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun, killing 19 Palestinians, mostly women and children.
      The committee believes that the disaster was the result of either a technical problem or human error. The problem (or error) could have occurred in either the artillery battery’s radar or its firing computer, both of which are operated manually. . .
      . . . Based on the committee’s findings to date, the course of events leading up to the incident is as follows:
      At 4 P.M. on Tuesday, four new and improved Qassam rockets were fired at Ashkelon . . .
      . . . The Gaza Division. . .instructed the artillery battery stationed at Be’eri to be prepared to shell the site. . .
      . . . The battery then made the usual preparations to adjust the range: It fired three or four shells at a site a few hundred meters away from the real target and used the battery’s radar to find out where they had landed, after which it adjusted the guns’ settings accordingly.
      At about 5:30 A.M. Wednesday morning, the battery fired 12 shells programmed to land about 1,200 meters from the houses of Beit Hanun. These shells hit the target and caused no casualties.
      At 5:45 A.M., the battery fired another 12 shells, this time programmed to land about 450 meters from the houses. All were launched from a single barrel to increase the accuracy. According to the battery’s radar, 10 shells hit the target, but the radar was unable to determine where the other two had landed. A few minutes later, the first reports of civilian casualties in Beit Hanun began arriving.
      The IDF is still not sure whether only the missing two shells hit the al-Ottomana house, or whether there were more.
      Artillery gunners who saw photographs of the damage on television said it looked as if a sizable number of shells had landed on it.
      According to the IDF, the “normal” margin of error for an artillery shell under these conditions is about 200 meters, which is why IDF regulations for Gaza state that artillery targets must be at least 200 to 300 meters from civilian houses. But a 450-meter deviation would require only a three-degree deviation in the gun barrel, which is “undetectable by the human eye,” said Brigadier General (reserves) Zvi Fogel, a former senior artillery officer.
      Fogel told Haaretz that there are two possible explanations for the error: a problem with the radar, which resulted in the gun’s range being wrongly adjusted Tuesday evening, or a problem with the battery’s computer, which wrongly implemented the correct range settings obtained from the radar. . .


      • ColinWright
        June 20, 2012, 3:47 am

        Nu? Leaving aside the detail that the IDF always lies, even this account does describe a great many shells being fired into a densely populated area — apparently aimed at nothing (‘these shells hit the target and caused no casualties’).

        Wouldn’t you agree that if you heavily shell an area as densely populated as Gaza, that civilian fatalities are inevitable? After all, when we fire-bombed Tokyo, we killed 90,000 Japanese. We didn’t bother to protest that we hadn’t targeted any specific group of Japanese.

        You fire shells into an area with a million inhabitants, yes, you will kill people. Just fire enough shells. That’s a good general rule of thumb. It’s often applied — but previous to Israel, it’s never occurred to anyone to deny responsibility for the results.

      • DICKERSON3870
        June 20, 2012, 1:11 pm

        The point is that the fictional Lea (and the IDF’s “investigation”) said that the Gaza beach attack was not the IDF’s fault, and yet in a similar incident a few months later the IDF had to admit that it was a consequence of the IDF’s human or “technical” (related to the radar or computer) error.
        And yes, the IDF frequently lies, probably even more so than the U.S. military and NATO!

    • DICKERSON3870
      June 19, 2012, 7:26 pm

      P.P.S. MORE RECENTLY: “IDF halts operation of Keshet system”, by Hanan Greenberg, Ynet News, 1/08/11
      Initial IDF probe into Friday incident at Gaza border that killed one soldier, injured five, reveals one of three mortar shells launched by IDF missed target, hit paratroopers. IDF halts operation of mortar deployment system until investigation completed

      (excerpts) System malfunction or human error? An IDF paratrooper unit launched three mortar shells at terrorists near the Gaza Strip border on Friday evening. The two first shells hit the target, while the third one probably missed, instead injuring five soldiers and killing Sergeant Nadav Rotenberg.
      Following the incident, the IDF halted operations on the Keshet mortar system. At least two other incidents were reported during the past two years, in which soldiers and civilians were injured from improper use of the system. . .
      . . . On Friday evening, approximately at 6:45 pm, three suspicious figures were spotted approaching the security fence. A paratrooper force was deployed to the area, while another unit was stationed further away and received coordinates for the location of the terrorist cell.
      The unit launched mortar shells using the Keshet weapons system – a computerized system with the ability to aim precisely and fire 120mm mortar shells at targets using coordinates.
      Most IDF infantry brigades have been using the system since 2008, and it is considered a useful technological tool for battlefield operations.
      An initial investigation indicated that the two first shells exploded near the terrorist cell, which later escaped the scene and could have been injured, while the third shell missed the target by a few dozen to a few hundred meters, hitting instead Sergeant Nadav Rotenberg and his fellow unit members.
      The IDF continued to fire mortar shells deeper into the Strip, and for several hours the circumstances of the incident remained unclear. Finally, the shrapnel that penetrated the soldiers’ bodies was identified as originating from the Israeli shell. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE –,7340,L-4010491,00.html

      • ColinWright
        June 20, 2012, 3:52 am

        And what do you feel this demonstrates? That Israeli artillery sometimes malfunctions?

        So? In that case, wouldn’t it be still more reprehensible to start firing it into an inhabited area? I mean, if the shells MIGHT come down anywhere?

      • DICKERSON3870
        June 20, 2012, 1:41 pm

        RE: “And what do you feel this demonstrates?” – ColinWright

        FROM THE KESHET ARTICLE: “The IDF continued to fire mortar shells deeper into the Strip, and for several hours the circumstances of the incident remained unclear. Finally, the shrapnel that penetrated the soldiers’ bodies was identified as originating from the Israeli shell. . .

        FROM THE WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE [Gaza beach explosion (2006)]: “…On June 16 it was reported that Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst and battle damage assessment expert at Human Rights Watch,[21] had examined a piece of shrapnel removed from the abdomen of one of the victims and had concluded that the shrapnel was part of an artillery fuse.[22] . . .

      • DICKERSON3870
        June 20, 2012, 1:42 pm

        RE: “And what do you feel this demonstrates? That Israeli artillery sometimes malfunctions?
        So? In that case, wouldn’t it be still more reprehensible to start firing it into an inhabited area?” – ColinWright

        MY REPLY: Generally yes.

        COINCIDENTALLY, SEE: “IDF Creates New Artillery Unit to Shell Civilian Targets”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 4/03/12

        (excerpt) The title of this post is not exactly the title of the IDF press release that would’ve distributed to mark the launch of this new military unit. But the upshot of the new unit and weapons it will use is correctly described in the title. Here’s how Haaretz described it:

        The Israel Defense Forces is setting up a battalion for launching rockets into populated areas. The battalion, part of the Artillery Corps, will carry out missions that so far only the Israel Air Force could execute, IDF sources told Haaretz.
        The battalion will first fire rockets with a range of 30 to 40 kilometers and will proceed to long-range rockets in the coming years, military sources said.

        What this really means is that the IDF intends to give Hamas and Hezbollah a dose of their own medicine. Since they are striking terror into the hearts of Israeli civilians, the IDF intends to return the favor at the earliest opportunity. During hostilities or whenever it’s deemed opportune, the new artillery corps will lob Israeli munitions into civilian areas and let them know how it feels to be such a sitting duck target. Kill one, kill one hundred? So be it. The terrorists do it to us, now we’ll do it to them. So the Great Mandala turns. . .


      • ColinWright
        June 21, 2012, 2:17 am

        ‘So the Great Mandala turns. . .’

        If you support Israel, you’d best pray that ‘Great Mandala’ never turns.

    • ColinWright
      June 21, 2012, 2:23 am

      • Palestinian family murdered by Israelis (Graphic) (VIDEO, 02:50) – link to

      Hey! I helped pay for that! Too bad it doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

  13. proudzionist777
    June 19, 2012, 7:48 pm

    “We came to an agreement with General Klifi that the most likely cause [of the blast] was unexploded Israeli ordnance,” Garlasco told the Jerusalem Post following the meeting.”67

    • ColinWright
      June 20, 2012, 3:14 am

      proudzionist 777: going by your handle, I take it you feel the statement you quote exonerates Israel.

      I’m curious. Why is it less reprehensible to kill people with a shell that explodes at some later point than it would be to kill them with a shell that exploded immediately?

      After all, I’m not prepared to assert the IDF fired DELIBERATELY at the specific group of people it killed. That’s a distinct possibility, but I’ll cut the IDF some slack on that one — just for the purposes of the argument.

      So we are left with the IDF having admittedly heaved a shell into a populated area. What is the moral difference between it exploding immediately and killing innocent people and exploding a while later and killing innocent people?

      • proudzionist777
        June 23, 2012, 10:55 am


        You are right. Israel has a moral obligation to go into Gaza everytime she shoots a dud and retrieve the unexplored ordnance.

    • ColinWright
      June 20, 2012, 3:39 am

      In any case, the IDF has been demonstrated to more or less constantly lie. Statements from the IDF exonerating itself are almost meaningless. I’m not aware of any example of the IDF accepting culpability for anything absent incontrovertible external evidence, and usually even that’s not enough. Witness the bleak comedy that followed the killings on the Mavi Marmara — and the forensic evidence that emerged afterwards. The only value a statement from the IDF has is that it indicates what it wishes the hearer to believe.

      OF COURSE this ‘was an unexploded shell/was a landmine planted by Hamas/was detonated by the victims themselves.’ That goes without saying. Short of absolute proof to the contrary, something of the sort is what the IDF is going to say. That’s not a revelation.

  14. mudder
    June 19, 2012, 8:15 pm

    Letter to the editor of New Yorker:

    If you want to publish literate, yet racist, fiction please just republish stories from Jim Crow America or apartheid South Africa. Shani Boianjiu’s Means of Suppressing Demonstrations is the most offensive, disgusting and racist story I have ever read on New Yorker fiction in 30 years. Admirable style, however.

  15. dbroncos
    June 19, 2012, 11:59 pm

    In 2012, would the New Yorker be too ashamed to publish such bald propaganda if it were in the sevice of any ethnic group other than Jews?

  16. ColinWright
    June 20, 2012, 4:03 am

    On the bright side, the piece is pretty horrifying.

    I doubt if it helped Israel’s cause. The true believers might have nodded their heads — but there have to have been a whole lot of previously uncommitted people who were aghast at what they were reading. I can’t bring myself to sit down and read this piece of drivel through from end to end — but the bits I’ve glanced at seem to more or less continuously condone, excuse, and more or less celebrate wholesale slaughter.

    It’s as if Goebbels had been able to put ‘Jew Suss’ into theaters across America. It probably wouldn’t have actually done much the Nazis much good. This story might be an Israel-lover’s treat — but it’s not going to make her many new friends.

  17. Elisabeth
    June 20, 2012, 11:54 am

    The servile language (“I do apologize, Officer”), the broken English (“other people, they are not serious..”) and the oriental body language ( “he bowed a little when he spoke”) seem to be copied straight from Disney’s portrayal of Arabs in Aladdin.

  18. Citizen
    June 20, 2012, 12:32 pm

    Go read liberal Zionist Beinhart’s latest article on fhe Daily Beast; it’s a Zionist whitewash of the factual context of rocket strikes from and to Gaza. It does not even recognize that OP Cast Lead was planned six months in advance by the Israelis, and initiated on Nov 4, by Israeli breaking of the truce in 2008. Ironically, Beinhart characterizes his article as putting context into the most recent Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza. He gives medicine seeped in poison.

    • ColinWright
      June 21, 2012, 2:46 am

      ‘Go read liberal Zionist Beinhart’s latest article on fhe Daily Beast; it’s a Zionist whitewash…’

      I’m not surprised. There are basically three camps when it comes to Israel:

      1. Israel lovers. Those whom for various reasons — mostly distasteful — actually support Israel the way it actually is. Religious fanatics, tribal chauvinists, power worshippers, sadists, racists…they’re a real human zoo.

      2. Israel hopers. Those who keep wishing for a ‘nice’ Israel. J-Street, Beinhart, at a guess, most American Jews. Unlike (1) they’re generally at least palatable people, but they really hurt at least as much as they help. Israel will snow them as much as she has to — but the beat will go on. Beinart is the latest in a long line of these people (see Goldstone). They desperately try to rationalize supporting Israel — and always wind up writing pieces like Beinart’s. I feel sorry for them. As I say, they’re not BAD people — just incapable of facing the truth. If they do make a peep, usually a good salvo of social ostracism and an in-box full of hate mail is enough to make ’em toe the line.

      3. Israel haters. Since I’m talking about myself, I’ll call a spade a spade. We see Israel as morally flawed in its very conception. There can’t be a nice Israel. Everything that is happening now was happening in 1948, and at most points in between. The only thing that would resemble a just solution would be to dismantle the Zionist entity entirely or to create a single, secular, democratic state — which should produce the same eventual result as dismantling it. If it doesn’t, and Palestinians and Zionists discover they can live with each other in harmony, I guess I’ll just have to live with it as well.

  19. OlegR
    June 22, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Philip, are you jealous?

    Strange, she has such a familiar face to me

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