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Israel needs no proof to kill Palestinians for teens’ death, Israeli colonel says

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Lt. Col Peter Lerner of the Israeli Defense Forces
Lt. Col Peter Lerner of the Israeli Defense Forces

Joel Greenberg has a good story that appeared in the Financial Times and McClatchy, touching on Israel’s claims about Hamas’s responsibility for the murder of the three Israeli teens. Greenberg writes:

 “Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay,” [Netanyahu] said…. Beyond Netanyahu’s accusations of Hamas responsibilities, there is no evident link between the abduction and the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip. No group has claimed responsibility for the teens’ disappearances and murders….

But that doesn’t matter, Greenberg reports:

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, noted that Hamas leaders have repeatedly called for abductions of Israelis to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, but he said it remained unclear whether the kidnappers of the teenagers acted on their own or on direct orders from superiors.

“We don’t feel that (such orders were) actually necessary,” Lerner said.

There you have it. Israel is retaliating and killing people, and a high Israeli official says that the country doesn’t need any proof to do so, not even the most minimal evidence– say, statements from Hamas leaders or communications from them– in order to establish their guilt of the murder of the three Israeli teens, and set about to kill them.

Are these Israeli leaders mindreaders? Would this pass muster in any court of law anywhere?

P.S. This is a tactic that Israel has used in the past. Rockets from Gaza don’t come from Hamas, but from some splinter group. It doesn’t matter: All Palestinians are the same, an aggressive act by one makes them all guilty without proof. And so if a couple of Palestinian extremists in the West Bank kill three Jewish teens, Israel doesn’t need any proof, you just retaliate against Gaza.

Kudos to Joel Greenberg for trying to tell both sides of the stories. Language like his was entirely missing from the New York Times account of the killings today.

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but but but Netanyahu has all the evidence. He told us so! Did they lose it perhaps? Did he lie? Does a bear … in the woods.

“Would this pass muster in any court of law anywhere?” Nope. Herschel Grynszpan murdered vom Rath in Paris and the Nazis used it as a pretext for holding the Kristallnacht pogrom. There are too many similarities here to be ignored, as an alleged murder here is being used as an excuse to launch a pogrom. Let us hope that the current pogrom in Palestine does not have the same results for the suffering victims as… Read more »

the by-line above is one of the more clever attempts to twist a logical line of reasoning into something sinister and evil. you people like to have things both ways. your cake and eating it. years ago you accused Netanyahu of ‘incitement’ and ‘complicity’ in the assassination of Rabin but now, when leaders of the Hamas have CLEARLY indicated they fully support (and even publish an online ‘handbook’ for kidnapping) kidnapping of Israeli to use… Read more »

DaBakr, whenever Hamas has been responsible for a kidnapping (like Gideon Shalit), they have claimed credit for it, openly and proudly. It’s their M.O.

Blatant political stupidity is also not part of the Hamas playbook. It had no intention of providing Bibi with an easy excuse to pressure the Palestinian Authority to kick out Hamas, especially so soon after the Unity Government was established.

Referring to whether or not the murderers received direct orders from superiors…

“We don’t feel that (such orders were) actually necessary,”

And somehow or other you twist that into…

“Israel needs no proof to kill Palestinians for teens’ death”

Exhibit A for the well deserved reputation of Mondoweiss