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‘NYT’ headline implicating Hamas in teen killings is a lie

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“New Light on Hamas Role in Killings of Teenagers That Fueled Gaza War” is the headline of the New York Times story on the latest twist in the incident that set off the massive Israeli raids on Hamas in the West Bank and then a war that killed 2100 Palestinians over the summer. The headline certainly insinuates that Hamas was responsible for the teens’ abduction and murder.

But the Times has disguised the news. The article describes documents of the investigation of the murders released by the Israeli secret police. Concealed in the second paragraph is this information:

But the documents, related to an investigation and indictment of the man suspected of leading the kidnappers, provide no evidence that the top leaders of Hamas directed or had prior knowledge of the plot to abduct the three Israeli youths.

Then, in the fourth paragraph:

Though the documents released on Thursday do not necessarily undercut the Israeli government’s assertions, they present a more nuanced picture.

Present a more nuanced picture? Even the Times of Israel is more honest about the news:

The [investigating] officer revealed that the terror attack is believed to have been a local initiative rather than a directive from above, and that, according to Hussam Kawasme’s confession, Marwan Kawasme arrived at his house at one in the morning on the night of the attack and said: “We wanted to kidnap one, we kidnapped three. We got tangled up. We killed them.”

And late in the Times piece, there’s this admission:

In an interview with Yahoo News last month, Khaled Meshal, the exiled political leader of Hamas, said, “We were not aware of this action taken by this group of Hamas members in advance.”

If you’re leafing through the New York Times on a Friday morning and in a hurry, you’re going to glance at that headline and think that something you already  “knew”  has just been confirmed. But the headline is in fact a lie. We’ve just watched Israel slaughter 2000 people on the pretext that Hamas was behind the teens’ killing. Now it looks as if the Israeli government’s justification was as flimsy as WMD.

James North and Philip Weiss

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25 Responses

  1. just on September 5, 2014, 9:57 am

    Gentlemen– thank you.

  2. ckg on September 5, 2014, 10:23 am

    The headline isn’t merely an editorial oversight. It is an alteration of the original headline that read, ‘Killing of 3 Israeli Teenagers Loosely Tied to Hamas, Court Documents Show’. There have been numerous other edits made to Kershner’s article. Those changes are documented here: http://newsdiffs.org/article-history/www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/world/middleeast/killing-of-3-israeli-teenagers-loosely-tied-to-hamas-court-documents-show.html

    • David Doppler on September 5, 2014, 11:19 am

      Great link, ckg! Politics and hasbara in the newsroom. Nothing about the reason for the gag order, nor that the many arrests were re-arrests of hundreds of those prisoners released in exchange for Gilad Shalit, nor the targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders that could be interpreted as provocation by Israel to ignite Hamas actions that could be used to go to war in Gaza. With so many members of Israel’s cabinet demanding more war, and criticizing Netanyahu for releasing Hamas prisoners in trade, the failure to consider Israel’s motives as engineering a casus belli, or anything other than defending their citizens from rocket attacks, is naked bias, an active part of the cover up, part of handling those nasty war crimes investigations. May the war criminals on both sides be brought to justice. Without a credible external system of justice to call these people to account, they will remain out of control.

    • pabelmont on September 5, 2014, 11:47 am

      ckg: Thanks. Seems the NYT’s editors and headline writers can lie without even the thin veneer of the use of statistics. NYT must have an in-house Zionist proofreader, language lawyer, hasbarrister. Imagine if there were an in-house Palestinian super-ego to correct the junk that comes through!

      • lysias on September 5, 2014, 6:00 pm

        Everything has to go through a house lawyer. Who better to exercise content censorship?

      • lysias on September 5, 2014, 6:01 pm

        By the way, anybody know who the house lawyer at the NYT is? (What happened to the edit function?)

    • ckg on September 5, 2014, 10:50 pm

      You can quickly tell if the headline on a NYT article has been edited without referencing newsdiffs by comparing the current headline with the URL name of the article. The URL name is static–it always shows the original headline title.

  3. American on September 5, 2014, 11:29 am

    Liars and bottom feeders. The world is insane to put up with this. Isr destroys and then makes a profit on their destruction and killing paid for by everyone but them. The day Isr comes to an end will be declared a international holiday all over the world.

    https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal
    Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal · 4h

    Israel requires all-Israeli material for Gaza rebuilding – millions in profit from destruction

    http://www.euractiv.com/sections/development-aid-under-fire/eu-source-gaza-reconstruction-aid-made-israel-308169

  4. Shmuel on September 5, 2014, 1:34 pm

    Uri Misgav, in today’s Haaretz (Hebrew):

    With the indictment of Hussam Kawasme, organiser of the kidnapping of the teens in Gush Etzion, the Shin Bet has made it absolutely clear that the kidnapping was a local and independent initiative that went wrong. Do the Israeli government and defence establishment plan on publicly apologising to the citizens of Israel for the cynical way in which they exploited the incident to declare all-out war in the West Bank and Gaza; and giving those who live under Israeli rule an explanation of the real ends served by the two military operations?

    • just on September 5, 2014, 1:43 pm

      not holding my breath on that one.

      the GoI & ‘defense establishment’ lied the whole way thru the entire thing.

      all the way as they stole the precious living breath of thousands.

      the question he poses only now are questions that Israelis should have been asking from the gitgo. they were certainly being asked here, there and everywhere else. it is Israel and the Israelis that owe many apologies to the Palestinian people. the apologies should be in the form of ending the Occupation, paying for the destruction, begging forgiveness, and giving back what they have stolen, etc.

      • Shmuel on September 5, 2014, 3:25 pm

        the question he poses only now are questions that Israelis should have been asking from the gitgo.

        Misgav has done just that, from his very first post on the “war” that Netanyahu caused and the lies he told (and most Israelis bought) to justify it.

      • just on September 5, 2014, 4:34 pm

        Thanks Shmuel.

        It’s too bad that more Israelis did not heed Misgav then.

        in other news:

        “The European Union has been cooperating furtively with Israel’s nuclear industry for at least six years.

        An internal document that I recently obtained states that an accord on “joint and cooperative initiatives relevant for the peaceful use of nuclear energy” was signed between the EU and Israel in 2008. “This is a discreet agreement that has not been given publicity,” the paper adds.

        The document (published below) was drawn up ahead of an October 2013 visit to Israel by Antonio Tajani, then Italy’s member of the European Commission.

        It is not hard to understand why the Union wishes to keep this cooperation “discreet.” The agreement was reached with Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission — the body that runs the Dimona reactor, where Israel’s nuclear weapons were developed.

        Israel introduced nuclear weapons to the Middle East and has refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It has refused to permit international inspection of all its nuclear activities.

        In 2006, Ehud Olmert, then Israel’s prime minister, acknowledged that Israel possessed nuclear weapons. The US Defense Intelligence Agency estimated in 1999 that Israel had between 60 and 80 nuclear warheads.

        Hypocrisy

        These facts put Israel in a very different category to Iran, supposedly a major threat to world peace.

        Unlike Israel, Iran has no nuclear weapons. The National Intelligence Council — a group advising the US president — expressed “high confidence” in 2007 that Iran had halted its weapons development program a few years earlier.

        Despite that explicit statement, both the EU and the US have slapped punitive sanctions on Iran (after some sanctions had been relaxed, America imposed new restrictions on business with Iran last week). The official narrative behind these sanctions is that everything must be done to stop Iran acquiring the bomb.

        Yet the European Union is happy to cooperate, with Israel, a nation that actually has the bomb. Is it any wonder that Brussels officials don’t want attention drawn to this hypocrisy?

        Israel is a nuclear-armed rogue state. I’m sure that many decent people would be horrified to learn that the EU is liaising with the very agencies that developed Israel’s nuclear weapons — even if this cooperation is “discreet.””

        http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/david-cronin/revealed-europes-discreet-cooperation-israels-nuclear-industry

      • Kay24 on September 5, 2014, 6:47 pm

        Just I don’t know if you saw this:

        “The Obama administration this week declassified papers, after 45 years of top-secret status, documenting contacts between Jerusalem and Washington over American agreement to the existence of an Israeli nuclear option. The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), which is in charge of approving declassification, had for decades consistently refused to declassify these secrets of the Israeli nuclear program.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.613221

        Seems the US was aiding and abetting that one too. We are such big hypocrites, when we hold
        other nations to a different standards. Where Iran was concerned at least they ha signed the NPT agreement. Israel is such a rogue nation in many ways. Devious and diabolical.

      • just on September 5, 2014, 7:05 pm

        I did read that Kay24.

        It came as no real surprise, nor did Cronin’s revelations.

        All of our and our allies’ hubris, hypocrisy, duplicity and hegemonic desire is and has been fomenting much anger/hurt/mayhem.

        Besides, making war on people is good for big business and the top 10%. Creating enemies is what we do.

        Peace and justice seems to be passé and boring to some.

      • lysias on September 5, 2014, 8:38 pm

        45 years means since 1969, when it is known the new Nixon administration made a deal with Israel: Israel could have its nukes, as long as it did not make it public that it had nukes.

  5. Boomer on September 5, 2014, 5:35 pm

    This is an important thread: both the original post and the comments. Thanks to all.

  6. Jon66 on September 5, 2014, 7:33 pm

    If an Israeli soldier shoots an unarmed Palestinian child and his military commanders say that they were not aware of his plans to shoot, is the Israeli leadership responsible or is this a local event?

    • just on September 5, 2014, 11:40 pm

      Silly question, especially since the IOF does it often with impunity.

  7. jon s on September 6, 2014, 7:24 am

    The kidnap/murder of the three teenagers was carried out by Hamas operatives.
    The ringleader received financing for the operation from Hamas-Gaza.
    Haled Mashal himself:
    http://news.yahoo.com/hamas-leader–don-t-compare-us-to-isil-193125056.html

    • Shmuel on September 6, 2014, 7:42 am

      The kidnap/murder of the three teenagers was carried out by Hamas operatives. … Haled Mashal himself:

      He says “members” not “operatives”, in the interview (no one has suggested that the Kawasmes are not Hamas members, albeit a rogue faction), but that the leadership had no prior knowledge of the operation.

      Do you have a source for the assertion that the financing came from “Hamas-Gaza”, that is the Hamas leadership that Mashal (and other Hamas leaders) have denied had any prior knowledge? I saw the reports in the Israeli press (mostly attributed to the Shin Bet), but nothing involving the leadership.

      • jon s on September 6, 2014, 11:25 am

        I would imagine that the cell involved would share their instructions and plans with a bare minimum of people.
        On the financing , I understand that Hussam Qawasmeh was given over 200,000 shekels and bought two cars and supplies.
        See here:
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.609167

      • Shmuel on September 6, 2014, 12:14 pm

        I would imagine that the cell involved would share their instructions and plans with a bare minimum of people.

        Imagining is not good enough to justify levelling unequivocal accusations and launching two brutal military operations. Netanyahu immediately blamed “Hamas” and declared war on the organisation and on Palestinians in general (particularly in Gaza), yet has failed to provide any actual proof (and were there any, I’m sure he would have “shared” by now).

        I would think that, as an Israeli citizen, and particularly a resident of the south, you would be demanding something a little more substantial from the government by way of explanation instead of defending its excuses. See Misgav, quoted in my comment above.

        On the financing , I understand that …

        This is more up-to-date: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.614064

        The source and purpose of the money is unclear, and the operation itself would appear to have been entirely initiated and planned by its direct perpetrators, not Hamas or Hamas-Gaza.

    • jon s on September 7, 2014, 2:07 am

      Shmuel,
      I don’t know why you seem to be trying to exonerate Hamas.

      The perpetrators of the kidnap/murders were Hamas operatives.
      Financing was from Hamas.
      Moreover, Hamas now admits responsibility.

      Reminds me of the old dictum: “if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…”

      • Shmuel on September 7, 2014, 3:07 am

        I don’t know why you seem to be trying to exonerate Hamas.

        You’ve got it backwards Jon. Thousands of people were killed and millions put through hell, based on an allegation for which evidence has never been provided. Tens of Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed and most of the Israeli population – but especially the residents of the south – forced to suffer rocket and mortar attacks, based on nothing (with alternative explanations provided as the operation proceeded). Why are you trying to exonerate the Israeli government?

        The perpetrators of the kidnap/murders were Hamas operatives. Financing was from Hamas.

        So you said, but you have provided no evidence. Have another look at the report on Hussam Kawasmeh’s indictment. Even the Shin Bet makes no such assertions:

        With regard to whether this attack was overseen in Gaza or by senior Hamas officials, the agent said the Shin Bet doesn’t think the kidnapping was a directive from above, though the money probably came from there, “and even that was not necessarily for a kidnapping but for military activity.” The Shin Bet agent thought the attack was the failed attempt by a local Hamas cell in Hebron that to kidnap someone to use as a bargaining chip.

        Moreover, Hamas now admits responsibility.

        That is not what Meshaal said.

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