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Obama reported to be looking into settler attack on State Dep’t officials, even as NYT buries the story

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We have a thorough account of Friday’s attack by Jewish settlers on a US State Department convoy visiting a village in the West Bank; but in its print edition, the newspaper of record, the New York Times, acted like it’s a nothing story.

The matter rated six informative tweets Friday from Matt Lee, AP’s State Department correspondent, on twitter, saying that it was of deep concern to State and the Israelis are also investigating the incident and will arrest perpetrators. Lee:

[email protected] official: #US staff were in #WestBank “looking into reports settlers had uprooted some 5,000 olive tree saplings” when attacked.

At +972, “Settlers attack US convoy…”, it’s reported that the U.S. president is looking into it–

According to Ynet, American security personnel drew their M16 rifles as settlers approached the convoy. The State Department later denied that guns were drawn. No one was injured in the confrontation…

The diplomats arrived in the area after Palestinians who live in village of Turmus Aya and have U.S. citizenship asked them to look at the damage caused to their trees…

American sources say that the president is currently looking into the incident.

On its website, the New York Times picked up the thorough AP story describing the “attack” in its headline. It credited Matt Lee, who had used the word “pelted” in a tweet: @statedept official: US diplomatic vehicle pelted w/stones by”armed settlers” in #WestBank. “We are deeply concerned by this incident.” But in the print version of the New York Times yesterday, the story rated one paragraph on page A6, and it was not an attack: “West Bank: Settlers Throw Stones at American Consular Officials.”

Jewish settlers threw stones at American consular officials on Friday during a visit the officials made to the West Bank as part of an investigation into claims of damage to Palestinian agricultural property, the Israeli police and Palestinian witnesses said. A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said the settlers threw rocks at the officials who had traveled to the area near the Jewish settlement of Adi Ad to look into Palestinian claims that settlers had uprooted scores of Palestinian olive trees the day before. He said that the Americans left the area and that the police had opened an inquiry after the filing of an official complaint. The State Department said it was “deeply concerned” by the attack.

Of course when the Palestinians go to the U.N. to seek their rights, it’s described as a “provocative” act by the New York Times in news coverage and an editorial. But the US government visiting settlements is also evidently “provocative,” in the Israeli worldview, otherwise the settlers wouldn’t be throwing stones; and the Times doesn’t cover that very much at all. “Seems a bit world turned upside down,” says a friend.

Writes one of the acid commenters on Matt Lee’s posts: “seems US is about to apologize for being attacked by the squatters.”

I can’t help but think of the attack on the USS Liberty: in 1967 Israeli warplanes and gunboats shot up an American spy ship in the Mediterranean off Egypt, killing 34 Americans. Of course the scale and nature of the attacks are utterly different. But they were both attacks. Back then the matter was swept under the rug with the complicity of the leading media, and the families of the victims have had to look to Al Jazeera to keep the story alive, with a recent documentary, The Day Israel Attacked America. Somehow I think this story will work out differently.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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47 Responses

  1. ramzijaber on January 4, 2015, 1:52 pm

    the sad part of the story is that the zionist behavior is made possible, allowed, and supported by the usa. obama was the main cheerleader of this arrogant attitude of the zionists always declaring that “our support for israel is unshakeable”. talk bout giving a carte blanche.

    after pa filed for icc, obama said there will be consequences to the pa. essentially blackmail. this gave yet another green light to the zionists to stop the tax payments and will follow with other acts.

    1S1P1V. ICC/ICJ. BDS.

    US OUT…..

    • Kay24 on January 5, 2015, 2:15 am

      As soon as the zionists start pounding Gaza with Israeli and American made bombs and other weapons, the US officials make sure to stand in front of the zionist media, and strongly show unwavering support for the murderers. As if only the zionists are entitled to defend themselves.
      All others cannot. It is utterly disgusting this sick protection/devotion we have of Israel.

  2. Blownaway on January 4, 2015, 2:27 pm

    The prestige and power of this once great country has been sacrificed at the alter of Israel. No one in the world has any respect for the U.S. anymore and it can be directly traced to the disrespect from Israel. Obama lost any hope of global leadership when he let Netanyahu bitch slap him over and over in public

  3. Blownaway on January 4, 2015, 2:29 pm

    PS if anyone thinks anything will come of this, just ask the survivors of The Liberty

    • Citizen on January 6, 2015, 8:10 am

      Didn’t some of the surviving crew of the USS Liberty get military medals for their defense of that ship, not in the usual ceremonial way and where, but in a closet, so to speak, nearing a half century later?

  4. ramzijaber on January 4, 2015, 2:33 pm

    time for obama and the west to realize that the zionist entity has become a JINGOIST.

    rivlin and burg already realize it.
    rivlin –
    burg –

    oxford “extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy”

    merriam-wesbter “the feelings and beliefs of people who think that their country is always right and who are in favor of aggressive acts against other countries. extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy” “Jingoists really dislike people from outside their own borders. Jingoism is an extreme form of patriotism that often calls for violence towards foreigners and foreign countries. Patriotism — a love for one’s country — can, in certain cases, turn nasty and go beyond wishing for the welfare of one’s own homeland. That’s when a patriot becomes a nationalist. From there, it’s only a short step to becoming a jingoist, one who not only waves the flag of their country but believes that all other people are threats and should be treated as such. An obvious example of a jingoist was Adolf Hitler, who stirred up fear and anger towards outsiders that led to world war…and much worse.”

    today’s poster child of JINGOISM is the ZIONIST ENTITY as attested by rivlin and burg.


  5. JLewisDickerson on January 4, 2015, 2:49 pm

    RE: “I can’t help but think of the attack on the USS Liberty: in 1967 Israeli warplanes and gunboats shot up an American spy ship in the Mediterranean off Egypt, killing 34 Americans.” ~ Weiss

    OBAMA SAYS: “Never look back!”
    “Never look back!”
    “Selling your soul!”
    “Selling your soul!”
    M-A-B-U-S-E ! ! !

  6. amigo on January 4, 2015, 2:50 pm

    E mail from Barrack ,(yes we can,t ) Obama to the treasury sec.

    Please pay off these troublesome Palestine firsters and tell them they are screwing up decades of efforts by peace seeking Israelis to resolve the “Palestine Question”. These complaints are “Deeply troubling” and need to stop.As American citizens , they need to show more allegiance to the US.

  7. chet on January 4, 2015, 2:55 pm

    In that there are in excess of 2 million Jews in the NYC area, how can anyone be surprised that the NYT panders to this large number of subscribers with its consistently uncritical coverage of Israeli depradations?

    • Mivasair on January 5, 2015, 12:17 am

      More and more Jews are giving up their loyalty to Israel. I think it is less and less accurate to blame US kowtowing to Israel on ‘the Jews’. I read in Haaretz today that the largest philanthropic operation in Israel is an Evangelical Christian group that raises $140 million yearly. I know in Canada, where I live, our government’s slavish worship of Israel is not because of Jews — who are few in number and don’t generally support our Conservative party — but because of Evangelical Christians.

  8. John O on January 4, 2015, 3:03 pm

    Note the NYT minimizing language:

    pelted with > threw

    damage (of which there can be no doubt) > claims of damage

    5,000 > scores.

    This needs a word to describe and encompass it. How about “square-rooting”?

  9. Walid on January 4, 2015, 3:22 pm

    Interesting story picked up by Richard Silverstein, as usual:

    “Breaking: Lieberman Meets Secretly With Ex-Fatah Strongman, Dahlan in Paris


    Israeli media reported in the past few hours that an Israeli minister met several times with former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan. My Israeli source confirms the meetings and tells me the minister was Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister. The meeting was in Paris as confirmed by this Maariv report which noted Lieberman had been spotted in a hotel frequented by Arab leaders and people from the Gulf. Lieberman had been telling Israeli journalists that he was meeting Qatari officials (Hebrew) there as a “cover” for his actual plans. Dahlan, one of the most brutal and corrupt of ex-Fatah strongmen, was exiled by the PA and now lives in Dubai under the protection of the royal family there.

    It seems especially appropriate for these two individuals to meet. Lieberman was a nightclub bouncer back in his native Moldova and is known for his hot temper and beating up teenage boys at his settlement home in Nokdim. Dahlan is known as Fatah’s enforcer. His jails in Gaza before Hamas’ ascendancy, were well known for their brutality and torture chambers. The two have much in common…

    … A bit of context is in order: whenever Israel gets particularly pissed at Mahmoud Abbas they trot out Dahlan as a bogeyman. And man are they ever pissed with his joining the International Criminal Court. This means that Israel may have the added headache of preparing for international trials against its generals or ministers in the coming year or so.

    When Abbas gets particularly nettlesome, Israel re-“discovers” a Palestinian “alternative.” They treat Dahlan like a king, hold “high-level” meetings with him, consult with him as if he carried the divine tablets from Sinai, etc. They’ve held such Dahlan tetes a tete in the past with other senior ministers. The goal is to spook Abbas into believing that Israel might seek a more pliable Palestinian partner; or alternatively to drive Abbas into a rage….”

    Full story:

    • ramzijaber on January 4, 2015, 3:28 pm

      i saw it this morning on times of israel. apparently abbas contacted his masters the shin bet to verify the story and if it was authorized. abbas’s buddies the shin bet told him that nutnyahoo didn’t authorize it and don’t approve it. it seems abbas was happy with that response.

      poor abbas, doesn’t even know when he’s being played. time to go! shut down the pa.

      • a blah chick on January 4, 2015, 4:24 pm

        “abbas’s buddies the shin bet told him that nutnyahoo didn’t authorize it and don’t approve it.”


    • annie on January 4, 2015, 4:21 pm

      i’m certain dahlan is israel dream candidate for the next palestinian leader. gross.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on January 4, 2015, 4:37 pm

        Hmmm…. I’m not sure. I sort of think Israel prefers Dahlan in a more beefed up version of his current role – behind the scenes thug/enforcer/fixer, rather than as official Puppet President.

        That said, Abbas ain’t getting any younger, and his employers – Israel, the US, EU, etc – must be scouting around for a replacement. Not sure if it’s Dahlan, but one thing is sure, it won’t be the Palestinians who decide who should lead them.

      • Whizdom on January 4, 2015, 6:36 pm

        Dahlan is ideal puppet head. He can be bought. Too bad he is despised by both Hamas and Fatah, other than that, good to go.

  10. bryan on January 4, 2015, 3:28 pm

    When are we going to see an American President who will uphold the interests of America and American citizens against a tinpot rogue state that utterly fails to police its own citizens who abuse the hand that feeds it, and provides it with WMD and immunity in the UN and other world forums. People talk about chickenshit, nut surely the American political establishment is chickenshit for failing to stand up to marauding illegal settlers?

    • Kay24 on January 5, 2015, 2:18 am

      The shortest answer would be, Never, not in our lifetime.

  11. Walid on January 4, 2015, 3:33 pm

    Looks like Netanyahu if really not aware of this is also being played by Lieberman. Birds of a feather all of them.

    Palestinians should be screaming to have elections. Abbas has been overholding his seat for 5 years.

    • ramzijaber on January 4, 2015, 3:42 pm

      No more elections please. Will only lengthen the colonization of Palestine.

      Grass-roots action demanding 1S1P1V is the only way.

      • Walid on January 4, 2015, 4:15 pm

        Ramzi, your opinion please: in the last elections eons ago, had Israel not interefered and hindered Mustafa Barghouti’s campaign, would have he won the presidency and if would have he made a good president for Palestine?

      • ramzijaber on January 4, 2015, 6:18 pm

        i believe barghouti would have won.

        as to would have been a good president, i also believe so. he certainly could not have been worst than abbas and the current pa as it is. i know, this is a low bar but hey, at least we have a bar ;-))))

        overall, having been a “son of the intifada”, born and raised under occupation, barghouti would have a different and better perspective. and he would certainly not be negotiating with himself as abbas and the current pa are doing. just imagine they put down all the cards out there. now that becomes the starting point of any discussion. pretty stupid if you ask me.

        another proof that barghouti would have been good for Palestine is the fact that the zionists put him away since they saw and continue to see him as a real threat. and abbas and the pa see him as an even bigger threat. that is why they never put him on top of the agenda of any discussion, negotiation, security arrangement, etc. with the zionists. shameful! they should have said we do and say nothing about anything unless barghouti is out.

      • Walid on January 4, 2015, 10:42 pm

        Thanks, Ramzi, it confirms my feelings on Barghouti. I remember all the hurdles Israel kept putting in his way to give Abbas an edge. Palestinians don’t have a rich pool of politicians to choose from; Haniyeh is fading himself away or is being faded, Dahlan is being kept by the Emiratis for some reason that probably has to do with US wishes and Mashaal is being kept by the Qataris until the Iranians decide to welcome him and the other great hope Barghouti in an Israeli jail that would be released only if he becomes another Abbas. All the other seniors are tarred with the Oslo brush. Are there others out there I’m not seeing to give hope to Palestinians?

    • Kay24 on January 5, 2015, 8:32 am

      Meanwhile Jordan seems to be peeved that the Palestinians bid for statehood at the UN.
      Perhaps their aid from US was threatened to be cut off too?

      “Report: Amman angered by Palestinians’ UN bid
      Jordan deemed PA statehood move hasty and doomed, due to lack of int’l support and plan to restart talks with Israel; meanwhile, PA reconsidering new UN initiative.

      Jordanian sources reported Monday morning that their government is not enthusiastic, to put it mildly, about the fact the Palestinians turned to the UN Security Council in a bid for statehood last week. Haaretz

  12. Whizdom on January 4, 2015, 3:38 pm

    Heh, Dahlan was on our payroll under the “Dayton Plan”, which was an idea to fund and supply arms for Dahlan to lead a coup against the Hamas government in Gaza after the elections went wrong in 2006.

    Dahlia’s brave men dropped their arms and fled, leaving Hamas with tons of new weapons and undisputed control of the strip.

    Heckuva job.

  13. Whizdom on January 4, 2015, 4:10 pm

    Best explanation I saw is the wily and unscrupulous Arabs tricked the naive Americans to act as human shields to force a provocation on the peace loving and responsible settlers, that would result in the settlers being forced to fire on the advancing arabs with any resulting american casualties clearly being the fault of the Arabs in an attempt to garner international sympathy.

    • a blah chick on January 4, 2015, 4:26 pm

      If you ask me the Right wing Zionist conspiracies are very imaginative. For example, did you know that those kids on the beach were not killed by Israelis but by Hamas mines?

      • Whizdom on January 4, 2015, 6:43 pm

        I saw that report, and the fact that it is being ignored, except in the settler press, is further proof of 1) Israel’s inadequate public diplomacy; 2) Pervasive Pro Palestinian Media Bias, and 3) further proof the West hates when Jew defend themselves.

        These folks have an alternate reality, and nothing will convince them otherwise

  14. Bornajoo on January 4, 2015, 5:15 pm

    This incident will be swept under the carpet along with the ashes of the olive trees.

    The psychopathic American elites who run WashingZion HQ will have a quiet off the record word with their little rogue sadist ME outpost. Something like “hey I thought you said those lunatic settler nutjobs were only trained to attack Arabs? What the hell happened out there? Don’t tell me you’ve lost control over them?”

    There will never be any mass evacuation of the settlers. It would be a blood bath and they know it.

  15. pabelmont on January 4, 2015, 5:21 pm

    Obama will not again run for office and all the other DEMs will stick to Israel like * * * (your choice).

    THEREFORE he is free of electoral concerns and money grubbing (if he can forget about money for his presidential library and post-presidential speaking ops) to do the “right thing”. even on Palestine.

    You know, revive USDS Liberty and the illegality of ALL the settlements ( not just of new ones). Forget to use his S/C veto (UN S/C Rep missed the S/C vote?). Two more yesrs is a fleeting thing.

  16. Pixel on January 5, 2015, 1:05 am

    Obama may be “looking into” this but a week ago he would have been hard pressed to find Israel if he was hoping for help from Harper Collins.

    Atlas Shrugged … Israel Off The Map

    • talknic on January 5, 2015, 3:15 am

      Why complain to Harper Collins?

      They should go kvetch to idiots for Israel who claim “Israel didn’t declare any borders” or “Israel has no final borders” “Or the Palestinians must negotiate the final borders” … it is therefore, by their own stupid words, impossible to put Israel on the map.

  17. Kay24 on January 5, 2015, 1:18 am

    Israel will make the expected arrest, and the culprits will be free in a few months. When it comes to Israel, the US will ignore crimes against it, and they can get away with murder.

    These crimes by the illegal squatters have been called “terroristic activities” by the State Department, so when they attack a US convoy, why is there no outrage about it, and why should this be swept under the already stuffed up rug? Shame on the US media, for we know had this been some Arab nation, Lindsey Graham and other zio lovers would have been “appalled” at such behavior, and they would have even been threatened to stop receiving US charity.

    It seems the disgusting destruction of 5000 olive trees by racist settler thugs is conveniently forgotten too. Will Israel cooperate with the US and investigate that too?

    • rhkroell on January 5, 2015, 10:34 am

      I like the fact that you mock the report of Obama “looking into” an incident in which Israeli “settlers” [as opposed to Zionist thugs/enforcers] threw rocks at an unfamiliar vehicle carrying U.S. State Dept. officials in Eretz Israel’s colony on the West Bank of the Jordan River, Kay24.

      Rather than focus on Obama’s apparent endorsement of Netanyahoo freezing $127 million in Palestinian tax revenues — in response to the Palestinian Authority filing a request to join the International Criminal Court earlier this week — let’s make sure the MSM reports on Obama’s robust investigation into a few heroic Israel “settlers”/”homesteaders” throwing rocks at foreign intruders making inquiries about IDF operations in their colony on the West Bank.

      • annie on January 5, 2015, 12:39 pm

        Obama’s apparent endorsement of Netanyahoo freezing $127 million in Palestinian tax revenues

        really? i thought it was congress that was gang ho. did the state dept endorse? seems odd that obama would endorse this when he was anti sanctions on iran.

        here’s my understanding – Israel to ask US congress to suspend aid to Palestinians

        The resort to the US congress follows the passing of stop-gap legislation last month that explicitly orders the state department to suspend financial aid to the Palestinians in the event of an application to join the ICC.
        The legislation was signed into law by President Barack Obama and does not allow him to waive the funding on national security grounds in the event of Mr Abbas signing up court membership. The funding cut request is likely to be regarded favourably by the new Republican-controlled congress.

        my recollection is he had no choice but to sign it, like the iran sanctions, because there were enough votes to overturn a veto. personally, i think it’s a good idea for the US to get out of the intermediary business, stop funding the PA. let other countries step in or make israel fund their occupation. but the US should be squeezed out. however, i don’t think this is what state (or obama) wants.

      • Kay24 on January 5, 2015, 9:58 pm

        Actually Obama and the WH slammed Israel for freezing those millions part of Palestinian taxes.

        So whether sincere or not, at least they “show” disapproval. Now whether or not they will penalize Israel for penalizing the Palestinians, is another story.

      • annie on January 5, 2015, 11:10 pm

        thank you kay

        U.S. slams freeze on Palestinian tax money: We warned Israel it would cause tensions

        The U.S. State Department said Monday that the Obama administration opposed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to freeze the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in response to the latters’ efforts to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague – but added that it hoped to prevent the Palestinian bid from moving forward, as well.

        “We conveyed to the Israelis that freezing the tax revenues is an action that raises tensions,” U.S. State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing. “We oppose to any actions that raise tensions and we call on both sides to avoid it.

  18. CigarGod on January 5, 2015, 9:45 am

    Waiting for one of our zionist apologists to show up and say that “scores” of olive trees versus 6000…is not techically incorrect…and certainly not a lie.

  19. Saiyuki on January 5, 2015, 12:49 pm

    Looking into the attack well that’s double speak for you won’t hear anything about this incident ever again! Wonder what would have happened if russians attacked a car like this oh wait they probably were Russians.

  20. Misterioso on January 5, 2015, 12:52 pm

    For the record:

    Apart from the attack on the USS Liberty and the resulting deaths of 34 American sailors, Israel also killed several soldiers serving with the UNEF during the war it launched on 5 June 1967.

    On the first day of its invasion of the Sinai, the Israeli army twice attacked the 1st Sikh Light Infantry Battalion serving with the UN Emergency Force, cold-bloodedly murdering 14 of its soldiers and wounding 16 more. An article published in Canada’s Globe and Mail on 16 June 1967 describes the deplorable and supressed incident:

    “On the first day of the Israeli-Egyptian fighting an Indian convoy was en route from Camp Rafah to Gaza flying the UN flag from each jeep and truck. The convoy met an Israeli tank column on the road. It pulled over to the side of the road and stopped to let the Israelis pass. Three Israeli tanks went by. The fourth tank stopped, swiveled its turret on the convoy and opened fire from a range of a few feet. The Israeli tank rammed its gun through the windshield of an Indian jeep and decapitated the two men inside. When other Indians went to the assistance of their comrades they were mowed down by machine-gun fire. Another Israeli tank thrust its gun into a UN truck, lifted it up and smashed it down on the ground killing or wounding the occupants. Meanwhile, in Gaza [City], Israeli tanks put six rounds into the UN headquarters, which was flying the UN flag. Three more Indian soldiers were killed…. In Cyprus there is mounting fury among members of the UNEF at what happened to the Sikhs, to the point where some officers say Israel should be expelled from the UN.” (Globe and Mail, 16 June 1967)

  21. rhkroell on January 5, 2015, 1:18 pm

    I agree that we should all make sure we never blame the U.S. govt.’s unqualified support of Zionist ethnic-cleansing operations on “Jews” (a vague, essentialist designation), Mivasair. Michelle Goldberg’s book, KINGDOM COMING: THE RISE OF CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM (2006), suggests that much of the political support for Israel’s hawkish, ethnic-cleansing policies comes from Christian Zionists in the U.S.

    Christian nationalism — like German nationalism and militarism, Jewish nationalism and militarism (or Zionism) — should all be condemned as anachronisms. Religious, ethnic and/or cultural privilege (and bigotry) just does not make sense in the 21st century.

    Zionism must be distinguished as an (exclusivist) ideology which has no obligatory connection to religious faith, ethnic or cultural bias.

  22. rhkroell on January 5, 2015, 2:32 pm

    I don’t know, Annie? If I was president — radical suspension of disbelief, of course! — I would not sign legislation into law involving economic or military sanctions which I do not support. Congress can always override my (presidential) veto if they have the votes, but if they do, then my political opponents would have a more difficult time making the case that I am, always have been, and always will be an unqualified, unconditional bootlicker servicing the Zionist lobby on a daily basis.

    I like sanctions myself — and not just the BDS version being recommended by Josh Ruebner, Anna Baltzer, Rebecca Vilkomerson, etc. Much prefer them to military intervention, for example. Why rule out a strategy which is quite effective in some cases?

    • annie on January 5, 2015, 2:48 pm

      i don’t approve of sanctions against iran because what’s clear to me is they are intended as a prelude to war, as they were used in iraq. that said, when something passes congress at 100-0 i’m not sure how a prez standing his ground to make a point does anything but create a congressional spectacle and force members of his own party to vote against him again. but i understand your point in principle. still, under these circumstances without other evidence, i don’t think it warrants a suggestion signing the legislation means obama ‘apparently endorses Netanyahoo freezing $127 million in Palestinian tax revenues’. i was just curious if you’d read anything about it or heard any statement from a WH or state spokesperson to that effect.

      i know congress bound the US thru legislation to pull funding from any UN body recognizing palestine as a state (and that got lots of press when palestine joined unicef). so this is how the lobby works thru congress to force the executive branch, and uses the judicial branch the same way.

      • Citizen on January 6, 2015, 9:08 am

        Definitely sanctions are a prelude to war on Iran and a penalty for ignoring the petro dollar. The new legislation putting $2 billion dollars worth of US weapons & munitions in a stock pile in Israel for Israel’s use and placing US refueling aircraft in Israel’s hands, not to mention US air transport for IDF troops, brings US war with Iran even closer.

  23. Kathleen on January 6, 2015, 8:58 am

    Palestinians are shot for throwing stones or thrown in prison…not illegal settlers. My mind went to the USS Liberty too. And as you pointed out Phil the scale and damage not the same but trying to sweep the incidents under the rug. Saw that piece on Al Jazeera TV best place to go these days. Moving documentary. Everyone should watch

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