Trending Topics:

Why is the U.S. mainstream press hiding Israeli Colonel Ofer Winter?

on 23 Comments

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York includes a remarkable canvas by the 17th century Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbaran. The painting, “The Battle between Christians and Moors at El Sotillo,” depicts an alleged event in 1370, when, the description informs us, “the Spanish forces were saved from a night ambush when a miraculous light revealed the hidden Moorish troops.” At the top of the painting we see the source of that light: the Blessed Mother holding the baby Jesus.

Zurbaran's painting, The Battle between Christians and Moors at El Sotillo

Zurbaran’s painting, The Battle between Christians and Moors at El Sotillo

Most museum visitors probably appreciate the beauty of the painting, and may also value its insight into how medieval Spain regarded the battle to reconquer the peninsula for Christianity. Museum-goers would most certainly be surprised to learn that a senior Israeli colonel says publicly that the same kind of miracle protected his troops during Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2014.

We are indebted to Max Blumenthal and his vital new book (The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza) for introducing us to Col. Ofer Winter, the religious fanatic who Blumenthal points out is “emerging as one of the most revered military figures in Israeli society.” Here is just one of Col. Winter’s comments:

[After the Gaza onslaught,] Winter conjured a hallucinatory vision of godly intervention. “We were protected by clouds, clouds of divine honor,” he claimed. “We — all the warriors — were suddenly covered by a heavy fog, which came to us throughout the attack.”

Any journalist with an ounce of news sense should have raced to put together a profile of this man. What has formed his apocalyptic thinking? Why is he so popular in Israeli society? A man who talks like this could fill a long magazine article with provocative observations.

Yet so far, there’s been next to nothing in our mainstream media on Colonel Ofer Winter. You might even suspect that correspondents for the New York Times and others are deliberately hiding him from American audiences, to avoid shocking readers with the truth about what Israel is really like in 2015.

There is one exception to the U.S. news blackout of Col. Winter. Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who passed through Israel during the Gaza invasion, did take note of another of Winter’s fanatical religious statements. Friedman allowed that Winter sounded “frightening.” But he did not follow up.

James North

James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large, and has reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia for four decades. He lives in New York City.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

23 Responses

  1. John O on September 18, 2015, 5:00 pm

    ‘Friedman allowed that Winter sounded “frightening.” ‘

    Just not frightening enough to stop Friedman from talking about himself for a moment.

  2. pabelmont on September 18, 2015, 5:05 pm

    Poor NYT! didn’t know whether to put in international news, religious news, or perhaps art news. so they dropt the ball. dear, dear!

  3. Bumblebye on September 18, 2015, 5:48 pm

    Israel is attacking Gaza by air and sea right now. Govt buildings have been evacuated.

    • annie on September 18, 2015, 7:30 pm

      my head is pounding

      • just on September 18, 2015, 8:00 pm

        Mine, too.

        Long ago, it became a familiar and sickening echo of only the latest massacre of many. Israel has provoked again~ beyond all reason and without a shred of humanity, for it has none! From Duma to Al- Aqsa and in every corner of Palestine.

        The Nation published this today:

        “VIDEO: Living Under Israel’s Missiles
        Four boys of the Bakr family were killed by a missile strike during last year’s incursion. Their surviving family members are still scarred from the attack.

        By Dan Cohen and Rebecca Pierce

        More than anyone, children bear the brunt of regular Israeli military assaults on the Gaza Strip. During the 51-day war in the summer of 2014, 551 children were killed and 3,436 were injured. But these gruesome figures say little about the psychological state of the nearly 800,000 children who have survived the periodic bombing campaigns.

        After the final cease-fire that ended Israel’s Operation Protective Edge on August 26 of last year, UNICEF estimated that at least 425,000 Palestinian children in the besieged Gaza Strip require “immediate psychosocial and child protection support.”

         “Data from our community centers shows that about 50 percent of children referred to us have developed post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Dr. Yasser Abujamei, the executive director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, “and another 10 percent have problems with bedwetting.”…”

        more @

        Continuous traumatic stress disorder, aided and abetted by the uncivilized supporters of the Occupation. Yes, the ‘West’ and too many others.

      • inbound39 on September 19, 2015, 5:35 pm

        Yes Annie…mine too. I cannot understand for the life of me why America so adamantly supports Israel and its heinous actions toward the Palestinians. When the dust settles and the full truth of what Israel has been doing gets out America will never live it down for supporting Israel so strongly. America will never regain its status due to the stain Israel has left indelibly on its reputation. Currently the American people totally bewilder me by the total inaction.

  4. gracie fr on September 18, 2015, 6:12 pm

    To the military in the United States and around the world, Israel serves as a kind of laboratory for battle tactics, especially those involving counterinsurgency. Its wars with guerrilla groups like Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah—four in the past nine years—are pored over by the Americans for the lessons they hold and the questions they raise. The story of Hadar Goldin raises one question in particular: How far should a modern military go to prevent one of its own from being captured?

    Israel has its own sophisticated technology, ….but it supplements those tools with a tactic the army revived in the aftermath of the Shalit ordeal—code word Hannibal—that calls for a massive use of force when a soldier is captured. Two Israelis familiar with the wording of the classified procedure described it as measured and restrictive. But for other Israelis in and out of uniform, it’s clear that soldiers often interpret it as something less nuanced—a kind of signal from commanders that a dead Israeli fighter is better than a captured one. Revenge on Gazans for the Hannibal directive failure was demonic….

    Of course none in Winter’s Givati Brigade have ever faced prosecution for war crimes and therein lies the crux of the matter…..

    • inbound39 on September 19, 2015, 6:24 pm

      Well Gracie I have no idea how the American conscience copes with what Israel does. I find it repulsive and contrary to all the values I have been taught since a child to support in any way shape or form what Israel does,is doing and has been doing for decades. America apparently has always stood for liberty and justice for all…….apparently the Palestinians are not entitled to that and are to be slaughtered just as coldly and callously as Jewish people were in the Second World War. America found that abhorrent and unacceptable but apparently it is okay to subject Palestinians to such treatment. Apparently they do not matter. They are not allowed freedom. They are not allowed support for their own State and America will even supply Israel the weapons to do the job. Saddam Hussein and Iraq were invaded and yet he did not undermine American politics as much as Israel has nor did he insult America as much as Israel has……it makes not one ounce of sense. The end loser in the largest way will be America for its complicity. America could end the conflict tomorrow by witholding aid and weaponry to Israel until it withdraws from all Occupied Territory. Instead America uses words like deplore,unhelpful,provocative,inciteful. Words are a waste of the Great Spirits breath unless they are backed up by action…….When will America get some self respect and take action against Israel? We are ALL waiting…..silence covers the planet.

  5. a blah chick on September 18, 2015, 10:10 pm

    Well, they’re too busy covering up Trump’s ethnic cleansing remarks to worry about Winter.

  6. JLewisDickerson on September 18, 2015, 10:22 pm

    RE: “Why is the U.S. mainstream press hiding Israeli Colonel Ofer Winter?”

    SEE: “Col. Ofer Winter: Poster Boy for IDF’s New Dirty 200, Ceasefire Dies (Again)”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 8/07/14

    [EXCERPT] After Operation Cast Lead, peace activists prepared a list of 200 IDF officers who played major roles in the sowing the killing fields of Gaza with blood. I’m hoping someone is right now preparing a similar list for Operation Protective Edge. The level of mass mayhem in it far exceeds that of the prior campaign. More dead, more injured, more orphans, more devastation.

    Remember this name in particular: Ofer Winter. He’s the poster boy of IDF war criminals. He was also high on the list of those accused of similar acts during Cast Lead. It was he who wrote the genocidal battle plan announced to his troops in the accompanying image:

    History has chosen for us to be the bayonet point of battle against the Gazan terrorist enemy which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel’s military campaigns…

    God, the Lord of Israel, make our path successful, as we are about to fight for Your People, Israel, against an enemy who defames your name. In the name of the IDF fighters…make the phrase “For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” come true, and we shall answer: Amen.

    Lest you think I overstated the term “genocidal” above, anyone who knows their Bible will recognize this language. It is the language used to describe those tribes which the Israelites wiped out in their campaign to capture the land of Israel and populate it with their offspring. Tribes like the Amalekites, Moabites, Jebusites and others were all exterminated in battles in which the ancient Jews followed what they perceived as God’s will in taking over the land.

    Winter’s Givati brigade played a key role in the slaughter in Rafah in the last week of the war in which 160 Palestinians were killed by vengeful IDF forces seeking vengeance after a Hamas attack that killed an IDF major, sergeant and captured Lt. Hadar Goldin. . .


    P.S. ALSO SEE: “IDF Col. Ofer Winter’s Holy War Against Latter-Day Philistines”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 8/07/14
    LINK –

  7. echinococcus on September 19, 2015, 3:48 am

    I’m almost confused. Is being a religious moron worse than being a professional murderer hired by a genocidal racist state?

  8. genesto on September 19, 2015, 2:13 pm

    That this Hitler clone is revered as a great hero in Israel, rather than the blatant war criminal that he really is, speaks volumes to the degradation of Israeli society which, ironically, will doom the Jewish state. One can only hope that a TRUE democracy eventually rises from the ashes.

  9. oldgeezer on September 19, 2015, 3:56 pm

    The man is a messianic genocidal mass murderer who has no compunction about slaughtering children or anyone else for that matter.

    As to why he is popular in Israel, I have already answered that.

    As to why he is ignored in the western press. Surprise!

    • inbound39 on September 19, 2015, 6:28 pm

      Lol….yes Old Geezer…..if the media ran a page in the International Press naming and shaming Israeli war criminals the hospitals worldwide would be inundated with people collapsing from shock.

  10. niass2 on September 20, 2015, 1:34 am

    I assume the new York Times is hiding this lunatic, as he doesn’t represent their version of what Isreal should look like. After reading the comments, especially the one that says “I can’t believe thsiand that it goes against everything I was taught blah blah. Well, a lot of Americans are under the perverse assumption that we or our relatives as americans were ever sane, moral, or dignified, we paid for the Vietnam war, where hundtreds and hundreds of Villlages were cleared and all inhabitants executed on the spot, ears removed, children shot for sport, daily, for years. Zillions of gallons of pesticide were dumped on Villages, thousands of thousands of 1000 and 2000 pound bombs fell daily for years, 4 of 17 million were killed, 25% more were severely disabled. This is what the USA does and has done, we should not act surprised when Americans don’t care. That is what they do, so we must get used to it, and never think the good old USA has anything to offer anyone, or that we will solve it from this end. Its bad but it will only get worse for now. If the Saudis, as warped as they are, don’t want any change, there wont be one. The Vietnamese fought, seems the Palestinians need to, or else they will get absolutely nothing, as Ho Chi Minh would say, its five to one, one in five, no one here gets out alive. They got the guns but we got the numbers.

    • inbound39 on September 20, 2015, 7:22 pm

      “we must get used to it”….????. In order for Evil to prosper, Good men need do nothing.

  11. Palikari on September 20, 2015, 9:05 pm

    G-d helps and protects His warriors.

    What’s so strange about that?

    • oldgeezer on September 20, 2015, 10:08 pm

      What kind of God needs warriors lol

      • echinococcus on September 20, 2015, 10:24 pm

        The tribal one that forbids pronouncing his “true name” but not the writing of it as Yahweh in Aramaic letters –and I imagine laughs himself to tears observing the pious morons who omit a single letter in Latin characters in writing, not saying, the name of a whole nother god. Even hyeronymics aren’t what they were anywmore.

    • talknic on September 20, 2015, 11:02 pm

      @ Palikari

      Where was G-d during the Holocaust pal?

    • RoHa on September 21, 2015, 12:29 am

      It’s O.K. as long as someone reminds God who his warriors are. He seems a bit confused about it.

    • eljay on September 21, 2015, 7:13 am

      || Palikari: G-d helps and protects His warriors. What’s so strange about that? ||

      It seems to bother you Zio-supremacists plenty when gawd helps and protects his non-Jewish warriors.

  12. DaBakr on September 20, 2015, 10:06 pm

    the simple answer as to why the US msm is ignoring this general and the so-called ‘juicy’ story is that its from MxB and the msn has not and still does not take him seriously despite the efforts of his daddy pushing points anonymously to Hilary. Does the US msn take Glevy seriously? No. Max is like 3 levels down from GL. But they do -sometimes- take Caroline Glick seriously. For some reason.

Leave a Reply