Tag Archives: IDF

Owen Jones goes to the movies – and Israel’s cheerleaders scream

Owen Jones: he has been slated by Israel’s cheerleaders and warmongers, for expressing views that should be held by all of us.

Last night – November 28 – This Writer was asked by a very young friend (she’s 21) which side I’m on in the Israel/Hamas conflict.

My answer surprised everyone who was there. I said I’m on the side of peace.

They had not considered that as an option. It won me applause all around – in contrast to what happened when a left-wing journalist said the same thing after watching Israel’s film that purportedly shows Hamas atrocities committed during the October 7 attack.

Owen Jones created a YouTube clip describing his feelings, which you can find below. I urge you to watch it before drawing any conclusions about the comments it attracted.

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In it, he says he was invited to a screening of the film, which the Israel Defence Forces specifically stated was intended to drum up support for their onslaught against civilians in the Gaza Strip.

He acknowledges from the start that the film confirms that Hamas committed war crimes (along with members of other groups who crossed the border on the same day, one assumes, although that isn’t actually made clear in the clip). He makes it clear that the taking of hostages is itself a grave war crime. It should be emphasised that he does not attempt to hide or minimise the fact that war crimes were committed. As I have mentioned several times in articles about Israel and Hamas (quoting Paul Newman in another – Hollywood – movie): “There are only murderers in this room.”

He emphasises the principle that “no cause on Earth justifies the killing of civilians”. This indicates that, no matter what Jones saw in the IDF film, it was never going to sway him into supporting the IDF’s operations in Gaza that are now said to have killed more than 14,800 people, including 6,000 children (Jones himself suggests more than 20,000 people – 20 times as many as the number of Israelis killed on October 7 and one per cent of Gaza’s population, including more than 8,000 children).

He makes the point that the 43-minute film is a selection of what the IDF says are thousands of hours of material, and concludes that it is likely to show the worst events the Israeli authorities were able to find. This is logical as they are trying to trigger outrage in their chosen audience of journalists and influencers, and support for ongoing slaughter in Gaza.

But it means the material is biased, and all footage gathered by the IDF should be submitted to independent inspection; this is basic journalistic practice – a genuinely independent journalist or historian would not be able to say they could accurately assess what happened on October 7, based only on this selection. For balance, Jones adds that some horrors may not have been recorded or be in the captured material.

The footage does not support some of the most serious claims made by Israel and the IDF in the weeks since October 7. So:

  • There is no material suggesting that babies were beheaded. There are beheadings – one of a dead soldier (therefore not an execution) and one attempt to behead a dying Thai migrant worker that fails.
  • There is no evidence of torture.
  • There is no evidence of rape and sexual violence. Bodies found without underwear do not constitute conclusive evidence of such crimes, as Jones states.
  • Some have claimed that there is material showing children being killed but Jones could find no evidence of this.

Jones makes it clear that this is not to say that none of these things happened. It simply doesn’t prove that they did.

The images are coupled with audio recordings, purportedly of Hamas communications that were intercepted. Jones questions their veracity. Other such clips have been released by Israel/the IDF in the past weeks, and have been dismissed as fake by experts. There is no reason for this material not to be passed on for independent assessment.

Some of the most shocking footage was of bodies burned beyond recognition – but we have learned that hundreds of them belonged to Hamas personnel, according to Israel spokesman Mark Regev. These people would not have been burned by their colleagues in Hamas – so Jones asks the obvious question: who burned them and how?

He also asks how many people were killed by reckless fire – from either side, although he does qualify this by saying evidence only suggests two incidents involved IDF forces allegedly killing Israelis – at Kibbutz Be’eri and at the Nova rave (and the rave claim is hotly disputed). This Writer would add the IDF’s Gaza Battalion headquarters, where the commanding officer, safe in a bunker, ordered an airstrike on the surface where his troops were engaged in combat with Hamas personnel.

Jones moves on to examine articles by other journalists, including one saying the film shows Hamas are worse than the Nazis – which he correctly describes as “insulting” and “ahistorical”, belittling the horrors of the Holocaust.

Then he tackles criticism of his own behaviour, and his words (found at around the 15-minute mark in the video clip) are worth quoting here: “The roots of my politics is a revulsion at human suffering. That is the entire point of all of my work. You might not believe it, you may have invented a perverse, bogeyman caricature in your head, of who I am, but that is the point of everything that I believe in.

“Watching this film of horrors – and they are horrors – does not lead me to want to support other horrors. Watching innocent civilians being killed in Israel does not make me more likely to support killing more innocent civilians in Gaza. Indeed, several times over more innocent civilians.

“The fact that this is controversial – and I know that … those who supported this screening and its purpose find this controversial – is absurd.

“Now, you have a choice, when you learn of the horrors that humans are capable of inflicting against each other. You either allow these horrors to deepen your humanity or you use those horrors to numb your humanity so that you can be complicit in even more, and indeed even greater horrors.

“This is a very basic and fundamental lesson from human history, which is never learned, with a grave human cost.”

He returns to this later in the clip: “It’s that point at which you either look at horror, you see horror, and you deepen your humanity – or you numb your humanity; you allow your humanity to be chipped away.

“And here’s how I understand the purpose of the screening can be used for just that, is that when attendees see what is happening in Gaza, the thousands of innocent civilians, many thousands of little kids among them, as well as maimed little toddlers, newborns suffocating to death, and feel horror and anguish – and then we are meant to think back to what we saw at those screenings, to remember those poor, injured little boys crying for their dead father, and then to wipe away the horror and anguish we feel about Gaza’s innocence, so that we continue – we can continue – to support a military onslaught which will take many more lives.

“This has happened throughout history, where you are encouraged to break down your empathy for the suffering of others by selectively focusing only on the suffering of some.

“I won’t do that.”

He continued: “Those behind the screening would rightfully regard even one of the killings of Israeli civilians which I saw as intolerable. I did.

“But 20,000 dead Palestinians, many thousands of them children – that’s entirely tolerable?

“Well, there we differ in our responses to the horrors that we saw.”

He concluded: “Throughout the tortured history of our species, horror at atrocities has long been used to build consent for yet more atrocities.

“I left that screening, yes… ashen-faced, horrified, disgusted, repulsed – and more determined than ever to spare innocent people from violent deaths and suffering. That should be your response too.

“No cause on Earth justified crimes committed against innocent civilians. And those crimes don’t justify collective punishment and the mass slaughter that the people of Gaza are now suffering.”

Here’s the clip:

The response Jones received for this display of humanity in the face of horror has been, itself, horrifying.

Here’s a selection, so you can see for yourself, and put names to those who have numbed their humanity and allowed themselves to become complicit in more and greater horrors:

I answered this one:

None of the people attacking Jones in the tweets above deserve any of your attention. They present as bloodthirsty warmongers intent on the annihilation – not of Hamas, but of Palestine and all Palestinians.

If you can remember all the way back to the beginning of this article, you may recall that when I was asked whose side I take in the Israel/Hamas conflict, I said I was on the side of peace.

You don’t get peace by invading somebody else’s country, subjugating them, stealing their land, walling in, oppressing and murdering them for 75 years – as Israel has discovered.

You don’t get peace by breaking through the walls and murdering your oppressors in a vain and (proportionately) tiny act of rebellion – as Hamas has discovered.

All you get is a perpetuation of the cycle of violence.

International law says Palestine has a right to resist the occupation of its land and the oppression of its people by Israel. But that does not give it a right to commit a single act of violence against a civilian.

Israel has a right to defend itself against acts of violence that are committed against its civilians. The issues are muddied here because it is questionable whether those acts of violence were committed on Israeli land or land that has been stolen from Palestine, in which case those civilians had no right to be there. But in any case, that does not give it a right to commit a single act of violence against a civilian.

Both sides are in the wrong. Both have committed war crimes. Both have committed atrocities.

In fairness, both have also been trying to whip up support for further atrocities. That’s why my friends were so surprised when I didn’t say I supported Israel or Hamas (or Gaza, or Palestine) but wanted peace instead.

The only way to get peace is to put the weapons away, sit down with the people you’ve been fighting and talk about how it can be achieved.

The longer that moment is delayed, they harder it will be to achieve that peace.

And yes, every one of us has a responsibility to seek that peace. You don’t get it by cheerleading for war and its atrocities.


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How does the IDF’s video clip prove al-Shifa hospital was a Hamas headquarters?

Invasion of the liars: IDF troops in al-Shifa hospital.

Is anybody else struggling to believe Israeli propaganda saying that a video clip showing Hamas hostages being escorted into al-Shifa hospital in Gaza means that place was a terrorist HQ.

According to the BBC,

The video showed two hostages being brought into the hospital, Gaza’s largest and most modern.

Armed men can be seen in the CCTV video which is date-stamped 7 October. One of the hostages appears to be resisting – the other is shown on a stretcher.

Here’s part of it:

Hamas has expressed surprise at the allegation – saying the organisation had made it clear that many hostages had been referred to hospitals:

“BREAKING: HAMAS OFFICIAL STATEMENT EXPOSING ISRAEL ON AL- SHIFA HOSPITAL Izzat Al-Rishq; “Regarding what the spokesman for the terrorist enemy army said about the arrival of prisoners of the occupation to Al-Shifa Hospital, we said early on that the resistance transferred many prisoners of the occupation to hospitals to receive treatment and undergo surgical operations, especially after some of them were injured as a result of the occupation’s aircraft bombing them. We risked our fighters to guarantee the injured prisoners the best treatment. Possible in hospitals in the Gaza Strip. We have published many pictures about this; Now their army spokesman presents it as if they have discovered something great. What the spokesman for the occupation army says completely condemns them. These are points that are recorded for us and not [against] us. Taking care of the prisoners, treating them, and giving them possible medical care is a point for us and not [against] us.””

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The line about some hostages being injured as a result of IDF airstrikes ties in with another Israeli claim – that Corporal Noa Marciano, 19, was killed after being taken into al-Shifa hospital with minor injuries.

From the BBC article:

“This morning we updated Noa’s family that according to our findings, she was kidnapped to a safe house near Shifa,” Rear Adm Daniel Hagari, IDF chief spokesperson told reporters.

“During IDF air strikes in the area, the Hamas terrorist who was holding Noa was killed and she was wounded in the air strike, but not a life-threatening injury. Noa was taken inside Shifa hospital, where she was murdered by another Hamas terrorist.”

Hamas has previously claimed Ms Marciano was killed in an Israeli air strike, which the IDF said occurred on 9 November.

Where is Israel’s proof that Cpl Marciano was killed by a Hamas terrorist?

And the IDF “released a video that it said showed a tunnel 10m (33ft) below ground that runs for 55m up to a closed and reinforced door. It said this was now part of the evidence that “clearly proves” numerous buildings in the hospital’s complex have been “used by Hamas as cover for terrorist infrastructure and activities”.”

But we knew tunnels under al-Shifa hospital were dug by the Israeli government itself, back in 1983 or thereabouts. Don’t we?

And yet, Israel’s outriders in the social media are crowing as if these unproven claims – the BBC has said it

has not been able to verify the video which was presented at a news briefing by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday.

The latest video is not yet the evidence that’s been promised of the sort of vast and intricate operation depicted in a computer simulation which the IDF previously released showing what it believes any Hamas base underground at al-Shifa could look like.

Believe it or not, the BBC has been slammed by the Israel apologists for this reality check (apologies for the language from Sussex Friends of Israel; it is what it is):

The reservations expressed by the BBC interviewer and interviewee seem entirely reasonable to This Writer.

But many of – sadly – the usual suspects seem ready and willing to accept the flimsiest claim if it comes from the Israeli government and/or the IDF.

Here’s what Israel is saying:

And here come the apologists:

What? Irrefutable evidence that al-Shifa hospital was the Hamas HQ and execution dungeon?

Has anybody – trustworthy – seen this irrefutable – evidence?

Al-Shifa is the best-equipped hospital in the Gaza strip, though; that’s most likely the reason for any hostages being taken there for treatment.

Now here’s Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy:

He was followed by eager supporters:

But it gets worse:

What does it mean? It means this:

Let’s see what happens. Expect an unrestricted Israeli onslaught, with absolutely no quarter given for UN representatives, non-governmental organisations, members of the World Health Organisation or anything else.

Meanwhile, let’s remind ourselves of some genuine facts:

Regev was inadvertently confirming the plentiful evidence that it was Israeli missiles, fired indiscriminately at cars and homes, that burned alive both Hamas fighters and Israeli hostages. The atrocity of burned bodies – blamed by the entire western political and media class on Hamas, and cited as justification for the current genocidal rampage in Gaza – were, in fact, Israel’s doing. What proportion of the 1,200 Israelis who died on Oct 7 were killed by Israel’s actions? We can assume Israel will not be forthcoming with that information. Will the western media start changing its simple-minded, genocide-justifying narrative of Oct 7? Don’t bet on it. Ali Abunimah’s story here: electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abun My story, What the BBC fails to tell you about October 7, here: jonathan-cook.net/blog/2023-11-0

Sadly, while Israel’s lies may kill many, the facts can’t bring anybody back to life.


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The facts about the Israeli attack on al-Shifa hospital are out – and DAMNING

Useless: the incubators at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza are now without power, due to the Israeli assault – and babies are dying. The IDF invaders don’t care a jot.

Israel’s excuse for attacking and shutting down the largest and most important provider of medical care for the population of Gaza has been shredded into tatters, leaving that country guilty of a flagrant – unforgivable – war crime. Or so it seems to This Writer.

Let’s look at the evidence, starting with a bit of context. This is from Consortium News – to which I was pointed by award-winning (and impeccably-credentialed) UK journalist John Pilger:

The Israeli claim that Shifa hospital was providing such a cover for an Hamas military presence there is in fact the longest running theme in Israeli war propaganda on Gaza, dating back nearly 15 years to the first days of the Gaza war of January 2009.

That was when Yuval Diskin, the head of Israel’s domestic intelligence service Shin Bet, told Amos Harel of Haaretz newspaper that “many” senior Hamas officials were “believed” to be hiding in the “basements” of Shifa hospital, and that the Israelis knew all about those underground levels of the hospital, because they had originally been been built by the Egyptians before 1967 and extensively refurbished by the Israelis themselves in the mid-1980s.

Diskin also explained to Harel that Hamas was confident that it wouldn’t be attacked, because of the patients on the upper floors.

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Apart from the fact that Israel’s intelligence service had admitted that it only suspected Hamas’ military presence under the hospital rather than having actual knowledge, Harel was, however, honest enough to report that his Palestinian contacts were telling him senior Hamas leaders never stayed in the same location but constantly moved from one location to another — a revelation that obviously made far more sense than the claim that those same senior Hamas officials were hanging out in a basement that was obviously well known to the Israelis.

But Hamas’ tunnels outside Shifa could obviously be used for the same function of command of military operations without having to bother with Shifa hospital.

So the drumbeat of Israeli concern about the alleged Hamas command bunker underneath Shifa appears to have been a phony issue from the start, aimed merely at bringing pressure to bear on the medical system, namely to close down Shifa as the largest, most modern and most effective hospitals in Gaza to create the maximum amount of suffering to the people of Gaza.

The article also states:

An attack on a hospital is normally considered a clear violation of the rules of war. The Israeli Defense Forces is justifying it by claiming that Shifa has long served as civilian medical  cover for the command center of the entire Hamas war operations and weapons storage.

That IDF claim has been cited constantly in Israeli propaganda as an argument that Shifa — and other hospitals in Gaza — should not be accorded the normal legal hospital immunity from attack.

Right. So: if no Hamas command centre and weapons store was discovered at the hospital, Israel’s attack on it must be a war crime.

What’s the situation there now?

The following refers to the Biden administration in the United States giving its support to the Israeli al-Shifa invasion – reported in Consortium News as follows:

CNN reported Monday night that “the Biden administration has now signaled that it supports the Israeli position, as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan declared on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday: ‘You can see even from open-source reporting that Hamas does use hospitals, along with a lot of other civilian facilities, for command-and-control, for storing weapons, for housing its fighters.’”

Those Sullivan remarks were an obvious green light for the IDF to press on for complete evacuation of the hospital.

The problem with that “open source reporting” is that it is never anything more than unsupported claims based on mere supposition.

If you’re not convinced by any of the above, then the BBC’s Verify team has examined the evidence – and has also found Israel’s evidence wanting:

The verdict seems clear: there is no evidence that al-Shifa was ever used as a base for terrorist operations by Hamas and any equipment that has been used by Israeli forces to indicate the same was brought there by them.

Where are Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak to tell us Israel has the right to defend itself by depriving Gazan citizens of medical care and, ultimately, their lives?


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Is Israel trying to see how blatantly it can gaslight us with this al-Shifa MRI lie?

Invasion of the liars: IDF troops in al-Shifa hospital.

“On Wednesday evening, the IDF said troops found ‘an operational command centre, weapons, and technological assets'” at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city, the BBC said,  “belonging to Hamas inside the MRI building.”

Sorry. Where?

“Inside the MRI building.”

Impossible. Or at least highly improbable.

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The claim is that the Israeli Defence Forces found a Hamas “operational command centre” in the MRI unit at al-Shifa, including a laptop computer and 10 Kalashnikov rifles, plus ammunition.

The guns were supposedly hidden behind an actual MRI machine.

Metal objects? Near a highly-magnetic, sensitive, fragile and expensive piece of medical equipment?

That does not make sense.

And Hamas representatives have been quick to point this out. Never mind the material that isn’t relevant to this – concentrate on the relevant points:

As for the laptop:

Here’s some more about that:

And more…:

It seems the IDF has been moving guns around to make it seem more have been found than were actually there (or, more likely, were actually brought there by them):

And how did the IDF get those weapons there? Try this:

So the story about an “operational command centre” seems to be nothing but a pack of lies.

And we’ve seen no evidence of any tunnels beneath the hospital, at all. Remember, if al-Shifa had been the Hamas HQ – as we’ve been led to believe – the tunnels would have come out in a hospital basement somewhere. There’s no such entrance, it seems.


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Is Israeli PM Netanyahu using CGI cartoon as excuse to bomb a Gaza hospital?

Benjamin Netanyahu: is he now using a computer-generated cartoon to justify attacking a hospital?

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, has decided that a hospital in Gaza is built over a Hamas base – and has posted “proof” consisting of a computer-generated cartoon animation.

Here it is:

If you can see anything in this CGI cartoon that actually proves Hamas has a base under a hospital, please comment, indicating where it is – because This Writer can’t find it!

Apparently the complex in question is Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, currently said to be sheltering 12,000 people – all of whom may now be considered targets of the Israeli government and military.

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Netanyahu has rightly come under considerable criticism for this – or, indeed, ridicule:

Some have taken this as a tacit admission that Israel did indeed bomb the Al Ahli Hospital – and some are also pointing out that they predicted Israel would use a claim of Hamas bases under hospitals to justify bombing more:

It is ironic that Netanyahu is claiming that Hamas are sick, on the basis of a cartoon that has no apparent evidential base.

Depending on what happens to Al-Shifa Hospital, we can all decide who is sick in this context.


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Hospital horror: war criminals kill at least 500 in strike at Gaza. Were they Israelis?

The Al Ahli Hospital after the airstrike: will evidence be found in the rubble that indicates blame?

Funny how they always say they’re investigating how they managed to commit a war crime, isn’t it?

It seems the Israeli Air Force has performed an air strike on the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, with the death toll totalling 500 – so far. But 1,000 displaced people were said to be seeking refuge there and hundreds are said to be trapped under the rubble.

The Hamas government has called the strike a war crime – and this seems an accurate description:

An attack against a civilian person or object may constitute a war crime. A person or object can lose its civilian status if it starts making an effective contribution to military action, but this determination must be unequivocal: when in doubt as to whether a school or hospital has become a military objective, there is a presumption that it retains its civilian status.

Even attacks against legitimate military targets mustfollow two additional principles: proportionality – whereby an attack that would cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited – and precaution in attack – which states that constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.

Al Ahli hospital is funded by the Anglican Church – the Church of England. Richard Sewell, Dean of St George’s College, and one of the church’s top figures in Jerusalem, posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the hospital took “a direct hit from an Israeli missile”.

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He called the act the “deliberate killing of vulnerable civilians” and stated: “The bombs must stop now. There can be no possible justification for this.”

And Israel? Israel has said a hospital is not an IDF target. It says the IDF is investigating the source of the explosion, “prioritising accuracy and reliability”.

The simple fact is that these people would have known immediately if their forces were responsible. They are far more likely to be cooking up an excuse that they believe may seem plausible. Two hours, and the clock is ticking…

UPDATE 8.51pm: And here it is: “An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit. Intelligence from multiple sources we have in our hands indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza.”

Do you believe a word of it?

UPDATE 9.38pm: From Reuters: “Daoud Shehab, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, told Reuters: “This is a lie and fabrication, it is completely incorrect. The occupation is trying to cover for the horrifying crime and massacre they committed against civilians.””


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Israeli forces shot their own civilians, kibbutz survivor says

Yasmin Porat: her interview casts doubt on everything we’ve been told about the Hamas raids.

Israeli claims about Hamas atrocities in the treatment of hostages and other Israeli civilians during the raids that started the current Israel/Gaza conflict may have been disproved decisively by an interview with a survivor.

Worse still – for the Israelis, Yasmin Porat said Israeli civilians were “undoubtedly” killed by their own security forces when they arrived at the scene.

The interview has appeared on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) – and has been translated by the Electronic Intifada:

Here it is, with a bit of preamble to provide context:

An Israeli woman who survived the Hamas assault on settlements near the Gaza boundary on 7 October says Israeli civilians were “undoubtedly” killed by their own security forces.

It happened when Israeli forces engaged in fierce gun battles with Palestinian fighters in Kibbutz Be’eri and fired indiscriminately at both the fighters and their Israeli prisoners.

“They eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” she told Israeli radio. “There was very, very heavy crossfire” and even tank shelling.

The woman, 44-year-old mother of three Yasmin Porat, said that prior to that, she and other civilians had been held by the Palestinians for several hours and treated “humanely.” She had fled the nearby “Nova” rave.

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A recording of her interview, from the radio program Haboker Hazeh (“This Morning”) hosted by Aryeh Golan on state broadcaster Kan, has been circulating on social media.

Yasmin Porat: For an hour they were banging – about 10 terrorists on the reinforced safe room. There were screams in Arabic and it was a very tense hour. And we felt great fear that’s indescribable. After an hour they managed to break in and they removed the four of us to a nearby house where there were already eight other additional hostages. We joined those eight and we were about 12 hostages with 40 terrorists that were guarding us. I’m keeping the story short.

Aryeh Golan: Did they abuse you?

Yasmin Porat: They did not abuse us. They treated us very humanely, meaning …

Aryeh Golan: Humanely? Really?

Yasmin Porat: Yes, by that I mean they guard us. They give us something to drink here and there. When they see we are nervous, they calm us down. It was very frightening but no one treated us violently. Luckily nothing happened to me like what I heard in the media.

Aryeh Golan: Horrible, horrific things occurred.

Yasmin Porat: True. But after two hours briefly at first there was no [Israeli] security force with us. We were the ones who called the police together with the abductors because the abductors wanted the police to arrive. Because their objective was to kidnap us to Gaza.

[SKIP OR CUT IN AUDIO]

Yasmin Porat: Meanwhile one of the terrorists decides to surrender, the terrorist I made a connection with. Over the course of those two hours I connected with some of the abductors, those that guarded the hostages.

Aryeh Golan: Yes

Yasmin Porat: And he decides to use me as a human shield. He decides to surrender. I am not aware of it in those moments it’s in retrospect. He starts to disrobe, he takes he calls to me and he starts to leave the house with me, under fire. At that time I yelled to the YAMAM [Israeli commandos] when we were already when they can hear me, to stop firing.

Aryeh Golan: Yes

Yasmin Porat: And then they hear me and stop firing. I see on the lawn, in the garden of the people from the kibbutz. There are five or six hostages lying on the ground outside, just like sheep to the slaughter, between the shooting of our [fighters] and the terrorists.

Aryeh Golan: The terrorists shot them?

Yasmin Porat: No, they were killed by the crossfire. Understand there was very, very heavy crossfire.

Aryeh Golan: So our forces may have shot them?

Yasmin Porat: Undoubtedly.

Aryeh Golan: When they tried to eliminate the abductors, Hamas?

Yasmin Porat: They eliminated everyone, including the hostages. Because there was very, very heavy crossfire. I was freed at approximately 5:30. The fighting apparently ended at 8:30. After insane crossfire, two tank shells were shot into the house. Its a small kibbutz house, nothing big. You saw it on the news.

Aryeh Golan: Yes

Yasmin Porat: Not a large place. And at that moment everyone was killed. There was quiet, except for one person limping, Hadas [Dagan], in the garden.

Aryeh Golan: How were they all killed?

Yasmin Porat: From the crossfire.

Aryeh Golan: Crossfire, so it could also be from our forces?

Yasmin Porat: Undoubtedly.

Aryeh Golan: Really?

Yasmin Porat: Thats what I believe.

Aryeh Golan: Oy it sounds so bad.

Yasmin Porat: Yes. And everyone died.

Aryeh Golan: And you, thanks to that terrorist who decided to give himself up …

Yasmin Porat: Exactly.

Aryeh Golan: And you survived and all the rest were killed there.

Yasmin Porat: Except for one other woman who survived, they found her later [trails off]. The person who dealt with the event checked her or something. They found her when she lifted her head, amongst all the bodies. And then, simply …

Aryeh Golan: And your partner, who was with you?

Yasmin Porat: Killed.

Aryeh Golan: He was killed too?

Yasmin Porat: Yes. Everyone was killed there. Just horrible.

Aryeh Golan: Have you returned to Kabri?

Yasmin Porat: I returned to Kabri and then the chaos started there.

Aryeh Golan: In the north?

Yasmin Porat: Yes. So now I’m a guest. I’m being hosted in a lovely way in Kibbutz Ein Harod. And I’m here for now.

Aryeh Golan: Youre in the [Jezreel] Valley now. Alright, Yasmin, you’ve undergone a horrific experience.

Yasmin Porat: True.

Aryeh Golan: You lost your partner, you saw people killed alongside you.

Yasmin Porat: And I …

Aryeh Golan: [INTERRUPTS] What happened to that terrorist who gave himself up?

Yasmin Porat: He is still arrested, and he was just called in for interrogation to help … You know, he will be interrogated about the accused. And sadly dozens more of my friends were killed because …

Aryeh Golan: [INTERRUPTS] Dozens of friends?

Yasmin Porat: Yes because its a community, the trance scene, we go to the same parties. It means that besides my partner, I knew dozens and hundreds [CUT OFF]

For a much more detailed article, visit the Electronic Intifada here.


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BBC apologises after presenter CORRECTLY identifies Israel Defence Force murders of children

Do Israeli armed forces murder children? Well, here’s Muhammad Tamimi. His two-year-old life was ended after a member of the Israel Defence Forces raided his village and shot this defenceless toddler in the head.

There’s a meme going the rounds on the social media about the British Broadcasting Corporation.

It says when one person says it’s raining and another says it is sunny, it isn’t the BBC’s job to present a balance of the two viewpoints; the BBC’s job is to look out the window and see which of them is right.

Let’s apply this to a complaint made by the far-right, Israeli-government-supporting Board of Deputies of British Jews, that made a complaint to the BBC about this Newsnight sequence in which the attack on the refugee campaign in the Palestinian city of Jenin by the Israel Defence Force was questioned:

(I have no idea why Jimmy Hill’s face kept appearing in the clip; presumably it’s a comment by whoever made it about the veracity of Mr Bennett’s claims.)

The Board of Deputies made a complaint, which you can read below. And below that, you can find evidence refuting its claim:

Only last month, an IDF trooper shot two-year-old toddler Muhammad Tamimi in the head, in what is believed to have been a deliberate act of aggression against the child:

He died of his injury a short while later.

It therefore seems unsupportable that the Board of Deputies of British Jews can claim that it is “disgraceful” to say the IDF forces seem happy to kill children. The evidence is there, for all to see.

Sadly, it seems the BBC has not looked out of the window to check what the weather is actually doing.

In fairness, the BBC apology said the line of questioning was appropriate – it was just the language that was used that caused offence.

But that was enough for the Board of Deputies to crow about it.

Considering the way both organisations have responded to this incident, perhaps the BBC should look into the subject more deeply.

Perhaps Panorama could run a film examining the number of children the IDF have murdered and the frequency of these killings, alongside the after-the-event excuses for them, with analysis of whether the claims of the Israeli government actually stand up to scrutiny.

This Writer has a feeling the results would be illuminating – but I don’t think the BBC, under its shrinking-violet director general Tim Davie, would have the nerve.

For now, it seems the best advice possible for both parties in this dispute is to say that, if the Board of Deputies doesn’t want to see reports saying Israeli armed forces murder children…

Perhaps it should call on the Israeli armed forces to stop murdering children.


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An Israeli soldier has shot and killed a toddler. Let’s discuss ‘outdated’ notions

Muhammad Tamimi: his two-year-old life was ended after a member of the Israel Defence Forces raided his village and shot this defenceless toddler in the head.

Remember last week, when This Site commented on Jewish Chronicle reviewer Jonathan Sacerdoti’s critique of Maureen Lipman’s performance in the play Rose, in which he stated that it invests “dramatic capital in the outdated notion that Jews kill children”.

Outdated?

This happened last week:

I think it’s time we discussed some of these “notions” that certain people are constantly telling us are “outdated”.

Certainly the claim that armed Israelis shoot children is neither a notion, nor outdated. It is a terrifying fact.

Some have tried to justify the killing of a child by saying his parents put him in the line of fire. This is clearly false; the shooting happened during a raid on a Palestinian village by members of the Israel Defence Forces.

They claimed that they were responding to Palestinian aggression and I am not going to debate that. It might be true but that is irrelevant to what has happened, which is this:

Armed military aggressors attacked unarmed civilians in their homes and shot a toddler in the head, causing injuries from which he later died.

There is no explanation that can justify such an act.

It is unacceptable on any level at all – as all civilised observers must agree. Nobody can ever say they shot an unarmed toddler in the head as an act of self-defence.

And the very least the rest of us should expect is a little contrition from people like Mr Sacerdoti.


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Should the UK Home Secretary be linked to ‘charity’ that supports persecution of Palestinians?

Bloodthirsty: Priti Patel.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who was sacked as International Development Secretary for trying to carry out her own foreign policy in Israel, is linked to a so-called charity that supports the persecution of Palestinians.

Patel used a family holiday in Israel to carry out secret political meetings with members of that country’s government – she pretended she had told the Foreign Office about them but had not.

When she got back to the UK, she tried to divert part of the Foreign Aid budget to fund the Israeli military occupation of the Golan Heights – land that belongs to Syria.

Eventually – after some dithering by then-prime minister Theresa May, Patel was forced to resign, only to be restored to an even more important Cabinet position by Boris Johnson.

Now we see a reason for Patel’s behaviour nearly four years ago: she is linked to the Henry Jackson Society, a (so-called) charity whose leaders support Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers occupying – and carrying out atrocities – in the Occupied Territories of Palestine.

I’m sure we all remember the IDF’s war crimes against Palestine in April, when it bombed civilian infrastructure in Gaza including apartments, offices, government facilities, business and roads.

The IDF justified this by saying it was attacking assets of the Palestinian group Hamas, and the uninvolved individuals it killed – including many children – just happened to be in the way.

It is right to say that Hamas has itself committed war crimes, but that does not mean the IDF should do the same in return, and it is currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity including apartheid and persecution.

Henry Jackson Society executive director Dr Alan Mendoza justified Israel’s violence in Gaza on LBC News in May as legitimate self-defence, making no mention of Israel’s occupation and systematic discrimination against Palestinians.

Byline Times tells us about Patel’s involvement with this questionable organisation:

Until 2016, Priti Patel was a member of HJS’ Political Council, and in 2014 HJS sponsored her to fly to Washington DC to attend a conference organised by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

During the involvement of … Patel, two of HJS’ US directors have been involved in charities with close ties to the Israeli military.

In November 2020, Byline Times revealed that between 2015 and 2018, HJS’ US-based non-profit vehicle operated under the directorship of Joshua Swidler and Liad Meidar, both of whom are Republican Party donors. Swidler is also a Conservative Party donor and his late wife Alisa Swidler was a member of the Conservative Party Leaders Group who had given a total of £336,686 to the party.

Both former HJS director Swidler and current HJS director Meidar are simultaneously directors of a number of charities which support Israeli soldiers.

The Byline Times article goes on to mention more links between directors of the HJS and IDF-supporting charities. It continues:

Patel [was] involved with HJS during its US directors’ active involvement in these IDF supporting charities.

Here’s the point:

Involvement with this alleged charity (the involvement of its personnel in both US and UK politics may infringe Charity Commission rules on political independence) means Patel has, at the very least, been in contact with people who support Israeli military atrocities against innocent civilians.

And it was after she had been a member of that organisation’s political council that she visited Israel, met politicians including then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and tried to use UK government money to fund IDF activities in an occupied territory.

The charity says it hasn’t done anything wrong, but is that true if its directors have been using the connections it allows them to make in order to increase aid to the political causes they support?

So the question has to be asked:

Is it true that Patel supports the IDF in its atrocities because she has been radicalised by her association with the Henry Jackson Society and its directors – or that she became involved because their beliefs coincide with her own?

And, given that this may be the case:

Isn’t it also true that Priti Patel is a bloodthirsty racist who should not be a member of Parliament, let alone a hugely-powerful minister in the Tory Cabinet?

To help you remember why this is important, here’s a mild reminder of the way Israeli settlers, supported by the thugs of the IDF, treat Palestinians who are trying to work on their own land:

Priti Patel supports this violence.

It seems clear that, as long as she remains in government, the UK will continue to support Israeli war crimes in Palestine.

As long as people like her – puppets whose strings are being pulled by shadowy pro-Israel organisations – are in power, there will never be peace in the so-called Holy Land.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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