Israel Started It Again
- Mailbox: E-Mails, Faxes and Telephone Calls
Email NewWorldOrderWhistleBlowers2@yahoogroups.com...Sir Gerald Kaufman: "Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism"...In his 2009 speech in England's the House of Parliament , Sir Gerald Kaufman, the Veteran Labour MP: http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v= qMGuYjt6CP8# ..."Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism" Tzipi Livnis Father was a Terrorist" Astonishing claims in the House of Parliament. SIR Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, yesterday compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland. During a Commons debate on the fighting in Gaza, he urged the government to impose an arms embargo on Israel. Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, said: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed. "My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians." He said the claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants "was the reply of the Nazi" and added: "I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants." He accused the Israeli government of seeking "conquest" and added: " They are not simply war criminals, they are fools."
Email aharlib@......Abbas: Collaborating with the Enemy...By Stephen Lendman...Previous articles explained Abbas' longtime collaboration with Israel. He sold out long ago for whatever benefits he derives. He's Israel's enforcer. He ill serves and insults Palestinians. His presidency is illegitimate. Israel rigged his 2005 election. In January 2009, his term expired. He's still in office. At least for now, Washington and Israel want him there. He's more stooge than statesman. He's a duplicitous puppet. He replicates fascist Quisling Norway, Vichy France, and other Nazi-controlled collaborationist regimes. Instead of serving his people, he betrayed them. He subverts Palestine's liberating struggle. Collaborating with the enemy is treason. Abbas and like-minded Fatah officials are guilty on multiple counts. What did he know and when about Pillar of Cloud? He knew about Cast Lead in advance. On November 30, 2010, Reuters headlined "Israel says Abbas, Egypt warned on Gaza war leaks," saying: Ahead of Cast Lead, Israel "conferred with the Western-backed Palestinian leadership and with Egypt ." Leaked US diplomatic cables quoted a senior Israeli official confirming it. Haaretz reported the same thing. Mubarak and Abbas were briefed in advance. Haaretz said "Israel tried to coordinate the Gaza war with the Palestinian authority." WikiLeaks released US diplomatic cables confirming it. In June 2009, months before Cast Lead, Israeli Defense Minister Barak met with US congressional members. He also "consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas." He "received negative answers from both." Previous leaked information reported the same thing. WikiLeaks provided "the first documented proof." Abbas denied getting advance word. He lied. Mubarak said nothing either way. Reuters said Abbas "urged Israel to crush Hamas during the war."The Roots of Israeli Attack on Gaza
Send comments, inquiries and requests to unsubscribe to thedish@...
The current conflict did not begin with rockets fired at Israel. I've earnestly attempted to find out "who" started the recent violence in Gaza. This is what I've found. If there is any inaccuracies, please let me know:
1) Monday, November 5th: Israeli forces shot and killed 23 year old Ahmad Nabhani when he "approached the border fence with Israel." Nabhani was mentally retarded. He also was not carrying any weapons nor was he any threat whatsoever.
2) Thursday, November 8th: On November 8, the IDF (eight tanks and four bulldozers) invaded southern Gaza,and an IDF sniper, from 1200 meters away, assassinated a 13 year old boy who was playing football with his other friends in their front yard. The two boys who ran to his aid were also shot, as were two men who ran toward the boys to aid them.
3) Saturday, November 10th: In response to the above, the Palestinian military shot an anti-tank missile at an Israeli Defense Forces vehicle near the Gaza border, wounding four Israeli soldiers. Palestinian news media immediately reported that the Palestinian military acknowledged their strike as revenge for the preceding Israeli military violence on Gaza.
4) Saturday, November 10th: The IDF bombs the Gaza Strip. Also, amidst fears of violence escalating in Gaza, the Israeli group Peace Now is warning of a major Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank. According to Peace Now, the settlement of Itamar will be expanded fivefold to 675 homes. The news comes one week after Israel announced the construction of more than 1,200 new settler homes in East Jerusalem.
5) Sunday night, November 11th: Egypt, in addition to the UN's special envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, brokers ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians.
6) On Monday, November 13th and 7) Tuesday, November 14th: Egypt brokered truce holds.
8) Wednesday, November 15th: Israel breaks the ceasefire. Palestinian military commander Ahmed Jabari is assassinated, despite having received from Egypt the permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the ceasefire. Al-Jabari is known as a moderate and negotiator (he is the one behind the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit). As the Palestinian spokesman, the Egyptians will not be able to reach anybody now who is able to talk to the Palestinians and to install a real truce. Al-Jabari had a lot of influence on the military wings of all the political factions, given the fact that he plays a most important role as a Palestinian leader among the Palestinian factions and in the Palestinian street. "It's exactly like losing Yasser Arafat."
Gershon Baskin (Israeli negotiator who is pro-Israel yet confesses the following): "I was sitting in Cairo with a [Egyptian] intelligence officer on Sunday evening when he received a phone call from the head of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, informing him that they had agreed to enter into the ceasefire. This was immediately communicated to the Israeli side by the military intelligence in Egypt."
9) Wednesday, November 15th --> Friday, November 17th: Israel launches 502 airstrikes into Gaza Strip: -23 people die, mostly civilians. -230+ people are injured. -untold amounts of property damage. Palestinian military launches 500 rockets into Israel.
10) Sunday, November 18th: Speaking in Bangkok Sunday, President Obama supported Israel's attack on Gaza: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There is no country on earth that would
tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So, we are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister. He thanked the Obama administration for its support: EHUD BARAK: This effort could not have been concluded without the generous and consistent support of the American administration, led by President Obama.
11) Monday, November 19th: As of early Monday morning: -105 Palestinians have been killed and -850+ Palestinians have been wounded. As of early Monday morning: Israeli death toll stands at 3. According to Israeli government statistics, Israel has carried out more than 1,350 attacks since launching the offensive last week. More than 540 Palestinian rockets have fallen inside Israel, all but 35 in open areas.
Palestinian Media targeted: In addition to attacking civilian homes, Israel has also targeted Palestinian media. On Sunday, six Palestinian journalists were wounded when Israeli missiles slammed into the Gaza offices of the Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, and the Lebanon-based Al Quds TV. A number of international media outlets, including Fox News, CBS and Sky News, have used studios in the targeted buildings. One of the victims lost his leg. Reporters Without Borders has condemned the attacks as "war crimes." At a protest in the West Bank, a Palestinian government spokesperson denounced the targeting of journalists:
Nour Odeh: "There are more than 300 Israeli attacks registered against the Palestinian journalists. We lost more than 20 colleagues in past years because of the Israeli occupation. Today the message (from the Israeli strike) is clear against the freedom of journalism and opinions."
From the above, it would appear that Palestinians did not start this latest violence. In fact, Palestinians had signed, and trusted, a ceasefire that was also agreed to by Israel. So, if the above is true, how can the American administration lie and distort the truth with lies? How can this be tolerated? (Source: http://www.commondreams.org/video/2012/11/19)
Venue for an Artist
Gaza's Health Crisis and Israel's Crimes Against Humanity
By Juan Cole
Israeli air strikes for the past 6 days have killed over 100 Palestinians in Gaza, many of them women and children; one strike deliberately targeted a media building that Israeli government knew to house journalists. Medics announced Monday that they are running out of key medicines (Gaza is under Israeli blockade). Military strikes are also interfering in the delivery of medical and other aid by international organizations in the Strip.
This Arabic-language report says that Israeli warplanes targeted the Jordanian field hospital late on Monday. I have not been able to find confirmation for this report, but if it is true, and deliberate, it would be a war crime.
A WHO spokesman reported Monday that injured individuals showing up at Gaza hospitals had "dramatically increased in the last 24 hours". Some 700 have come to hospital, 252 of them children. Nurses at Shifa Hospital, who work 12-hour shifts, say that the injuries they are seeing are unprecedented. One said, "It's very hard now, with many injured people coming every hour. Women and children outnumbered men, especially with the new wave [of attacks] targeting houses and civilian buildings."
Since small homemade rockets coming out of Gaza in 2012 had killed no Israelis before the Israeli Air Force started bombing the Gaza Strip last week, there is no doubt that Israel is engaged in a disproportionate use of force and a reckless disregard for the well-being of civilian non-combatants in its own occupied territory. Israeli army spokesmen claim they are precisely targeting only Hamas paramilitary personnel and blame Hamas for hiding among non-combatants. However, it is the Occupying power's responsibility to do due diligence in ensuring the safety of the occupied population, and if Israeli pilots don't have a clear shot at an enemy combatant, they simply should not take it.
These hostilities are deepening a longstanding crisis in Gaza health care that has resulted from deliberate Israeli policies.
The Reuters Foundation's Trust.org reported that 39 aid organizations are warning of humanitarian disaster in Gaza if there is no ceasefire soon. Nishant Pandey, director of Oxfam Country is quoted as saying:
"We urgently need to enforce a cease fire. The present conflict threatens to perpetuate and worsen the humanitarian impact on Palestinian civilians in Gaza of over five years of Israeli blockade and the 2008-2009 Israeli military operation `Cast Lead'."
In a statement, the World Health Organization worried about lack of medicine:
"Many of the drugs at zero stock are lifesaving. Gaza hospitals are now having to deal with the growing number of casualties with severely depleted medical supplies."
Physicians in Occupied Gaza are attempting to treat head injuries, serious burns, and injuries from falling buildings and debris caused by Israeli pilots.
Aljazeera English reports on the difficulties faced by paramedics in Gaza during the Israeli bombardments:
A spokesman for the Israeli army tweeted on 19 November, "We continue to transfer goods & gas to #Gaza", saying that on 18 November some 16 trucks carrying medical supplies entered Gaza, and 26 Palestinian patients were taken to Israel for treatment.
Although Israel is now letting in some supplies, they were inadequate to the need even before these attacks. Medhat Abbas, head of Shifa Hospital, reported that his institution lacks 40% of the needed drugs: "The shortage, of course, affects the quality of our work. However, our staff is working to the maximum to fulfill needs in this catastrophic situation."
Morocco is setting up a field hospital in Gaza to treat the wounded. Jordan has had one there for 3 years, and all the personnel are Jordanian.
Some 500 Egyptian activists, from the same youth groups that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011, brought food and medical aid to Gaza on Saturday. Egypt is keeping its Rafah checkpoint with Gaza open for the transport of wounded to El Arish Hospital.
The Gaza Strip, home to some 1.7 million Palestinians (about half of them children and minors), has been the victim for a long time of Israeli colonial oppression, including policies that deliberately harm the health and well-being of its residents. Stunting in children, along with widespread anemia in pregnant women and children, are one result of the economic blockade imposed on Israeli-occupied Gaza by the far right wing Likud government of Israel. Israeli strangulation of the Gaza economy has led not only to poverty and food insecurity but also to threats to the availability of potable water and access to medicine and hospital care.
A recent World Health Organization Report worries that in just 8 years, in 2020, if current Israeli policies continue, Gaza will be virtually uninhabitable. Israel as the occupying power since 1967 is directly responsible in international law for the well-being of its occupied populations, and is in severe violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of the occupied. Moreover, since Israeli policies of Apartheid, discrimination, exile, restriction of movement and infliction of harm on Palestinians in Gaza are long-standing, deliberate and systematic, Israeli leaders are guilty in this regard of crimes against humanity.
The WHO report: "Ms. [Jean] Gough [of UNICEF] said that demand for drinking water was projected to increase by 60 per cent while damage to the aquifer, the major water source, would become irreversible without remedial action now. Mr.[Robert] Turner [of UNRWA] added that more than 440 additional schools, 800 hospital beds and more than 1,000 doctors would be needed by 2020."
Israeli airstrikes are exacerbating what had already been a parlous health care situation for Palestinians in Gaza.
About Me: Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His latest book is Engaging the Muslim World. He is also the author of Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East. Cole has appeared widely on television, radio and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs. His weblog on the contemporary Middle East is Informed Comment. (Source: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/20-4)
Obama Weaves Web of Deceit on Gaza War
By Ira Chernus
When Barack Obama finally spoke out publicly about the Israeli assault on Gaza, at a press conference, he wove an astonishingly thick web of deception and distortion.
I'm no Obama-basher. But when I see him bashing and trashing the truth so blatantly, I have to speak out. I have to express my pain, because I know that his misleading words will increase the risks to my loved ones and fellow Jews in Israel and the much greater risks to the victims of Israeli aggression in Gaza.
Of course to hear Obama tell it, it's the Israelis who are the victims. "The precipitating event here that's causing the current crisis was an ever-escalating number of missiles" fired from Gaza into Israel, he said. "And there's no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders."
This is the same old tale Americans have been getting from their presidents, politicians, and press for decades: Those nasty Arabs, attacking Jews out of the blue for no good reason that we can see.
Not a word about Israel's economic blockade, which has inflicted so much misery on the people of Gaza for so many years. Israel has turned Gaza into what Noam Chomsky (who just returned from the Strip) calls "the world's largest open-air prison," where the only relief from suffering comes from materials brought (or smuggled) across the border from Egypt.
From the Israeli side, there is only a systematic plan "to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger," as one cynical Israeli official put it.
And that's literally what the Israelis have done. Israel controls all the transport bringing food into Gaza, "an average of only 67 trucks -- much less than half of the minimum requirement [for basic nutrition]," according to Jonathan Cook, a journalist based in Israel, who notes that more than 400 trucks a day were coming in before the blockade began. The result is chronic malnutrition. According to Middle East scholar Juan Cole, over half of of schoolchildren and two-thirds of infants suffer from anemia.
Medicines and medical equipment are in terribly short supply too. People die for lack of treatment. They are not allowed to make the short trip to Israel, with its high-quality medical facilities. Hospitals cannot be built (or rebuilt, after the massive 2008 Israeli attack on Gaza) because building materials are systematically kept from entering Gaza, too.
So the Palestinian victims of a stream of Israeli air attacks -- targeted assassination efforts that too often strike innocent bystanders -- cannot get the treatment they need either.
In 1967 Israel justified its preemptive attack on Egypt by claiming that Egypt's blockade of one Israeli port was an act of war. How much more, then, is Israel's ongoing blockade of the whole Gaza Strip an act of war. If Gazans shoot rockets in return it's a result, not a cause, of the conflict.
In fact, though, the Hamas government in Gaza has been remarkably restrained in its retaliation over the years. When Obama said "a genuine peace process starts with no more missiles being fired into Israel's territory" he got it exactly backwards. It was Israel that destroyed the chances for peace once again with its assassination of Ahmed Al-Jabari, the leader of Hamas' military wing, who had enforced previous cease-fires and was central in negotiations for a new one when he was killed.
Why Israel wants to kill chances for peace is a matter for debate. That Israel kills chances for peace -- by killing Palestinians -- just when it seems that a truce might be at hand, or when Hamas has already been strictly observing a truce, is a matter of historical record, which Obama completely ignored.
Instead, he put all the blame on Palestinians and made it sound beyond question that the Israelis are the victims: "We are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself from missiles. We will continue to support Israel's right to defend itself.
This is the old myth of Israel's insecurity: poor little Israel, just trying to defend itself against ferocious neighbors who constantly imperil its very existence. The story has been told so often now that most Americans really can't see the conflict any other way.
Perhaps Obama is equally blind to the true facts and speaks out of naïve ignorance. Or perhaps he knows the truth and is intentionally trying to deceive us. Either way, the result is to perpetuate the suffering -- suffering that he could stop.
It was one final mendacious note when Obama pretended, at his press conference, that he could only sit around and wait to see how things work out: "We are actively working with all the parties in the region. We're going to have to see what kind of progress we can make in the next 24, 36, 48 hours."
In fact "it is clear who is boss," as the highly respected Israeli foreign policy analyst Anshel Pfeffer recently wrote. Israelis know perfectly well that if Washington says "no" and really means it, the government in Jerusalem must stop. But "so far," Pfeffer notes, "there is a clear American green light for Israel's operation."
The American public lets their president give Israel that green light because the public swallows the story told by the president and the press.
Obama did say one true thing: If peace can come "without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, that is preferable, that's not just preferable for the people of Gaza, it's also preferable for Israelis because if Israeli troops are in Gaza they're much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded." Both sides suffer from this Israeli-initiated violence, though the people of Gaza suffer by far the most.
Israel's biggest newspaper reports that peace is possible. Hamas asks only for an end to Israel's illegal blockade and attacks on Gaza. But Israel is demanding that Hamas must promise to prevent all rocket fire from Gaza (even by the groups beyond Hamas' control), while Israel retains the right to continue the economic blockade indefinitely.
That's not change any reasonable person can believe in. Nor is the president's portrayal of the conflict a picture that any reasonable person should believe in.
When Israel Says It Doesn't Target Journalists, It Is Lying
By Nora Barrows-Friedman
On Sunday, the Israeli army attacked a building in Gaza City where local and international radio and television outlets are housed. As The Electronic Intifada's Charlotte Silver commented yesterday, the Israeli army spokesperson admitted clearly and candidly that the army "obviously knows there are journalists in the building."
Six journalists were injured, including a Palestinian reporter who was resting when a missile struck the building, blowing off his right leg. Our correspondent Rami Almeghari wrote an important, harrowing story about the attacks from the journalists' perspectives. On Monday, Israeli warplanes again attacked the same media building.
The death toll since last Wednesday has reached at least 100 across Gaza.
Also today, Al Jazeera English had Mark Regev, the spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, on to explain Israel's admitted targeting of the media building.
Regev repeated the lies that Israel doesn't target journalists, and that the army "surgically hit" the building claiming that Hamas' communication facilities are on the roof of the media center.
"As far as I know, no foreign journalists were hurt whatsoever," Regev states. Al Jazeera's anchor then challenges Regev, asking him, "so what are you saying? Are you saying that a local Arab journalist's life is [worth] any less than an international journalist's?" The exchange is worth viewing.
Israel's attack on journalists is a war crime. And this is a continuation of a tactic that Israel has used against journalists, with impunity, to slam the lid on exposing the truth about its crimes in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine. Today, the National Union of Journalists in the UK issued a condemnation of Israel's attacks on reporters in Gaza and called for a full investigation into the Israeli army's "deliberate attacks on media buildings."
Since 2008, as The Electronic Intifada has reported, nearly a dozen Palestinian media outlets have been raided, and fourteen media stations have had their equipment stolen and confiscated by the Israeli military.
The Committee to Protect Journalists have issued reports on the Israeli military arresting Palestinian journalists in the occupied West Bank during demonstrations against Israel's wall, settlements and land confiscations. CPJ also reported on the arrest by Israel of the head of the Palestinian prison news service earlier this year. And EI's Asa Winstanley reported last March that Israel refused to release two Palestinian journalists it had arrested, after the International Federation of Journalists appealed to Israel to do so.
In April 2008, Israel's army killed Palestinian journalist Fadel Shana'a, a cameraman for Reuters, in a targeted tank shelling attack. Israel then exonerated itself for the killing.
EI reported that: After the first missile that killed Fadel, a second tank missile directly hit the Reuters vehicle in which Fadel had been traveling, killing two children and another civilian close by, and injuring 12 others, including five children. Wafa Abu Mezyed, 25, a Reuters sound man, was injured.
As Rami Almeghari reported shortly after Shana'a's killing, "The Israeli military advocate-general stated in a 12 August letter to the Reuters news agency that it had found Israeli soldiers had acted properly in the April killing Fadel Shana'a." Indeed, Israel's entrenched policy of literally shooting the messenger continues to go unchallenged. (Source: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/20-0 )
News You Use
Veterans of IDF Speak Out on Atrocities (Excerpts)
By Breaking the Silence from TomDispatch
"There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders," President Barack Obama said at a press conference last week. He drew on this general observation in order to justify Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel's most recent military campaign in the Gaza Strip. In describing the situation this way, he assumes, like many others, that Gaza is a political entity external and independent of Israel. This is not so. It is true that Israel officially disengaged from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, withdrawing its ground troops and evacuating the Israeli settlements there. But despite the absence of a permanent ground presence, Israel has maintained a crushing control over Gaza from that moment until today.
The testimonies of Israeli army veterans expose the truth of that "disengagement." Before Operation Pillar of Defense, after all, Israel launched Operations Summer Rains and Autumn Clouds in 2006, and Hot Winter and Cast Lead in 2008 -- all involving ground invasions. In one testimony, a veteran speaks of "a battalion operation" in Gaza that lasted for five months, where the soldiers were ordered to shoot "to draw out terrorists" so they "could kill a few."
Israeli naval blockades stop Gazans from fishing, a main source of food in the Strip. Air blockades prevent freedom of movement. Israel does not allow building materials into the area, forbids exports to the West Bank and Israel, and (other than emergency humanitarian cases) prohibits movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It controls the Palestinian economy by periodically withholding import taxes. Its restrictions have impeded the expansion and upgrading of the Strip's woeful sewage infrastructure, which could render life in Gaza untenable within a decade. The blocking of seawater desalination has turned the water supply into a health hazard. Israel has repeatedly demolished small power plants in Gaza, ensuring that the Strip would have to continue to rely on the Israeli electricity supply. Daily power shortages have been the norm for several years now. Israel's presence is felt everywhere, militarily and otherwise.
By relying on factual misconceptions, political leaders, deliberately or not, conceal information that is critical to our understanding of events. Among the people best qualified to correct those misconceptions are the individuals who have been charged with executing a state's policies -- in this case, Israeli soldiers themselves, an authoritative source of information about their government's actions. I am a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and I know that our first-hand experiences refute the assumption, accepted by many, including President Obama, that Gaza is an independent political entity that exists wholly outside Israel. If Gaza is outside Israel, how come we were stationed there? If Gaza is outside Israel, how come we control it? -- Oded Na'aman
House Demolition...Unit: Kfir Brigade...Location: Nablus district...Year: 2009...During your service in the territories, what shook you up the most? The searches we did in Hares. They said there are sixty houses that have to be searched. I thought there must have been some information from intelligence. I tried to justify it to myself. You went out as a patrol? It was a battalion operation. They spread out over the whole village, took over the school, smashed the locks, the classrooms. One was used as the investigation room for the Shin Bet, one room for detainees, one for the soldiers to rest. We went in house by house, banging on the door at two in the morning. The family's dying of fear, the girls are peeing in their pants with fear. We go into the house and turn everything upside down. What's the procedure? Gather the family in a certain room, put a guard there, tell the guard to aim his gun at them, and then search the rest of the house. We got another order that everyone born after 1980... everyone between sixteen and twenty-nine, doesn't matter who, bring them in cuffed and blindfolded. They yelled at old people, one of them had an epileptic seizure but they carried on yelling at him. Every house we went into, we brought everyone between sixteen and twenty-nine to the school. They sat tied up in the schoolyard.
Did they tell you the purpose of all this? To locate weapons. But we didn't find any weapons. They confiscated kitchen knives. There was also stealing. One guy took twenty shekels. Guys went into the houses and looked for things to steal. This was a very poor village. The guys were saying, "What a bummer, there's nothing to steal."
That was said in a conversation among the soldiers? Yeah. They enjoyed seeing the misery, the guys were happy talking about it. There was a moment someone yelled at the soldiers. They knew he was mentally ill, but one of the soldiers decided that he'd beat him up anyway, so they smashed him. They hit him in the head with the butt of the gun, he was bleeding, then they brought him to the school along with everyone else. There were a pile of arrest orders signed by the battalion commander, ready, with one area left blank. They'd fill in that the person was detained on suspicion of disturbing the peace. They just filled in the name and the reason for arrest. There were people with plastic handcuffs that had been put on really tight. I got to speak with the people there. One of them had been brought into Israel to work for a settler and after two months the guy didn't pay him and handed him over to the police.
All these people came from that one village? Yes.
Anything else you remember from that night? A small thing, but it bothered me -- one house that they just destroyed. They have a dog for weapons searches, but they didn't bring him; they just wrecked the house. The mother watched from the side and cried. Her kids sat with her and stroked her.
What do you mean, they just destroyed the house? They smashed the floors, turned over sofas, threw plants and pictures, turned over beds, smashed the closets, the tiles. There were other things -- the look on the people's faces when you go into their house. And after all that, they were left tied up and blindfolded in the school for hours. The order came to free them at four in the afternoon. So that was more than twelve hours. There were investigators from the security services there who interrogated them one by one.
Had there been a terrorist attack in the area? No. We didn't even find any weapons. The brigade commander claimed that the Shin Bet did find some intelligence, that there were a lot of guys there who throw stones.The above interview is one of the more than one hundred testimonies by Israeli veterans collected by the nongovernmental organization Breaking the Silence and published in Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies From the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010. Those in the book represent every division in the IDF and all locations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We urge you to read the book and the testimonies provided at http://www.alternet.org/world/veterans-israeli-defense-forces-speak-out-atrocities-gaza-and-occupied-territories.