Wednesday, March 25, 2009

STORIES YOU WILL NOT READ IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: "Charges of Civilian Shootings by Israeli Soldiers are False"

The Los Angeles Times and media throughout the world recently trumpeted charges of deliberate shootings of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, supposedly based on eye-witness accounts by Israeli soliders who had served in the "Operation Cast Lead" campaign there. The stories were initially reported by the left-wing Israeli paper Ha'Aretz.

As reported in the Jerusalem Post today, a source in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has told the Jerusalem Post that the charges have been investigated by the IDF and found to be categorically untrue. The Post reports:

All of the soldiers who were involved in the conference were questioned - not as a punishment - but in order to understand whether they had witnessed these things. From all of the testimonies we collected, we can safely conclude that the soldiers who made the claims did not witness the events they describe," the source said.

"All of it was based on rumors. In the incident of the alleged shooting of the mother and her children, what really happened was that a marksman fired a warning shot to let them know that they were entering a no-entry zone. The shot was not even fired in their general direction," the source said.

In another story in the Jerusalem Post, Major General Yoav Galant, the Commanding Officer of the IDF Southern Command, stated that the actual casualty figures for Operation Cast Lead were about 800 terrorists and 300 civilians killed. The number of civilian deaths, of course, is far less than the number of deaths initially reported by the hysterical Western media, based solely on Palestinian and Arab media sources. The Post reports:

"A feeling of pride washes over me because we have a moral army that adheres to international law," Galant said at a conference honoring Health Corps troops serving in the Southern Command in Ashkelon.

"800 terrorists and 300 civilians, who we did not want to harm, were killed in the last operation," Galant said. "This ratio of almost a quarter [of the individuals] uninvolved [in the fighting] is an achievement unmatched in the history of this kind of combat," he added.

It is indeed ironic that the world calls out for international war crimes trials for Israel's soldiers and leaders, following a military campaign in which unprecedented care was employed to keep civilian casualties to a minimum.

As one would expect, the Los Angeles Times does not carry either of the two stories reported in the Jerusalem Post. Instead, its Jerusalem Bureau Chief Richard Boudreaux has contributed a story about how "soldiers now going public with allegations of misconduct in Gaza portray the military rabbinate as a corps of self-appointed holy warriors whose sermons and writings demonized Palestinians." Forget about Hamas and Islamic extremism. It's those crazy rabbis who are preventing Middle East peace.


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