"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Israeli Military Did Not Kill Innocent Civilians

Certainly not deliberately. The investigation into claims of misconduct among Israel soldiers in Gaza and the murder of civilians has concluded the claims are false, based on conjecture and hearsay:

In particular, the results of the investigation referred to one testimony
from a soldier named Aviv, who had said that an elderly Palestinian woman had
been shot, but admitted to the army that he had heard about the incident from
two people who themselves had just heard a rumor.

The army said its probe found that the shots were actually fired at a
female suicide bomber.
Concerning another testimony from a soldier called
Ram, who had said that a woman and two children had been shot at by IDF troops,
the army said that he admitted to not being a witness to the incident, and that
according to soldiers who were there, the shots were fired in a completely
different direction at two suspicious men in the area.

I said I would comment more fully when the reports were released; well, as far as I can tell, the Israeli military stands vindicated.

I would like to assume an apology will be forthcoming from their accusers, but I haven't taken leave of my senses just yet.

The newspaper Haaretz had made claims stemming from the rumours circulating among soldiers that civilians had been shot out of hand by the Israeli military during their Gaza ground campaign.

However, it quickly emerged that one of the soldiers had not even been in Gaza and was repeating hearsay, and another was referring to a specific incident which did take place, but did so within the rules of engagement.

There have also been claims that a left-leaning instructor at the Rabin Pre-military Academy may have coached soldiers in their testimonies or taken rumours and conversations out of context. The investigation found that none of the soldiers actually witnessed the events the complaints were based on.

I never believed that Israeli soldiers murdered civilians in Gaza - but I thought it prudent to await the outcome of the investigation, so everyone has their facts straight.

Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper which was so quick to play up the claims, does not seem ready to accept the findings.

Warfare is a tough and uncompromising business. Mistakes occur in the heat of battle, when young men are fighting for their lives. However, these vicious rumours are not even based upon mistakes, but standard operational procedure and common sense.

If you are holding a position in hostile territory and someone approaches you, is asked to halt but continues, then isn't it natural to open fire on them?

Hamas has a record of using women and youths as suicide bombers.

Nonsense such as these allegations not only does a great deal of harm to the image of Israel and its forces abroad, but it is downright dangerous. Soldiers cannot always afford to stop and have a think about how the press will react when they are defending themselves and responding to threats in the middle of a war zone; expecting them to is likely to get a lot of young men killed needlessly.

The usual suspects are already bleating about a cover up; I say to them at least the IDF investigated these claims. Would Hamas? Would Fatah? Would any Arab military body?

I have a great deal of respect for the Israeli Defence Forces; they conduct themselves as morally as possible in an unforgiving and immoral environment against an immoral foe; they often risk their own lives to avoid harming enemy civilians, and they have to overcome the huge hurdles of intense public and international scrutiny, as well as the unscrupulousness of Hamas, with its booby traps, suicide bombers and human shields.

Under the circumstances, they do a very hard job well, and I think it's about time they got a little credit for it.

This post stands as a tribute to the IDF and their bravery; an apology may not be forthcoming from the directions it should, but at least those of us who seek the truth now have it.

I for one appreciate the way the IDF stands up for freedom, and the blows it takes on behalf of all of us so we have the right to say and think as we wish.


Anonymous said...


... the European far Right is becoming “genuinely philo-Semitic.”

Such parties have thrown their support behind Jewish candidates, have had their leaders appear at pro-Israel rallies, and have written extensively about the virtues of Jews.

“It is not an aberration,” said Bunzl, an anthropologist who specializes in the history and culture of European Jewry...

Bunzl cited numerous instances of this newfound fondness for Jews. Austria’s Freedom Party, founded by former Nazis after the war, has run Jewish candidates, and its website “celebrates Jewish contributions to civilization.”

Filip DeWinter, a Flemish nationalist in Belgium, whose party grew out of Flemish Nazism, has praised Jews as law-abiding citizens.

“Why would a Flemish nationalist need to say nice things about the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Antwerp?” asked Bunzl.

... Now Jews in Europe have “become infatuated with the far Right” and the number casting votes for them is “growing fast,” although Bunzl acknowledged that most Jews still vote for centrist or left-center candidates.


The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Anon 13.30:

Please don't link to VNN from my blog, it is a notoriously anti-semitic site.

It's odd, because it seems the European far-Left is becoming genuinely anti-semitic.

My views are my own - they are not affiliated with any political party or political movement. I simply write about news events and political developments as I see them, from my own personal point of view.

I don't consider myself 'far-Right', but if you do, there's not much I can say.

These terms have become meaningless, and are thrown around to demonise and obscure positions rather than clarify them.

My support for Israel generally stems from my belief in the integrity and importance of the nation state, and the right of all peoples to self-determination.

However, I have immense respect for Jewish culture and contributions to civilisation and humanity. I also genuinely believe that Jews in modern Europe are at far more risk from burgeoning Islamic chauvinism than the extreme Right, and this does concern me - it is the elephant in the room which many are not willing to acknowledge.

It is a typical Leftist tactic to see that as a smokescreen, but it doesn't particularly concern me - I and my Israeli and Jewish readers and friends know the truth.

BlairSupporter said...

I agree with the Venerable here. One of the big problems we seem to have today are these right/left accusations which seem to be a way of muddying the waters. It certainly clarifies nothing.

People are going to argue constantly about whether Israel was too heavy-handed in Gaza or even too slow in responding to Hamas's attacks.

The high-minded 'war criminal' accusations are puerile and should be treated as such.

As with the other "war criminals" accusations over the Iraq invasion, this always seems to me the last gasp of those who will not admit that occasionally countries and governments feel compelled to act in the face of attrition-type tactics. Creeping Islamisation of the west is in this category, and yet has not been recognised as such by those who would suffer most from its implementation - the liberal Left.

Not to act would only permit the breeding grounds for generational conflict to strengthen. Above all these people need to get round tables, or at least SOME of their number need to get in touch with political reality.

Israel's army is in the same league for professionalism as America's and Britain's. They will not be beaten in any other way than by discrediting with words by their enemies.

I have yet to hear reports of Jewish suicide-bombers threatening to attack Muslims. Until I do my sympathies are with the Jewish community.