This week Israelis buried and mourned their victims with full press coverage in the West.

But there are mourners on the other side of the wall that you never hear about …

Youth in Palestinian camps witness the killing of their friends at the hands of Israeli occupiers and then carry on the torch themselves.

“We know that rocks will not end the occupation, but it’s all that we have to resist”


Relatives mourn Ahmad Sharaka in Jalazone refugee camp on 12 October. Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Relatives mourn Ahmad Sharaka in Jalazone refugee camp on 12 October. Oren Ziv ActiveStills

“Son of Palestine” mourned by thousands

“If you grow up in the camp, fear doesn’t exist for you,” said Qassam Dweik, a resident of Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Qassam’s best friend, 14-year-old Ahmad Sharaka, was killed by Israeli soldiers on Sunday. He had been taking part in the ongoing confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth near the Beit El settlement colony.

“We know that rocks will not end the occupation, but it’s all that we have to resist,” Qassam explained.

Built on Palestinian land, Beit El houses the Israeli Civil Administration, the bureaucratic arm of the military occupation, and its district office. The settlement has long been the flashpoint of confrontations between youth and soldiers, though the Palestinian Authority has previously prevented protesters from reaching the area.

Clashes there have intensified, occurring daily after noon prayers, since the beginning of the month, when Israeli occupation forces raided the home of Muhannad Halabi in Surda, a nearby Palestinian village, before dawn on 4 October. Halabi was shot dead by Israeli police the evening before after allegedly stabbing four people, killing two, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of the month, and seven Israelis have been killed during the same period. As of Sunday, more than 1,300 Palestinians were injuredby live and rubber-coated steel bullets fired by occupation forces.

Committed to struggle

Ahmad and Qassam risked their lives each day by engaging in the clashes near Beit El. Ahmad had called on his friend to join him on Sunday.

Ahmad’s parents, Huda and Abdallah, desperately tried to prevent their son from attending the dangerous confrontations. He had been injured during previous encounters with the army, and the family is still reeling from the death of Ahmad’s uncle, Khalil Sharaka, at the hands of Israeli soldiers during the second intifada.

Ahmad quit school two years ago and his main focus became attending protests and confrontations in defiance of his family’s appeals.

“He was committed to the struggle from a very young age,” his mother told The Electronic Intifada.

Recalling the moment of his best friend’s killing, Qassam said, “We were together when the soldiers’ shooting intensified. I fled, but Ahmad insisted on staying and throwing rocks at the military jeep.”

“A soldier then chased Ahmad with his M-16 and shot him in his left ear,” he added.

“The army left him to bleed and only allowed the ambulances to take him after about 15 minutes,” he said.

Defence for Children International-Palestine reported that Ahmad was pronounced dead from a brain hemorrhage about an hour after he arrived to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Qassam was stuck near Beit El when he learned that his friend had succumbed to his wounds.

“I first read that he was injured but I wasn’t worried. He always got injured during clashes and quickly recovered. But I then read on Facebook that he was killed and I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

He ran to the hospital in Ramallah and had to plead with security to allow him to see his friend and hug him for the last time.

“I already miss him. No one came to wake me up as he used to do every day,” he lamented.

Dreamed of return

Ahmad’s family hails from the ethnically cleansed village of Beit Nabala near Lydd, in present-day Israel, and like almost all refugees in the camp, he dreamed of returning to his ancestral home.

Haneen, his twin sister, finds it hard to accept that her other half is no longer alive. Ahmad’s friends are also struggling. But they show a composure and strength that belies their youth.

Despite political disagreements between Ahmad and Qassam, their friendship remained intact, a symbol of real unity — one that eludes their leaders. Ahmad had given Qassam a green wristband, a symbol for Hamas.

As Qassam buried his friend with his own hands, he laid the green wristband next to his body on Monday.

“He gave me this because he was a Fatah supporter while I support Hamas,” he explained. “He was wearing my shoes when he was killed yesterday. We always used to exchange our favorite things.”

Ahmad’s friends remember him as incredibly generous and funny. He used to take them to the swimming pool and pay the fees himself.

Ahmad taught himself to swim. That’s no small feat for someone living in the crowded camps where there is little space for recreation. While his friends would find it hard to swim, Ahmad would encourage them and push them to continue and do their best.

Instead of preparing for another swim together, Ahmad’s friends were left to stand at his graveside before quickly heading to another protest near Beit El.

“I regret that I left him alone. I wish that I stayed with him,” Qassam said about fleeing the confrontations just before the killing of his friend. “His killing will only push me to continue going to demonstrations.”

Passing the torch

Youth in Palestinian camps witness the killing of their friends at the hands of Israeli occupiers and then carry on the torch themselves.

Ahmad Sharaka knew Laith al-Khalidi, another child from Jalazone camp killed earlier this summer.

“He knew him and took part in his funeral. Here in the camps even children resist because it’s the only choice they have,” Ahmad’s mother said.

Ahmad’s funeral procession was massive, attended by thousands.

“In the funerals of martyrs, almost the entire camp comes to pay homage,” said a relative of Ahmad’s who was also present at the funeral.

Ahmad and his friends, despite their tender age, embody the spirit of the refugee camps. The first to rise up against Israeli oppression, they are the bulwark of the Palestinian cause and identity.

“Ahmad was not just the son of Jalzone refugee camp; he didn’t sacrifice his life for this or that political faction,” Qassam said. “He was the son of all of Palestine.”

Budour Youssef Hassan is a Palestinian writer and law graduate based in occupied Jerusalem.



Minneapolis protest outside Star Tribune slams lack of coverage of Israeli settler violence. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis protest outside Star Tribune slams lack of coverage of Israeli settler violence. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

The Western Media has been going viral over the past few days over terrorist murders of Israelis.

What about the murders of Palestinians? That you won’t read about in the West ….

Below are the latest reports from the Palestinian Press (Click on links below the photos)


The myth …

Leaving for UN, Benjamin Netanyahu Blames Palestinians for Jerusalem Violence

See full report HERE


The reality … it’s not just the Temple Mount … (click on links)

Israeli forces cross into Gaza, level land


Nablus police chief, 3-year-old daughter injured by Israeli fire


Israeli forces continue entry restrictions to Aqsa compound


New clashes as Israeli forces raid Al-Aqsa Mosque compound


Israel imposes lockdown on East Jerusalem neighborhoods


There are more examples, many more …. none of which you will read about in the Western Media.

That’s why WE ARE HERE!


First read the background in THIS post ….

The reason for Israel’s silence until now …
The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.
And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

Hamas: No free information on missing Israelis

By Khalid Amayreh

Israel has finally officially acknowledged that two Israelis were being held in the Gaza Strip, presumably in Hamas’s custody.Israel had hoped that Hamas would disclose information on the matter, which would help Israel repatriate the two men in return for a non-costly price or at no price at all.But Hamas has acted smartly by remaining tight-lipped on the matter for the past 12 months.

Hamas should continue this wise policy as giving free information of any kind to Israel would be self-defeating and immensely harmful for the Palestinian cause, especially the cause of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and resistance detainees languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps.

It is likely that Israel will ask third-parties to pressure Hamas to release specific information on the missing Israelis as a “humanitarian gesture.”

Israel could ask the Ramallah regime and/or the Sissi regime to exert pressure on Hamas to release the missing soldiers.

Hamas should firmly reject such deceptive tactics.

More to the point, Israel is not expected to pursue this matter with the same vigor and persistence it pursued the Shalit affair.

The reason is clear. The two missing men are not Ashkenazi Jews. One is reportedly an Ethiopian Jew and the other one is an Arab. Both are not considered bona fide Israelis.

And as we all know, Arabs (even those serving in the Israeli army) and Ethiopian Jews are placed at the very bottom of Israel’s social ladder.

But non-action by the Israeli government would embarrass the Zionist regime and expose its racist nature. In fact, we have already witnessed the Ethiopian Jewish community, which was subjected to a humiliating conversion process at the hands of the High Rabbinate in Israel, openly accuse the Israeli regime of racism vis-à-vis the black Ethiopians. (Talmudic authorities consider black Africans virtual animals).

Moreover, hundreds of Ethiopians recently took to the streets in protest against widespread racism against black Ethiopians by official Israeli institutions, prompting Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to repudiate racism.

It is imperative that Hamas exercise patience and resilience in dealing with this matter of the missing Israelis. Israel, in dealing with us, adopts Real Police in its most callous forms. It withholds medical care from Palestinian prisoners. It often flagrantly re-arrests prisoners released in the context of international agreements such as the Shalit deal.

It keeps Palestinian prisoners in prison despite the expiration of their jail terms. It keeps extending the imprisonment of “administrative detainees” for many months and years, without charge or trial.

Indeed, numerous Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails don’t actually know why they are in prison.

For these and many other reasons, Hamas must deal with Israel on the basis of reciprocity.

Finally, it should be made abundantly clear that any perceived intransigence on Hamas’s is not a goal in itself.

Hamas, indeed the entire Palestinian people, have many scores to settle with Israel. Israel is continuing to blockade Gaza, open fire on fishermen, prevent Palestinians from traveling through the Beit Hanoon border crossing, prevent the free flow of goods and services between Gaza and the West Bank, and bar Gazans from having their own seaport and airport.

Israel is also deliberately impeding the reconstruction of Gaza where 100,000 homes were destroyed and damaged during the Nazi-like Israeli blitz last year.

These are indisputable rights not excessive demands made by the Palestinians.

That is why, every asset available to the Palestinians ought to be utilized to expedite these legitimate Palestinian interests.


Almost a year ago a mentally challenged young Ethiopian man allegedly crossed over from Israel to the Gaza Strip. About the same time, a young Bedouin from Israel also crossed over. Neither were heard from since and nothing appeared in the Israeli press about their disappearances.

WHY ???

Does no one give a damn or is it only the government of Israel that doesn’t?

You decide after reading the following …


An Israeli has been missing in the Gaza Strip for ten months, it was revealed on Thursday morning following the lifting of a gag order.

Avraham Mengistu, 29, a resident of Ashkelon, left his home in the city in the early hours on September 8, 2014 and never returned after crossing the border into Gaza.

A second citizen, a Bedouin resident of the south, is also reported missing.

Gag order lifted: Two Israelis held captive in Gaza

Possibly mentally ill Ethiopian Israeli apparently crossed border fence of his own free will, and was captured in September 2014; second citizen also reported to be in captivity.

An Israeli has been missing in the Gaza Strip for ten months, it was revealed on Thursday morning following the lifting of a gag order.

Avraham Mengistu, 29, a resident of Ashkelon, left his home in the city in the early hours on September 8, 2014 and never returned after crossing the border into Gaza.

A second citizen, a Bedouin resident of the south, is also reported missing.

A senior defense official said there was no current information on Mengistu’s fate, and that he had initially been arrested by Hamas. According to the source, Hamas claimed it had questioned Mengistu but released him because he was not a soldier. The official furthermore said there were attempts to negotiate his release.

According to Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, current information suggests that Mengistu is being held by Hamas. However, senior defense officials said it was unclear whether this was the case.

A senior Palestinian official in the Gaza Strip who is familiar with the case told Ynet that Mengistu was held by Hamas in Gaza at one point and released him after realizing he was not a soldier. According to the source, Hamas announced that Mengistu had left Gaza through tunnels in Rafah and continued on to Egypt, and that he is no longer in Gaza.

“Now that the story of my brother has finally come out, we will no longer remain silent,” the missing man’s brother, Yalu Mengistu, told Yedioth Ashkelon. “There will be rallies and demonstrations, there will be media coverage and especially, we will be talking. They will hear us. We have lost confidence in the country and it seems like it does not care about our brother. The prime minister bothered to contact us only this week, on Wednesday. We sent him a letter at the beginning of the incident and he could not find the time to meet with us.”

Sources say that Mengistu began walking on the beach, heading south. He reached the Zikim beach area, and continued walking south until he crossed the military obstacles on the beach that divide Israel from Gaza.

Mengistu is allegedly mentally ill and is known to the Ashkelon social services.

Security forces stationed in the area noticed the man after he had crossed the border, and forces were immediately dispatched to the area, including a helicopter and ground troops. Mengistu continued on his path into Gaza and never returned.

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, held a mass rally in Rafah in September of 2014. On the day of the rally, a display was erected in Rafah — a tall pole with a big black square attached to it with the writing “the black box” in Hebrew and Arabic. The sign, which Hamas failed to explain, caused a stir in Gaza, and the Palestinian media in the Strip tried to no avail to figure out the nature of the vague message.

Hamas apparently hoped that the case would be reported in Israeli media, but began pushing the issue in Arab media sources when they realized that a gag order had prevented reports from emerging that would reach the Israeli public. From there, the story reached international media — specifically bloggers, as official news agencies could not verify the story through the Israeli government.

A joint investigation was launched by the Shin Bet and the Southern District Police’s terrorism unit.

It later transpired the Ethiopian immigrant had left his home and gone missing for days at a time on numerous occasions.

His family reported three different cases in the past in which he left home and failed to return.

His family was informed of the situation by social services shortly after Mengistu reportedly crossed the border.

Mengistu’s mother lives in Ashkelon, while his father lives in central Israel. He has eight siblings.

The lifting of the gag order came after Hamas leader Khaled Mashal claimed Wednesday that Israel had sent messages to the group through a European intermediary, asking the organization to return the bodies of two soldiers in their possession since Operation Protective Edge.

Gaza residents were witness on Wednesday evening to a parade by the organization’s military wing marking the anniversary of Operation Protective Edge. The procession included a mock tank and a giant fist holding “military ID tags” belonging to Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul alongside two tags bearing question marks.

Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul was killed in the “Golani Tragedy” in Saja’iyya on July 20, 2014. Six of his friends were killed in the attack and Shaul was declared as missing. Five days after the incident, then head of the IDF’s manpower directorate, and current Chief Military Rabbi notified the family of Oron’s death.

Goldin was killed in an incident which would later be dubbed the “Black Friday,” in Rafah. The commander of the Givati reconnaissance company, Major Benaya Sarel, and his radioman Sergeant Liel Gidoni where killed in the incident as well. Sec.-Lt. Hadar Goldin was declared missing, and later declared dead, as a result of brave actions by Captian Eitan Pond, which brought forward the evidence necessary to assume he had died.




And FROM (Click on link)

Two Israeli Citizens Kidnapped by Hamas

An Israeli Arab and an Israeli of Ethiopian descent are both being held in Gaza.


'All the Pro Israeli News that's fit we print'

‘All the Pro Israeli News that’s fit we print’

In line with their pro Israeli, anti Palestinian polices, the New York Times found the response to THIS Editorial unfit to print …

We present it here!

To the Editor:

Re “The Embattled Dream of Palestine” (By The Editorial Board, Dec. 19, 2014):

Readers expect greater accuracy from NYT’s editorials.

To deem Palestinian’s frustration with nearly 50 years of Israeli military occupation as, “resentment of Israeli rule that leads to unrest” is a pale attempt to dilute the horrific reality on the ground. Employing such language outright ignores the fact that, except for Israel (the occupying force) the entire world (U.S. included) has deemed the state of affairs as a “military occupation.”

Likewise, when the Editorial claims that, “successive Israeli governments, including that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have long negotiated on the basis of a two-state solution,” one is led to believe that fact checking has lost its role in journalism. Not only has Prime Minister Netanyahu made multiple, recent public statements defying any notion of a solution based on two states, his party, Likud, has yet to insert its support for two states into its political platform.

Another deep flaw in this piece is stating that Israel “withdrew from Gaza in 2005.” They did nothing of the sort. Even Israel itself did not call it “withdraw,” but rather “Unilateral Disengagement.” The international community has made it clear, over and over, that Gaza today is just as militarily occupied as Ramallah or East Jerusalem.

Sam Bahour
Policy Advisor, Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network


'All the lies that fit, we print'

‘All the lies that fit, we print’

Those wishing to shield themselves from such truths should continue reading The New York Times.

How New York Times conceals Israeli violence against Palestinians

The massive upsurge of Israeli violence against Palestinians is invisible to The New York Times. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Two recent stories in The New York Times involve violence against Palestinian and Israeli children. But it is striking how differently the stories are treated based on the identity of the victim.

The first, from today, is headlined “Israeli Girl Severely Wounded in Firebomb Attack in West Bank.” The second, from November, is headlined “Palestinian Shot by Israeli Troops at Gaza Border.” Both are by Isabel Kershner.

Today’s report begins:

JERUSALEM — An 11-year-old Israeli girl was severely wounded on Thursday when a firebomb was thrown at the car in which she was traveling with her father in the West Bank, the Israeli military said.

Troops were searching for the assailants, believed to be Palestinians, in the area of the attack, near the Jewish settlement of El Matan.

The report names the girl – Ayala Shapira – and describes “third-degree burns on her face and upper torso” and says that her wounds were “life-threatening.”

Note how Kershner says the assailants are “believed to be” Palestinians – belief, not evidence. She also names the girl’s father and says he suffered light injuries, and quotes her mother.

The report then provides this, presumably as context:

There has been an uptick in Palestinian attacks against Israelis in recent weeks, including deadly assaults in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The violence has been fanned in part by a dispute over a revered holy site in Jerusalem.

Nowhere does the report state that there has been relentless violence by Israeli occupation forces and settlers against Palestinians.

The mention of a “revered holy site” also suggests the violence is religious and irrational in nature. It also erases the fact that Palestinians are subject to systematic Israeli violence, including ongoing home demolitions, forced displacement and land theft.

The tension over the “revered holy site” – Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque – is the consequence of incursions by Israeli extremists, backed by the government, whoseultimate goal is to destroy it.

Huge surge in Israeli violence

In fact, though you wouldn’t know it from The New York Times, there has been a huge surge in violence against Palestinians.

“Palestinian civilians across the [occupied Palestinian territories] continue to be subject to various threats to their life, physical safety and liberty,” says the United Nations monitoring group OCHA in a year-end summary.

This year “witnessed the highest Palestinian casualty toll since 1967, primarily due to hostilities in Gaza,” OCHA adds.

But in the West Bank, too, there was a huge increase in Israeli violence: this year to date 49 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, almost double the number from last year, OCHA reports.

Ten of those killed in the West Bank were Palestinian children shot with live ammunition by Israeli occupation forces.

A staggering 5,771 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank this year, two thousand more than last year.

According to OCHA, Israel carried out an average of 96 “search and arrest” raids every week during the year, up from 75 per week in 2013. These assaults often take the form of night raids on homes, terrorizing entire families and communities.

This huge “uptick” in Israeli violence is invisible to The New York Times.

Boy shot in face

On Wednesday, a Palestinian boy aged five was shot in the face by Israeli occupation forces with a rubber-coated steel bullet, causing serious injuries.

The shooting occurred when Muhammad Jamal Ubeid and his fourteen-year-old sister were getting off a school bus in the eastern occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyeh.

This tweet by Russia Today correspondent Paula Slier shows the boy in hospital with his parents, following surgery:

Tears and heartbreak few hours after surgery

Tears and heartbreak few hours after surgery

Just as this post was about to be published, Kershner filed a second report today, on an alleged stabbing of two Israeli police by a Palestinian in occupied Jerusalem.

It repeats the assertion that there has been a “recent increase in Palestinian attacks against Israelis.”

But Kershner found no room to mention the shooting of Muhammad Jamal Ubeid. (Update: shortly before this post was published, the Times published an AP report on its website about the stabbing of the Israeli police – the second on the same topic – which does mention the shooting of Ubeid. But it still does not appear in Kershner’s reports.)

“Palestinian” shot

Now let’s look at the other New York Times headline. It dates from 16 November: “Palestinian Shot by Israeli Troops at Gaza Border.”

Kershner’s report begins:

JERUSALEM — Israeli forces patrolling the border with the Gaza Strip shot and wounded a Palestinian as he approached the border fence on Sunday and took him to an Israeli hospital, according to the military. A spokeswoman for the hospital said the Palestinian was a 10-year-old boy.

Israel’s border with Gaza has remained tense but relatively calm since Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that dominates the Palestinian coastal enclave, agreed to an open-ended cease-fire in late August after a 50-day war.

When you read the report, you learn that the “Palestinian” is reported to be a young boy. But the headline doesn’t say “Palestinian boy” the way today’s headline states “Israeli girl.”

Kershner relays the myth – or lie, if you will – that the situation in Gaza had been “relatively calm” since the 26 August ceasefire. In fact, Israel has been violating the ceasefire and firing on Palestinians there almost every day.

The boy is anonymous and we do not hear from his mother or father. But we learn he was taken to a hospital in Israel. The report continues:

A military spokeswoman, speaking on the condition of anonymity under army rules, said the troops spotted “a suspicious figure” approaching the fence, called on him to stop, and when he ignored the warnings they fired in the air and then at his lower body.

Here’s what Kershner provides, again presumably, for context:

A number of Palestinians have been arrested after crossing the border in the months since the cease-fire came into effect, including one in September who was found to have a knife.

In Jerusalem on Sunday, the police said they were searching for the assailant who stabbed a 32-year-old Israeli man with a screwdriver. The Israeli was being treated at a hospital.

Searching in the weekly reports from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, I found this incident on 16 November, which seems to most closely match the New York Times report, except that the age of the boy is 15, not ten:

 At approximately 14:15, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Atiyah Fathi Atiyah al-Nabahin (15) living in the camp when he tried to infiltrate into Israel via the border fence. As a result, he was hit by a bullet to the neck and taken to Soroko Hospital in Beersheba. His injury was described as serious and he is still at the hospital receiving treatment.

Why Palestinians flee Gaza

It’s very likely al-Nabahin was trying to get across the fence to find work, or simply escape the dire situation in Gaza.

But The New York Times report places the entry attempt in the context of threats to Israel and attacks on Israelis and not the catastrophic and unprecedented violence that Israel has visited on Palestinians in Gaza.

The massive death and destruction and the economic depression caused by the ongoing siege are forcing Palestinians to risk their lives to flee Gaza in ever larger numbers, as the Israeli daily Haaretz has reported.

They risk their lives to flee by sea, where hundreds have perished or been deliberately drowned this year.

And increasing numbers risk their lives to flee across the Israeli fortifications – where like other escapees from history’s ghettos and internment camps – they risk being shot from watchtowers and patrols.

Indeed, reports state that two more Palestinians were shot trying to escape Gaza today.

None of this context was mentioned in The New York Times’ report.

The Times has to keep telling itself and its readers that Palestinians in general and those in Gaza in particular are the “threat” and Israel is playing defense.

That an entire population is being kept in a ghetto in Gaza, sealed off from the world and subjected to an incremental genocide, just to protect Israel’s alleged Jewish character, is, for many, a reality too awful to contemplate.

Those wishing to shield themselves from such truths should continue reading The New York Times.



There is little evidence to show that such 'awesomeness' will cease anytime soon.

There is little evidence to show that such ‘awesomeness’ will cease anytime soon.

Whitewashing CIA Torture: ‘We Are (not so) Awesome’ after All

By Ramzy Baroud*


“This is not who we are. This is not how we operate,” were the words of President Barack Obama commenting on the grisly findings of a long-awaited congressional report on the use of torture by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

But what if this is exactly who we are?

The report is difficult to read, not just because it is awfully long – hundreds of pages of a summary of a nearly 6,000-page investigation, including 38,000 citations based on the review of six million pages – but because it was most disturbing. Parts of it resemble the horror of an extremely dark Hollywood movie. But it was all real: fromrectal feeding (as in putting hummus in detainee’s rectums), to rape, to torturing prisoners to death, to blinding prisoners, to forcing them to stand on broken feet, for days. It is beyond ghastly.

Also, it was all useless. Even worse, it is strongly believed that the torture dungeons – many of which were outsourced to other countries, including 25 in Europe, including the democracy and human rights-touting Britain – have achieved little but fabricated information. What else can an innocent man say when there is nothing to say? He can lie, hoping that maybe such lies would save his life.

Of course, aging accused war criminals like former Vice President, Dick Cheney, were quick to dismiss the report and its detailed brutal interrogation tactics as “full of crap”.

Without a shred of remorse, he told Fox News Channel on 10 December, a day after the report was released: “What happened here was that we asked the agency to go take steps and put in place programs that were designed to catch the bastards who killed 3,000 of us on 9/11 and make sure it never happened again, and that’s exactly what they did.”

It matters little that these “steps” killed innocent people, violated US and international law, and, equally important, lead to nothing but confessions under the duress of torture.

Cheney’s complete disregard for human rights and international law is not the exception, but very much defines US attitude towards seemingly unimportant matters as law and due process in its most destructive so-called war on terror. His attitude was echoed repeatedly by many others, who insist on the US’s moral superiority, yet without providing a shred of evidence to validate such an assertion.

Although one is relieved that the truth was, at least partly, laid bare, thanks to the persistent efforts of members in the Senate Intelligence Committee, the resulting discourse is still disturbing. Aside from the fact that top officials insist that there will be no prosecution for the war criminals, the language of President Obama and others promise little soul searching ahead.

“This is not who we are,” said Obama.

Yet, John O. Brennan, the director of the CIA, still defended the agency’s use of the brutal tactics in American gulags, “sidestepping questions about whether agency operatives tortured anyone,” according to the New York Times.

“The ‘lunch tray’ for one detainee, which contained hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins, ‘was ‘pureed’ and rectally infused,” the report said.

“This is not how we operate,” Obama said. But how do “we” exactly operate when the report was the outcome of 6 million documents? That is 6,000,000. There can no longer be a “few bad apples” argument made here, as the horrors of Abu Ghraib were once justified.

These practices were carried out for years and involved numerous personnel, numerous prisons and many countries that included almost the entirety of Europe, and some of the biggest human rights violators on earth, including Middle Eastern and African countries. It was financed by a mammoth budget, and continues to be defended, brazenly by those who ordered them, who are unlikely to see their day in court.

Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, was adamant in her rejection of CIA torture. The program was “morally, legally and administratively misguided (and) far more brutal than people were led to believe,” she told the Senate.

Fair enough. But then this torture program is “a stain on our values and on our history.”

There is this stubborn insistence on highlighting the same kind of moral superiority, contrary to all evidence. But isn’t the whole so-called war on terror, and the continued American military involvement in the Middle East, the lethal unmanned drone program, which has killed thousands, the unconditional support for Israel and all sorts of oppressive regimes, and much more, all “morally, legally and administratively misguided?”

Between Cheney’s bullying attitude and Obama’s/Feinstein’s, which claims that the massive, outsourced program is merely a “stain” on otherwise perfect American values, the report is unlikely to change much. Justice is unlikely to be served.

There can be no serious rethink and moral awakening without talking full responsibility, not just of vile torture tactics, but the entirety of the US’s misguided foreign policy which is predicated on violence, and lots of it.

“I will leave to others how they might want to label these activities,” Brennan said.

The report indicated that detainees were tortured before they were even asked to cooperate. How does one label that Mr. Brennan? Even by the logic of those who torture, such tactics are senseless.

Should some insist on the old, tired “few bad apples” argument, the report indicated that in “Detention Site Green” CIA interrogators objected to the continued use of torture, before they were told to carry on by their seniors. No few bad apples. The whole barrel is rotten.

There can be no justification to what the US has done, not just against suspects in its global wars, but against entire nations, who were completely innocent of any involvement in any terror attacks on 11 September, prior or after that date.

But CIA torture being a “stain” on an otherwise flawless record doesn’t suffice either. In fact, in some way, this logic is the heart of the problem, since it blocks any attempt at honest reading of whatever “values” Washington stands for, and tries to achieve, using “soft diplomacy” of “rectal feeding”.

What is equally worrying to what the report has contained is the existing mindset in the US, among the ruling class and the media.

This reality can be best summarised in the words of a Fox News show co-host, Andrea Tantaros: “The United States of America is awesome, we are awesome,” she exclaimed.

“The reason they want to have this discussion is not to show how awesome we are. This administration wants to have this discussion to show us how we’re not awesome.”

With such overriding thoughtless mindset, there is little evidence to show that such “awesomeness” will cease anytime soon, even if at the expense of many innocent people.

* Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the founder of His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).


Related essay by Glen Greenwald

US TV Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, but None to Their Victims


Here at DesertPeace you will find news about Palestine that is fit to print!

Here at DesertPeace you will find news about Palestine that is fit to print!


The following reports were not newsworthy enough for the NY Times …. (Click on link to see reports)


Unidentified assailants kidnap Jerusalem teen


Israeli forces conduct arrest raids in East Jerusalem, Abu Dis


This one is unbelievable …. the harassment has no limits

Toddler caught up in Israeli crackdown


And this one was ignored by the entire Western Media

The Day Israel Attacked America



lion's roar


media deception


THIS made headlines throughout the Western World and in Israel ….


Bloodshed in Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, one Israeli was killed and five hurt when a Palestinian rammed an earth-mover into a bus, turning it over before the driver was shot dead by police, according to Israeli officials.

Shortly afterwards, an Israeli soldier was shot and seriously wounded near a bus stop not far from the site of the earlier attack, with police combing the area for his attacker.

Police said the attack on the bus was a “terrorist attack,” saying the driver was a Palestinian from annexed East Jerusalem.

An crowd of angry Israelis gathered at the scene, chanting “Death to Arabs” and dozens of people could be seen attacking a nearby bus filled with Palestinian workers.


THIS wasn’t reported at all ….

2 Palestinian children killed in airstrike on Rafah home
A Palestinian child carries a ball and bird cage as he walks on
the rubble of a building close to the Rafah refugee camp, in
southern Gaza Strip, on August 4, 2014.(AFP Mahmud Hams)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two children were killed Monday evening in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah, with at least 21 Palestinians killed across the besieged enclave during the day.

Mohammad Amjad Oweida, 12, and Amal Amjad Oweida, 5, were killed after an Israeli airstrike hit their house in the al-Barazil neighborhood in Rafah while they were playing on a rooftop.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said 32 bodies were recovered on Monday and at least 21 Palestinians reported killed.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “the campaign in Gaza is continuing” following the end of a seven-hour humanitarian lull.

The unilateral truce was announced as international outrage grew over an Israeli strike near a UN school on Sunday that killed 10 people, among them refugees who had been seeking shelter.

It was the third such strike in 10 days.

With UN figures indicating most of the 1,865 people killed in Gaza so far were civilians, the world has stepped up its demands for an end to the bloodshed.



A graphic video showing the killing of journalist Ramy Ryan in Gaza and an attack on an ambulance and rescue workers by Israeli air strikes has surfaced online. Warning: This six-minute video is very graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

You do not have to understand Arabic to hear the anger in their voices …

The video uploaded onto YouTube by Abu Shaar shows two ambulances arriving urgently on the scene where Ramy Ryan is seen covering the situation. About 15 seconds into the video, the first missile strikes the ambulance. Fourteen seconds later, the second missile strikes.

For several seconds, all we see is smoke with residents yelling for help, “Ya Allah” (Oh God) followed by “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and “La Ilaha Illa Allah” (There is no god but God), both common cries of desperation.

At 0:40 seconds, the third strike. 0:55, the fourth strike. 1:09, the fifth. The cameraman stands up and we see a dozen men lying on the ground, all seemingly injured and trying to escape towards the walls to take refuge. 1:20, the sixth strike. 1:32, the seventh. 1:47, the eighth. 1:57, the ninth. At 2:00 the cameraman moves again and crawls towards the injured men on his left. 2:07, the tenth strike. 2:20, the cameraman moves toward another injured man who’s yelling “Ya Allah, Ya Mohammad”. At 2:40, he captures another man unconscious or dead. At 2:50, he takes cover with a group of injured men. The old man at 3:00 is saying “I can’t. I can’t,” while limping. A 3:27, we hear another missile.

At 3:50, we see Ramy Ryan on the floor, lying over a pool of blood. He’s dead. A man is telling us “Look, look. A journalist. Look.” while showing us Ramy Ryan’s “Press” insignia. The man then tells us angrily, “show the United Nations! Show the world! Show the Red Cross! Show the Arab traitors! They are all traitors!”

The missiles have stopped and panic breaks. We hear people mourning their dead. From 4:20 onwards, the cameraman shoots the aftermaths of the Israeli strikes.

* A photo of journalist Ramy Ryan, from Susan's Facebook page. *



Not only is zion silencing the reporters, look what else they are blacking out from the Western Media?


Jews Stage Massive Anti-War Protests In Tel Aviv, New York and Elsewhere

Opposing Israeli Policy Does Not Make One a “Self-Hating Jew”

A huge anti-war protest is being held tonight by Jews in Tel Aviv:

Embedded image permalink

(Jews and Palestinians have been holding anti-war protests throughout Israel, but the mainstream media has refused to cover them.)


Jews also protested the Gaza war in New York City  yesterday:

Not in Our Name: New Yorkers rally against Israeli war in Gaza in lower Manhattan. Anti-war protests have also been held in other cities throughout the world. Indeed, many Jews oppose Israeli treatment of the Palestinians:

Postscript: Many devoutly religious Jews oppose Zionism.  So opposing an Israeli policy does not make anti-Semitic … or a “self-hating Jew“. And we salute Israelis protesting against the war, especially since dissent may subject them to death threats. (From)


Why is the Press so afraid to report these events?





Jon Stewart Needles Israel on ‘Bomb-Better’ War



What No One Is Telling You


To remain silent in the face of oppression is to take the side of the oppressor







Worldwide leaders condemn rocket fire

International condemnation issued against ‘deliberate targeting of civilians’, while EU, UN urge restraint on both sides.


As the first day of Operation Protective Edge drew to a close, with more than 117 rockets hitting across Israel, international leaders have issued condemnations of the attacks against Israel and expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself, but also urged restraints.

“We strongly condemn the continuing rocket fire inside of Israel and the deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorist organizations in Gaza,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing.  

“No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks,” he added.


Read more HERE


This is defense?

These are the enemies??

The Collateral Children of Gaza














Did you wonder why there was hardly a word in the Western Press about the kidnappings until the three bodies were found? The following will explain why …


The entire propaganda campaign was set into high gear despite Netanyahu and his inner circle’s knowledge that the teens were almost certainly dead. And it was enabled by the Shin Bet’s gag order, which even foreign correspondents like The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren honored. The Israeli government refused to allow the facts from interfering with what seemed like a political opportunity.


Netanyahu government knew teens were dead as it whipped up racist frenzy

Max Blumenthal Writing FOR

At a right-wing protest in Jerusalem a sign reads “May God avenge their blood” and a youth wears a sticker stating “Kahane was right,” referring to the Brooklyn-born violent settler movement leader, 1 July.  (Tali Mayer / ActiveStills)


“Cursed be he who says, ‘Avenge!‘ “ 
—Chaim Bialik, from “On The Slaughter”

From the moment three Israeli teens were reported missing last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s military-intelligence apparatus suppressed the flow of information to the general public. Through a toxic blend of propaganda, subterfuge and incitement, they inflamed a precarious situation, manipulating Israelis into supporting their agenda until they made an utterly avoidable nightmare inevitable.

Israeli police, intelligence officials and Netanyahu knew within hours of the kidnapping and murder of the three teens that they had been killed. And they knew who the prime suspects were less than a day after the kidnapping was reported.

Rather than reveal these details to the public, Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency imposed a gag order on the national media, barring news outlets from reporting that the teens had almost certainly been killed, and forbidding them from revealing the identities of their suspected killers. The Shin Bet even lied to the parents of the kidnapped teens, deceiving them into believing their sons were alive.

Instead of mounting a limited action to capture the suspected perpetrators and retrieve the teens’ bodies, Netanyahu staged an aggressive international public relations campaign, demanding sympathy and outrage from world leaders, who were also given the impression that the missing teens were still alive.

Meanwhile, Israel’s armed forces rampaged throughout the occupied West Bank and bombarded the Gaza Strip in a campaign of collective punishment deceptively marketed to Israelis and the world as a rescue mission.

Critical details that were known all along by Netanyahu and the military-intelligence apparatus were relayed to the Israeli public only after the abduction of more than 560 Palestinians, including at least 200 still held without charges; after the raiding of Palestinian universities and ransacking of countless homes; after six Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces; after American-trained Palestinian Authority police assisted Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian youths in the center of Ramallah; after the alleged theft by Israeli troops of $3 million in US dollars; and after Israel’s international public relations extravaganza had run its course.

The assault on the West Bank arrived on the heels of the collapse of the US-led framework negotiations, for which the US blamed Netanyahu, and immediately after Hamas’ratification of a unity deal with the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu was still smarting from the US recognition of the unity government when news of the kidnapping reached him. Never one to miss an opportunity to undermine the Palestinians, he and his inner circle resolved to milk the kidnapping for maximum propaganda value.

Weeks after the incident, it is now clear that the Israeli government, intelligence services and army engaged in a cover-up to provide themselves with the political space they required for a military campaign that had little to do with rescuing any kidnapped teens.

The disinformation campaign they waged sent a heavily indoctrinated, comprehensively militarized population into a tribalistic frenzy, provoking a wave of high-level incitement, the shocking revenge killing of an innocent Palestinian teen and rioting across East Jerusalem.

Where the chaos will end and how far it will spread is unknown. But its origins are increasingly clear.

Gagging the media, lying to teens’ parents

On 12 June, three Jewish Israeli youths, Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, went missing while hitchhiking from Kfar Etzion, an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank. At 10:25pm, Shaar placed a panicked call to Israeli police.

During the eerie call lasting two minutes and nine seconds, the supposed kidnappers can be heard ordering the youths to keep their heads down. Israel Radio plays in the background as Shaar repeatedly appeals for help. Then several gunshots can be heard followed by celebratory singing as the kidnappers remark, “We got three.” The teens had been killed.

It took until the next morning for the police to connect the call to a missing persons report filed by the youths’ parents. In a meeting with Shin Bet officials that day, the teens’ parents listened to a recording of the phone call.

Bat Galim Shaar, the mother of Gilad Shaar, demanded investigators explain to her why gunshots can be heard in the background, and if this meant that her son was dead.

According to Bat Galim Shaar, police claimed the bullets were “blanks.” When the car used by the alleged kidnappers was discovered burned by a roadside, the Shin Bet told her no DNA was found. In fact, bullets and blood were present throughout the interior of the car. The Shin Bet had lied to the parents of the missing teens in order to stoke false hopes that their sons were alive.


Israeli soldiers secure the area around a burnt car near the West Bank city of Hebron on 13 June after three Israeli teens went missing the day before.  (Mamoun Wazwaz / APA images)


“When [the Shin Bet] told me finally at 6:00am Friday that the army was on the job, I felt better — as if we were in good hands,” Bat Galim Shaar told Israel’s Channel 10. “I was naïve, I told everyone Gilad would be home before Shabbat.”

Having deceived the victims’ parents, Israel’s military-intelligence apparatus moved to conceal the truth from the general public, imposing a gag order that barred the country’s media from reporting on the sound of gunshots in the recorded call to police.

According to the text of the gag order, which was first published in English at Mondoweiss, the military had forbidden Israeli reporters from publicizing “All the details of the investigation” and “All details that might identify the suspect.”

Not only did all involved in the investigation — Netanyahu, the Shin Bet, the military — know right away that the three missing teens were almost certainly dead, they had identified the two men they believed were responsible for the crime little more than a day after it occurred.

To legitimize the military’s wider goals, they withheld this information as well.

Hiding the suspects

On 17 June, Arabic-language news site Rai Al Youm reported that Israeli police and Shin Bet agents had raided the homes of Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Eishe, the main suspects, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. As a Palestinian news outlet based in London, Rai Al Youm was not subject to the Israeli military’s gag order and was therefore free to publish the names of the two accused kidnappers.

Citing a report in the Israeli online news outlet Walla! which was either scrubbed due to the gag order or otherwise rendered inaccessible, Rai Al Youm summarized an account by the father of Abu Eishe as follows: “On Saturday at dawn [two days after the alleged kidnapping was reported], special forces of the Israeli army stormed into the house and interrogated sons of the family trying to find any information that could lead them to his whereabouts but they were unsuccessful.”

Abu Eishe’s father added that the Shin Bet had also arrested his son’s wife to interrogate her about his whereabouts. An uncle of Qawasmeh remarked that four of his nephew’s brothers and his wife were arrested the day after the alleged kidnapping and interrogated.

Rai Al Youm added: “several of the military correspondents in the Hebrew media have reported last Friday on a statement attributed to a Palestinian security official in which he said that the PA [Palestinian Authority] is tracking two Hamas personnel who disappeared last Thursday [the day of the kidnapping] and that the security forces of the PA have given the information they have to Israel. And now it’s clear that this story was true and that Israel is looking for them and has charged them with being behind the kidnapping.”

Allison Deger, a correspondent for Mondoweissvisited the Qawasmeh home and confirmed that the army and Shin Bet brought several male members of the families in for interrogation on 14 June.


The damaged family home of Amer Abu Eishe, one of two Palestinians identified by Israel as suspects in the killing of three Israeli teenagers, after it was destroyed by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Hebron, 1 July.  (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)


In a normal high-profile criminal investigation, the names of fugitive suspects are widely publicized. Investigators prominently display posters of the wanted criminals in public spaces while police officials stage press conferences appealing for help from the public. In this case, however, Israel’s intelligence services chose to keep their suspects’ identities a closely-held secret for two weeks.

While Netanyahu and his top deputies blamed the entire membership of Hamas for the kidnapping, the Shin Bet gag order suppressed all information relating to the identities of the suspects until 26 June. As far as the Israeli public knew, the kidnappers could have been anywhere in the West Bank, in any schoolhouse or coffee house or hen house where anyone remotely affiliated with Hamas congregated.

Having manipulated an exceptionally suggestible population through the careful management of information, the military had all the political latitude it needed to rampage through cities far from the scene of the crime.

During a raid of Birzeit University near Ramallah, Israeli troops seized hundreds of Hamas flags, carting them away in trucks as though they had obtained valuable evidence. When the army bombarded the Gaza Strip, the only justification it needed was that the besieged coastal territory was governed by Hamas.

A poll released on 2 July revealed that 76 percent of Jewish Israelis approved of the army’s actions and expressed overwhelming support for the Shin Bet.

In the near term, the gag order had produced its intended result.

Rogue element

Though Qawasmeh and Abu Eishe were widely identified as veteran members of Hamas’ military wing, they comprised a rogue element that likely acted without the knowledge and against the wishes of Hamas leadership.

According to Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar, members of the Qawasmeh clan of Hebron have earned a reputation for attacking Israeli civilian targets during ceasefires between Hamas and Israel.

While an extended family of over 10,000 can hardly be blamed for the actions of some of its members, it is notable that attacks carried out by fighters from the family were privately criticized by top Hamas leaders, as Eldar explains. Hamas leadership regarded the operations as self-destructive acts of freebooting and often paid for them in the form of Israeli assassinations. In each case, the violence shattered ceasefires and inspired renewed bouts of bloodshed.

“The same is true now,” Eldar writes. “Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Eishe have taken Hamas to a place where its leadership never intended to go.”

Hamas leadership has yet to take responsibility for the kidnapping and likely had no knowledge of its planning. As Haaretz military correspondent Amos Harel notes, “So far, there is no evidence that Hamas’ leadership either in Gaza or abroad was involved in the kidnapping.” Harel adds that the fallout of the kidnapping “effectively froze the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.”

Why would Hamas leadership have authorized an operation that so clearly threatened to unravel the movement’s political achievements, wrecking the vaunted unity deal and leaving Abbas without rival in the West Bank?

The Israeli government’s propaganda blitz drowned out sobering questions like these. In turn, the gag order obstructed the flow of information that would have complicated the propaganda.

Determined to reframe the international media’s narrative around Israel’s plight at the hands of Palestinian terrorism, Netanyahu went on the offensive.


On 17 June, the same day the Israeli army forcibly confiscated CCTV cameras in Beituniathat captured footage of its soldiers killing two unarmed Palestinian boys during a Nakba Day protest, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor appeared behind a lectern at the UN Mission in New York City.

“It has been five days since our boys went missing,” Prosor thundered, “and I ask the international community, where are you? Where are you?!”

Referring to the Fatah-Hamas unity government, Prosor added: “All those in the international community who rushed to bless this marriage should look into the eyes of the heartbroken parents and have the courage to take responsibility by condemning the kidnapping. The international community bought in to a bad deal and Israel is paying for it.”

Beside Prosor stood a large placard displaying the smiling faces of the three missing teens beneath a hashtag reading #BringBackOurBoys. Israel’s propaganda blitz was approaching its apex.

For days, leaders of Israel’s trained online propaganda brigades — from the Israeli army spokesperson’s unit, to the Jewish Agency, to the Prime Minister’s Office — flooded social media with the #BringBackOurBoys hashtag. Mimicking Michelle Obama’s promotion of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag that aimed to raise awareness of the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamist militants, the Israeli prime minister’s frowning wife, Sara, posted a portrait of herself on Facebook holding a card that read, #BringBackOurBoys.


Right-wing protesters shout anti-Palestinian slogans during a rally outside the Israeli prime minster’s residence in Jerusalem, 5 July. Demonstrators hold up posters depicting the three murdered Israeli teens which read “United to bring them home.”  (Faiz Abu Rmeleh / ActiveStills)


The social media campaign reverberated throughout Jewish communities across the US, as synagogues around the country displayed yellow ribbons in a carefully coordinated show of solidarity with the missing teens. In New York City, local politicians appeared at pro-Israel rallies, while American diplomats from US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to Ambassador Susan Rice competed with one another to deliver the most emotional tribute to the kidnapped teens.

Rachel Frenkel, the mother of the kidnapped Naftali Frenkel, was junketed by the Israeli government to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland to plead for international help in rescuing her son.

The entire propaganda campaign was set into high gear despite Netanyahu and his inner circle’s knowledge that the teens were almost certainly dead. And it was enabled by the Shin Bet’s gag order, which even foreign correspondents like The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren honored. The Israeli government refused to allow the facts from interfering with what seemed like a political opportunity.

Behind the pitiable image it affected before the world, Israeli society seethed with bloodlust. A spontaneously-created Facebook page calling for the execution of one Palestinian prisoner for each day the teens remained missing garnered more than 35,000 “likes” from mostly young Israelis in just a few days. It was called “The People of Israel Demand Revenge.”

Manipulated by a high-level campaign of deception and disinformation into believing that “their boys” were still alive, the Israeli public was about to receive shocking news.

A shallow grave

At 6am on 30 June, the bodies of Frenkel, Shaar and Yifrach were found in Halhoul at the northern entrance to Hebron in the occupied West Bank. They lay in a shallow grave on property owned by Marwan Qawasmeh, one of the two men suspected in their kidnapping and killing.

The bodies were discovered not by the Shin Bet, but by a team of volunteers from the Kfar Etzion Field School who led soldiers to the location. For its part, the army had been too busy invading Palestinian homes in areas as far away as Nablus to effectively comb the property of a suspect less than 10 kilometers from the site of the kidnapping.

Hours after the discovery, Israeli forces detonated explosive charges inside the Qawasmeh and Abu Eishe family homes. The destruction followed an announcement that the army was re-instituting its policy of punitive home demolitions against the families of Palestinians accused of terrorism.

That afternoon, Netanyahu set the tone for the national response, publishing remarks on his personal Twitter account that he had just delivered in a cabinet meeting:

Netanyahu’s comments perplexed outsiders, but for those embedded inside the tight confines of Jewish Israeli life, they carried a familiar resonance.

From Kishinev to Jerusalem

Netanyahu’s statement alludes to the final stanza of a poem by the Hebrew writer Chaim Bialik titled “On The Slaughter”:

Cursed be he who says: “Avenge!”
Vengeance such as this, vengeance for the blood of a small boy,
Satan himself has not devised-
Let that blood pierce the abyss!
Let that blood pierce the depths of darkness,
Let it eat away the darkness and there undermine
All the rotted foundations of the earth.

In Bialik’s verse, a searing lament anchored in Biblical language, the poet dramatized a brutal 1903 pogrom incited by the Russian Tsar that left scores of Jews dead in the town of Kishinev.

Bialik followed his first account of Kishinev with “The City of Slaughter,” an incendiary work admonishing the victims of the pogrom for their supposed passivity in the face of armed marauders. (Reports of ferocious resistance by the locals was conveniently overlooked.) The poem helped radicalize thousands of young Jews across Eastern Europe, inspiring the formation of self-defense committees and winning waves of adherents to the militant philosophy of Zionism. Among those most influenced by Bialik was Vladimir Jabotinsky, the right-wing Zionist activist who would later become a political benefactor to Netanyahu’s father, Benzion.

In his crude appropriation of Bialik’s verse, Benjamin Netanyahu recast the Russian pogromist as a Palestinian militant, drawing a seamless line between the Jewish nightmare of pre-war Europe and the present-day Israeli experience. In Netanyahu’s view, the “human animals” of Palestine had inherited the genocidal spirit of the Tsar’s mobs and would repeat their crimes unless Jews were prepared to fight.

Of course, Israeli Jews are the exact opposite of turn-of-the-century shtetl dwellers girding themselves against pogroms and ethnic cleansing. Unlike the persecuted outclass of Eastern Europe, Israeli Jews comprise a nuclearized, high-powered military that lord over an outcasted, largely defenseless Palestinian population with full support from the world’s lone superpower.

For his part, Netanyahu shares more in common with the Russian Tsar who incited against religious minorities to deflect from his political problems than he does with Bialik, the itinerant scribe who channeled the pain of his society’s weakest members.

The exploitation of historical Jewish persecution has been a constant feature of Netanyahu’s rhetoric, on bold display during a nationally televised speech last October when he baselessly accused the Palestinian national movement of a direct role in the Holocaust.

This time, amidst a dangerously pressurized atmosphere, his demagogy helped set in motion a wave of vigilante violence that threatened to engulf the whole of Israeli society. Then he shrank from public view, maintaining a conspicuous silence for several days while the extremist elements he emboldened took control of the streets.

“Murder, riots, incitement, vigilantism”

As mobs of Jewish youths fanned out across central Jerusalem to chant “Death to Arabs!” and search for Palestinians to assault, active duty Israeli soldiers took to Facebook to demand revenge, posting photos of themselves with the weapons they were aching to use.

With an Israeli public opinion poll taken after the Israeli teens’ funeral showing the far-rightJewish Home party gaining ground on the right-wing Likud, Israeli political upstarts rushed to issue calls for blood vengeance and the “annihilation” of Hamas. Ayelet Shaked, a rising star of the right-wing Jewish Home party, published a call for the genocide of Palestinians on Facebook that earned thousands of “likes” from Israelis.

Rabbi Noam Perel, the secretary general of Bnei Akiva, the world’s largest religious Zionist youth movement, upped the ante on fanaticism when he called for turning the Israeli military into an army of avengers “which will not stop at 300 Philistine foreskins.” Akiva’s appeal alludes to the first book of Samuel, in which the biblical character David kills two hundred Philistines and brings back their foreskins as evidence that he had done so.

Against the backdrop of fever-pitched incitement, a small car entered the back streets ofShuafat, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, on 2 July. Behind its darkened windows were angry young men hunting for Arab boys.

Following a botched kidnapping of a ten-year-old boy in the same neighborhood the day before, a group of men grabbed a 16-year-old named Muhammad Abu Khudair, threw him in their car and sped away. Abu Khudair was found dead the next morning in the woods of Givat Shaul just west of Jerusalem with burns over 90 percent of his body.


Protesters in the Palestinian city of Arara in the north of present-day Israel throw stones at Israeli police during a demonstration following the murder of Muhammad Abu Khudair, 5 July.  (Yotam Ronen /ActiveStills)


As they did after the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens, the Shin Bet imposed a gag order on the investigation, seemingly hoping to delay the news that Abu Khudair was the victim of Jewish extremism. And as before, the police flooded Israeli media with disinformation, this time by insinuating the murdered teen had been killed by members of his own family for being gay.

The Electronic Intifada has obtained CCTV footage showing the faces of the alleged killers of Abu Khudair just as they abducted him. The video was concealed for several days from the Israeli public under a new Shin Bet gag order. When the police finally arrested the suspected killers of Abu Khudair, they curiously staged a simultaneous press conference about an unrelated killing a young Jewish woman, suggesting without any clear evidence that she had been the victim of a Palestinian terrorist.

On 4 July, an autopsy revealed that Abu Khudair’s killers had burned him alive. Protest and rioting spread from Shuafat across East Jerusalem and into areas of northern Israel. Meanwhile, Jewish nationalists took to Facebook to organize more lynch mobs.

Netanyahu surfaced briefly the day before at an Independence Day ceremony at the US consulate in Jerusalem. With US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro seated by his side, the Prime Minister was forced to confront the binge of racism that he helped inspire.

Speaking in English for the consumption of his American hosts, Netanyahu declared, “Murder, riots, incitement, vigilantism — they have no place in our democracy. And it is these democratic values that differentiate us from our neighbors and unite us with the United States.”

Outside, the chaos showed no sign of ebbing.

Max Blumenthal is an award winning journalist and bestselling author. His latest book isGoliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013, Nation Books).


The rain has stopped, yet the water is still rising, and the media has only just begun to cover the worst flooding to afflict Serbia and neighboring states in recorded history.



Click HERE

Media Failure FROM

The Untold Story of the Floods in Serbia


Two kilometers away from the Tamnava River near downtown Obrenovac, Snezana Hasanovic didn’t think the flood waters would reach her neighborhood. During the Yugoslav War in 1992, she fled Sarajevo along with her husband and young son, and never thought she’d have to be an evacuee twice in her life

“On Friday at around 1:30am my parents came knocking at my door telling us to get out of the house immediately. The water was now surrounding the house, when an hour earlier my husband and I were watching news of the flood on TV and it wasn’t near us.”

Little did Hasanovic know, both rivers around Obrenovac burst their banks, the Sava and the Tamnava, and by now the “water was almost up to our knees, it was raining, there was a foul odor, and I simply could not believe that we would be leaving our house without anything once again.”

“We are homeless again,” said Hasanovic, who works at the International School of Belgrade – Serbia’s leading school in English.

The rain has stopped, yet the water is still rising, and the media has only just begun to cover the worst flooding to afflict Serbia and neighboring states in recorded history.

As Serbia sinks further into oblivion in front of an international community selective about the natural disasters they choose to assist, scores of people are dying and thousands are displaced. Hasanovic’s hometown of Obrenovac, a sleepy town not to far from the capital, Belgrade, now resembles an Eastern European version of Venice – minus the pulchritude – as bodies are floating across the streets – err, canals.Ninety percent of the city is under water.

The region’s worst flooding coupled with the fact that Serbia is one ofEurope’s poorest countries spells a gloomy conclusion to one of mother nature’s worst disasters so far this year. To make matters worse, the international community slept on the story for more than 3 days before really covering it. In those overlooked three days, 3 months of rainfallplummeted on Serbia and the Bosnian state of Republika Srpska.

Even when news outlets like the BBC or CNN began taking the story ‘seriously’, the only reporting came from meteorologists, whose airtimeon the respective channels are both minimal compared to anchors and foreign correspondentsOnly after the Serbian tennis champion Novak Djokovic lambasted the two news channels did they pick up their reportages.

Understandably, the biggest democratic election was wrapping up inIndia, Turkey witnessed its worst mining disaster, and 300 innocent girls were kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria, so flooding in Serbia – at least on the first day – was behind in the pecking order. After three days of minimal reports (i.e. news tickers), and a mainstream media estimate of 40 dead and 25,000 displaced, the devastating floods clearly did not receive the right publicity.

According to people on the ground, there has been more than the reported amount of deaths and the number of displaced soars well into the hundreds of thousands. The only correct sum being reported is theamount of aid which will be in the range of hundreds of millions if not a billion dollars.

Had a correspondent been sent to the hardest hit places, the correct figures may have been conveyed to the masses, which in turn would have speeded the delivery of foreign aid to Serbia. With the exception of Al-Jazeera Balkans’ extensive coverage, there are only a handful of reporters on the ground, and due to this sad reality more than just a modicum of media integrity is being washed down the drain.

The hurricane in Tacloban received wide media coverage, as did the floods that hit south Britan and Ireland in 2012, so the question beckons, why have the floods in Serbia not been taken seriously by the media?

In the end, it’s political, as always seems to be the case. Instead of highlighting the nation’s plights such as widespread corruption or human trafficking, the mainstream media – in other words Western media – only dwells on the past tribulations of the war that split up Yugoslavia, and only the mistakes of the Serbs. Every few years Serbia is back in the headlines for someone accused of being a war criminal, and the world is reminded of Serbia as the cruelest of nations. Even calling Serbia a nation is comical, because the West – and not with bombs or guns anymore, but with their weapon of choice which is the press – is dismantling Serbia slowly and delicately. First Montenegro. Then Kosovo. Who’s next, Vojvodina or Sandzak?

As a result, the perpetual castigation of Serbia and its people have tarnished the reputation of a country that was pivotal in the Allies victory in WWII. Even Hollywood has jumped on the smear campaign with movies such as ‘The Hunting Party’, which depicts Serbs as cannibals.

Serbs love meat, fair trade, but we prefer swine over homo sapien.

In the end, the media had to step in, on ethical grounds at the very least. Arguably still being underreported, and with more deathly drops of rain scheduled for Thursday, Serbia will only receive two types of publicity: negative publicity or diminutive publicity. Because the spin can’t blame Serbia (Serbs didn’t flood themselves), the type of publicity is clearly the latter. This intentionally shy approach by Western media will forever keep Serbia in the dark, and in the doldrums.

“I lost any sense of time and could not feel anything at all. At one moment I thought that all this could not be happening, it had to be a nightmare,” Hasanovic added, echoing the sentiments of many other Serbs suffering the repercussions of the floods, but also a fair rendition of pre-submerged Serbia.


Also see THIS report


Not fit to print


Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blementhal, helps us to understand why.

Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it.


Watch the video on Israeli racism The New York Times didn’t want you to see

 Ali Abunimah
Regular readers of The Electronic Intifada are familiar with the shocking and escalating racism in Israel against people from countries in Africa.

Our extensive coverage of the incitement and attacks on Africans, thanks in large part to the work of David Sheen, demonstrates that this phenomenon is not marginal, but is incited by Israel’s top political leadership.

When Israeli government ministers incite angry mobs, calling Africans “cancer,” they are simply expressing another face of the racism that Palestinians have always experienced.

Solicited, then rejected by The New York Times

Yet rarely does this knowledge make it into mainstream media.

The example of the video above, Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blumenthal, helps us to understand why.

Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it:

I was asked to submit something by The New York Times op docs, a new section on the website that published short video documentaries. I am known for short video documentaries about the right wing in the US, and extremism in Israel. They solicited a video from me, and when I didn’t produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it. So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.

We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv, and interviews with human rights activists. I thought it was a well-done documentary about a situation very few Americans were familiar with. We included analysis. We tailored it to their style, and of course it was rejected without an explanation after being solicited. I sent it to some other major websites and they have not even responded to me, when they had often solicited articles from me in the past.

Eventually, The Nation – which has also typically been quite timid in airing criticism of Israel – agreed to publish it.

While some of the footage in the video has already appeared on The Electronic Intifada, Sheen’s commentary is a good primer for those unfamiliar with the topic.

There is also a previously unseen interview with Michael Ben-Ari, one of Israel’s most notorious anti-African racists and a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Ben-Ari also has a long history of inciting racism and hatred against Palestinians andChristians.

In the same Consortium News interview Blumenthal, author of the bestselling and widely promoted 2009 book Republican Gomorrah, also spoke about the difficulty he has had getting any mainstream media attention for his new book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

Just like this video, Blumenthal’s new book offers an unflinching look at the racist reality of Israel that America’s establishment media simply does not have the guts to confront.

Written FOR


Israel inflicts different methods of terror on Lebanon daily: F-16s and F-15s stage mock raids and drones stalk our skies — all in violation of UN resolution 1701. Lebanese citizens are kidnapped near the border, Israeli landmines and cluster bombs continue to await their victims on Lebanese soil, not to mention the Israeli army’s continued occupation of parts of Lebanon.

Why aren’t Israeli F-16s over Beirut headline news?

Moe Ali Nayel *

UN soldier atop armored vehicle overlooks Lebanon-Israel border

Israel’s daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty are ignored in the Western press.

 (Karamallah Daher / Reuters)


Recently there has been a sound coming from the skies over Beirut triggering unpleasant recollections: the distant roar of Israeli fighter jets as one lies in bed at night.

This noise brings with it images and memories from the last war Israel waged on Lebanon, the 33-day war during the summer of 2006. Even as I write this from my office near the center of the city, the ominous rumbling of Israeli fighter jets, announcing their illegal incursions into Lebanese airspace, can be heard over the capital.

But this threatening behavior above Lebanon is non-existent, or so the Western media corporations would have us believe. While information-sharing web tools have broken the mainstream media’s monopoly over covering and analyzing world developments, there is still a long way to go. The Israeli politics of dispossession enjoy near unconditional support in the editorial rooms of New York, London and Paris, a bias still undetected by most of the Western audience they claim to serve.

On 25 April, these editors saw to it that one story dominated the front pages: reports of an alleged unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, that flew from Lebanon to historic Palestine, with accompanying reportage and commentary treating information given by Israeli government and military sources as the definitive truth of the incident.

The Israeli Air Force said it shot down a UAV several miles off the coast of the northern city of Haifa after it entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon. Israel’s deputy defense ministerDanny Danon accused Hizballah of sending the drone: “We’re talking about another attempt by Hizballah to send an unmanned drone into Israeli territory,” he told army radio (“Israel shoots down Lebanese drone,” DefenseNews, 25 April 2013).

Shortly after the Israeli announcement, Hizballah issued a statement denying this was the case (“Hezbollah denies responsibility for drone shot down by Israel,” Al-Akhbar English, 26 April 2013).

This is in contrast to October last year, when Israel said it had shot down a drone over theNegev (Naqab). In that case, Hizballah proudly claimed the drone as its own and celebrated this demonstration of its technological prowess (“Hezbollah admits launching drone over Israel,” BBC).

For its part, a spokesperson with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) announced after the Israeli statement on 25 April: “We learned from the media that the Israeli Air Force has shot down a drone and we’re investigating these reports.”

As part of its peacekeeping mandate, UNIFIL has radars along the coast to monitor Lebanon’s entire airspace, and a few hours later UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said the UN force could not confirm that a drone had flown from its area of operations in southern Lebanon (“Israel shoots down drone off Haifa, Hizbullah denies responsibility,” Naharnet, 25 April 2013).

Inconvenient facts

So Hizballah denied responsibility and the UNIFIL couldn’t confirm that a drone flew over south Lebanon into Israeli-controlled airspace, but far be it for these inconvenient facts to get in the way of a good story. This newest threat to Israel burned like wildfire across the pages of major Western media outlets like The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post, France 24, The Daily Telegraph and the BBC, which dutifully reported the worries over Israel’s security being breached.

Poor Israel: one of the strongest armies in the world, sitting on a nuclear arsenal.

These news reports demonstrate the systematic bias of Western corporate media when it comes to Israel. While the reports all spoke of Hizballah’s violation of Israel’s “borders” and sovereignty and the threat this posed to Israeli civilians, none mentioned the daily Israeli violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty and the threat this poses to Lebanese citizens. Without this, a reader might easily mistake the aggressor for the victim.

Then there was the one-sided sourcing of “facts” to back up the story and the rush to judgment. On 26 April — the day after the alleged drone was downed — the Israeli government itself began to shift its narrative to more ambiguous finger-pointing at Iran, rather than directly blaming Hizballah (“Israel points finger at Iran over drone from Lebanon,” The Daily Telegraph, 27 April 2013).

Meanwhile, a 8 May story in Lebanon’s daily As-Safir newspaper claims it was actually anIsraeli drone that had been intercepted by resistance fighters en route to Lebanon.

According to unnamed sources close to Hizballah and Western diplomatic circles cited by the paper, when the Israeli Air Force noticed that its UAV was out of its control, it shot it down over the Mediterranean. This suggestion seems at least plausible when stacked next to the UNIFIL report and Hizballah’s denial.

But taking this into account or following up on it would have required understanding Arabic, which few foreign journalists do.

Daily terror

Israel inflicts different methods of terror on Lebanon daily: F-16s and F-15s stage mock raids and drones stalk our skies — all in violation of UN resolution 1701. Lebanese citizens are kidnapped near the border, Israeli landmines and cluster bombs continue to await their victims on Lebanese soil, not to mention the Israeli army’s continued occupation of parts of Lebanon.

While the UN occasionally condemns these acts of Israeli aggression, the fact that they continue unabated reminds us in Lebanon that accountability and international law end at our southern border. So too does objective journalism, it seems, given that in the past month Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace have heavily intensified, but none of this has made it into the Western press.

As a journalist, I’ve tried to pitch stories to mainstream media outlets on the constant Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty and have been lucky enough, from time to time, for an editor to bother to reply, if only to say that the story is irrelevant.

The adage goes that real journalism is publishing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations. By publishing Israel’s claims as fact, and ignoring the reality on the ground in Lebanon and Palestine, mainstream journalists show how well practiced they are in the art of PR.

*Moe Ali Nayel is a freelance journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon

Written FOR


Yesterday, synagogues throughout the world commemorated Shabbat Zachor (Sabbath of Remembrance). On that day the first known enemy of the Hebrews, Amalek, is remembered. On that day as well the combined Hate Lists of the ADL and the Wiesenthal Centre are dug out to confirm that Amalek still lives today.
Yes, Amalek still lives. There is no doubt in my mind about that, BUT NOT ON THOSE LISTS. Amalek lives right here in Israel. He is remembered every day of the year by Palestinians, but especially today, the 19th anniversary of the massacre in Hebron by a crazed American zionist.
thumb hebron
He is remembered every day that a Palestinian child is lowered into the grave, yet another victim of Israeli terrorism.
He is remembered when a family in Gaza visits the graves of loved ones killed by Israeli soldiers.

gaza graves

How quickly zionism forgets the war crimes committed daily against the Palestinians. How quickly the Western World forgets them as well, mostly due to media blackouts in the zionist controlled press in those countries.
The fate of those who resist the above atrocities is also remembered …
Yes, we remember those crimes every day of the year. And yes, we will never forget them or forgive those that committed them.


 The awful truth of what happened this week lies outside stories in which gunned-down youths are identified by their intentions to trespass, and in which the wall is described as designed to keep out “terrorists.” Yet the BBC, The New York Times, Reuters and AP all deferred to Israeli military sources to report on the deaths of four young people. The result is that their readers are told that Israeli soldiers followed the proper protocol to protect Israel’s sovereignty and borders.

How the media let Israel get away with murder

Charlotte Silver*

Relatives of Samir Awad mourn after the 17-year-old died of gunshot wounds on 14 January.

(Issam Rimawi / APA images)

Israel spends a lot of time talking about secure borders and how the need for them drives its policies regarding the Palestinians. With few exceptions, the media act as willing promoters of this perversion of reality.

Between 11 and 15 January, four young Palestinians — aged 17 to 22 — were shot dead by Israeli occupation forces. The murders took place in the Gaza Strip and at different points along Israel’s wall in the West Bank. In all instances the Israeli army justified the use of lethal force by invoking its need to protect the integrity of the wall and Israel’s borders.

On 11 January, 22-year-old Anwar Mamlouk was reportedly just outside the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza when Israeli soldiers gunned him down.

The next day, Odai al-Darawish, 21, was shot to death at three o’clock in the afternoon while crossing Israel’s wall in the West Bank to get to work in Israel. Initially, Israeli sources claimed the soldiers shot al-Darawish in his legs, in accordance with the “rules of engagement” (“Israeli troops kill Palestinian trying to cross barrier,” The Chicago Tribune, 12 January 2013).

But medical sources quickly revealed that he was hit in the back, indicating that he was likely shot while trying to run to safety (“Israeli forces shoot, kill worker south of Hebron,” Ma’an News Agency, 12 January 2013).

Al-Darawish was from the village of Dura, near Hebron, where in September last year a man attempted to immolate himself in a desperate protest of the dire economic conditions Palestinians face in the occupied West Bank (“Palestinian man attempts to set himself on fire in West Bank village of Dura,” Haaretz, 17 January 2013).

Mustafa Jarad was aged 21 and a farmer from Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. He was shot in the forehead by an Israeli sniper on 14 January while working his land. But despite the Israeli gunman’s skillful marksmanship, Jarad was not killed immediately.

Doctors at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City tried to remove the bullet from his severely injured brain, but Jarad died after surgery (“Mustafa Abu Jarad, murdered in Gaza, by the Israeli army,” International Solidarity Movement, 15 January 2013).

Shooting a schoolboy

On 14 January, Samir Awad, a 17-year-old from Budrus, a West Bank village located nearRamallah, was shot from behind in the head, torso and leg while running away from soldiers.

Samir had just completed his last exam before school break and had joined a group of boys to protest the wall. Samir’s family has lost five acres of land with 3,000 olive trees due to the construction of Israel’s wall; Samir had also been jailed three times for his participation in demonstrations (“Israeli forces shot youth in the back as he ran away, say Palestinians,” Guardian, 15 January 2013).

English-language reports of these murders have been scant where they exist at all. For example, the press is in disagreement over the circumstances of Anwar Mamlouk’s death. Reuters reported that Anwar’s brother, Hani, stated that Anwar had been studying outdoors when he was shot (“Israeli forces kill Palestinian along border with Gaza: Hamas,” NBCNews, 11 January 2013).

The BBC, however, relayed only the Israeli military’s version of events and reported that Anwar had entered the “forbidden area” along Gaza’s boundary with dozens of other Palestinians (“Gaza: Palestinian farmer killed by Israeli gunfire,” 11 January 2013).

Shifting the blame

The New York Times took the murder of Samir Awad, the fourth in the spate of Israeli willful killing of unarmed Palestinians, as an opportunity to remark on the “growing unrest” in the West Bank, bizarrely shifting culpability for the deaths onto Palestinians (“Israeli forces kill Palestinian at barrier,” 15 January 2013).

It must be noted that when 17-year-old Muhammad al-Salaymeh was slain by a border police officer in Hebron on his birthday in December 2012, The New York Times remained silent.

Reading the New York Times’ coverage of the murder of Palestinians by Israelis is an apt lesson for any aspiring spin-doctor on the language of equivocation.

The paper’s reporter Isabel Kershner pivots the focus of Monday’s murder in Budrus away from Israel’s trigger-happy soldiers operating in a world of endless and unquestioned impunity and onto Palestinians’ “simmering restiveness”; their increased participation in “disturbances” of the “relative stability” that Israel has tried to maintain; and their “dire financial crisis that has prevented the Palestinian Authority … from paying … government workers.”

Notably there is no explanation provided as to why the PA has not been able to pay its tens of thousands of workers, namely that Israel has stolen the Palestinians’ tax and customs duty funds.

Omitting key facts

This is how The New York Times turns the cold-blooded murder of a teenage boy into a deliberately obfuscating story that describes an opaque haze of “tensions” and “growing unrest.”

This exonerating cloud of ambiguity is kept afloat by the newspaper’s methodical omission of facts: not only the facts of the recent murders of Odai al-Darawish, Muhammad al-Salaymeh and Anwar Mamlouk, but those of the countless incursions, demolitions and violence that Israel perpetrates against Palestinians every week (“Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory,” Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 10 January 2013).

These are the kind of facts that, if properly reported by the journal of record, would allow readers to know that it is Israel who is the violator of the terms of the country’s own precious “borders.” Proper reportage would give stark and unassailable lie to the notion that it in order to protect these borders, it must shoot and kill innocent men and boys, or women and girls.

Deferring to Israel

The awful truth of what happened this week lies outside stories in which gunned-down youths are identified by their intentions to trespass, and in which the wall is described as designed to keep out “terrorists.” Yet the BBC, The New York Times, Reuters and AP all deferred to Israeli military sources to report on the deaths of four young people. The result is that their readers are told that Israeli soldiers followed the proper protocol to protect Israel’s sovereignty and borders.

With the notable exception of British newspapers the Guardian and The Independent (see “Did Israeli troops deliberately provoke boy, only to shoot him in the back?” 16 January 2013), the media dutifully joined ranks with the State of Israel, grinding out the useful fiction that implicates these dead young Palestinians as menaces to the security and stability supposedly maintained by the chimera of separation.

As for borders, it’s exceedingly likely that the grief-stricken parents of the slain youths would love to see the existence of any kind of boundary on Israel that might protect their children from the presence of a threatening, violent and usurping entity.

*Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in occupied Palestine and San Francisco.

Written FOR


A New York Times headline accidentally told the truth today about Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, before it was ‘fixed.’

The screenshots prove it: New York Times altered headline to remove words “Israeli-occupied”

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

Cached image of New York Times story before headline was changed to omit words “Israeli-occupied West Bank.”

New York Times headline accidentally told the truth today about Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, before it was ‘fixed.’

The story is about today’s action by Palestinians to establish a village called Bab Al Shamson land that Israel has seized for construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The original headline read “Palestinians Set Up Camp in Israeli-Occupied West Bank Territory.” Later, the headline was altered to remove the words “Israeli-occupied.” It now reads “Palestinians Set Up Tents Where Israel Plans Homes.”

The website shows that the original headline was posted at 1:09 PM EST. It was discovered to have been changed at 7:10 PM EST.

A key goal of Israeli propaganda is to eliminate the term “occupied” from media coverage of Israel’s, well, occupation. Many media have adopted terms like “disputed” that grant false legitimacy to Israeli claims to the land which are totally null and void in international law.

The Times article still describes the area as “hotly contested piece of Israeli-occupied West Bank territory known as E1.” And yes, I’ve taken a screenshot in case they decide to change that too.

How the headline appears after the change.

Thanks to Twitter user @JamieSW for spotting.

@AliAbunimah @Mondoweiss NYT accidentally prints honest headline; error has now been…

Written FOR

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