The British press is famous for spreading rumors of Israel Massacres, they fell for the Jenin hoax hook, line and sinker, they also fell for the disproved "attack" on the UN School during the latest Gaza War. These latest rumors claim Israeli use of a boy as a human shield an an attack on ambulance medics (among other things). Before you Jump on the Guardian report bandwagon wait, soon the truthfulness and context of the report will filter out.
Why is context important? Below are three videos, two are reports that show Palestinian Terrorists using Ambulances to transport warriors and weapons. The third is an example (and proof) of the International Red Cross helping the Palestinians perpetuate a myth about an Israeli attack on an ambulance:
A Guardian Columnist replies to the "War Crimes" charge:
Don't judge Israel's 'war crimes'defending itself should nevertheless call for an independent and thorough investigation. If any of what we saw in the film is true, those responsible should be severely reprimanded.
Accusations of war crimes in Gaza need to be thoroughly investigated before any real
These films are very disturbing. Anyone, like myself, who believes in the justice of Israel
Targeting paramedics is forbidden, no question about it. However, I find it hard to believe that any Israeli soldier would do such a thing intentionally. Using Palestinians as human shields was prohibited by the Israeli supreme court. The fact that the British did it in Palestine in 1936-39, during the Arab revolt in Palestine, is not an excuse. And drones are used precisely to make the greatest effort to distinguish between terrorists and uninvolved civilians. The insinuation that as we have the the technological capability to see everything, if civilians are hurt it means that they were targeted on purpose, is hard for me to swallow. Again, this should be thoroughly investigated.
However, we have been through this before. Israel has faced rushed accusations based on versions of the story told by Palestinians that turn out to be only partially true – and more often than not are exposed as lies and fabrications.
In the first Lebanon war of 1982, Palestinian propagandists floated the rumour that Israel had killed 10,000 people. The world media picked it up and without any serious checking, repeated the lie. It took weeks to refute it, and still, the libel stuck.
And remember the "massacre" in Jenin, in 2002. After clashes between IDF forces and Palestinian terrorists, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, said that thousands of Palestinians had been killed and buried in mass graves, or lay under houses destroyed in Jenin and Nablus. However, according to Lorenzo Cremonesi, the correspondent for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in Jerusalem, who visited the camp on 13 April 2002, "it was all talk and nothing could be verified". Cremonesi added: "At the end of that day, I wrote that the death toll was not more than 50 and most of them were combatants". Two weeks later, Qadoura Mousa, director of Fatah for the northern West Bank, had to admit that the dead toll was 56.
Cremonesi, who is a personal friend of mine, has been a longtime critic of Israel's conduct vis-a-vis the Palestinians. His report, guided by his sound journalistic professionalism, carries much weight.
And it was the same Cremonesi who in the wake of the recent clash in Gaza went there to get a first-hand impression. On 22 January, he reported that Hamas had vastly overstated the number of civilian deaths in Gaza. He went on to confirm Israel's allegations that Hamas had used civilians as human shields and used ambulances and United Nations buildings in the fighting. Those who tried to drive the terrorists away in order to protect their families were beaten.
Israel, however, never gets a fair deal in such cases. I'm not even talking about the lack of context by which Israel is always portrayed as the aggressor, even if it is acting in justifiable self-defence. I'm talking about the ritual by which later retractions are barely noticed. Such was the case with the allegation that Israel had intentionally shelled a UN-run school in Gaza. Everybody memorised headlines such as the one in the Independent on 7 January: "Massacre of innocents as UN school is shelled". How many remember, or even know, that Maxwell Gaylard, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Jerusalem, later admitted that the IDF mortar shells fell in the street near the school, and not on the school itself?
Why am I telling you all this? Because whenever I see or hear allegations of Israeli war crimes, I have a sense of deja vu. These kind of accusations need to be thoroughly investigated, and this is exactly what the IDF is doing right now. Furthermore, our vibrant press will not tolerate any whitewash. Yet this is a slow and complex process that takes time. Will Israel get that time or, as usual, will it be sentenced again by a field tribunal of impatient, hostile public opinion?