It is reported that the three young Israeli males – Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship – have been found close to the West Bank town of Hebron from which they set off before they disappeared.
In the CBS report headed up “Bodies of three Israeli teenagers found in a field near Hebron.” (see: newyork.cbslocal.com) describes how “The Shin Bet said the bodies had been buried in a field near the village of Halhul, just north of Hebron.” In support of the location it adds a statement by Binyamin Proper, who was among the civilian volunteers that found the bodies. “He told an Israeli TV channel that a member of the search party “saw something suspicious on the ground, plants that looked out of place, moved them and moved some rocks and then found the bodies. We realized it was them and we called the army.””
Compare and contrast this with the statement only a couple of paragraphs before as follows: “An overwhelming Israeli security force had swept through the West Bank in a desperate search for the three boys before their bodies were found in a cave.” This is puzzling to say the least.
I am sure I do not need to point out the fact that a field is definitely not a cave, nor could it be confused with it. Plants do not usually grow in Palestinian caves, nor is it very easy to bury in a cave in my experience. If they were found in a cave, would a newspaper describe the place prominently as “a field”? Unlikely I would have thought, particularly as it relates to such a prominent story with all its serious ramifications. Journalists are taught to confirm and corroborate.
Of course we could just put this rather fundamental difference down to sloppy reporting. Somehow, given the story and the news outlet I doubt it. More likely it accurately reflects what the reporters were told, possibly from slightly different sources. Such differences can mean very little or they can mean a lot. Past experience teaches it would be foolish to ignore it. It may be just a reporting error. On the other hand such conflicting reportage can flag up more fundamental problems and it is always interesting to see how the problem is handled once the basic evidential contradiction (for that is what it is) is spotted. We shall have to wait and see.
Another somewhat worrying element – and anyone who has followed some of my other articles on high-profile cases where state governments are involved will appreciate how it keeps recurring in such a way as to raise suspicions about what is actually going on – is the way in which, prior to any forensic evidence becomes available, people distant to the actual discovery or investigation (in this case the Israeli Prime Minister) make pronouncements that appear to indicate they are not only sure how the victims met their deaths, but who carried it out. He also of course cannot resist making political capital out of what is essentially a personal tragedy. This always raises a red flag.
In this case CBS reports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying in a statement “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” He adds the teenagers “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts.”
A little later the report adds, rather conveniently some might think, “Last week, Israel identified two well-known Hamas operatives as the chief suspects. The two men remained on the run late Monday.” So not only is the organisation and method of the killings pretty much sorted, two individuals are already in the frame. Naming the perpetrator prior to the investigation has been a feature of suspect incidents from Kennedy through Boston bombing we would do well to remember.
It then adds a source called “B’nai B’rith International” which blamed Palestinian militants for the boys’ deaths. Notice the subtle change of emphasis here from “Hamas”, a political organisation labelled “terrorist” by western governments, to the more general term “Palestinians”. I repeat these differences should not be treated lightly. They always indicate deeper trains of thought.
To quote: “The kidnapping and subsequent murders are the direct product of the constant and relentless incitement taught by the Palestinians,” B’nai B’rith International said in a statement. “For many decades, generations of Palestinians have been raised on a diet of hate, which feeds the terror targeting Israel. The twin evils of incitement and terrorism have once again shown that Israel does not have a credible partner for peace.” Of course it goes without saying that this statement is not balanced in any way by explanation why there should be hatred arising from historical or continuing injustice and violence on the part of the State of Israel. That would be too much to expect.
I am not suggesting for a moment that the young men were not killed in the way described – how could I possibly know? But what I am saying is that multiple cases prove that governments have, and do, create extreme circumstances for political purposes, to stir up emotions and to provide moral justification for actions that would otherwise be ruled out by the condemnation they would elicit. Israel has proved it is quite prepared to assassinate individuals in cold blood by wild beasts (to adopt the PM’s colourful turn of phrase) and had its agents jumping for joy at the collapse of the Twin Towers, so by any rational assessment it is not beyond the realm of possibility. I say no more than that.
The treatment of the story by CBS is understandably emotive. Whichever way you look at it, the unnecessary premature and violent death of three young men has to be in any situation, in any language. It is clear that CBS is very aware of its Jewish New York audience and turns to them for a reaction which is fairly predictable. Fairly stated, it is an article that uses the three victims to represent a wider victim state. It reinforces the impression Netanyahu only recently wanted to give that Israel “was under attack from all sides” whether the reverse of the truth or not.
So we feel for the families of the dead. For them it is a huge tragedy and loss. But so too it was for the families of the two young Palestinians shot dead by Israeli snipers in Bethlehem on Friday 6th December 2013.
The IDF uses live ammunition against civilian children as it did in 2009 when it killed a 13 year old teenager in Hebron and a protester in Nil’in in June. The former incident occurred after Clashes had taken place almost every day in Bethlehem’s Aida Refugee Camp since three Palestinian militants were killed in Yatta by Israeli soldiers. At the same time, two further Palestinians in Aida Camp were shot with live ammunition.
Apropos the December killings http://972mag.com/photos-palestinians-shot-by-israeli-sniper-using-silenced-rifle/83164/ reported, “This week saw several more incidents of live ammunition used against Palestinians in Bethlehem before Friday’s shootings which wounded two. In the second shooting Friday, a bullet passed through both legs (above the knees) of the young Palestinian man.”
Then on 15 May this year Nadim Siam Nuwara, 17, and Muhammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu al-Thahir, 16, were killed at a Nakba Day protest near the Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank village of Beitunia. As luck (?) would have it, CNN actually captured video footage of the IDF soldier doing the shooting which rather destroyed the web of lies put out by the Israeli military. (see
“Israel has continued to deny its occupation forces used live bullets, intimated that Palestinians might have shot the boys, and even suggested that the security camera footage capturing the boys deaths had been faked.”
So you see Israel’s military, intentionally and pre meditatively, as a matter of government policy, shoots Palestinian children with live ammunition for the purpose of killing them. In fact agents of the state have a track record of killing at home and abroad yet Israel’s Prime Minister claims to be the innocent victim and uses events such as the recent tragic deaths as confirmation and excuse for greater disproportionate violence. It is worth noting that since just the year 2000 no less than 1,400 CHILDREN have been killed by Israeli forces! Whether it has in fact engineered the present situation has no foundation. But that it is capable of doing so is plainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
Significantly and perhaps predictably, when I searched for Nadim Siam Nuwara, 17, and Muhammad Mahmoud Odeh Abu al-Thahir, 16, on the same CBS web site that carried the very one-sided report of the killing of the three “Israli teens”, I found … nothing. END.