Israel’s government wants the world to believe that knife-wielding Palestinians are responsible for the current violence, not Israel’s official policy of “provocative brutality” including the expansion of illegal settlements, the stripping land from non-Jews, and stepped-up detentions, assaults and killings of non-Jews by the IDF. But using cell phones to capture video, Palestinian citizen journalists are exposing Israel’s lies and presenting the true face of Israeli war crimes and the Israelis are besides themselves to stop
By Ray Hanania
Israel spends millions each year to twist and distort the public understanding of their brutality against Palestinian civilians. During the past 20 years, Israel’s government has intentionally blocked the Oslo Peace Accords and undermined the chances of achieving a Two-State Solution.
Why? Simple. Most Israelis oppose a Palestinian State. They don’t want to surrender Palestine lands, and they want to take it but by expunging non-Jews from he land. So Israel’s rightwing, oppressive government, which reflects the political views of the majority of non-Jewish Israeli citizens, have engaged in an aggressive campaign of oppression that has stepped up:
- stepped up land confiscation
- checkpoints, harassment and assaults
- expansion of armed settler terrorists
- increased violence against civilians, specifically non-Jews
- media provocation int he Israeli media
- teaching more and more hatred against non-Jews in Israeli schools
- denying funds to non-Jewish Israeli citizens while increasing funding to Israeli jews
- and worse, killing non-Jews and managing and censoring the news media to blame the civilian deaths on the victims themselves
Weeks ago, several Israeli settler arsonists attacked and burned down the home of a Palestinian near their illegal settlement as a part of a nationwide campaign targeting non-Jewish held lands in Israel and in the occupied West Bank and in Occupied Jerusalem.
The settlers killed 18 month old Palestinian infant Ali Saad Dawabsha died in the arson attack in Duma, a Palestinian village deep in the West Bank and near the Israeli armed settlement encampment of Beit El. The baby’s mother, Reham, his father Saad and his four-year-old brother, Ahmad, were hospitalized.
The Israeli settlers suspected in the arson attack, one of dozens in the prior weeks throughout Palestinian villages in the West Bank, have not been prosecuted. Yesh Din, an Israeli organization that monitors Israeli terrorism against non-Jews inside Israel and in the occupied territories had issued a report earlier in the year concluding that 92 percent of Israeli attacks against Palestinians go unprotected or unsolved. And that is intentional and a part of Israeli government policy.
These acts of Israeli violence by Israeli soldiers, armed Israeli settlers and even Israeli citizens have provoked some Palestinians to take up whatever arms they can to try to defend themselves, including rocks, knives and molotov cocktails. That violence by Palestinians is wrong, too. But you cannot condemn the Palestinian violence without FIRST condemning and acknowledging the violence by Israel’s soldiers, settlers and undercover secret service agents in the Shin Bet.
you cannot condemn the Palestinian violence
without FIRST condemning and acknowledging
the violence by Israel’s soldiers, settlers and
undercover secret service agents in the Shin Bet
Israel is manipulating the mainstream news media to focus not on the Israeli violence but instead on the Palestinian responses to the Israeli violence, some of which have been horrific and tragic, too.
Violence is not justified by either side. But Israel’s government and military are engaged in a strategy to coverup Israeli violence in the news media and focus only on violence by Palestinians.
But Palestinian activists have been publishing videos that show the heavily armed soldiers, police and secret service of a nation state, Israel, brutalizing non-Jewish civilians inside and outside of Israel.
They include pictures of a young girl Israel asserts was carrying a knife who was shot and left on a pavement to bleed to death as Israelis shouted obscenities at her.
Another showed a Palestinian boy dying on the street after he had been shot by a dozen Israeli soldiers who were also shouting obscenities and even kicking him in the head as he tried to raise himself up, their jackboots cracking his skull, until he boy also dies of a lack of medical attention.
In each case, the Israeli propaganda machine quickly issued statements claiming the victims were wielding knives and that propaganda has been picked up by Israeli journalists and published in the American news media in the hopes of countering the shocking reaction many Americans have towards the blatant cruelty by the Israelis.
Journalists like Lahav Harkov, Israel’s senior Knesset Reporter for the Jerusalem Post, and former Jerusalem Post reporter and now Washington Post reporter Ruth Eglash have published one-sided propaganda pieces minimizing and whitewashing Israeli atrocities and seeking to emphasize only violence by Palestinians. Lavah Harkov’s propaganda piece was published in the notoriously hateful anti-Arab newspaper the New York Post which routinely publishes anti-Arab smears to undermine American support for Palestinian rights.
Neither the Washington Post nor the biased New York Post allow Palestinian journalists to publish articles pointing fingers of blame at Israel’s government for the ongoing violent atrocities, and many Israelis are responding to criticism of Harkov and Eglash by accusing the critics of being “anti-Semitic,” an unjustified libel that more and more carries no real meaning.
Here are some of the videos that have sparked a mad dash by pro-Israel journalists and writers to off-set the shock among Americans for the clearly oppressive brutality by Israel against civilians, mostly teenagers and children:
One of the worst videos, (above) shows a 13-year-old Ahmad Manasra (also identified as Ahmad Saleh Elmahania) chased through Jerusalem by screaming hordes of Israeli Jews and is beaten to the ground and then shot by Israeli soldiers. He was accused of wielding a knife but no knife is found. This video is difficult to watch because it also shows the Israeli soldiers and some Israeli pedestrians (or more likely settlers) screaming in Arabic and in Hebrew, “die, die you mother fucker. Die. Die you faggot, die. Die you son of a bitch, die.” The boy was left on the sidewalk as he gasped for air bleeding from the gunshot to his head, chest and through his ears. He was finally taken to a hospital where he is recovering.
Neither Harkov nor Eglash wrote about this atrocity by the Israeli soldiers, police or settlers.
Shame on them.
This video (below) is of an unarmed elderly Palestinian man who tries to shout down a group of heavily armed Israeli soldiers and agents with the brutal Israeli secret service, the Shin Bet.
This video (below) is of an interview with Palestinian peace activist Mustafa Barghouti who challenges the lies from the Israeli government and the Israeli “journalists” in the killing of 18 year old girl Hadil Salah Hashlamoun (Hadeel) near an Israeli checkpoint in Hebron in the Israeli militarily occupied West Bank. The girl was surrounded by two dozen armor wearing and heavily armed Israeli soldiers, settlers and undercover Shin Bet shooters. The girl was shot more than a dozen times and the Israelis have been unable to provide any images of the woman carrying a knife and have failed to even produce a knife they assert she was carrying. The Israelis refused to allow any medical attention after she was shot and she died on the pavement.
Here is another video (below) of the Hadil Salah Hashlamoun lying on the pavement dying as witnesses call for medical treatment.
Below: Palestinian protestors are dragged and beaten by heavily armored and armed Israeli soldiers. Notice the Israeli soldiers who are dressed as “stone throwers” crossing the video image while the Israeli soldiers beat their unarmed captive teenagers. Israel’s government has used soldiers dressed as civilians to provoke stone throwing so soldiers can “justify” firing on the unarmed civilians. Oftentimes, stones are thrown first by undercover Israeli soldiers who witnesses say exhibit a particularly high level of viciousness and hatred of non-Jews as they perform their privateer duties. In may instances, the victims are bleeding from their heads, ears and eyes and their hands are covered in blood as a result of the beatings and also gunfire by the soldiers.
Harkov and Eglash don’t write about or detail any of these videos in their reporting for the Washington Post or the biased anti-Arab New York Post.
Shame on the American news media for allowing this biased reporting and shame on the writers themselves, such cold hearts, to turn their backs on the truth to spin propaganda to defend the brutality of the Israeli military.
Shame on the Washington Post. Shame on the Israeli government for spending millions to twist and distort these stories to cause confusion by producing counter-videos that take the same images and twist them around. Israel’s government is producing counter-videos and placing them on Youtube to reduce public views of the image by “packing” the search engine with false stories and videos.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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