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Monday, March 23, 2009

Dean of pre-military academy who 'exposed' Gaza shooting a leftist ideologue

The battles within Israeli society have now reached the pages computer screens of the New York Times. The Times' Week in Review section reported on this past week's accusations that IDF soldiers shot indiscriminately at 'Palestinian' civilians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead (Hat Tip: Eliyahu P.). The Times comes up with this little tidbit of which I, at least, was not aware:
In 1990, Mr. Zamir, then a parachute company commander in the reserves, was sentenced to prison for refusing to guard a ceremony involving religious Jews visiting the West Bank city of Nablus. For some, that refusal is a badge of honor; for others it is an act of insubordination and treason. A quiet campaign began on Thursday regarding Mr. Zamir’s leftist sympathies, to discredit the transcript he publicized.
I'm astounded (maybe I shouldn't be) that given that set of facts, the IDF gave him permission to open a pre-military academy (which require IDF approval) in the first place.

I already noted last week that soldiers in the various combat units discredited the testimony given by Dany Zamir's former students. I also noted in a different post that the former students' testimony was given in coordination with an organization known as Breaking the Silence, an organization whose credibility I called into question here. Sunday's Maariv also contained specific denials regarding the two incidents that have raised the most questions (link in Hebrew - and sorry to whoever sent it because I don't recall who it was). Here is a translation of those denials (to the nephew who offered to correct my translation of IDF terms - now's your chance):
With respect to the incident in which it is claimed that a sniper shot a 'Palestinian' woman and her two daughters, the unit commander's investigation quotes the sniper's words: "I saw the woman and her daughters and I fired warning shots. The force commander came up on the roof and yelled at me 'why did you shoot at them.' I explained that I didn't shoot at them but I fired warning shots."

Officers in the unit estimate that fighters who were stationed in the bottom floor of the 'Palestinian' house thought that he hit them, and this started a rumor that a sniper killed a woman and her two daughters.

...

With respect to the second incident in which it is claimed that soldiers went up on the roof to enjoy target practice and killed an elderly 'Palestinian' woman, the unit commander's investigation found that there was no such incident. Officers estimate that testimony that came to the head of the Rabin pre-military academy were created as a result of competitions among the infantry brigades and out of the soldiers' desire to show "high levels of combativeness.
Those who read Hebrew are advised to read the whole thing. I haven't got time right now to translate it all.

3 Comments:

At 9:56 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - there's no need. What you said is in the spirit of "it gets lost in the translation." And I don't mean the Hebrew to the English that you don't have time to translate. I mean the old and familiar expression that the truth gets lost when you don't have the full context. And from the examples you related, its clear, when the full context is supplied, that a very different picture emerges of what really happened on the battlefield. The moral of your account would be that people shouldn't believe everything they hear or read. Especially the first time around. It often turns out later not to be correct at all.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

May Hashem give our Mosrim hell on earth.

I'm into cursing lately. :)

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger YMedad said...

Carl, you have emphasized that this is the Yitzhak Rabin Pre-Military Academy, yes? Named after the guy who commanded Palmah forces who killed 10 Irgunists on the Tel Aviv beach on June 22, 1948, most of them unarmed while swimming ashore. Guess that was the legacy bequeathed.

 

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