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Friday, May 23, 2014

TED talk slurs Israel

I'm not into watching TED talks, but many people I know - mostly brilliant people - including Mrs. Carl, are very much into watching them. This week, media watchdog CAMERA took TED to task for airing a talk by one of its fellows, Gaza photojournalist Eman Mohammed, which accused Israel of maximizing casualties during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. This is from the second link.
CAMERA wrote: “During Operation Cast Lead, Israel dropped over 2.5 million leaflets throughout Gaza and phoned residents in order to warn them of impending attacks. Israel likewise dropped warning fliers during the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank.”

The watchdog quoted testimony from Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, who addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2009, praising the “extraordinary measures” that Israel took in Cast Lead to avoid civilian casualties.

Kemp said, that “based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”

“Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population,” Kemp said. “Hamas, like Hezbollah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.”

“The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls,” the former British commander said. “Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy’s hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.”

An Israel Defense Forces investigation into the army’s conduct during Cast Lead discussed the precautions that Israel took in this particular strike to safeguard civilian lives. The investigation noted “the unfortunate deaths” of four civilians in the Al Saraya strike, but it also maintained that the strikes were in accordance with international law.

Mohammed said she was injured during the strike, breaking her nose. It was not from IDF fire or shrapnel, but from her own camera.
Read the whole thing. I thought TED got their facts straight....

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