Gaza Atrocities Exposed Everywhere but The NY Times

Breaking the Silence, a group of former Israeli soldiers, has published a 237-page report with testimonies describing the assault on Gaza last summer, a shocking account that exposes the deliberate killing of innocent civilians. The release of this report is news everywhere—in Israel, Europe and the United States—but it received a cold shoulder in The New York Times.

The Guardian published three pieces on the report: a news story, excerpts from the report and a videotaped testimony. The Israeli magazine 972 ran two stories (here and here), and articles appeared in the BBC, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Newsweek, Agence France Presse, The Jerusalem Post, The Independent and beyond.

The Times, however, has virtually ignored this bombshell [see note below on news of an AP story], which presents the firsthand accounts of more than 60 Israelis who served in the army, air force and navy with ranks up to the level of major. They spoke of their experiences in the assault, which left some 2,200 Gaza residents dead, the vast majority civilians. Seventy-one Israelis, died, including 66 soldiers.

The headlines of many media stories about the report strike a harsh tone: “Israeli soldiers admit Gaza war atrocities” (Al Jazeera), “Samples of Israeli Horrific Brutality and War Criminality in Gaza” (The Intercept), “Israel Did ‘Massive and Unprecedented Harm’ to Civilians in Gaza, Report Says” (Newsweek), “Gunning for destruction in Gaza: ‘You want to see people in pieces’” (972).

The report is titled “This is How We Fought in Gaza: Soldiers’ testimonies and photographs from ‘Operation Protective Edge’ (2014)” and provides transcripts of 111 testimonies from more than 60 “mandatory and reserve” troops on the ground, at headquarters and in command centers. About a quarter of the testifiers were officers, and Breaking the Silence maintains that all accounts were subjected to “a meticulous investigative process.”

Soldiers reported that they were ordered to shoot anyone who appeared in certain areas, whether the person posed a threat or not. “Anything you see in the neighborhoods you’re in,” a commander told an armored corps staff sergeant, “is dead on the spot. No authorization needed.”

They told of the shooting of civilians who posed no threats, such as an elderly man who had been wounded and was lying on the ground. An infantry staff sergeant reported that he watched while “some guy from the company went out and shot that man again,” leaving him dead in the street.

“The most disturbing picture that arises from these testimonies,” Breaking the Silence states, “reflects systematic policies that were dictated to IDF forces of all ranks and in all zones.”

During the operation, Israeli officials insisted that the armed forces took pains to avoid civilian casualties, but the testimonies expose these claims as pure spin. As the report declares: They “close the yawning gaps between what IDF and government spokespersons told the public about the combat scenarios and the reality described by the soldiers.”

Media outlets around the world recognized the importance of this meticulous report, with its disturbing detail told by the men and women who carried out the attacks on Gaza. Times editors undoubtedly realized the significance of this news as well; yet they have deliberately chosen to turn their backs on the story, preferring loyalty to Israel over responsibility to the public.

Barbara Erickson

[A reader informs me that the NYT ran an online AP story about the report. (It never appears in print.) I searched frequently and never found either AP or Reuters articles, so it was intentionally hidden from readers. In other words, it was censored.  Here’s the link to the short and biased AP piece, which the Times chose to run in some hidden corner of its website: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/05/04/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-palestinians-.html?_r=1 ]

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18 thoughts on “Gaza Atrocities Exposed Everywhere but The NY Times

  1. Good job, Barb, and so here’s the email I just sent to Jodi and Margaret (public editor) at the Times. I sent a similar letter to AP when I didn’t find any article about the report in a search for it on their site either.  All best, Linda (am cc-ing in Phil Weiss) Dear Jodi and Margaret,   I’m watching a Democracy Now segment now about the new report released by Israeli soldiers about the IDF’s indiscriminate use of force against civilians in Gaza during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, and I find it astonishing that The New York Times has not covered this breaking news (if I happen to have missed it in print and in my online search, please send me the link ).   The report entitled “This is how we fought in Gaza” is on the Breaking the Silence website   http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/   It was covered in the Washington Post

    New report details how Israeli soldiers killed civilians in Gaza: “There were no rules” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/05/04/israeli-soldiers-reveal-this-is-how-we-fought-in-gaza/

     

    The Jerusalem Post

    IDF had policy of indiscriminate fire during Gaza war, Israeli NGO says http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/IDF-had-policy-of-indiscriminate-fire-during-Gaza-war-Israeli-NGO-says-402048

     

    Reuters : Israeli veterans describe lax Gaza war rules, indiscriminate fire

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/04/us-israel-palestinians-gaza-war-idUSKBN0NP1A920150504

     

    Newsweek: Israel Did ‘Massive and Unprecedented Harm’ to Civilians in Gaza War, Report Says

    http://www.newsweek.com/israel-did-massive-and-unprecedented-harm-civilians-gaza-war-report-says-328083

     

    The British press

    Israeli soldier testimony: ‘Most of our shooting was random… we didn’t think about civilian casualties’ – video http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/may/04/israel-breaking-the-silence-gaza-soldiers-testimony-video

     

    Israeli soldiers cast doubt on legality of Gaza military tactics Testimonies of Israeli combatants about last year’s war show apparent disregard for safety of civilians http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/04/israeli-soldiers-cast-doubt-on-legality-of-gaza-military-operation

      

    and even my little local paper 

     

    The News Tribune : Israeli vets group: Gaza war policies favored safety of soldiers over civilians

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2015/05/04/3775181_gaza-war-policies-favored-safety.html?rh=1

     

    and more…but how could the New York Times not have covered this?!  I’d like to see something on this asap, please. It’s imperative for Zionists Americans and Israelis to know what they are asking IDF soldiers to do.  This is why Breaking the Silence went to all the work to put together their book “Our Harsh Logic” in which they realized after interviewing soldiers who served all over the Occupied Palestinian Territories that there was one policy, and it was to make Palestinians believe there was no safe place for them in the land of their forefathers.

     

    Please let me know why the Times hasn’t yet covered this critical news.

     

    Sincerely, Linda Frank 253 576-9541

    “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  James Baldwin

    Watch Roadmap to Apartheid ,  narrated by Alice Walker, free online at   www. hulu .com/watch/525957

    “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”  Nelson Mandela

    All best, Linda

    “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  James Baldwin

    Watch Roadmap to Apartheid ,  narrated by Alice Walker, free online at   www. hulu .com/watch/525957

    “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”  Nelson Mandela

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    • Hi, Linda. Good work! Let’s see if they respond to you. They may send you a link to an AP story that they ran briefly (some people saw it; I couldn’t find it by searching, only via the link I was sent). If they do send it, this is no excuse. They should have done their own story, and the AP piece is atrocious. Besides, they hid even that pathetic article from sight. Glad to see you communicating with them!

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  2. Barbara:

    I commend you for the substantial amount of time and effort you expend on this endeavor. Doing what you do clearly requires persistent intellectual vigor and I for one find the need to openly thank you for teaching us to read between the lines and below the surface and to appreciate that what is ignored, what is not said, is often an exercise in manipulation and deceit.

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    • Thank you! The NYT does its part as well, continuing to provide good material for TimesWarp. But I would be happy to never write another word if it means the newspaper begins to do its job.

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  3. The obvious decision of New York Times management to outrageously omit this highly newsworthy “Breaking the Silence” report from Israeli military falls at the feet of Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., publisher of the Times, just as has have so many other newsworthy stories exposing the racist, apartheid, genocidal, ethnic cleansing and destructive Zionist Israel regime led by Benjamin Netanyahu. These repeated refusals to show the least bit of “journalistic integrity” in the coverage of Zionist Israel goes far beyond the pale as the Times continues to serve as a propaganda rag for Zionist Israel!

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  4. Thank you again, Barbara, for continuing to shine a light on the New York Times and its biased reporting always in favor of the Israeli narrative.

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  5. If American Muslims for Palestine is not yet convinced of an Armenian genocide after 100 years, why should we be surprised that a Zionist rag can’t see Israeli massacres in Gaza?

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    • Yes, someone sent me this link. Thanks for pointing it out. I altered the post to reflect this information. I had actually checked online yesterday and today, several times, and never found a story, even under AP listings. I should have also tried to search for the story, not just check out the Middle East page. But in the end, it is clear that they were doing their best to hide this story and play it down. They should have had their own reporters on it, and they should have made it easily accessible. This was censorship at work.

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    • I searched repeatedly yesterday and last night in the digital Times, but could not find anything, not Associated Press, not anything regarding the Breaking the Silence report. So much for the New York Times and its habitual obfuscation and “journalistic integrity”!!

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