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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 07, 2003

Buneul is Right

I was going to write this anyway, so I'm adding my voice to Bunuel's below. The New York Times ran the story, "Israelis Storm Gaza Camp; 11 Palestinians Are Killed" in yesterday's paper. After the headline and three paragraphs either asserting or implying that Israel killed all eleven James Bennet wrote:
The Israeli Army rejected that account. It said a tank had fired a shell from a spot near the crowd, but in another direction, toward a Palestinian who was firing a rocket-propelled grenade at the retreating Israelis. It said the casualties had been caused by a Palestinian explosive.
I give Bennet a little credit for at least acknowledging that the Israeli army disputed the PA view. But no more than a little. The Arab accounts he cites were more specific. But it isn't as if there wasn't a readily available Israeli account:
"The IDF forces were right next to a store. It is obvious that we would not fire at the store point blank with tanks shells. The control over the firing of the shells belongs solely to the commander and we know how to react in every situation, what to fire upon with shells and when. A tank commander will only fire if he receives an order from the battalion commander or if his life is in danger and firing is the only way to combat the danger. I was the battalion commander at that moment," noted Lt. Col. Moshe.

"We fired a shell a moment later, after the explosion, into an adjacent ally where an RPG rocket was threatening the tank. However this was only done after the incident where the bomb detonated inside the store. It was a powerful bomb that created a great blaze in the store and even, in our opinion, caused the walls to collapse and the ceiling to cave in," said Lt. Col. Moshe.

He added: "I imagine that many civilians were injured from that."
"As the ground commander I can say with certainty that the tank shell was fired at a lone terrorist armed with an RPG rocket, from a distance of 150-200 meters within the ally."
I've noted previously that Bennet strikes me as lazy. He doesn't make much of an effort. It's also interesting that in the earlier story that I commented on, Bennet noted that Israeli silence on the deaths of several ranking members of Hamas was an indication that Israel probably did it. I'm not convinced that he was correct there. But wouldn't the converse of that observation be that if Israel denies participation in violence it probably was not involved? So why not attach greater significance to Israel's version?

If over here, Bennet implicitly belittles Israel's version of events; elsewhere, he's not so subtle:
That is the approach Israel has taken in the West Bank, where soldiers have seized back territory ceded under the Oslo peace accords in what the army says is an effort to stop suicide bombers.
"...in what the army says is an effort to stop suicide bombers!" Qualifying it in this way implies that the only the army would draw such a conclusion. Hmm. How about this?
During the months of January-February 2003, 122 terror attacks against Israeli citizens were prevented.
That seems successful by any standard!!! Unfortunately, Wednesday, we saw that the Israeli tactics are not perfect.
Cross Posted to Israpundit and David's Israel Blog.