Israeli claims on Naksa killings need to be questioned

The Israeli government is in spin mode over yesterday’s events in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, when hundreds of protesters calling for the right of return marched and were met with Israeli gunfire.  If the repression inflicted on unarmed protesters three weeks ago during the Nakba protests are any guide, a heavy dose of skepticism and questioning of official Israeli claims is needed.

A number of people were reportedly killed yesterday in the Golan Heights, and scores were injured in unarmed demonstrations across the West Bank quashed by Israel.

Israeli officials are busy pushing this story:  the protesters in the Golan Heights yesterday were pawns used by the Syrian regime to deflect attention from Syria’s own internal uprising, and besides, Israeli troops didn’t kill the demonstrators. Instead, according to the Israeli Defense Forces, “Soldiers fired ‘with precision’ at the bottom half of the bodies of the protesters…an initial IDF inquiry into Sunday’s events found that up to ten Syrian protesters had been killed when Molotov cocktails which the protesters had been throwing set off an anti-tank minefield.”

Of course, one should take the Syrian regime’s claims lightly as well, but the Israeli claims shouldn’t be taken at face value, either.  Max Blumenthal documents the Israeli spin here:

In the hours following the bloodshed, the Israeli response grew increasingly contorted. Army spokespeople claimed the demonstrators “were responsible for their own deaths,” claiming they stepped on landmines. No evidence of landmine deaths was provided by the unnamed military sources, only conjecture. Next, Israel turned to its favorite Syrian cut-out in Washington, Farid Ghadry, an AIPAC member and discredited “serial entrepreneur” who is widely regarded as the Syrian version of Ahmed Chalabi — Ghadry actually met Chalabi in Richard Perle’s living room. In a statement published on the website of his astro-turfed Reform Party of Syria, Ghadry claimed that the protesters at Quneitra were not actual Palestinian refugees, but impoverished “Syrian farmers” who had been paid $1000 each by the Assad regime just to show up, and $10,000 to die. Ghadry claimed he gleaned the information from “intelligence sources close to the Assad regime in Lebanon.”

Israeli military spokespeople appear to be pushing Ghadry’s press release, because the canard immediately showed up in a report by Yediot Aharnoth’s Hanan Greenberg, one of the many military correspondents in the Israeli media who dutifully report any claim by any flack in an olive uniform as though it were a substantiated fact. “Syrian Opposition: Anti-Israel Rioters paid $1000,” read the Yediot headline. But the story has not graduated beyond the pro-Israel blogosphere, probably because Ghadry and his shell of an opposition group — it is quite clearly a neocon front organization — have no credibility in Syria or anywhere else.

We also have the documented record of what Israel did on May 15, killing unarmed protesters demanding their right of return.  A Human Rights Watch report I highlighted here shows that Israeli snipers–the very same ones we are supposed to believe fired “with precision” yesterday–killed unarmed protesters along the Lebanon-Israel border.

The wild stories Israel is pushing that Blumenthal reports on, and the history of the Israeli response to unarmed Palestinian resistance, should make this clear at the very least:  the official Israeli story is one not to be trusted.  Videos posted by Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada here and here also show the violence Israel meted out yesterday.  In addition, as Abunimah put it, the Israeli Army’s chief of staff recently outlined a “new, more brutal doctrine against nonviolent protests.” But tell that to the U.S. media.

6 responses to “Israeli claims on Naksa killings need to be questioned

  1. Pingback: Israel spins the Naksa killings

  2. Pingback: A Bad Weekend to Live in Syria « بنسبة لنا

  3. The first reaction and reportage is to blame Israel for everything even in this case when we know what a brutal regime Syria is.
    Let’s remember the initial media response to the supposed massacre in Jenin eight years ago.
    The Israel demonisers drool at every opportunity to slam Israel, whilst the real perpetrators of crimes against humanity go on their merry way with hardly a whimper from the left and their media cohorts.

  4. The first reaction and reportage is to blame Israel for everything even in this case when we know what a brutal regime Syria is.
    Let’s remember the initial media response to the supposed massacre in Jenin eight years ago which was drummed up by the Israel bashing brigade.
    The Israel demonisers drool at every opportunity to slam Israel, whilst the real perpetrators of crimes against humanity go on their merry way with hardly a whimper from the left and their media cohorts.
    May the news about the protestors being paid by Syrian authorities, which is widely reported, turn out to be fact so there can be more mud on your anti-Zionist face.

  5. My partner posted a reasonable comment about this pack of lies that you are spewing. Of course you haven’t published it because you are not interested in facts and prefer to push you hate Israel bandwagon.
    A bit of self-reflection might prove revelatory.

  6. In a few months, Egypt, Syria, Libya and Yemen will be on fire from civil wars that will never end. Millions of Muslims will be killing each other.

    I know somehow, you will find a way to blame Jewish Republicans. But it won’t mater. The dead will be dead and living will die of starvation and disease.

    And the “Zionists” will NOT be killing each other.

    And Alex Kane’s parents will tell him it’s time to stop explaining the “Good Jews vs. Bad Jews” and get a job!!!!!

    All I have to say is, “Living well is the best revenge”.

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