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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘media’

Israel and Facebook to Work Against Social Media Based Terrorism

Monday, September 12th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan met with the international directors of Facebook Monday to discuss rampant incitement on the social network.

“Israel is at the forefront of combating terrorism on all fronts, including the internet front,” said Shaked. “In my view, Facebook and other social networks can do much more in the war against incitement.”

The two Israeli ministers traveled to the United States and met with Joel Kaplan, Vice President of Public Policy and Monika Bickert, head of the Global Policy department at Facebook.

Erdan and Shaked discussed the widespread use of the social network to motivate and encourage terrorist activity, stressing that the latest wave of terror attacks known as “lone-wolf” attacks was directly connected to online incitement. The ministers asked the Facebook management team to remove incitement-filled material within 24 hours of its publication, similar to the website’s policy in European Union countries.

According to a spokesperson with the Ministry of Public Security, the sides agreed to establish task forces to collaborate on combating the proliferation of incitement on social media.

Facebook previously commented to Tazpit Press Service that the company “wants people to feel safe when using Facebook. There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

The Accelerating Erosion of the Post-Zionist Hebrew Media

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Word from Jerusalem}

Haaretz, Israel’s oldest Hebrew daily newspaper, was established in 1918 by a group of left-leaning businessmen. In 1937, Salman Schocken bought the newspaper and it was edited by his son Gershom until his death in 1990.

Although its circulation was never high when compared to the tabloids Maariv and Yedioth Ahronoth, it has for many years been regarded as the most influential intellectual newspaper in Israel with its readership including leading political and economic elites. It was considered a liberal newspaper although its economic section was conservative, and it published many outstanding feature articles.

After Gershom died, his son Amos assumed the role of chairman, CEO and publisher. In August 2006, 25% of the shares of Haaretz were sold to the German publisher M. DuMont Schauberg, whose father was a Nazi party member and whose publishing enterprises promoted Nazi ideology.

Although he passionately denies being post-Zionist, Amos imposed his radical left-wing ideology onto the newspaper which has now been transformed into a vehicle that provides much of the anti-Israeli sentiment and even anti-Semitic lies and distortions that are a boon to our adversaries.

It is difficult to comprehend the depths to which this once highly regarded newspaper has descended. There are still a number of level-headed commentators, such as Ari Shavit and Shlomo Avineri, and occasional “fig leaf” conservative columns contributed by Moshe Arens and Israel Harel. But the opinion section is overwhelmingly dominated by delusional anti-Zionists such as Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, who promote the idea that Israel was born in sin. Levy repeatedly reiterates that Israel is one of the world’s most brutal and tyrannical regimes in existence today and repeatedly accuses the Jewish state of being an apartheid state. Even publisher Schocken wrote a column titled “Only international pressure will end Israel apartheid.”

These demonic views of their own country would be more appropriate for publication in the Palestinian media than in an Israeli newspaper.

Furthermore, even the reporting became as opinionated as op-ed articles, frequently totally distorting news events and placing Israel in the worst possible light. The reporting has also become selective in its news coverage, a prime example being the suppressed coverage of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s alleged corruption, in order not to create problems for the Gaza disengagement.

If Haaretz was restricted to an Israeli audience, its impact would be minimal as it has a small circulation and few Israelis are influenced by what it publishes.

The real problem is the English language edition and its internet site, which is monitored by diplomats and reproduced by the global media. It serves to demonize and delegitimize Israel to countless internet readers throughout the world who are under the illusion that they are reading a reputable liberal Israeli newspaper. Pro-Israel Diaspora activists who would normally have protested the bias and even the anti-Semitic slant of anti-Israeli media outlets, have been confronted by editors who defended their approach on the grounds that it reflected the editorial policies of a respected daily Israeli newspaper.

The damage is incalculable. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that in recent years, the newspaper has caused more harm to the image of Israel than the combined efforts of our adversaries. Nothing demonstrates this more than the front-page headlines in 2009 based upon unsubstantiated evidence from the discredited Breaking the Silence group which first promoted the lie that Israeli soldiers were committing war crimes.

After successive days in which Haaretz highlighted this blood libel, the IDF chief military advocate general released a report describing the accusations as “categorically false.” Instead of apologizing and expressing remorse, Haaretz responded sarcastically, suggesting that while the report showed the IDF to be “pure as snow,” implying that the accusers —fighters and commanders from some of its best combat units — were a bunch of liars and exaggerators.

Despite the unequivocal repudiation of these false allegations, the damage was done. The global media enthusiastically highlighted the news from the “influential” Israeli newspaper. This paved the way for subsequent allegations of Israeli war crimes, culminating in the now discredited Goldstone report, which remains a central feature of the defamation leveled against us by our adversaries.

In this context, it should be mentioned that the recently appointed editor of the English edition, Noa Landau, is the life partner of Avner Gvaryahu, one of the most vocal and vicious activist leaders of Breaking the Silence.

Another notable example was the 2014 Haaretz Conference held in New York, where in deference to Palestinian Authority spokesman Saeb Erekat, who addressed the conference, the Israeli flag was removed from the podium.

The situation has continued to deteriorate, with more readers canceling subscriptions, even including many prominent left-wing supporters who can no longer tolerate the ever increasing anti-Israel hysteria that fills the pages of the paper.

Irit Linur, a liberal columnist for the weekend edition, wrote to Schocken, “I feel that the State of Israel fundamentally revolts you. … I don’t want to subscribe to a newspaper that tries in every way to make me ashamed of my Zionism, my patriotism and my intelligence — three qualities that are most precious to me.”

Uzi Baram, also a respected leftist, wrote a column stating that even left-wing readers don’t want to read a newspaper “that is ashamed of its Zionism and which believes that without boycott from abroad, Israel has no chance of changing its position.”

The harshest blow came from liberal American journalist icon Jeffrey Goldberg, who is regarded as the principal media source used by U.S. President Barack Obama in relation to Israel and Jewish affairs. Goldberg erupted after two American Jewish historians published an article in Haaretz accusing the U.N. of establishing a Jewish racist state that is today an extension of Western colonialism. They proudly announced that they would never set foot in any synagogue that supported Israel.

Goldberg also responded to a recent Levy op-ed titled “Yes, Israel is an evil state” – which described Israel as an entity based on “pure evil. Sadistic evil. Evil for its own sake”. He announced that he was canceling his subscription, tweeting that “when neo-Nazis are emailing me links to Haaretz op-eds declaring Israel to be evil, I’m going to take a break.” He also noted that “I can read anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli things like this on other websites. There really no need for an Israeli website like this.”

Sadly, Schocken’s delusional response was predictable. He expressed regret that the critics failed to recognize that, far from being a post-Zionist, he would not be deterred from ensuring that Haaretz maintained a Zionist program. Having had a lengthy personal discussion with Schocken on this theme, I can state with confidence that he is genuinely convinced that he is on the side of the angels and does not appreciate the immense harm that Haaretz’s anti-Israel demonization, delegitimization and political agenda have inflicted upon us abroad. Nor does he recognize the extent to which Haaretz has divorced itself from any semblance of political reality in terms of the nation.

Isi Leibler

Mainstream Media Coverage of Trump’s ISIS Comments Is Psychotically Literal

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blog, The Lid}

On Wednesday and Thursday Donald Trump repeatedly called President Barack Obama the “founder” of ISIS and labeled Hillary Clinton the “co-founder.” The liberal mainstream media took this comment literally as if the Republican candidate meant that Obama and Trump recruited the first members, invented the group handshake, and bought chocolate chip cookies and punch for the initial meetings. Of course he didn’t mean it literally. But that is not Trump’s problem, according to medical experts taking things too literally (like the media does with Trump) is a sign of psychosis.

According to Health Central:

A psychotic person may be incapable of answering a question directly or sticking to one topic. Psychotic people may also stop talking in mid-sentence and abruptly fall silent. Another clue to psychosis is an excess of literal or concrete thinking, such as that shown in the patient who, upon being asked what was on his mind, replied, “My skull.”

Trump said at a National Association of Home Builders event on Thursday morning, “I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They are the founders.”

He added:

“In fact, I think we will give Hillary Clinton, you know if you’re on a sports team, Most Valuable Player, MVP,” Trump said. “ISIS will hand her the Most Valuable Player award. Her only competition is Obama, between the two of them.”

He made similar accusations on Wednesday night.

The mainstream media answered the Republican’s charge with exhibiting their psychosis by being literal. For example, Philip Bump of the Washington Post started his Thursday column with:

The militant group, which started referring to itself as the Islamic State three years ago, was formed in 2002 by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to the Mapping Militants project at Stanford University. Originally called Jama’at al-Tawhid wa’l Jihad, it joined al-Qaeda to form al-Qaeda in Iraq — and then, in 2013, split from al-Qaeda to become the Islamic State.

Josh Voorhees of Slate provided another example of this mainstream media literal psychosis:

“Donald Trump is Donald Trump–ing again. Speaking at a campaign rally on Wednesday night, he suggested President Obama actually created the Islamic State terror group. “In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama,” Trump said in Florida. “He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.” Then for good measure, the GOP nominee worked his general election rival into the nonsensical myth. “I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”

It’s not totally surprising to hear such an idea from Trump, who has previously claimed that Clinton had a founding role in the creation of ISIS and suggested that Obama is somehow sympathetic to the terror group. If you wanted to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, an overly generous reading of his comments would be something like, President Obama and his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy decisions in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere have contributed to the rise of ISIS. Trump, after all, has offered similar criticism in the past, albeit in less coherent terms. But that is not what Trump said on Wednesday—and, much more importantly, also not what he wanted voters to hear, as the candidate himself has since made clear.

Donald Trump appeared on Thursday’s Hugh Hewitt Show and explained what the non-psychotic people already knew. Trump explained to the host that the way Obama/Hillary got us out of Iraq was instrumental on the founding of ISIS.

In a similar interview with CNBC on Thursday morning, Trump said Obama was “absolutely” the founder of ISIS.

“The way he removed our troops,” Trump said, apparently referencing the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Iraq by 2011. “I, you — we shouldn’t have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq.”

Many of the senior military people involved with the war on terror, also blame the growth of ISIS on the way the Obama/Clinton administration withdrew from Iraq. Other military experts agree:

Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno was the top commander in Iraq in the post-troop-surge era that all but eliminated al Qaeda’s vicious franchise. When the last troops went home in December 2011, he sat among the Joint Chiefs as theArmy’s chief of staff, his current position. Gen. Odierno recently told Fox News: “If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have been prevented. I’ve always believed the United States played the role of honest broker between all the groups, and when we pulled ourselves out, we lost that role.” He had recommended keeping 35,000 troops in place in 2011. “I think it would have been good for us to stay,” he said.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, a commander in Iraq’s Anbar province, in his July 9 confirmation hearing to be the next Joint Chiefs chairman, differed with those who said the U.S. had no choice but to leave because Iraq’s prime minister was not meeting U.S. demands. “I’m not sure I’d say that that meant we had no option to stay,” he told the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Former Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos spoke to the Brookings Institute and said. “I have a hard time believing that, had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today,” he said. “We may think we’re done with all of these nasty, thorny, tacky little things that are going on around the world — and I’d argue that if you’re in that nation, it’s not a tacky, little thing for you. We may think we’re done with them, but they’re not done with us,” said Gen. Amos, who was a few months away from retirement at that time.

Marine Gen. James Mattis headed U.S. Central Command during the pullout. When asked at a 2013 hearing if a residual force could have made a difference in Iraq, he said it was unclear. But after he retired he appeared in January before the same Senate Committee on Armed Services and offered a clearer opinion. “I would tell you that the military, the senior military officers, we all explained that the successes we’d achieved by 2010-2011 were — and this is a quote — ‘reversible,’ that the democratic processes and the military capability were too nascent to pull everyone out at one time,” Gen. Mattis testified.

Leon E. Panetta, the defense secretary at the time of the Iraq withdrawal, told “60 Minutes” on CBS the exit was a mistake. He said that as the American flag was wrapped up for the trip home, he was not confident it was the right move. “I really thought it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq, and the decision was we ought to at least try to maintain [8,000] to 10,000 U.S. troops there, plus keeping some of our intelligence personnel in place to be able to continue the momentum in the right direction,” Mr. Panetta said.

Michael Rubin, a military analyst at the American Enterprise Institute said, “There is consensus among military practitioners — traditionally, the last people in the world who want to go to war — that leaving Iraq was a mistake,” Mr. Rubin said. “The question now is whether potential candidates from both parties are content to simply blame the mess on Obama, or whether they are prepared to do something about it.

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane was a key architect of the Iraq troop surge, which replaced a strategy of U.S. warriors being generally confined to bases while the Iraqis were being trained to take over. Today, he is one of the most vocal critics of the decision to leave, as he saw all the gains made in 2007 to 2011 washed away in a wave of Islamic State terrorists taking territory and committing mass killings. “As we pulled out of Iraq in 2011, just think of this: We had all our intelligence capability there. We knew where the enemy was. We were flying drones. We’re tracking them. We have signals intelligence pouring in, eavesdropping on phone conversations and the rest of it. We’re using our counterterrorism forces to bang against these guys. We’re passing that to the Iraqis so their commandos can do the same,” Mr. Keane told The Washington Times in a 2014 interview. “On a given day in 2011, that screen went blank. The Iraqis went from a significant amount of intelligence on what was taking place, and the screen just went blank.”

Note the quotes above were first published by the Washington Times.

It seems that the mainstream media has become so tied up in their underwear, rushing to trash Trump that they’re having psychotic episodes. If they could ever get beyond their literal tendencies they would not only understand what Trump was really saying, but they would also know that he is speaking the truth.

Jeff Dunetz

Notwithstanding Islamist Terror Surge, Europe’s Media Outlets Still Sanitize Coverage

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Beginning with the bloody July 14 Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France, that left 84 people dead, Western Europe has seen an unrelenting wave of violence mainly perpetrated by individuals with connections to or sympathies with the Islamic State terror group.

These attacks on European soil are now occurring with a near daily frequency, with five different lone-wolf shooting and stabbing terror attacks in Germany in late July, at least three of which were claimed by Islamic State, as well as the slaying of a Catholic priest in northern France on July 26.

European media outlets, however, continue to be extremely selective in the way they report on the violence.

After the attack in Nice, the BBC tweeted an article titled “France’s President Holland returns to Paris for crisis meeting for Nice lorry ‘attack.’ ” That headline, which used quotation marks to cast doubt on whether the incident was a deliberate attack and did not use the word “terror,” was followed by headlines from the BBC and other European news organizations such as “Syrian migrant dies in German blast,” and “Bomb-carrying Syrian dies outside German music festival; 12 wounded.”

In June, JNS reported that many international media outlets initially reported misleading information about the attack at the Sarona market in Tel Aviv and in some cases not describing the shooting as terrorism.

Representatives from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in France and Germany indicated to JNS that after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the French media devised a comprehensive map of Islamist terrorist attacks that had taken place across the world. Twenty countries were affected between the November 13 attacks in Paris and the Brussels attack, but Israel was not included.

In addition, they said, when it comes to news coverage of terror in Israel, and at times with regard to terror attacks in Europe, there is often short-lived public outrage and sparse political consequences. Media headlines on occasion reflect a reluctance to call terror by name, instead trivializing the severity of the attacks and obscuring the motives of the perpetrators by referring to problems with depression or mental illness.

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, told JNS that when these terror attacks occur there is a tendency on the part of European news organizations to “be careful and not jump to conclusions” and “play down the obvious connection” to radical Islamic terrorism.

Although Europeans try to differentiate between individual “bad apple” perpetrators and the whole Muslim community, “opinion polls and studies suggest that a considerable segment of the Muslim community shares at least some radical ideas and values,” Schwammenthal said.

While Schwammenthal characterized the motive to “protect innocent Muslims from hostility” as “noble,” he believes it can have unforeseen consequences.

“People are obviously making a connection between radical Islam and terrorism,” he says, but they see this attempt in the media and by some political leaders “to obfuscate or play down” the connection.

“I’m afraid it may make people much more likely to turn to [extreme right or populist] radical parties,” he said.

He acknowledged that this “tendency to blame society at large rather than individual” is “of course much worse when it comes to European media coverage of the terror situation in Israel.”

Analysis by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and from BBCWatch has shown that articles and headlines misrepresenting terror attacks in this manner are much more frequent when they’re perpetrated by Palestinians in Israel.

CAMERA analyst Marcelo Wio, who analyzed Spanish media as an example, said that “in Spanish, to refer to terror attacks we have a special term: ‘atentado terrorista.’ So atentado is a word that immediately makes a reader think terrorism. This word is almost never used in for Palestinian attacks. Only when unavoidable.”

Alina Dain Sharon

Turkey Escalates Media Crackdown in Wake of Failed Coup

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Two advocacy groups, NY based Committee to Protect Journalists, and DC based Freedom House, on Wednesday sounded an alarm about the arrests of more than a dozen Turkish journalists since the weekend, and the shutting down of dozens of media outlets by the Turkish government. The move was given a single, unified reasoning: all these individuals and outlets are accused of being affiliated with dissident Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who is living in exile in Philadelphia but, according to the Edrogan government was behind the recent military coup attempt.

CPJ Europe and Central Asia program coordinator Nina Ognianova told the Voice of America: “We’re obviously extremely concerned about the developments, particularly against journalists, but this sort of behavior from the government is nothing new. For months, the Turkish authorities have gone after journalists who were critical of their policies. It’s escalated now and in the post-coup period.”

News outlets in Turkey reported on Wednesday that the Turkish government had ordered the closing of 45 newspapers, 23 radio stations, 16 TV channels and three news agencies. An Istanbul prosecutor issued detention warrants for 47 former employees and executives of Zaman, a media group accused of links to Gulen.

Journalist and former parliamentarian Nazlı Ilıcak, who was on the Zaman detention warrant, was arrested in the Bodrum district of the Aegean province of Mugla early on July 26. She was pulled out of her car and taken to the Bodrum Police Station, and then sent to Istanbul for legal actions.

Five other journalists: Yakup Sağlam, İbrahim Balta, Seyit Kılıç, Bayram Kaya and Cihan Acar, have also been detained so far, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Freedom House official Nate Schenkkan told VOA that unofficial lists circulating on pro-government social media sites suggest at least 150 other journalists could be targeted, many of whom may have no ties to Gulen.

State Department spokesman John Kirby voiced the US concern about press freedom in Turkey: “I think we’d see this as a continuation of … a troubling trend in Turkey where official bodies, law enforcement and judicial, are being used to discourage legitimate political discourse.”

The crackdown on Turkish media dates back to December 2013, when Turkish prosecutors launched a massive corruption investigation of associates of then-Prime Minister Erdogan, which resulted in a government backlash and mass arrests of journalist. Since 2013, Freedom House has set Turkey’s press freedom status a at 71 out of 100, with 100 being the worst. This shameful score is certainly going to be increased soon.

David Israel

Olympic Committee Rejects Media Watchdog’s Call to Ban Palestine Olympic Committee Head Rajoub

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Palestinian Media Watch has called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, from all activities and events related to the Olympics, and demanded his removal from his position in the Olympic organization. In a comprehensive report, PMW has documented that Rajoub has consistently supported terror and even incited to murder. The report includes documentation of Rajoub’s support for attacks during the recent terror wave (2015-2016); his use of his title as Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee when glorifying terror; and his prohibiting of Palestinians from participating in peace building sports activities with Israelis.

“As an overt supporter of Palestinian terrorism, Rajoub represents the antithesis of Olympic values,” PMW argues. “At a time when terror is being fought throughout the world, permitting Rajoub to participate in Olympic Committee activities and events disgraces the International Olympic Committee and the entire Olympics community.”

“Rajoub’s statements and activities are diametrically opposed to the positive values that the Olympic Games stand for, among them ‘to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace,'” PMW added, suggesting that “as the 2016 Olympic Games approach, it is unthinkable that a person who glorifies and encourages murder of civilians should disgrace the Olympics by serving as a recognized Olympic official.”

The Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of the International Olympic Committee, Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, wrote in a response to the complaint that Rajoub is acceptable to the International Olympic Committee because the complaint was based on documentation that was two years old or more, and because Rajoub had not used his title as Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee when glorifying terror. He stated further that the International Olympic Committee “understood” that the Palestine Olympic Committee, headed by Rajoub, is working to “improve relations between the two countries [PA and Israel] through sport.”

On October 3, 2015, Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi attacked an Israeli family on their way to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Halabi first stabbed the father to death and then stabbed and killed another Israeli man who tried to help the family. Halabi then stabbed and injured the mother and the two-year-old baby before he was shot and killed by police.

Just a month later, Jibril Rajoub, in his capacity of Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, decided to honor Halabi’s act of murder by naming a sporting event after him. The text on the banner of the event, which also showed two pictures of the murderer Halabi, displayed Rajoub’s decision to endorse the brutal killing:

“Under patronage of the leader Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestine Olympic Committee. Palestine Cup – Martyr Muhannad Halabi Table Tennis Tournament 2015.”

Rajoub’s decision to honor this terrorist murderer was not an exception but is typical of Rajoub, who is an outspoken terror supporter, even while using his title as Palestine Olympic Committee Chairman, PMW insists, noting that during the wave of Palestinian terror attacks in 2015-2016, which was characterized by hundreds of terrorist stabbings, shootings and car rammings, Rajoub was a leading supporter of the terror, publicly blessing terrorist murderers on TV and encouraging them to kill more Israelis.

PMW states in a press release that Rajoub’s incitement to murder was calculated and precise, defining some targets while rejecting others. For example, he rejected suicide bombings on buses in Tel Aviv because “the international community does not agree to a bus exploding in Tel Aviv,” and explicitly stated that “we want to fight in a way that the world and the international community will remain by our side.” He urged the terrorists to Kill Israelis in a politically acceptable fashion, so that the “international community will remain by our side.”

In addition to his role as chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Rajoub holds the titles of Deputy Secretary of the PLO Central Committee (headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas), Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, and Head of the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth. In these roles, Rajoub not only supports terror and murder of civilians, he actively counters the spirit of Olympic sports by prohibiting peacebuilding sports activities between Arabs and Israelis. Following the 2014 Gaza War, Rajoub condemned a successful peacebuilding event between Israeli and Arab youth sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace as a “crime against humanity.”

JNi.Media

Shooting Medic to Prosecutor: ‘They Threw Me to the Dogs Because of their Fear of the Media’

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Sergeant Elor Azaria on Monday faced cross examination by the Military Prosecutor, Lieutenant-General (Ret) Nadav Weisman, and from the start accused his company commander of being a liar, and his battalion commander of forgetting things.

The cross examination began with a question from Weissman, one of Israel’s top litigators who has been conscripted by a military eager to convict its own soldier, regarding Azaria’s own assertion the day before, that his company commander, Major Tom Naaman, had slapped him. “Did you review the videos from your interrogation?” Weisman asked. Azaria said he didn’t. “In the video you are asked if Tom was angry at you and you answered No. How can a company commander slap you twice and you don’t report it?”

Azaria answered: “My latest version is the truth. Witnesses have forgotten to say a few things here.” As the prosecutor pressured him, he elaborated: “I don’t know why the paramedic testified the way she did. As I was hearing the testimonies I recalled images from the incident. I don’t think that the soldier who testified for the defense is a liar.”

The prosecutor went down the list of witnesses against Azaria and asked if they were all liars. “Absolutely,” the defendant answered, “the company commander is a false witness. A big part of the battalion commander’s testimony didn’t reflect everything that happened. I can’t say the that battalion commander is a liar, but on some of the things he lied. He forgot to say a few things… As to being slapped, absolutely the company commander slapped me in the field and I’m still under psychological care [as a result].”

The prosecutor accused Azaria of inventing the slaps, Azaria said he was in shock after the incident and that’s why he didn’t report the slaps at the time.

When Weisman told him, “In front of the battalion commander and your attorneys you first said the company commander told you, Let this stay between us, but you didn’t mention the slaps. And suddenly you added them.” Azaria answered, “I recalled only parts of the event.” At which point the judge interfered and asked Azaria, “When your company commander tells you to keep this between you, what did he mean?” Azaria answered: “My entire treatment throughout the event. He probably knew he made a mistake with me when he screamed without trying to understand why I did it. On the way to the trial he also told me, ‘Say that you’re sorry and it’ll be OK, you know I love you.’ His behavior towards me wasn’t good and he wanted to come out good.” The Judge asked, “Good with whom?” and Azaria answered, “With the whole event.”

Azaria testified that he was asked to remove the body of the dead terrorist, which he said shocked him. “The company commander told me, Good luck, pick up the terrorist’s brains.”

He also said, “They took me to court to appease the world and the media. I felt betrayed. The company commander humiliated me. Meanwhile I’m hearing the defense minister (Yaalon) and the chief of staff condemning me and not even waiting until the end of the process, to hear my version of things, and they come out with announcements. I’ve lost my entire faith in the IDF brass and the defense minister. They threw me to the dogs because of their fear of the media.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shooting-medic-to-prosecutor-they-threw-me-to-the-dogs-because-of-their-fear-of-the-media/2016/07/25/

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