In responding to a comment by one of our readers in the sexy Dershowitz post, I came across this BBC article describing the aftermath of the Jenin raid by the IDF in 2002. This is entirely relevant to the experience we’ve just had with the media coverage of Lebanon along with ongoing comments and reports from the UN and certain NGOs such as Amnesty. Also, since Michael and ck absolutely love it when I recycle comments, I’m going to do it again dear readers!!
…With respect to Jenin, what happened was that in March of 2002, the Palestinian suicide bombing orgy reached its apogee with 128 Israelis killed and hundreds murdered in that month. In April, the IDF re-entered Areas A which had been under PA control. By the way, these areas included 97-98% of the Palestinian population in the territories. One of the first places the IDF attacked was Jenin which had long been a center of terror activity against Israel. They first circled the town and sent out warning to civilians to evacuate. Of course, this gave time to the terrorists to prepare for the fight which is what they did. Most civilians did leave the area but Israel opted not to use artillery or air cover. Instead, they sent in ground troops. Over the next several days, there were pitched battles in which 30 Palestinian militants were killed, 20 Palestinian civilians were killed and 23 Israeli soldiers were killed. A dozen of those soldiers were killed in one attack that made the IDF understand that their attempt to act gingerly with Palestinian property had actuallly cost them lives. After that, they brought in bulldozers and simply cleared the area of houses which is how they won the battle and stopped losing soldiers’ lives.
Throughout the fighting, the PA (at the time it was Arafat’s PA) was telling the media that Israel was massacring large numbers of Palestinian civilians and this was reported by the international press which had no access into this area of Jenin. Of course, once the fighting ended, immediately after Jenin was re-opened, the press showed images of…destroyed buildings. The press went nuts, comparing it to Dresden, quoting Palestinian officials claiming that 3000 civilians had been killed (Arafat) or 500 (Erakat) had been killed. The Palestinians set up a sideshow of funerals, only it became apparent many of these were faked when an Israeli drone captured video footage of a “dead” person falling off a stretcher on the way to burial and then climbing back on quickly.
UN officials, NGOs and the press were waiting to get into the area of Jenin that was destroyed – and by the way, it was a small part of the town but was represented in the media as THE town (shades of Beirut in 2006, no?)- and once they entered, immediately announced that it had been a terrible massacre.
Here’s a BBC article covering the story.
Note the comments made by Amnesty’s international expert – a professor, no less – and the type of inflammatory language used by Terje Road-Larsen of the UN. Compare that to what is happening now in Lebanon as well as during the war. Then recognize that after all of this imagery, aggressive language and claims against Israel, the claim of massacres and unwarranted destruction, it came out that Israel killed more militants than civilians, that it lost half as many people as Palestinians were killed, that it had provided warnings to the detriment of its own soldiers AND STILL was vilified in terms likening the IDF to war criminals.
Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 20:01 GMT 21:01 UK
Jenin camp ‘horrific beyond belief’
A United Nations envoy has said that the devastation left by Israeli forces in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank is “horrific beyond belief”.
I think I can speak for all in the UN delegation in saying that we are shocked
Terje Roed-Larsen, who toured the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, said it was “morally repugnant” that Israel had not allowed emergency workers in for 11 days to provide humanitarian relief.
The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked the Security Council to consider sending an armed multinational force to the region, under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter which authorises military force to impose council decisions.
Palestinian spokesman Saeb Erekat called Mr Bush’s comments “a gift, a reward for Sharon’s policy of state terrorism and war crimes”.
The BBC’s correspondent said Mr Roed-Larsen was highly regarded in the region and his criticism would put more pressure on the Israelis to fully withdraw.
Palestinians claim hundreds of bodies are buried beneath the rubble, but Israel says the numbers of dead are far fewer. An independent forensic expert says evidence suggests that a massacre has taken place.
Mr Roed-Larsen said the top priority was to bring in search-and-rescue teams. The only rescue efforts currently under way are residents digging though the ruins looking for survivors.
“It is totally destroyed, it looks like an earthquake has hit it,” he said.
“I am watching two brothers pull their father from the ruins, the stench of death is horrible. We are seeing a 12-year-old boy being dug out, totally burned,” he said.
“We have expert people here who have been in war zones and earthquakes and they say they have never seen anything like it,” he added.
Mr Roed-Larsen, who is the UN’s Special Co-ordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, was visiting the camp with Red Cross and UN workers.
He added: “It is totally unacceptable that the government of Israel for 11 days did not allow search and rescue teams to come.”
Kofi Annan made his appeal for armed intervention at a closed session of the Security Council. Israeli spokesmen swiftly rejected it while Mr Erekat said it was the “right way to start fighting Israeli aggression”
Mr Annan said there was a need for a force large enough to take “decisive action” to end the deadly cycle of attacks.
The multinational force should be assembled by countries willing to supply troops and should have “a robust mandate,” he said, adding later, “I expect the United States to play an important role.”
Israel invaded the Jenin camp on 3 April, saying it was a hotbed of Palestinian militancy and declaring it a closed military zone.
Palestinian claims of an Israeli massacre in the camp have been denied, although British forensic expert Prof Derrick Pounder has said that the evidence points to large numbers of civilian dead.
Prof Pounder is part of an Amnesty International team granted access to Jenin.
Amazing, huh? Israel gets attacked brutally, decides to fight back, does so in a moral way even at the cost of lives and limbs of its soldiers, and then you get the BBC, the UN, Annan, the need for an international force under Title VII, Amnesty International and the Red Cross appearing in a story – with a picture of Dresden-like ruins – all suggesting very strongly that Israel has committed unbelievable and unacceptable atrocities. AND IT’S ALL A LIE!
Talk about shades of Lebanon. Talk about a deeply ingrained desire to vilify Israel, so deep in fact that you see a consistency years apart and battles apart where all the same players refuse to learn from their other set of errors.
Forgive my cynicism, but it seems to me that Hizbullah is simply using tactics that were already effectively used by the Palestinians some years ago. The international press, the UN and these NGOs should be ashamed of themselves.