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Isolated Vandalism Ain't a War Crime
Danny Zamir, the soldier at the heart of the controversy surrounding alleged IDF war crimes in Gaza spoke publicly for the first time.
In a Jerusalem Post op-ed, he writes that a non-story was spun way out of proportion by an over-eager MSM:
It was as if the media were altogether so eager to find reason to criticize the IDF that they pounced on one discussion by nine soldiers who met after returning from the battlefield to share their experiences and subjective feelings with each other, using that one episode to draw conclusions that felt more like an indictment. Dogma replaced balance and led to a dangerous misunderstanding of the depth and complexity of Israeli reality.
Read the whole commentary. In a separate article, Zamir talked to columnist Herb Keinon:
Zamir said he had no way of knowing whether the alleged shooting incidents ever took place, though he felt isolated incidents of vandalism described by soldiers did occur.
"I think that some of the acts of vandalism inside homes were done, but you have to put it in context. That doesn't turn them into war criminals," he said . . . .
Zamir said that what disturbed him the most was an article in The New York Times under the headline "A religious war in Israel's army," which left the impression that a veritable kulturkampf between religious and secular soldiers was under way.
As for his Zamir's background as an IDF refusenik, Keinon raises eyebrows, writing:
A 2004 book entitled Refusnik: Israel's Soldiers of Conscience, compiled and edited by Peretz Kidron, contains words Zamir wrote at the time explaining his decision.
Zamir said Monday that until the recent events, he did not even know that he had appeared in that book.
"They took something I wrote in 1990 and included it," he said. "They didn't ask me, and I didn't know about it."
He explained that "that was before Oslo, and I thought that Israel was using methods that were not in keeping with the Jewish and democratic nature of the state. Since 1992 I have made it clear that there is no rationale for refusing to serve, and I believe that to this day."
I don't expect Zamir's comments to generate anything close to the headlines associated with the original bogus accusations. The MSM has demonized Israel yet again.
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