Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fabricating the silence: Anonymous, selective, partial testimony and its deadly impact

...A small cell of political activists, hiding behind context-free "testimony" by nameless people, pretending to be oppressed and reviled and deprived of a spotlight and a microphone by cruel, monolithic Israeli society are in reality free to publicize documented and verifiable allegations all day long without the smallest danger of paying a legal or moral or any other price (other than perhaps the danger of seeing their lavish funding from foreign sources dry up). Pick up any edition of the daily newspaper Haaretz to confirm that. To paraphrase what the editors of the Italian newspaper Il Foglio wrote back in 2010, in reality the largest risk taken by the Breaking the Silence heroes is of arriving late at their Tel Aviv café.

Tending to the wounded: IDF infantry in Gaza
during Operation Protective Shield, July 2014

[Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
15 May '15..

When an Israeli political activism group, generally identified as belonging to the far left in Israeli terms, published a report based on its own research into aspects of how Israel's military conducted last summer's Operation Protective Edge battle against the rocket-rich Gaza Strip and the Hamas regime ensconced there, it made major headlines.

The "Breaking the Silence" report - online here on the group's website - received very significant coverage across a swathe of influential news channels including the  Washington PostDie Welt,New York TimesBBCTelegraph UKNPRThe Guardian, and Sydney Morning Herald.

We don't intend to take the report to pieces. Several excellent critiques of the BtS report have already been published by, among others,  CAMERAThe Tower, and Matti Friedman on the Mosaic Magazine site. What we do feel needs highlighting is the answer to two key questions:

1. Given its obvious weaknesses and limitations, how did this BtS document get such extraordinary funding?

2. And how, despite the flaws, did the BtS allegations get treated with such seriousness and be granted credibility of the highest order?

(Continue Reading)

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