Stop the lying! By: B. Michael

[Here is an article that was published in Hebrew in Yedioth Aharonoth, Israel’s largest circulation newspaper. “Stop the Lying,” By B. Michel, Yedioth Aharonoth, September 5, 2008. To my knowledge It was not published in English on Yedioth Aharonoth’s English internet site YNews. B. Michael is one of Israel’s most respected journalists. It was translated by George Malent and published by the Israeli peace activist publication Occupation Magazine. Here is a quote from the article. “Everybody knows they all lie. And they all lie under oath. Because that’s the procedure.” If only the North American press would report what is written in the Israeli press. — Ed Corrigan]



Yedioth Aharonoth 5 September 2008 Translated from Hebrew by George Malentts, that buy with such casual indifference all the nonsense on offer from the army, the police and the ISA? Clearly they have all gone too far. In order to avoid confusion, we will place each under a separate heading.

Let us start with the army.

We will not once again delve into its systematic “deep lies”. Like the “Civil Administration”, which is nothing but a tyrannical military government with all that implies. Like the shady collaboration between the army and the “hilltop” thugs. Like the routine abuse by soldiers against passers-by, just for the sake of entertainment and relief of stress. Like the scandalous military policies that for year now have prevented any serious investigation into the killing of hundreds of innocent people by soldiers’ gunfire.

All the above has been known for years. It wasn’t those cold noodles that strains one’s patience to the breaking-point. So what did it?

It would seem that the first thing was the episode of the battalion commander who ordered the shooting of a bound man. First of all, the commander lied. That was his default response, and if the incident had not been filmed the system around him would have joined in the lying. And why not? Mendacity long ago became the reflexive first response of the army. Only after filming or stubborn investigations reveal the facts, is the army forced to consider the option of truth. That lie was still hovering in the air, and along comes the story of the emotionally-disturbed man from Ni’lin village. Soldiers shot him. He was gravely wounded. Quick as a flash, within a few hours, the army produced an exculpatory “investigation”: “the wounded man tried to grab a soldier’s gun”.

The army’s version is baseless. Film and testimony prove that the man was standing on a balcony and was shot from the street. He didn’t try to grab anything. He just yelled abuse, and thereby upset the sensitive honour-glands of the young men with rifles. But the army stuck to its story. Everything’s OK. Why, what happened? Another Arabush that got a rubber bullet to the head, that’s all.

Everybody knows they all lie. And they all lie under oath. Because that’s the procedure.

Never mind me, a stinking leftist consumed by self-hatred, but what about the commander of the army? Is not General Ashkenazi, as has been made clear more than once, a man who knows how to turn his gaze towards the truth? Is he too not fed up with this culture of lying? Does he not know that this mendacity is rotting his army?

Now let us move on to the police.

About a month ago a man and his wife, he a doctor and she an art lecturer, left a theatre in Jerusalem. A police car was blocking the street, and the policeman who had come in it was busy writing parking tickets. A fairly familiar scene. After all, everything is permitted for police cars. The woman mockingly clapped her hands and declared: “all honour to the police”. Can a worse crime be imagined? To mock a diligent writer of tickets, in the middle of his fruitful shift?

Quick as a flash the woman was violently shoved into the police car, handcuffed and taken to the police station. With brutality, threats, and savagery, the husband received no less. Quite the crime family.

This week the couple received word that the Police Investigations Unit has closed the file. But what? “The complainant prevented [the officer] from writing tickets … attacked an officer … insulted …”. Can anyone have any doubt about what really happened there? Who is lying and who is not? But the Police Investigations Unit, the official launderer of the Israel Police, did its duty well. Mendacity won the day again.

Let us proceed. A distraught woman went to a police station to report that her 15-year-old daughter was missing. She left the station battered, bleeding and with a broken hand. Her emotional behaviour had apparently not pleased the police officers. So they neutralized her with blows. “She screamed, attacked a policewoman, tore the file …”, report the police. As usual. Those violent citizens always attack our poor persecuted police.

The perfidious PIU is investigating again. And who will be surprised if this file too is closed expeditiously?

And let us conclude with the ISA.

Ah, the ISA. An entire book could be written on the artistry of the ISA’s mendacity. From the Bus 300 affair* to Tali Fahima. From the despicable use of the courts and hospitals to take revenge on those who refuse to collaborate, to all those ludicrous “al-Qaeda cells” that suddenly pop up among the Israeli citizenry as if on order. Below is a tiny sample from recent days: two gardeners working for the Jerusalem Municipality were savagely beaten by guards of the Prime Minister’s Residence. Those wearers of sunglasses and loose-fitting shirts were apparently offended when the gardeners asked them to identify themselves. The guards, incidentally, are obliged to identify themselves before they accost passers-by.

One of the gardeners was hospitalized in serious condition. The guards are undisturbed. They most likely marketed one of the accepted bluffs (“suspicious behaviour, obstruction, insolence” and suchlike nonsense), which will surely be immediately embraced by their employers. Perfidy will prevail again.

And another patient in grave condition has been defined as a “security risk”. He was forbidden to go to a hospital to receive treatment. Another baseless lie. One of the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of lies that are part of the routine work of the secret security police. And that one is not being investigated at all, not even for appearance’s sake.

Well – our patience has run out again, and once again our frustration has been alleviated with a few angry words.

You can go back to sleep now.

* In 1984 an Israeli bus that was operating on line 300, from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon, was hijacked by a group of four armed Palestinians. Two of the Palestinians were subsequently extra-judicially executed by a Shin Bet agent. The affair came to light when photographs were published of two of the Palestinians alive in Israeli custody, whom the Israeli authorities had announced were killed by gunfire, along with the other two Palestinian hijackers, when the bus was stormed by Israeli soldiers – trans.

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