Military whistleblower tells of ‘indiscriminate’ Israeli attacks By Donald Macintyre

16 September 2011 — The Independent

Troops fired tear gas during a curfew in a West Bank village to stop peaceful demonstrations


Palestinian protesters run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops in Nabi Saleh in January 2010 (Reuters)


Israeli troops fired tear gas indiscriminately and sometimes dangerously to enforce a daytime curfew inside a West Bank village to stop Palestinians holding a peaceful demonstration on their own land, a military whistleblower has told The Independent.

The soldier’s insight into the methods of troops comes as the Israeli military prepares for demonstrations predicted when the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submits an application for the recognition of statehood to the UN next week.

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9 August 9, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Last month, Media Lens examined an Independent interview with Tony Blair, “the international community’s Middle East envoy.” ( The interview was by Donald Macintyre, the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent. (‘Tony Blair: Former PM urges Israel to ease Gaza blockade‘, Independent, 4 June 2010;

We wrote in our alert:

“The whole tone of the Independent interview was uncritical and respectful; a bland and meek summation of the sincere and well-intentioned thoughts of a man with the blood of untold numbers of victims on his hands: men, women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan, the former Yugoslavia and, indeed, in Palestine itself.”

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20 July, 2010 MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Last month, the Independent carried an interview with Tony Blair, the former British prime minister and now “the international community’s Middle East envoy.” (Donald Macintyre, ‘Tony Blair: Former PM urges Israel to ease Gaza blockade‘, Independent, June 4, 2010;

Taken literally, the “international community” refers to the UN General Assembly, or perhaps to a majority of its members. But in media Newspeak, the term stands for the United States joined by its allies and clients. As Noam Chomsky has noted: “Accordingly, it is a logical impossibility for the United States to defy the international community.” (Chomsky, ‘The Crimes of “Intcom”’, Foreign Policy, September 2002;—.htm)

As for the “peace process” being facilitated by the “peace envoy”, Gideon Levy, a columnist in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, comments:

“The masked ball is at its peak: Preening each other, Obama and Netanyahu have proved that even their heavy layer of makeup can no longer hide the wrinkles. The worn-out, wizened old face of the longest ‘peace process’ in history has been awarded another surprising and incomprehensible extension. It’s on its way nowhere.” (Levy, ‘An excellent meeting‘, Haaretz, July 8, 2010;

This, Independent readers were told portentously, was Blair‘s first newspaper interview since the Israeli navy “halted” the Gaza peace flotilla. Questions were posed by Donald Macintyre, the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent since 2004 and, previously, its chief political commentator for eight years. (Macintyre, op.cit.)

Macintyre began by channelling Blair‘s call for “an easing of the ‘counterproductive’ blockade of Gaza” and a new “strategy” which “isolates the extremists and helps the people and not one that operates the other way round.”

Blair, the reporter told us, “stressed more than once that the world needed to understand Israel’s deep-seated security concerns and the fact that [Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit, who has been held for almost four years by Gaza militants, was a ‘huge issue’ for the Israeli public. Mr Blair again called for Sgt Shalit‘s release.”

Blair‘s sympathy for Israel’s security concerns was clear, and dutifully reflected in Macintyre’s piece:

“Mr Blair said the captivity of Sgt Shalit and the fact that ‘Hamas as an entity is hostile’ would be a ‘very difficult situation for any country’.”

Macintyre relayed Blair‘s assertion “that not enough international attention was paid to the fact that ‘the events that we see across TV screens are perceived completely differently in Israel, and people have got to understand that the pressure on [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu in respect of Gaza from many quarters is to be tougher’.”

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