The story in yesterday’s news story in the Times on the killing of Samir Kuntar left scarcely any doubt that the attack was almost certainly carried out by Israel. For example, the story quoted the ever-so-coy, boastful, and smug comment by a retired Israeli general: “There is no doubt that whoever did it — this is a capability that is limited to a very small number of powers, states that can get to such capabilities, which begin with the level of very, very exact intelligence…When asked if Israel had those capabilities, he responded: “Israel is one of the leaders. And that is an understatement.” Even more directly, the Times story said that “Saturday’s attack, according to military analysts, was probably a so-called standoff strike, with four or five rockets fired by Israeli warplanes that did not cross into Syrian airspace.”
Of course, Kuntar wasn’t the only one killed in the attack, which leveled a five-story residential building in Damascus. As reported in yesterday’s story:“Footage on Syrian television showed a blackened, smashed building, with men furiously digging through the rubble with their hands….Residents interviewed on Syrian state television said that they had seen the bodies of women and children, and Syria’s information minister, Omran al-Zoubi, told Al Manar, the official government channel, that the building had been home to families. The claims could not be independently verified, but the neighborhood is extremely crowded; its population has more than doubled by people displaced from other parts of Syria.”
In short, many civilians were also killed. Surely, one would think, there would be a follow-up story in today’s Times, on the matter. Not a word. Worse, the Times didn’t think it worthy of mention that Israel has a long record of assassinating its enemies by tracking them to apartment houses and then destroying the entire buildings, over the years killing hundreds—perhaps thousands-- of innocent Palestinian and other Arab civilians, especially in Egypt in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and in Lebanon, repeatedly, since 1978.
There is not the slightest doubt about these facts—not that facts matter all that much when it comes to the long history of Israeli war crimes and state terrorism. I’ve summarized these facts, and their unmistakable implications, in a number of my writings, most recently in an article entitled “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” published in the Fall 1915 issue of Middle East Policy. Accessed: http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/terrorism-and-israeli-palestinian-conflict
I’d like to believe that some day the New York Times will be held to account for the myriad ways it has obscured the long history of Israeli criminality. Of course, I’d also like to have believed the guy that sold me the Brooklyn Bridge.