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Friday, August 8, 2014

Hannibal Lectures

NYT finally with full piece on the controversial Hannibal Procedure (aka Protocol or Directive), under which Israeli forces are allowed to take great risks that could lead to death of one of their soldiers if taken captive.   The last time this came up in a Times story a few days ago the reference was later cut, with no explanation from the paper why.  This piece seems to accept the IDF claim that the dead/captured soldier Goldin was not killed by Israeli fire or shelling although others have raised that as a real possibility--but the Times presents no evidence and admits Israeli spokesman dodges key question.  The Times reporter herself says it "appears unlikely"--how's that for hedging a bit?

Originally the Times and Israel claimed the soldier was blown up by suicide bomber but Haaretz cited a source saying not true and now this is left vague.  The fact that it took DNA probe to ID remains of body suggests to some that poor Goldin perhaps was blown up, and not by suicide vest. 

Now see major new Haaretz story which includes this:  "The information available to Haaretz on the events is partial and based on sources from the Israeli side only. Realizing the possibility of legal proceedings abroad, the IDF is in no hurry to volunteer all the details." It too is hazy on what killed Goldin.  It does note that a soldier tossed grenade into a tunnel where Goldin might have been taken.  In any event, Israel's all-out response led to the deaths of over 120 Gazans.

The chance that Goldin died by friendly fire seems to have occurred to some Israelis, if not most reporters.  Public Radio International covered Goldin's funeral:
Shlomo Deutsch, one of thousands of Israelis who attended the funeral, says he supports the Hannibal Doctrine — even if it were to be directed at his own son, who also served in Gaza during this conflict.  “If something happened with my son, and Hamas picked him up ... better his friend kill him,” Deutsch says. “For the country it’s better. It’s impossible what they want [Israel] to pay.”
By holding a funeral for his scant remains, Deutsch says, Goldin’s family refused Hamas a bargaining chip.
 The New Yorker also posted a piece yesterday.


Mark Jackson said...

Hannibal killed himself to avoid capture by the Romans. Good call. The IDF claim that the name Hannibal was chosen randomly by computer is ridiculous. It stands out as a stark reality that IDF concentrated all available firepower to kill Hadar Goldin and his captors (if he was not already dead). It was also enough firepower to kill 130 or so innocent Palestinian men women and children. That his death was chosen by the IDF is crystal clear, whether he was dead already or not, and not least from his father's comments.

Richard said...

With the exception of Zvi Barel's excellent report in Haaretz, Israeli media have made a bollocks on this story. Also, linking Hannibal directly to GOldin & Levy's deaths would cause the censor to take a red pencil to any such report.

My Israeli source tells me its very likely both were killed by their own units.