The New York Times has now published a follow-up story, Israel Disputes Soldiers’ Accounts of Gaza Abuses, which corrects some of the errors in its earlier reports, including the claim an Israeli sniper killed a mother and her two children. The Times admits that this charge was an “urban myth” based on nothing more than hearsay, and the story also directly quotes Israeli soldiers, including Yishai Goldflam, on the efforts they made to safeguard the lives and property of innocent Palestinian civilians.
There is more to be read at the CAMERA website on the matter, which is full of detail and interesting links, and therefor well worth the time to explore if you’re really interested in getting to the bottom of things. The sad truth to the matter is, the Finnish media, which widely reported on the incident, will more than likely turn a blind eye to the recent news of the story being nothing more than an “urban myth”.
It’s also a given, that if they (the Finnish media) actually return to the story, it will be nothing more than a “he said, she said” accounting, with Israel still in the end be cast as the less credible of the two parties. Either way it’s a lose lose situation. That’s how the Finnish media gets away with its own “incitement of a national group, Israel, time and again. KGS
UPDATE: The Finnish capital’s main newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomat, continues to promote the “urban legend” of war crimes committed by Israeli IDF soldiers during Operation Cast Lead, with HS journalist, Jukka Huusko, providing his reader with an “analysis” in yesterday’s paper (27.03.09) of the recent formation of the new Israeli government headed by Likud’s Benyamin Netanyahu. Here is what Huusko has to say topward the end in his op-ed (forget analysis, it’s actually op-ed space made available for journalists in the news section):
Helsingin Sanomat’s ace Middle East reporter
Huusko: Samaan aikaan ihmisoikeusjärjestöjen todistukset ja israelilaisten sotilaiden omat tunnustukset Gazan sodan julmuuksista ja mahdollisista sotarikoksista ovat laskeneet Israelin arvostuksen maailmalla pohjamutiin. PR-kampanja tuskin riittää. Jos Israel haluaa pysyvää rauhaa ja haluaa palauttaa maineensa Lähi-idän kukoistavana ja menestyvänä demokratiana, siltä odotetaan tekoja.
Translation: At the same time, evidence by human rights organizations and confessions by Israeli soldiers about the cruelties of the Gaza war and possible war crimes have lowered Israel’s credibility in the world to mud bottom. A PR campaign (TT: including Labour into the government) will hardly be enough. If Israel wants a lasting peace and a return of its reputation as a flowering and successful democracy, deeds are expected from it.
The man has a lot of nerve to be dictating to a state he has spent a lot of time and enerygy in helping to de-ligitimize, here, here, here. The Helsingin Sanomat is well known for its lousy, and very biased reporting on Israel, so here are a few parting words of advice for Jukka Huusko and for the Helsingin Sanomat.
As long as the Helsingin Sanomat continues to (a) employ journalists to its foreign news department, whose main requirement is to (b) have a very deep seated, ideological bias and animosity towards the Jewish state of Israel, as well as (c) its gate keepers refuse to stop bogus stories, half-baked articles and slanted or selective views from being published in its pages, then it will (d) continue to be viewed as a third rate paper that has advertisements for a front page.
UPDATE: More Israeli soldiers speak out, the real voice of Israeli soldiers