Tony Greenstein | 27 March 2024 | Post Views:

Excerpt from an Interview on Ha’aretz podcast ‘The Week’9.11.23. – “Mass Hannibal” — We killed Israelis on 7 October, says Israeli air force colonel Nof Erez

Zionism, when it arose was seen by most Jews as a form of Jewish anti-Semitism. Zionist ideologues like Arthur Ruppin accepted the worst stereotypes of  the Nazis and anti-Semites, such as Jews being sexual predators, adopting them as its own.

One medieval myth about Jews was that they poisoned the wells of non-Jews. Thousands of Jews died in the German Empire between 1348 and 1350 and across Europe as a result.

Yet it is an incontrovertible fact that Israeli settlers poison the water of the Palestinians. David Hearst wrote how

the settler attacks come generally at night and where they cannot destroy water cisterns they poison them by putting chicken carcasses in them.

In 1948 Zionist militias infected the waters of Acre and Gaza with dysentery bacteria. According to Ofer Aderet this biological warfare was far more widespread than first known.

Allegations that Jews were disloyal to the countries they lived in and owed their allegiance to a cabal of international Jewish ‘Elders’ was part and part of anti-Semitic discourse.

Zionism does its best to live up to this myth by actively encouraging dual loyalty.  One of their favourite accusations against Jewish anti-Zionists is that they are ‘traitors’ – in other words they have no loyalty to Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state.

When Ilhan Omar accused US Zionists of allegiance to a foreign country, Israel, it was as if the heavens had fallen in. Jonathan Chait wrote that

Accusing Jews of “allegiance to a foreign country” is a historically classic way of delegitimizing their participation in the political system.

Even though it was true it was a case of pure anti-Semitism! Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times accused Omar of waging a series of “microaggressions“.  As I wrote at the time:

It is inherent to Zionism that the first loyalty of any Jew is to Israel because their stay in the diaspora is temporary. “The negation of the diaspora” is fundamental to Zionist ideology. The accursed Galut (diaspora) needs to be wound up,

In 2013 Israel’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Absorption sent a survey asking American Jews “where their allegiance would lie in the case of a crisis between the two countries.” Netanyahu realising the implications had the survey stopped in its tracks but it would have been interesting to see the results.

Jonah Cohen writing in ‘The Lust Libel’ argued that

Antisemites have long depicted the Jews as a perverse, predatory, and pornographic people; horny vampires of the Orient. That ghoulish portrait — which, for short, can be called the ‘lust libel’ — is one of the more enduring of the classical antisemitic stereotypes.

It is no surprise that Zionist hasbara should adopt this anti-Semitic narrative and project it onto the Palestinians. Rape has become the principal ingredient of Zionist propaganda. October 7, instead of being a resistance operation, was organised rape.

Israeli women and many Western Feminists, such as those at Brighton Women’s Centre, are happy to go along with this myth even though its sole purpose is to justify a genocide that has killed over 14,000 children and over10,000 women in Gaza. White western feminists are literally helping to kill Palestinian women and girls at the behest of Jewish Supremacists, women included.

There are good precedents for this in the history of colonialism. The ‘Black Peril’ was the fear of White South African men that Black men had designs on ‘their’ women. In the Deep South the fear of Black sexual predators fuelled lynching. White women went along with this, as is the case today with western feminists.

Foremost on the minds of Southern Whites was a fear of inter- racial sex, miscegenation. Whites espoused the idea that black men were sexual predators and wanted integration in order to be with white women. And Black women were secretly sluts.

This helps explain Israeli soldiers fascination with the underwear of the Palestinian women they have killed and often raped (Israeli rape of Palestinians never seems to figure in the discourse of Israeli women or Western feminism).

Only today I received a report from a Palestinian woman of rapes near Al Shifa hospital, which Israel has again invaded.

October 7 was a great shock to the Zionists. They repeated ad-nauseum that October 7 ‘was the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust.’  Biden was happy to repeat this.

Except that it wasn’t the worst atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust. That was the murder of at least 3,000 Jews, 12% of the total victims, by Israel’s friends, the neo-Nazi Argentine Junta between 1976 and 1983.

When Hamas and the militants broke out on October 7 they did not kill Israelis because they were Jews but because they were occupiers. The Nazis and the Argentine Junta killed Jews because they were Jews. That simple distinction eludes Zionists.

Yasmin Porat Survivor Speaks: Israeli forces shot their own civilians

October 7 was the nightmare that every settler colonial regime fears, that the natives will rise up and take their revenge on their persecutors. It was the fear of white slavers in the Caribbean, the Apartheid masters in South Africa and the Zionists in Palestine.

Israel used October 7 in order to construct a myth of a second holocaust.  According to France 24 695 Israeli civilians, including 36 children, as well as 373 security forces and 71 foreign workers died. A total of 1,139.

There were undoubtedly atrocities committed, such as civilians or concert goers shot at close range but that was not sufficient for the Zionists.  At first their propaganda was crude but that didn’t stop the western media from adopting it wholesale.

40 Beheaded babies’, ‘baked babies’ and even babies hung on clothes lines were invented.  The serious press such as The Telegraph and Times reported these claims as fact.

fact check on Al Jazeera showed how the claims were false. This included Genocide Joe’s claim that he had seen them with his own eyes. All this nonsense had to be walked back as Israel admitted it had no proof of these allegations.

According to Karim ‘wounded terrorists should be killed, gay people are sick and women are sentimental.’  He elaborated that at a time of war it was permitted to satisfy

the evil inclination by lying with attractive Gentile women against their will, out of consideration for the difficulties faces by the soldiers and for overall success could be considered as excusable in order to maintain morale among soldiers and the army during fighting.

Former Col. Mordechai Kedar, who served in military intelligence for 25 years and a lecturer at Bar Ilan University, declared that.

‘The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped,’

Israel has not alleged that some rapes were committed but that rape was a deliberate strategy of Hamas on October 7, that it was organised and systematic.  When a group of Zionist women picketed in Brighton they chanted ‘resistance is not rape’ – which is of course true but no one is suggesting otherwise.

It is clear that the main aim of Hamas on October 7 was the capture of hostages in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners. Something which was entirely justifiable.

No one is suggesting that no one was raped on October 7. Rape and war go together but what is clear is that if rape happened it was perpetrated by the those who came in Hamas’s wake.

Of the 1,139 Israelis including foreign workers who died on October 7 approximately one-third were soldiers or police and up to half the remainder were killed by Israel itself. Israel was determined that no hostages would be taken who would then have to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners. If necessary they would kill them themselves. See Israel killed Israelis, confirms new 7 October documentary

As Al Jazeera’s investigation (below) revealed, many of the deaths of Israelis on October 7 occurred because Israel had implemented from 12 pm that day the Hannibal Directive that British papers, including the Guardian have been loathe to mention, despite the fact that it is an accepted fact in Israel.

Al Jazeera investigation finds Israeli military likely involved in October 7 ‘friendly fire’ deaths

A further investigation by Al Jazeera gives a time line of events on October 7 and provides further proof that many civilian casualties were caused by the decision of Israel’s military that anything that moved between Gaza and Israel that day was to be targeted, irrespective of whether their own hostages would die.

Rape has long been a favourite obsession of the far-right.  From Nazi Germany to South Africa it has been deployed against the indigenous population. In patriarchal societies rape is a serious offence against a man’s property and if it is a Black man then it’s race defilement too. False allegations of rape were made against Julian Assange because the state knew that such allegations would deter otherwise progressive people from supporting him. People like my own MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

Let us see how the Israeli narrative of rape has been debunked.

On 28 December 2023, 82 days after October 7, ‘Screams without words’ appeared in the New York Times. It was the result of an investigation carried out by Pulitzer prize winner, Jeffrey Gettleman, as well as two freelance staff Adam Sella and Anat Schwart. Schwartz  had no previous journalistic experience and had been an Intelligence officer for the Israeli army. She demonstrated where her sympathies lay when she ‘liked’ a tweet calling for Gaza to be turned into a slaughter house.

Schwartz also liked posts about the long since discredited ’40 beheaded babies’ story and a post calling for Hamas to be labelled as equal to ISIS. Esha Krishnaswarmy revealed that Adam Sella was Schwartz’s nephew! The stench of nepotism and corruption was overwhelming. Sella too is not a journalist.

On December 4 Gettleman, Schwartz and Sella, had written another article for the NYT What We Know About Sexual Violence During the Oct. 7 Attacks in Israel which did not name a single victim. On December 8 the NYT published a correction saying that the Israeli police were relying on witness testimony not autopsies or forensic evidence.

This is the problem with Israel’s rape propaganda. There is no forensic evidence of rape because all those killed were quickly buried. The alleged crime scenes were not quarantined either.

There isn’t one single victim who has come forward. All we have is ‘witnesses’ from Zaka who are proven liars and the Israeli military whose lies set off the 40 beheaded babies story.

Zaka is an ultra orthodox organisation which was founded by a multiple rapist, Meshi Zahav. He committed suicide in June 2022 but not before his colleagues in Zaka had tried to cover them up. Yet despite being discredited in Israel, the NYT and US media continues to quote them as an impartial organisation.

The NYT ran a puff piece about Zaka on 15 January ‘They Thought They Knew Death, but That Didn’t Prepare Them for Oct. 7’. As the Intercept noted in an article of 27 February

The Times report on Zaka reads like a glowing portrait of selfless volunteers on a “holy mission” to honor the dead and give families closure in accordance with Jewish law. The article could also be read as a whitewash of an organization mired in sexual abuse and financial scandals for decades. The Times never notes that Landau appears to be a serial fabulist, and other Zaka volunteers tell stories that stretch credulity.

The Intercept noted how ReutersCNNNYTBBCThe GuardianNBCPoliticoWSJWashington Post among others

‘fail(ed) to scrutinize Zaka stories. Many volunteers describe extreme crimes that would leave extensive evidence yet aren’t corroborated by reporting.’

Although the NYT has refused to comment on the criticisms of its article the Intercept reported that they had

pulled a high-profile episode of its podcast “The Daily” about sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 amid a furious internal debate about the strength of the paper’s original reporting on the subject, Times newsroom sources told The Intercept. The episode had been scheduled for January 9

The NYT is also reported to have cut links with Schwartz. Even worse for the NYT a key witness Raz Cohen contradicted a claim in the article that Hamas had committed the rapes.

There were stories such as naked women tied to trees at the Supernova Festival. Zaka’s deputy commander, Greiniman, claimed foreign fighters had taken part in the attack. Another Zaka spokesperson said he saw dozens of dead babies, and children bound together and burned. Yet another volunteer claimed they found a sexually mutilated woman’s corpse under rubble with her organs removed.

Yet only two babies died on October 7. Nor were any children found bound together or burned.

Aaron Mate revealed how former US diplomat, Stuart Seldowitz was on Zaka’s New York Advisory Board.  Seldowitz recently accepted a plea deal for having racially abused a food vendor in New York with his anti-Palestinian rants. His rants included saying that killing 4,000 Palestinian kids wasn’t enough.

But whilst the western media are doing their best to support the fake allegations of rape against Hamas they are ignoring what according to the UN is very credible reports of rape, sexual abuse and torture against Israel in Gaza.

The NYT article was important because it is considered a paper of record. It was used by Zionists to ‘prove’ that October 7 had been a mass rape attack.

When Professor Justin Stebbing of Imperial College, London sent me an email on 21 January saying thank you for making me hate all jews, i agree with you they should all be gassed” he followed it up with a caption of the NYT article.

On January 4, seven days after the NYT article, Ha’aretz posted an appeal by the police for victims or witnesses to contact them:

Israel’s police investigators are having difficulties finding living victims of or witnesses to sexual assault committed by Hamas on October 7

Why would the Police do this if the evidence is so overwhelming?

The Black Dress

The main claims in NYT’s article revolve around Gail Abdush, the woman in the Black Dress, who was allegedly raped at the music festival. Yet almost immediately after the NYT article the Abdush family denied that she had been raped and said they had been interviewed under false pretences.

The person who took the video of Abdush’s body, Edan Wesley described how Sella and Schwartz called her repeatedly and said how important the video was to Israeli hasbara (propaganda).  As Ali Abunimah pointed out, Schwartz and Sella were telling so-called witnesses that their testimony was essential for the purposes of Israeli State Propaganda. It is clear that Schwart and Sella’s mind had long been made up.

The NYT allegations over the woman in the black dress centred on a video by Eden Wessely.  Shiran Maluka, a friend of Miral Alter, Gail Abdush’s sister, wrote:

Based on what does Eden Wessely conclude that she was raped? Based on the video she took, there is no evidence, it’s not true that half of her body was burned, only her face, and there is nothing but a dress pulled up.

Wesley herself is a dubious character of the Israeli far-right. In the early days of the war, Wessely posted fake news, debunked by the Israeli media, about “Israeli traitors who supported Hamas fighters during the attack on October 7th.” Wessely also shared many posts by the fascist Im Tirtzu, and posts by rapper, Hatzel, a symbol of Israeli fascism. In another post, Wessely shared a picture of Israeli human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel, calling her “the devil incarnate.”

As Mondoweiss concluded:

In the end, it appears that the New York Times manipulated a working-class Mizrahi family in the service of Israeli hasbara in order to score a journalistic achievement, which in reality is nothing more than a repetition of fake news and government propaganda.

The Intercept reported that as well as the NYT, the

Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times’s coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza showed a consistent bias against Palestinians…

Major U.S. newspapers disproportionately emphasized Israeli deaths in the conflict; used emotive language to describe the killings of Israelis, but not Palestinians; … Pro-Palestinian activists have accused major publications of pro-Israel bias, with the New York Times seeing protests at its headquarters in Manhattan for its coverage of Gaza –– an accusation supported by our analysis.

The Intercept alleged that

The (Israeli) Channel 12 podcast interview with Schwartz, which The Intercept translated from Hebrew, opens a window into the reporting process on the controversial story and suggests that The New York Times’s mission was to bolster a predetermined narrative…

In the podcast interview, Schwartz described her efforts to get confirmation from Israeli hospitals, rape crisis centers etc. In fact she was unable to get a single confirmation.

“She was told there had been no complaints made of sexual assaults,” the Times spokesperson acknowledged.  Yet the NYT headline was‘‘Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7”

The first eye witness evidence came from an Israeli Air Force paramedic who claimed that two teenage girls at Kibbutz Nahal Oz had been raped and murdered in their bedroom. Problem was that no girls at the Kibbutz fitted the description. He later changed the site of the attacks to Kibbutz Be’eri, but there too no one matched the description of the victims.

Schwartz then contacted Kibbutz Be’eri but that drew a blank so she then contacted Zaka and Yossi Landau told her that

When we go into a house, we use our imagination. The bodies were telling us what happened, that’s what happened.

Landau features in the Times report, though no mention is made of his well-documented track record of disseminating sensational stories of atrocities that were later proven false.

After Zaka, Schwartz’s next port of call was Shari Mendes, who serves in a rabbinical unit of the Israel Defense Forces. The Intercept reported that Mendes

had also spoken about other violence on October 7, telling the Daily Mail in October, “A baby was cut out of a pregnant woman and beheaded and then the mother was beheaded.” No pregnant woman died that day, according to the official Israeli list of those killed in the attacks, and the independent research collective October 7 Fact Check said Mendes’s story was false.

Shari Mendes was a serial liar yet to Schwartz she was a credible witness.

Schwartz quoted on 14 November in her first story for the NYT, Israel’s police chief, Kobi Shabtai that ‘This is the most extensive investigation the State of Israel has ever known,” Yet when “Screams Without Words” appeared forensic evidence of sexual violence was non-existent.

On the Channel 12 podcast Schwartz said her next step was to go to a new holistic therapy facility established to address the trauma of October 7 victims. It was called Merhav Marpe, or Healing Space.

In multiple visits to Merhav Marpe, Schwartz again said that she was told there was no direct evidence of rapes or sexual violence. She expressed frustration with the therapists and counsellors at the facility, saying they engaged in “a conspiracy of silence.” And so it went on. The elusive evidence was simply not there so Schwartz began speculating that it was because Israel was a conservative  society or that survivor guilt played a part. At no time did she question her own basic assumptions.

She interviewed Raz Cohen, who claimed he had seen multiple rapes whilst denying that the perpetrators at the Nova Festival were from Hamas.

The independent site October 7 Fact CheckMondoweiss, Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone have flagged numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in Cohen’s account. He had initially said “he chose not to look, but he could hear them laughing constantly.

Coupled with Schwartz’s ‘investigation’ Israel was mounting an intensive public campaign, accusing the international community and feminists of ignoring the widespread, systemic sexual violence of Hamas’s October 7 attack.

The NYT management which has exposed many state secrets itself, notably the Pentagon Papers and more recently the Wikileaks revelations of Julian Assange didn’t take kindly to being the subject of exposes, notably by The Intercept which gave a blow-by-blow account of dissent within the NYT.

The NYT took a leaf out of Richard Nixon’s book and began a leak inquiry, more commonly known as a witch-hunt. Vanity Fair revealed how ‘at least two dozen staffers, including Daily producers’ had been called into meetings in an attempt to find out how internal details about the podcast’s editorial process got out. The investigation was by Charlotte Behrendt, the paper’s director of policy and internal investigations.

The article quoted staffers as saying that this was the ‘first such internal probe they can recall taking place.’ NYT’s management had been rocked by revelations about the shelving of The Daily podcast. The Nation noted sarcastically that

somewhere in the fiery caverns of Hell, Richard Nixon is enjoying a brief respite from his eternal torment as he learns how The New York Times is mimicking him

Investigations into the scandal surrounding Schwartz’s article and the lack of any elementary fact checking has been conducted by a host of independent sites such as Aaron MatéOctober 7 Fact CheckElectronic Intifada and Max Blumenthal.

Where once the NYT could be relied on to subject US Administrations to scrutiny, today they act as little more than court stenographers to Biden and Israel’s far-right government. Woodward and Bernstein have been replaced by Blumenthall, Mate and Abunimah. Today the mainstream press, led by the NYT, acts as a kind of fools’ chorus to the senile Biden and Kissinger protégé Blinken.

As the Nation’s Jet Heer noted

If the Times wanted to serve its readers and the world, it would launch a transparent investigation into this botched article, the biggest failure of journalism at the newspaper since Judith Miller’s infamous and discredited articles on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002 and 2003. Just as Miller regurgitated war propaganda on behalf of the George W. Bush administration, the Times is now serving as a mouthpiece for Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet.

Heer suggests that the main instigator of “Screams Without Words” was the NYT’s Executive Editor Joe Kahn, a Zionist whose father, Leo Kahn, was a longtime member of the board of CAMERA, a pro-Israel media watchdog. But could Kahn have acted without the approval and perhaps direction of the Sulzberger family, which owns the newspaper?

Heer notes that Watergate proved that a scandal could topple a President and asks ‘what scandal is large enough to bring down the executive editor—or perhaps even the owners—of The New York Times?’

At the beginning of December I wrote a blog on the Israeli hostages who had been released and how their testimonies had conflicted with the Zionist demonisation of Hamas. Yocheved Lifshitz 85 spoke of how well she had been treated.

What do the videos of released Hamas captives tell us | Al Jazeera Newsfeed?

Lifshitz said the captives were treated well and received medical care, including medication. The guards kept conditions clean, and hostages were given one meal a day of cheese, cucumber and pita, she said, adding that her captors ate the same.

A family member of Ruth Munder, an elderly woman who was released, told the Jerusalem Post that Munder did not experience any harm during her captivity. In a section ‘How did Hamas Treat the Hostages’ the Jerusalem Post reported that

Initially, there weren’t many people with them, but at some point, more individuals were added. They had access to a radio and television, where they heard news from Israel. Ruth heard on the radio that her son [Roi Munder] had been killed… The conditions were far from ideal; 80-year-old men and women lied down on plastic benches similar to those in a hospital, without mattresses.

“Fortunately, they did not endure any unpleasant experiences during their captivity; they were treated in a humane manner,” continued the family member.

“Contrary to our fears, they did not encounter the horrifying stories we had imagined. They described the initial moments of their kidnapping when the terrorists were agitated and threatened to harm them, but once they were on motorcycles, they did not harm them.”

Lifshitz told the press how she received daily visits from a doctor during her captivity. Lifshitz’s daughter also said that her mother was cared for by a paramedic during her captivity.

On October 24, Lifshitz told the press that she was treated well while in Hamas captivity after she was driven into the Gaza Strip. Her statements caused an uproar in Israel, with some government and diplomatic figures accusing the conference organizers of damaging the country’s advocacy efforts by portraying a positive image of Hamas.

Israeli authorities were outraged at the fact that Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv had facilitated Yocheved Lifshitz’s interview. Hospital employee Avi Shoshan was suspended and subsequently dismissed. Why should Israel object to the hostages speaking freely unless they had something to fabricate?

The organisers of the press conference had allowed doubt to be cast upon government lies about Hamas and that was unforgiveable. Ha’aretz reported how Lifshitz started the press conference by recounting the details of the October 7 kidnapping: “Masses mobbed our homes. They beat people, took some hostage.” She described it as “very painful.”

It was the statements that followed, however, that drew controversy in Israel. She said that the kidnappers brought a doctor that gave them medical treatment, that the hostages were treated well and the kidnappers were friendly. “We lay on mattresses, they made sure everything was sanitary,” she said. “They made sure we wouldn’t get sick, and we had a doctor with us every two or three days.”

Ha’aretz reported the story as ‘The problem is you, not Hamas’ : Hostages’ families lash out at Israeli government.

“They were very friendly to us,” Lifshitz said“they treated us gently and looked after us.” Clearly this dedemonising of Hamas and the portray of its members as human beings could not be allowed again.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that Israel’s released hostages ‘are expected to receive close supervision, and they will be instructed on what to tell the media and what not.”

 See also:

Screams without proof: questions for NYT about shoddy ‘Hamas mass rape’ report

Grayzone – Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate

“Between the Hammer and the Anvil” – The Story Behind the New York Times October 7 Exposé , The Intercept

Family of key case in New York Times October 7 sexual violence report renounces story, says reporters manipulated them Mondoweiss

The Nation

The Nixonian New York Times Stonewalls on a Discredited Article About Hamas and Rape

Norman Finkelstein

PRAMILA PATTEN’S RAPE FANTASIES: A Critical Analysis of the UN Report on Sexual Violence during the 7 October Attack see also

UN report launders Israel’s fraudulent “mass rape” propaganda – Electronic IntifadaIsraeli Army, Not Hamas, Killed Civilians at Kibbutz Be’eri – Media Reports 

Is the New York Times losing its credibility on Israel-Palestine? | The Listening Post

Hamas ‘mass rape’ claim lacks evidence. But it’s being used to justify genocide

Jonathan Cook

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Tony Greenstein

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