Thursday, September 18, 2014

Last month there was a major news story about a Yad Vashem Righteous Gentile who returned his award to Israel after the IDF bombed a house with his innocent relatives inside.

As a front-page New York Times story said then:

On Thursday, Mr. Zanoli, 91, whose father died in a Nazi camp, went to the Israeli Embassy in The Hague and returned a medal he received honoring him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations — non-Jews honored by Israel for saving Jews during the Holocaust. In an anguished letter to the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, he described the terrible price his family had paid for opposing Nazi tyranny.

...Dr. [Hassan al-] Zeyada (older brother) said last month that none of his family members were militants.

I reported here that one of the people in the house, a "guest" named Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma, was actually an Al Qassam Brigades terrorist - a fact noticed by B'Tselem. This is something that the New York Times reporters should have checked out, but didn't.

PCHR reported, without qualification, that the entire family (as well as Mohammed al-Maqadamah) were innocent civilians. the NYT reported, without question, that none of the family members themselves were militants. An earlier story also quoted  Hassan al-Zeyada as saying that none of them were militants:

He said two of his brothers were in Palestinian police forces — one a municipal officer employed by the Hamas administration and the other under Fatah, the rival faction that was sidelined when Hamas took over in 2007. Police forces have often been Israeli targets, but his brothers were not militants, he said — and anyway, “I am not looking for justifications.”

And neither did the New York Times.

It turns out that Maqadama was not the only member of Hamas in that house.

Meet one of Hassan's "not militant" brothers. Omar Ziyada was a field commander of Hamas' Al Qassam Brigades.

Here's a screen shot from a 19-minute Qassam martyr's video that was just released in memory of Omar Ziyada.

Here's a shorter version of the video.

Both the poster and the video were posted on the Facebook page of Omar's older brother, Saad. He obviously knew Omar was a terrorist - but he didn't write anything about that during the war, following Hamas' social media guidelines.  Only now, weeks later, is the truth revealed.

Omar's sister Salma happily posted the martyr video as well.

If Omar's brother and sister knew he was a terrorist, so did his brother Hassan - happily lying to the New York Times about how supposedly innocent Omar was.

Now we know that there were at least two terrorists in the Ziyada house. During a war, this strongly indicates that the house was in fact a command and control center of some sort, if not a weapons cache. The IDF actions appear to be more and more justified.

No doubt the surviving relatives know exactly what the house was being used for - and they are keeping mum. The New York Times' Anne Barnard didn't bother  to research that, because their reporters are credulous enough - and reflexively anti-Israel enough - to accept the words of Gazans without skepticism.

No matter how many times they lie.

The Economist   and others used this story as more proof that Israel was monstrously murdering Gazans for no reason.

And because the New York Times and Haaretz were so keen on reporting on the apparent irony of a "righteous gentile" turning against Israel, they didn't do basic fact checks that might ruin such a good story. They missed the real irony:a person who saved Jews from Nazis ended up being related to modern Nazis who want to finish Hitler's job.

When will we see this reported in the NYT?

(h/t Bob Knot)

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