Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The Israeli War Hoax of 40 Beheaded Babies

by Oui Wed Nov 15th, 2023 at 02:35:03 PM EST

An international outcry erupted when Israel's Foreign Ministry announced that Palestinian militants from the besieged Gaza Strip had killed 40 "babies," and beheaded several of them during an incursion into Kfar Aza, a kibbutz on the Gaza border. President Joseph Biden repeated the inflammatory claim during an October 10 White House Rose Garden address, while networks across the West carried the story without a shred of critical scrutiny.

After an Israeli reserve soldier named David Ben Zion told a reporter Palestinian militants "cut [off] heads of babies," Biden, Netanyahu, and the international media amplified the dubious claim.

The Grayzone has identified Ben Zion as a fanatical settler leader who incited riots by demanding a Palestinian town be "wiped out."

Source of dubious 'beheaded babies' claim is Israeli settler leader who incited riots to 'wipe out' Palestinian village | The Grayzone |

In an October 10 interview with reporter Nicole Zedek of the Israeli state-sponsored i24 network, Ben Zion stated, "We walked door to door, we killed a lot of terrorists. They are very bad. They cut heads of children, they cut heads of women. But we are stronger than them."

He added, "We know that they are animals," referring to Palestinians, "but we found that they don't have any heart."

Hours after his interview with i24, still in the village of Kfar Aza, a uniformed Ben Zion could be seen repeatedly grinning ear-to-ear in a video posted to his Facebook - an odd disposition for a supposed witness to the methodical butchering of babies.

Earlier that day, i24's Zedek declared during a live report from Kfar Aza, "About 40 babies were taken out on gurneys... Cribs overturned, strollers left behind, doors left wide open.'" Zedek's report has been viewed tens of millions of times on Twitter and promoted by Israel's Foreign Ministry - which underwrites her network.

Hours later, she qualified her statement, stating, "Soldiers told me they believe 40 babies/children were killed. The exact death toll is still unknown as the military continues to go house to house and find more Israeli casualties."

Yet the unverified tale quickly made its way to the highest levels of leadership, as if by design. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman stated unequivocally that babies and toddlers were found with their "heads decapitated," while President Joe Biden himself vaguely gestured towards "stomach-churning reports of babies being killed."

Likewise, cable news has flown into a frenzy, breathlessly reporting the story despite the IDF walking back its initial confirmation.

Meanwhile, some reporters who initially carried the official Israeli allegations about beheaded babies began issuing qualifications of their own.

Oren Ziv, an Israeli reporter who joined the military's official tour of Kfar Aza, commented on Twitter, "I'm getting a lot of question about the reports of `Hamas beheaded babies' that were published after the media tour in the village. During the tour we didn't see any evidence of this, and the army spokesperson or commanders also didn't mention any such incidents."

So who is the source behind the explosive claim?

Israel faces crisis due to conscription dispute over ultra-Orthodox Jews | MEMO - June 2023 |

Israel is facing a crisis within society over the issue of recruiting ultra-Orthodox -- Haredi -- Jews into the Israel Defence Forces. A new organization has been formed by mothers whose children are about to be drafted into the IDF. They reject government plans pushed through by ultra-Orthodox parties in the government coalition to amend the law in order to give Haredi Jews blanket exemption from military service.

"We are mothers who raised our daughters and sons on the values of loving the homeland and contributing to its defense and we agreed for years to risk what is dearest to us, realizing this," wrote Mothers on the Frontlines on social media. "This is part of the contract between us and the state. Nothing more. If the conscription law is passed, we will agree to prevent our children from joining the Israeli army."

The current law requires all citizens and permanent residents, male and female, to serve in the military. Females who reach the age of 18 must serve for two years, while males must serve at least 32 months. However, the Haredi Jews refuse conscription and want to be free to "serve God" instead of military service.

Israel is facing a crisis within society over the issue of recruiting ultra-Orthodox -- Haredi -- Jews into the Israel Defense Forces. A new organization has been formed by mothers whose children are about to be drafted into the IDF. They reject government plans pushed through by ultra-Orthodox parties in the government coalition to amend the law in order to give Haredi Jews blanket exemption from military service.

"We are mothers who raised our daughters and sons on the values of loving the homeland and contributing to its defense and we agreed for years to risk what is dearest to us, realizing this," wrote Mothers on the Frontlines on social media. "This is part of the contract between us and the state. Nothing more. If the conscription law is passed, we will agree to prevent our children from joining the Israeli army."

The current law requires all citizens and permanent residents, male and female, to serve in the military. Females who reach the age of 18 must serve for two years, while males must serve at least 32 months. However, the Haredi Jews refuse conscription and want to be free to "serve God" instead of military service.

Jewish Crusaders Target Secular Jews in Tel Aviv

I'd Rather Die Than Be Redeemed by This Megalomaniac West Bank Settler | Haaretz Opinion - 2 Oct 2023 |

Israel Zeira, the head of the messianic missionary organization Rosh Yehudi, is currently the spearhead of the stubborn, determined Haredi Zionist battle to religionize Tel Aviv. The interface between him and the liberal residents of the city is the front line of the civil war over the character of the state.


Rosh Yehudi is an association whose goal is to bridge the gaps between secular and religious Israelis in the spirit of religious Zionism. It was founded in 1994 when the public dispute over the Oslo Accords threatened the very fabric of Israeli society. Originally established in Hebron, the organization moved to Tel Aviv, where it has been offering classes and educational material.

Protesters hound homophobic rabbi in Tel Aviv amid uproar over religious group | TOI - 20 Sept 2023 |

The Jewish head of Israel Zaira, we know liberal names, "the center for self-awareness", to promote religion and missionary activity in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Yesterday evening Zaira increased his efforts and invited "Rabbi" Levinstein, the presenter of the "Noam" party and a clear follower of its leader "Rabbi" Zvi Tau ("LGBT is a crime against humanity") to the center on Safed St. in Tel Aviv.

    Tau, 85, is the head of the influential Har Hamor Yeshiva in Jerusalem as well as the spiritual leader of the anti-LGBTQ Noam political party. He has been accused by multiple women of sexual abuse and rape dating back decades, with two going public so far.

The same Yigal Levinstein said about women's military service - "I don't know who will marry her?...A madhouse, a circus...an army show." He said about LGBT people - "perverts, exterminators of problems...deformities".

Levinstein, the instigator, left the center in shame, surrounded by his dark thugs and the police, accompanied by an angry crowd who made it clear to him that here in Israel there will be no Halacha state.

As an integral part of the regime revolution, the secular public woke up and is not ready to accept religion, misogyny and homophobia. We will fight back against those who threaten our principles and beliefs, which are no less important, noble and valuable than the principles and beliefs of the religious public.

European Nations complicit in horrible crimes of occupation, abuse of human rights


Shoot to Kill

Israeli forces shoot, kill four Palestinian children across occupied West Bank

Ramallah, October 19, 2023--Israeli forces fatally shot four Palestinian children across the occupied West Bank in the last 24 hours.

Four Palestinian boys between the ages of 15 and 17 were killed by Israeli forces between the afternoon of October 18 and early morning hours of October 19, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Khalil Mohammad Khalil Shalash, 15, and Qais Mohammad Hassan Shalash, 17, were killed yesterday afternoon. Ahmad Munir Yousef Sdouq, 17, and Taha Ibrahim Mohammad Mahmeed, 15, were killed in the early morning hours today.

"Israeli forces are increasingly and brazenly killing Palestinian children throughout the West Bank," said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. "At this moment, there is absolutely no check on Israeli aggression as the international community enables war crimes through the provision of weapons and financial and diplomatic support to ensure Israeli forces and officers enjoy impunity regardless of the gravity of crimes."

Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Khalil Mohammad Khalil Shalash and 17-year-old Qais Mohammad Hassan Shalash around 3 p.m. on October 18 near the entrance to the Palestinian town of Shuqba, west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Khalil and Qais were walking toward the main road when Israeli forces shot them from 250 meters (820 feet) away, striking Khalil once under the armpit and once in the neck, while Qais was struck in the lower back. Israeli forces were traveling to the nearby town of Ni'lin. Khalil and Qais bled for about 30 minutes before an ambulance arrived and transported them to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, where they were both pronounced dead around 4:30 p.m.

West Bank violence has escalated dramatically, with killings, displacement on the rise since Oct. 7 | ABC News - 10 Nov 2023 |

For the thousands of Palestinian families in the West Bank, the olive harvest holds an almost sacred community significance.

"It's like a festival," Hazim Saleh told ABC News on Nov. 1. "Like we are singing, we are making coffee on the land. ... We've practiced this for a hundred years before."

Hazim Saleh's brother-in-law, Bilal Saleh, 40, was out with his family on Oct.18 and picking olives in the valley below his village of al-Sawiya when he was shot dead by an off-duty Israel Defense Forces soldier, according to Israeli media.

"We were anxious because of the situation, and because there was talk that the [Israeli] settlers were handed firearms so they could kill any Arab in cold blood," Ikhlas Saleh, Bilal's wife, told ABC News. "But we were calm, that Saturday was their holiday, and we were going to finish and go home without an incident."

They were beginning to harvest the second tree of the day when they said a commotion broke out.

"We started on the second tree, and we heard people around us scream that the settlers are descending from the mountain," she recalled. The family was not sure if the settlers were armed, but they gathered the children to leave. Bilal, her husband, had left his phone in the olive grove, she said. He went back to retrieve his phone, and she heard shots ring out.

At first, she said she thought they were warning shots.

"Then I learned that he was shot in the chest multiple times. They had the premeditation to kill him in cold blood," she said.

Videos of the shooting and other acts of settler violence and harassment have circulated on Palestinian social media, each instance another document of a deteriorating humanitarian situation. The United Nations has criticized the "near total impunity for settler violence" under Israeli law, and though in this case the suspected shooter was arrested, the charges were dropped after a judge ruled he had acted in self-defense.

Eight Palestinians have been killed by Israeli settlers, including one child, in the West Bank since Oct. 7, while 147 have been killed by Israeli forces, according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Three Israelis have also been killed by Palestinians in the last month in the West Bank, OCHA reported.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the issue of settler violence Wednesday, saying that there were "half a million law-abiding residents illegal settlers on Palestinian land in Judea and Samaria the West Bank," but "there is a tiny handful of people that do not represent this public and that take the law into their own hands." He condemned their actions, saying they were causing "severe international damage to the state of Israel." "We cannot tolerate this, we are not ready to accept this, we will act against it in all ways," he said.

'The Bible trumps international law'

Financial incentives and the prospect of moving to the Holy Land have contributed to the rise in the number of Israeli settlements, deemed illegal under international law, in the West Bank since the territory was occupied by Israel in 1967. Over 270 settlements, housing 750,000 settlers, have been established in the West Bank over the past 50 years, according to the U.N.

Dishonest Hope and Trust In a Two-State Option

In the West Bank, German FM Annalena Baerbock met with Palestinian leaders to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as well as efforts to free German hostages held there by Hamas. Afterwards she traveled to Tel Aviv to meet her Israeli counterpart

Annalena Baerbock going through the motions of complete bull$hit talking about a mission impossible ... destruction of the Oslo Accords in the 90s by Netanyahu and the 2-state solution under 8 years of the Obama administration. Who the fu*k is this German stenographer of options foregone decades go?

Germany reaffirms support for 2-state solution to decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict | Anadolu Agency |

While current scenario 'seen as particularly complex and difficult,' Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson acknowledges that goal should be to strive toward 2-state solution

Germany on Friday reiterated its strong support for a two-state solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.

Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson Kathrin Deschauer said at a press conference in Berlin that the two-state solution is the "only" promising way to create "a life in peace for Israelis and Palestinians."

While the current scenario is "seen as particularly complex and difficult," she acknowledged that the goal should be to strive toward a two-state solution.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on the Arab Gulf states to jointly work on a two-state solution.

"Only a return to the promise of a life side by side - in two states - can bring Israelis and Palestinians a life of peace, security, and dignity," Baerbock said ahead of her visit to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

"In this turmoil that can hardly be resolved, it is crucial not to lose perspective," she said, stressing that "Israel's historic opportunity for peace with its Arab neighbors must not be destroyed."

Baerbock also called for more diplomatic efforts to aid in the resolution of the Gaza crisis.

Even efforts to release people held by Hamas, give humanitarian access to Gaza, and prevent regional conflict from spreading {all nice talking points launched by the White House and useless ME travels by Antony Blinken before] have only "a chance of success if we pull together with the Arab Gulf states," the minister said.

Baerbock urged the Jewish state once again to do everything possible to protect civilian life in Gaza. [talking to deaf man's ears]

"Of course, Israel must do everything in its power to protect civilians. The prospect of humanitarian cease-fires is central to this. The people in Gaza urgently need supplies of the essentials - water, food, medicine - so that their suffering can be alleviated somewhat," she added.

Antony Blinken Offered Palestinians Nakba II


Biden Red-faced Amid Israel-Hamas War; White House Clarifies On ’Beheaded Babies' Claim

President Joe Biden’s graphic description of horrors in Israel was intended to “underscore the utter depravity” of the Hamas attack on civilians, the White House says, even if he hadn’t personally viewed or confirmed the imagery he described.

Speaking from the Indian Treaty Room, Biden told a gathering of Jewish leaders: “I’ve been doing this a long time. I never really thought that I would see and have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children.”

Later on that evening, an administration official told CNN neither Biden nor the administration had seen pictures or confirmed reports of children or infants beheaded by Hamas. The official clarified that the president’s remarks were referring to public comments from media outlets and Israeli officials. Since taking office, Biden has on a number of occasions gone off-script to make comments that later required clarification by his staff, including on Taiwan and Russia.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said earlier Wednesday that babies and toddlers were found “decapitated” in Kfar Aza, Tal Heinrich. CNN could not independently verify that report, and Hamas said media reports about attacking children were false.

White House clarifies Biden's claim he saw photos of terrorists beheading children in Israel-Hamas war | NBC News |

Biden’s claims were featured on the front pages of Western newspapers, and reports of beheaded babies have been cited in some quarters as justification for revenge attacks and the collective punishment of civilians in Gaza.

The Israeli army has said that it cannot confirm the claims, which were repeated on Wednesday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson Tal Heinrich.


Top Secret Hamas Command Bunker in Gaza Revealed | The Tablet - 29 July 2024 |

And why reporters won't talk about it

The idea that one of Hamas' main command bunkers is located beneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is one of the worst-kept secrets of the Gaza war.

See also ..,

A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery | NY Times - 10 Jan. 2009 |

A bunker outfitted with communications gear by Israel in 1983 ... another era.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 16th, 2023 at 05:50:23 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 27th, 2023 at 11:22:19 PM EST
Biden reportedly ignored staff caution on 'beheaded Israeli babies' | Al Jazeera |

Citing White House officials, The Washington Post reported Sunday that as Biden prepared his pro-Israel October 10 address, Vice President Kamala Harris suggested he should add a line to the speech denouncing Islamophobia.

"Harris cited the way Islamophobia had dogged the Muslim and Arab communities for years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Biden took the suggestion," the newspaper quoted officials as saying.

"But he rejected others, for instance dismissing the recommendation of some staffers that he cut a line about Hamas beheading babies because those reports were unverified."

Biden was echoing a statement made that same day by a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- that babies and toddlers were found with their "heads decapitated" in Kfar Aza, a kibbutz.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 27th, 2023 at 11:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On heroes, role models, journalists, and White House martyrs

cnn | Biden tells inaccurate story about his 1973 meeting with Israeli prime minister, 5 Dec 2021

Facts First: Biden ["]misspoke["] about when his meeting with Meir occurred. The meeting took place about five weeks before the Yom Kippur War in 1973, not during the Six-Day War in 1967. More significantly, Biden inflated his importance to Israel at the time. There is no evidence that Meir had any intention of using him as any sort of "liaison" between Israel and Egypt.

At the time of the Six-Day War in 1967, Biden was still a law student and Meir was not yet prime minister.

Biden's "liaison" claim is vague, but experts on the Yom Kippur War say it is also clearly inaccurate. While Biden did visit Egypt in 1973 just before he visited Israel, and told Meir what Egyptian officials had told him, there is zero indication that Meir wanted to use a 30-year-old American who had had never previously been to Israel and who had been a senator for only nine months as an intermediary in a complicated and critical conflict. In fact, an Israeli government official's written summary of the meeting said Biden had seemed inexperienced and that Meir had vehemently rejected his proposal for Israel to unilaterally withdraw from certain territory as a step toward peace.

scare quotes
An Israeli summary of the meeting

Meir died in 1978, and it's impossible to know precisely what was said between her and Biden 48 years ago. But the Israeli summary of the 100-minute meeting, an internal memo written by a government official at the time, provides useful information.

The summary, which was discussed in the Israeli media in 2020 and is available online in Israel's state archives, said Biden acknowledged he was not an expert on Egypt, said Biden was greeted warmly on his trip to Egypt but had met with only second-tier officials, and said Meir made extended remarks in which she argued against Biden's proposal for Israel to pursue peace by withdrawing from certain territory he didn't think had strategic value. (The summary didn't identify the territory Biden was talking about but said it wasn't the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights or Sharm el-Sheikh.)

The Israeli official who wrote the summary, Gideon Yarden, ended by offering his personal assessment of Biden. He wrote that Biden was full of admiration and appreciation toward Meir, and kept saying he had come to learn, "but on the other hand" spoke in a manner that reflected "his age and diplomatic `experience.'" Yarden put the word "experience" in quotation marks, conveying sarcasm.

wapoo | White House grapples with internal divisions on Israel-Gaza, 26 Nov 2023
Earlier this month, a group of about 20 distressed White House staffers requested a meeting with President Biden's top advisers, as Israel's war in Gaza entered its sixth week.
Adding to the sensitivity, the unwavering embrace of Israel that many staffers find upsetting stems in large part from Biden's personal lifelong attachment to the Jewish state, aides said. Biden often cites his 1973 meeting with Prime Minister Golda Meir as a seminal event that crystallized his view of Israel as critical for Jewish survival.
by Cat on Tue Nov 28th, 2023 at 04:40:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]