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The carnage in Gaza continues-four children killed in Israeli airstrike

Glenn Greenwald reports on how NBC News has withdrawn from Gaza Ayman Mohyeldin, its reporter in the region who covered the killing by Israeli planes of four Gazan boys aged 9 to 11 as they played soccer on a beach in broad daylight. The reporter had been playing soccer with the boys just minutes before their deaths and posted chilling details.

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Update: Here is an NBC News report on the bombing.


Despite this powerful first-hand reporting – or perhaps because of it – Mohyeldin was nowhere to be seen on last night’s NBC Nightly News broadcast with Brian Williams. Instead, as Media Bistro’s Jordan Chariton noted, NBC curiously had Richard Engel – who was in Tel Aviv, and had just arrived there an hour or so earlier – “report” on the attack. Charlton wrote that “the decision to have Engel report the story for ‘Nightly’ instead of Mohyeldin angered some NBC News staffers.”

Indeed, numerous NBC employees, including some of the network’s highest-profile stars, were at first confused and then indignant over the use of Engel rather than Mohyeldin to report the story. But what they did not know, and what has not been reported until now, is that Mohyeldin was removed completely from reporting on Gaza by a top NBC executive, David Verdi, who ordered Mohyeldin to leave Gaza immediately.

Over the last two weeks, Mohyeldin’s reporting has been far more balanced and even-handed than the standard pro-Israel coverage that dominates establishment American press coverage; his reports have provided context to the conflict that is missing from most American reports and he avoids adopting Israeli government talking points as truth. As a result, neocon and “pro-Israel” websites have repeatedly attacked him as a “Hamas spokesman” and spouting “pro-Hamas rants.”

Last week, as he passed over the border from Israel, he said while reporting that “you can understand why some human rights organizations call Gaza ‘the world’s largest outdoor prison,'”; he added: “One of the major complaints and frustrations among many people is that this is a form of collective punishment. You have 1.7 million people in this territory, now being bombarded, with really no way out.”

It is shocking that NBS News did not feature a news item about these deaths by its own reporter who was right there. Philip Weiss has more on this story, suggesting that Mohyeldin had angered the US establishment by reporting skeptically that the US State Department had blamed Hams for the deaths of the four boys by an Israeli plane. He links to a video showing the mutilated bodies of the four children scattered on the sand but I should warn you that it is highly disturbing.

The Daily Show came back from a two-week break and opening segment focused on the crisis in Gaza, as well as on the immigration issue and the CDC. It is one of the few mainstream media to point out that the people of Gaza are essentially trapped in an open-air prison under siege from Israel where they have no escape from the periodic bombardment by the Israeli military that in the latest case has killed over 220 people, most of them civilians. He briefly shows Ayman Mohyeldin when comparing how different the situation is in Israel and Gaza.

(This clip aired on July 14, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

Comments

  1. says

    Indeed, numerous NBC employees, including some of the network’s highest-profile stars, were at first confused and then indignant over the use of Engel rather than Mohyeldin to report the story. But what they did not know, and what has not been reported until now, is that Mohyeldin was removed completely from reporting on Gaza by a top NBC executive, David Verdi, who ordered Mohyeldin to leave Gaza immediately.

    I seriously dislike Hardball with Chris Matthews in general, for a slew of reasons. Occasionally I see the last few minutes because it’s on just before Chris Hayes, but I often have to mute even that. I didn’t last night, so was treated to his “Let Me Finish” segment about the conflict. It was shocking, Makes more sense in light of what appears to be a network line.

  2. says

    How could anyone mistake kids playing soccer for a threat? Perhaps they were part of a command and control system? Or they were digging a bunker with their little shovels?

    Fucking warmongers.

  3. says

    I also completely fail to understand the idea of a “cease fire” in which one side announces that they most likely will invade in a couple days. Invade?? So much for your fucking “cease fire” apparently.

    It’s like a kid saying “I apologize. Not.” Except there’s nobody willing to discipline the brat.

  4. Trebuchet says

    It’s being reported that Israel has now gone into Gaza on the ground. And a Malaysian airliner has been shot down near the Russia/Ukraine border. Not a good day for the world.

  5. says

    I’ve been saying this for years, but as much as I enjoy the Daily Show it is sad that it is often the only sensible place in US news. There are essentially no US news websites that I follow as they are so lacking.

    I also completely fail to understand the idea of a “cease fire” in which one side announces that they most likely will invade in a couple days. Invade?? So much for your fucking “cease fire” apparently.

    I have no sympathy at all for the Israeli actions, they go about just about everything in the most counter-productive, stupid, and monstrous way but a ceasefire, even when one side is clearly about to mount an attack, is nothing new. A ceasefire is just a temporary stoppage of fighting, they happened in WWI, in WWII there was a famous ceasefire to hand over Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to allow German soldiers free passage in a neutral area to get back to German lines after handover. After that the Germans would be pummelled again. Ceasefires are often called before a peace accord is hammered out to end fighting, but in the end they are just a temporary stoppages in fighting.

  6. says

    This isn’t the first time. There’s also the deliberate targeting of unarmed people at the Rafah refugee camp, and this incident on a beach:

    http://youtu.be/5WaCJn4hdjc

    Israel gave the “humanitarian window” in the same way the US gave one to Fallujah. People had the choice of leaving their homes or being murdered in them.

    The US armed Israel which commits wanton war crimes in the exact same way and with the same stupid “thinking” as Russia armed the rebels in Ukraine who shot down the Malaysian airline. Guess which story will get the full attention of the right wing corporate media in the US?

  7. Silentbob says

    Why is the US right wing so resolutely ‘pro-Israel’? I can understand that during the cold war, when the USSR was seeking to expand its influence in the Middle East, it was in the US’s interest to arm Israel to the teeth. But I would have thought that alliance with Israel has long since become a liability to US foreign policy given their appalling history of human rights and international law violations. Is it purely a religious thing? Jesus hates Muslims, therefore he’s on the Jews’ side? I don’t get why the right is so obsequious to Israel.

  8. A. Noyd says

    Silentbob (#7)

    Why is the US right wing so resolutely ‘pro-Israel’? … I don’t get why the right is so obsequious to Israel.

    I thought it’s because they’re trying to jump start the Second Coming.

  9. says

    @ Silentbob

    Why is the US right wing so resolutely ‘pro-Israel’?

    As I understand it, in large part because Israel has an extremely vocal lobby in Washington. This has led me to the following suggestion to the Chinese government: Buy yourselves some political folk in Washington! It will only cost a couple of million in chump change, but you will be able to (literally, as in the case of Israel) get away with murder. Carte blanche.

  10. jws1 says

    I guess the Palestinians hide missiles amongst children playing on the beach, right colnago, right stevo? That is the argument isn’t it?

  11. Silentbob says

    @ 9 theophontes

    Yeah, I’m aware of the powerful lobby, Mano’s written about it before. But I’m not sure why it’s so powerful. If it was just a matter of buying influence, surely everyone would be doing it? Much wealthier countries than Israel (say, the cheese-eating surrender-monkeys France for example) don’t seem to be able to exert any influence over US policy.

  12. Silentbob says

    @ 10 jws1

    My prediction would be that Stevo will say the kids were bound to grow up to be suicide bombers, so Israel’s ‘pre-emptive strike’ saved lives. Colnago, on the other hand, will yawn, mutter something about eggs and omelettes, and change the subject to Frankenburger.
    ;-)

  13. readysf says

    Why did Israel attack Gaza at this time? The reason is that the US had just expressed its willingness to work with a unified Palestinian govt (Hamas+Fata) and Israel was enraged, since the divide-and-conquer would stop working, they might actually have to draw borders.

    Israel does not want peace, and it is shameful that the US and US Jews are allowing its behavior to determine their values. This is the evil of unconditional support.

  14. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Awful, moving images I agree. Horrific.

    War is always a nightmare – for everyone but the innocent civilians caught up with no hand in making the conflict most of all.

    How stupid are Hamas for starting and continuing this latest war?

    This is Hamas’es war and they own all that has resulted from their evil doing.

    What do Hamas think is going to happen and what do they think they going to accomplish by their rocketfire? Seriously, anyone care to enlighten me on this because I can’t see any good reason or justfication that makes this worthwhile for them or how it helps their cause.

    I suggest and ask that people read this :

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2014/07/gaza_civilian_casualties_while_hamas_targets_innocent_people_israel_tries.html

    Israel, unlike Hamas, isn’t trying to kill civilians. It’s taking pains to spare them. … (snip) .. Human shields are a difficult problem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Hamas is responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza, because it deliberately sets up rocket launchers and military infrastructure in civilian areas. (Hamas was caught recently storing rockets in a school as noted in another Slate article – Ed.) .. (Snip) … Hamas now has longer-range missiles, known as M-302s or R-160s, that are more precise than its clumsy old Grad rockets. It has been firing the new missiles at cities anyway. Hamas has also flatly rejected the principle of sparing civilians.

    Israel’s democratically elected – and actually relatively moderate these days given most of his colleagues want to see him go much further and tougher – Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu summed it up perfectly I think when he noted that :

    “Israel uses its missiles to protect its civilians, Hamas uses its civilians to protect its missiles.

    Source : TV news footage from the other night, may not have exact words but similar.

    Question for all Israel’s critics here – if you were in their shoes with people firing rockets at you, your families and friends, everyone you knew; what would you do? Especially given the failure of past efforts at making peace including by giving up on land captured at a high price?

    Also, thought for a possible solution – what if Israel handed the Gaza strip over to Egypt which of course controlled it from 1948 to 1967? (Whilst Jordan then controlled the West Bank / Judea and Samaria – note that neither nation opted to create a Palestinian state then when they easily could have done.)

    Does anyone think Egyptian troops would be nicer and softer on Hamas and Gazan civilians- an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood being demolished in Egypt after all – than the Israel Defence Forces?

  15. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ readysf :

    Why did Israel attack Gaza at this time?

    Hamas rocket fire aimed at its civilians..

    Also Israel didn’t attack, it defended itself from Gaza.

    Israel was enraged, since the divide-and-conquer would stop working, they might actually have to draw borders.

    Yet Israel has drawn up and offered borders to the Palestinians and Arabs generally many times before. The Jewish state swapped land for peace with Egypt with the Sinai Peninsula and Camp David treaty – and the Jihadists murdered Egypt’s Anwar Sadat because of it in the late 1970’s.

    Israel agreed to a Palestinian state with PLO terrorist leader Arafat as its dictator back in the 1990s Oslo accords – until Arafat betrayed them and ended the peace and started another war.

    Israel offered Arafat almost, almost everything he demanded back in the early 2000’s under Ehud Barak and pressure from Bill Clinton. Arafat rejected the offer.

    Then Israel voluntarily unilaterally left Gaza complete with a gift of greenhouses and a flower industry. The Gazans destroyed everything Israel had given them, rejected peace and voted for Hamas who then fired rockets from Gaza at Israel -and yet still run Gaza albeit hopefully not for much longer.

    What has Hamas or the Palestinians ever comparably offered or voluntarily given up? Nothing. The Arab side won’t even accept Israel has a right to exist!

    All this and y’all still cast Israel wrongly as the bad guy here? For pity’s sake what more can the worlds one ,only and tiny Jewish state do? What more do you want? Israel to just slit its own throat for y’all?

    Israel does not want peace, …

    See above. Israel has already proven it desperately wants peace and is willing to make huge sacrifices for it -Hamas OTOH does not.

    … and it is shameful that the US and US Jews are allowing its behavior to determine their values. This is the evil of unconditional support.

    The ignorance expressed here would be funny were it not so tragic.

    Also what do you know of the Jewish people and their values – US or otherwise? What gives you the right to say that of a whole group which, I strongly suspect, you don’t belong to and really know stuff all about?

  16. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @2. Marcus Ranum : “Fucking warmongers.”

    You mean Hamas I presume? Y’know the ones that kidnapped and murdered three teenagers and are responsible for this whole conflict because they fire rockets at innocent Israeli civilians and refuse to stop doing so. Yes?

    @6. left0ver1under : “People had the choice of leaving their homes or being murdered in them.”

    Or, alternatively, y’know, Hamas could have fucking stopped firing rockets at innocent people! Thatnever occur to you?

    @9. theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) : “As I understand it, in large part because Israel has an extremely vocal lobby in Washington. “

    Anti-Semitic conspiracy theory noted – and also, why why shouldn’t Israel have a group to argue its case? Its wrong fro israel to lobby but okay for the Arabs to do so through OPEC, CAIR, a number of far left wing professors for odd reasons known only to them, et cetera. Double standards much?

    Of course, Israel has a lobby group – nothing wrong with that – and have you ever considered that they make a convincing case because their case is ,well, actually convincing?

    I know you think I’m some kind of bigot (which I ain’t.) and yet here you hypocritically are, espousing one of the oldest and most despicable lies and forms of bigotry around. Huh. Go figure.

    @10. jws1 : “I guess the Palestinians hide missiles amongst children playing on the beach, right colnago, right stevo? That is the argument isn’t it?”

    Nope.

    @12. Silentbob :

    “My prediction would be that Stevo will say the kids were bound to grow up to be suicide bombers, so Israel’s ‘pre-emptive strike’ saved lives. Colnago, on the other hand, will yawn, mutter something about eggs and omelettes, and change the subject to Frankenburger.”

    Your prediction is wrong.

    Who knows what those kids would grow up to be if given the chance – and not indoctrinated in the hatred of the Hamas ideology. Something much better than they would otherwise no doubt. Growing up under Hamas control and brain-washing,what chance of being better and happier have they got do you reckon?

    Imagine what the Palestinians and Gazans could do if they stopped living lives dominated by hatred of Israel and turned themselves to positive alternatives instead? Any and all of them. What a tragic, stupid, needless waste of life. Sod Islam and the Death cult of the Homicide suicide bomber and the failure to just accept reality and get on with their lives rather than continually being eaten up by the horrid old grudges and wishes to destroy a tiny Jewish state that has every right to live in peace.

    As for Colnago80, I’m surprised he hasn’t commented here before me. I hope he is okay and have no idea what’s up with him. I don’t always agree with him on everything and know he’s gone too far in the past – as I admit I have -but Israel needs all the friends and supporters and spokesfolk it can get these days against the dreadful tide of hatred, demonisation and unfair treatment it gets from too many who should be smarter and know better and be able to see its point of view.

    What do y’all think would happen if Hamas somehow managed to win and israelis were massacred wholesale? How many of you would still cheer that that on?

    (Yeah, I’m sure a depressingly large number.)

  17. says

    How stupid are Hamas for starting and continuing this latest war?

    Yeah, stupid bastards got themselves surrounded and invested, with their supply lines controlled and their leaders assassinated. How fucking stupid of them; they deserve everything they get, right?

  18. says

    Imagine what the Palestinians and Gazans could do if they stopped living lives dominated by hatred of Israel and turned themselves to positive alternatives instead?

    Imagine them just shutting the fuck up and enjoying life in their refugee camps. It takes quite a bit of imagination, but “dream the impossible dream.”

  19. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    StevoR,

    Oh yeah, those children totally brought it on themselves.

  20. says

    StevoR:

    Also Israel didn’t attack, it defended itself from Gaza.

    From the OP:

    […] the killing by Israeli planes of four Gazan boys aged 9 to 11 as they played soccer on a beach in broad daylight.

    Yeah, those four Gazan boys were such a threat to Israel. In your zeal to justify Israel’s actions, you’re condoning the death of innocents. You haven’t changed a bit you warmonger.

  21. Holms says

    #12
    My prediction would be that Stevo will say the kids were bound to grow up to be suicide bombers, so Israel’s ‘pre-emptive strike’ saved lives. […]

    Wrong! He went with a far more audacious gambit: removing Israel’s agency in the matter entirely. “Stop making Israel hit you, Palestine!”

  22. readysf says

    Israel is back to committing war crimes. This is the evil outcome of unconditional US support. Killing children on the beach, blowing up the water supply….the list goes on.

    Last time Israel rampaged across Gaza, respected jurist Goldstone’s commission determined that Israel had committed war crimes. He was bullied into a retraction. This is naked power in action.

    Judaism has been swallowed up by Zionism.

  23. Silentbob says

    @ 16 StevoR

    As for Colnago80, I’m surprised he hasn’t commented here before me. I hope he is okay and have no idea what’s up with him.

    You needn’t worry about your brother in arms. He’s fighting the good fight over at Ed’s:

    Past time for the IDF to stop playing pattycake with the Hamas terrorists and take a leaf from the Assad pere/fils playbook and apply Hama Rules on the Gaza Strip.

  24. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    By the time I followed John’s link, it said:

    Casualties and losses
    1 soldier and 2 civilians killed[4] 17 soldiers and 28 civilians wounded[5]
    333 killed[4] (UN: 72% civilians)[6] 2,385 wounded[4]

  25. Anton Mates says

    Question for all Israel’s critics here – if you were in their shoes with people firing rockets at you, your families and friends, everyone you knew; what would you do?

    As Robert Fisk has pointed out, the IRA and its descendant organizations have been bombing UK targets with grenades, rockets and mortars since the 1970s. Oddly enough, the British government has not reacted to this by blockading or carpet-bombing Dublin.

    So, you know, maybe the Israeli government’s response to sporadic rocket fire isn’t what everyone would naturally do to protect themselves. Maybe Israel’s a little…unusual on that front.

    What do y’all think would happen if Hamas somehow managed to win and israelis were massacred wholesale?

    What universe do you live in where this is even a remote possibility? Israel has nukes, for god’s sake. Israel has repeatedly proved a military match for several Arab states at once. Israel receives insane amounts of money and weaponry from the world’s greatest superpower.

    Hamas isn’t going to “win.” Israelis are not in danger of extinction from them. Israel is the side with the power here. It’s okay to accept this.

  26. says

    How much does it take for a genocidal sociopath like SR to get banned from a site?

    I don’t know what his drivel contains, I don’t read his empty-headed replies and hate speech.

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