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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lie down with dogs... get up with fleas

According to a news report, an 'observer' from the self-described Human Rights group 'B'tselem' has filed a complaint about being shot in the thigh with a rubber bullet while filming a violent confrontation between Palestinians hurling stones and Israeli Border Patrol officers using non-lethal crowd dispersal measures (tear gas and rubber bullets).

To be clear, I am all for neutral observers filming interactions between civilians and military/police personnel.  It is an extra layer of accountability, in addition to existing laws and rules of engagement, that can help reduce or even prevent abuses by government forces... while discouraging civilians and/or irregular combatants (terrorists) from filing spurious charges against official forces who are acting lawfully.

The problem is that B'tselem long ago abandoned any pretense at neutrality/objectivity.  Their cameras are invariably pointed at the Israeli military, police and settlers, while systematically editing their footage in such a way so as to only show Palestinian civilians acting peacefully, waving flags and chanting.

I've personally witnessed violent confrontations here where B'Tselem photographers stood amongst the Palestinians who were throwing stones and molotov cocktails... yet their cameras were pointed only at the Israeli's, apparently in hopes of capturing their violent reaction.  And there are countless cases of violent clashes being 'made to order' by the very presense of B'tslem cameras.

I won't get into analyzing the mindset that motivates a certain segment of Israeli society to stoop to such levels of self-loathing that they aid and abet groups that have openly dedicated themselves to Israel's vilification and destruction.

Shame on B'Tselem for abandoning their original mission which, as I stated at the outset, was not only laudable, but IMHO, essential.  Their current actions are so one-sided and biased as to be indistinguishable from acting as human shields from behind which violent and illegal actions can be carried out against Israeli government forces and citizens with impunity.

And as far as I'm concerned, this B'tselem 'observer' put herself in harms way and got exactly what she was looking for; harm.

If you align and embed yourself with people carrying out illegal/violent acts, you can't cry foul when you get winged by one of the non-lethal tools at the disposal of the military and police forces whose job it is to confront such acts.

As Benjamin Franklin wrote in his Poor Richard's Almanac, "qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent" ("He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas").

Posted by David Bogner on July 21, 2013 | Permalink

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is a rock a lethal weapon? if so nonlethal force will never stop it.

Posted by: Dave | Jul 22, 2013 5:24:58 PM

What was the name of that girl who got run over by the bulldozer she intentionally laid down in front of again? Rachel "I'm going to kill myself and people will blame the Israelis anyway" Corry or something like that?

Posted by: Garnel Ironheart | Jul 22, 2013 6:49:13 PM

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