Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who shot Anthony Shadid in 2002 in Ramallah (II)
A well-known Western correspondent in the Middle East sent me this (he/she permitted me to cite without identifying him/her): "It was the Israelis. Not surprisingly the wording is mealy-mouthed. I had a few drinks with Anthony and his wife in the bar of the American Colony the evening he was shot (it was not a serious wound). He said he clearly saw the shooter was an Israeli soldier, and if I recall correctly he was treated in an Israeli field hospital. There never was any doubt who shot him."
And here is some more intelligence for you: western reporters who covered today's bombing in Jerusalem were attacked (kicked and punched) by Israelis at the scene. Unlike encounters by reporters in Tahrir Square attacked by Mubarak thugs, this has not been mentioned on air, has it?"
On March 9, I received the following invitation:
The Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Middle East Forum
of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center
present (sic)
A Conversation
with Moshe Yaalon

Vice Premier, Minister of Strategic Affairs and Likud Knesset Member

Moderated by
Aaron David Miller
Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center

In the aftermath of the political change sweeping the Arab world, Minister Yaalon will share his perspective on how those events have shaped Israeli attitudes and policies on security, peacemaking, and relations with its Arab neighbors.

Thursday, March 24, 2011, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
6th Floor Flom Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center...
I was never able to go to the event. But today, I learned that it is now being described as "off the record". Why?
Possibly because Moshe Ya'alon has been credibly accused of having committed war crimes in Gaza-- most notably during the 2002 assassination of senior Hamas figure Salah Shehadeh-- an act committed when Mr. Shehadeh was eating dinner in his own home and thus in no sense a valid target under the laws of war? (Eight children and six other family members were killed alongside him during that meal.)

There are many countries in the world that Gen. Ya'alon cannt visit right now, because of the criminal charges that have been filed against him in connection with that killing as well as the shelling of the village of Qana in Lebanon in 1996, in which 120 mainly older people who had taken refuge there were killed. Here in the U.S. no such criminal charges have yet been filed, so he comes and goes as he pleases. But really, is there any need for a federally funded institution like the Wilson Center to grace him with an invitation?

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