On the inspiration behind a ‘Comment is Free’ contributor’s Tweet alleging Israeli savagery

John Carlin is a journalist and author, whose book ‘Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation’, about the 1995 Rugby World Cup, was the basis for the film Invictus.

He also helped write the script for the film, “Die Hard 4‘.

He has written for many publications, and is a senior international writer for El País, the world’s leading newspaper in the Spanish language.  

He’s also been publishing at the Guardian’s blog, ‘Comment is Free’, since 2000.

Fortunately, a fluent Spanish speaker was able to translate one of his recent Tweets:

In English, it reads: 

Irrefutable article demonstrating that Holocaust memory is, for the Israeli army, a license to kill Palestinian children”

Which article does Carlin link to, ‘proving’ that Israelis cynically exploit their past suffering to murder kids?

Here it is:

So, what specifically in McGreal’s essay would lead Mr. Carlin to Tweet such a thing?

Likely, these passages helped:

[Corrie’s] death was not arbitrary but one of a pattern of killings as the Israeli army pursued a daily routine of attacks intended to terrorise the Palestinian population of southern Gaza into submission.”

“The case laid bare the state of the collective Israeli military mind, which cast the definition of enemies so widely that children walking down the street were legitimate targets.”

And, finally, where does the Holocaust come in?  

It enters the picture in the following passage from McGreal’s piece, citing instances of Palestinian children killed during the 2nd Intifada, which McGreal employs to argue that Rachel Corrie’s killing was consistent with a pattern of IDF behavior. 

The Israeli military commander in southern Gaza at the time was Colonel Pinhas “Pinky” Zuaretz. A few weeks after Corrie’s death, I (as the Guardian’s correspondent in Israel) spoke to him about how it was that so many children were shot by Israeli soldiers at times when there was no combat [during the Second Intifada] . His explanation was chilling.

“Every name of a child here, it makes me feel bad because it’s the fault of my soldiers. I need to learn and see the mistakes of my troops,” he said. But Zuaretz was not going to do anything about it; and by the end of the interview, he was casting the killings as an unfortunate part of the struggle for Israel’s very survival.

I remember the Holocaust. We have a choice, to fight the terrorists or to face being consumed by the flames again,” he said.

So, there you have it: Everything John Carlin needed to know about Israel but, until McGreal’s ‘revelations’, was afraid to ask.  

And, of course, we have what we need to know about Chris McGreal’s latest anti-Zionist formula: The exploitation of Rachel Corrie’s death, a choice quote, and examples of Palestinian casualties during the Second Intifada to prove his conclusion that the Jewish state hides behind the Holocaust to intentionally kill Palestinian children with impunity.

John Carlin didn’t need a dog whistle to hear McGreal’s hideous defamation of the Jewish state. 

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