Posted on | July 4, 2014 | 29 Comments
The Israeli government “stage-managed” the crisis sparked by the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers, Left-wing writer Max Blumenthal said in an interview on the Russia Today network. Blumenthal said a “gag order” that kept information about the Israeli investigation of the kidnapping was part of a conspiracy by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to foment war against Palestinians. Blumenthal accused the New York Times of cooperating in a “whitewash” of this Israeli plot.
“It’s my view that the Israeli government knew from the beginning that the three kidnapped and murdered Israeli teens were dead. They knew who the alleged perpetrators were, who the chief suspects were and they may have even had an idea of where the bodies were from the beginning, two weeks ago, and that they concealed this information through a gag order from the Israeli public, in order to bring us to the crisis where we are today, which has only benefited Netanyahu and his extremely right-wing coalition at the expense of everyone else living under their control. …
“Netanyahu has carefuly stage-managed this crisis … It’s clear to me that the Israeli government has manipulated this situation to avoid a police action to justify a military action directed at Hamas and the Palestinian unity government.”
The crisis has continued to escalate. Israeli jets on Thursday struck sites in Gaza in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks:
Israel mobilized troops to border areas near the Gaza Strip on Thursday after Palestinian militants in the enclave stepped up rocket attacks on southern Israel, heightening tensions following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli students and the suspected revenge killing of an Arab teenager in East Jerusalem.
Israel said the deployments were ordered as a defensive measure after dozens of rockets were fired into its territory from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist militant group Hamas. The Israeli military said that it responded Wednesday and Thursday with airstrikes on 16 Hamas targets in the strip, including rocket-launching sites and weapons warehouses. . . .
An Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said the troop mobilization did not signal an intent by Israel to prepare for a military operation against Hamas, which Israel has blamed for the recent kidnapping and killings of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank. But he said any de-escalation in violence would need to start with Hamas, which reached a cease-fire agreement with Israel after an eight-day war in November 2012.
Blumenthal is author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, a book condemned by many critics for its anti-Israel bias, including progressive journalist Eric Alterman, who said Blumenthal’s argument was “so carelessly constructed, it will likely alienate anyone but the most fanatical anti-Zionist extremists.”