After falsely accusing Gazan officials of inflating death tolls, Netanyahu confesses to overstating October 7’s death toll by hundreds. But was the error even greater than admitted—and does it matter?
I read every word, Seth. Great work! I know this is a stupid response, but all I can think to say is WOW.
So why did it take this so-called war to raise questions about how many casualties are fact and how many are fiction (and that these numbers are a propaganda weapon for Israel)? What about those "wars" in Gaza every 2 years or so where Israel would bomb Gaza's schools, hospitals, mosques and apartment buildings, kill between 1,000 and 3,000 Palestinians each time, and the western media didn't give a shit except to infer that they deserved it? Really, when Hamas would fire their homemade "rockets" and no Israelis got killed, the serial torment of those "wars" on Gaza were quickly forgotten.
Racism? Yes, partially, but also Christian brainwashing that has taught generations of westerners that Israel's claims are indisputable and that it has an absolute right to slaughter the people whose land they occupy. For us atheists, it stinks more of America's similarly-based "manifest destiny" that fueled the genocide of its indigenous peoples. To this day, Israelis live in homes of Palestinians who were, and are, forced to vacate them. Others are torn down and the land given to Israelis. It is a violation of the Geneva Conventions to destroy buildings under occupation.
When an occupied people are driven into an enclave the size of Philadelphia, are cut off from food, water and medical care, are bombed, shot and starved, and they have already been living that way for decades, just what kind of idiots fail to understand that this is how terrorism begins?
Netanyahu is a corrupt POS who has squandered the goodwill for Israel in the US. As a gesture toward tRump, and Netanyahu’s family friends, the Kushners, he was pivotal in PROVOKING this attack when the US Embassy was moved to Jerusalem. He capped it off by having Israeli soldiers open fire on unarmed Palestinian protestors. It was no coincidence that PUTIN personally drove in the convoy that invaded Crimea that same day. Netanyahu, like tRump, thought he had a pal in Putin. This performative gesture went against decades of foreign policy, and IT WAS PROVOCATIVE. Yet, in his arrogance, he blew off intelligence reports of a Hamas attack--his pal, Putin, wouldn’t give the okay for such a thing, right?
Recently, ACCORDING TO REUTERS, Iran informed Hamas that they would not be providing financial backing in the wake of their attack because THEY HAD NOT AUTHORIZED THE ATTACK.
PUTIN. This is a PROXY WAR aimed to entangle the US in retaliation for supporting Ukraine.
Furthermore, the RNC’s paid, dirty tricksters (Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Ron Lauder, etc) have a very long history of supporting dictators in Hungary and Ukraine. . . With collaboration by Putin.
The bottom line: This is a proxy war. No emotional protesting in this country will determine the outcome--and how arrogant, naive and stupid for US voters to “demand” that Biden “call a cease fire.”
Netanyahu has to go.
Recognize that Settlers in contested areas and Palestinians acting as “human shields” are serving as pawns for martydom.
Move the damned embassy out of Jerusalem,
And give Ukraine the arms required to maintain their independence.
Questions: what is/was Bibi's plan(s) for previously "propping up Hamas" and who benefits from having a hot war of occupation, particularly at this moment? To name a couple: Bibi appeared to be on his way out (corruption) prior to all this, Putin would seem to benefit from the distractions away from Ukraine, etc.
And knowing the lack of empathy for life by RW entities, it causes one to speculate on hurting US/Biden and "wag the dog" (Bibi) scenarios. In the name of "security" of course. And for those who have read "Proof of Conspiracy" there is already an understanding of all the underlying threads. So, the death toll manipulations are an "indicator" of other agendas it seems. To quote a well worn phrase, this is a damned "hot mess" with a pile of ancillary "noise" and the potential for long range and continuing issues.
I really appreciate your thoroughness and showing your work in reaching conclusions and explaining inferences, along with many explicit confirmations that Hamas's actions mustn't be excused, adds-up to an exhaustive but exhausting - to create and to read - article. I wouldn't presume to dictate how, but a lot more people would avail themselves of this very important information if it was available in a bite-sized form that would not do justice to the subject but the subject receives no justice if it doesn't reach broad awareness. You are, of course, cognizant of the conflicting exigencies - thoroughness and easy digestibility. Thanks so much for your very thoughtful labors.
Thank you, Seth. A remarkable article and I really appreciate your insight.
I totally agree with the comments already made by Robert Hull and Jane. I read every word and I'm relieved to hear what I've been feeling. All of this makes me so angry and upset. Too many small-minded men still wanting to be dictators in the world. When will we grow up as a species?
As soon as you described Netanyahu as white I stopped reading. What ever was the point of that observation in relation to your article Seth?
I believe Israel is bombing Gaza with complete disregard for any hostages. And given Israel’s complete disregard for Palestinian lives, Hamas should daily announce the number of hostages killed by Israeli bombs. That would ratchet up world pressure for an immediate ceasefire.
Thank you, Seth. That was fascinating. I suspected Netanyahu inflated the numbers. I would go further than that with my suspicions but as I don't have strong evidence right now, I will refrain.
Btw, The Young Turks played a snippet of a recording of Trump talking about Netanyahu after he left office. Even he is appalled him. He said in the recording it was quite clear to him that Netanyahu didn't want peace between Palestine and Israel...ever.
He mentioned he was very fond of the Palestinian leader. Is it Abbas? Can't remember the name. Claimed that he did so much for Netanyahu, including moving the embassy to Jerusalem and "he got nothing in return."
So, they were friends but friendship with Trump has a best before date. Just a fwiw.
Seth I appreciate you dedication to unearthing truth and sharing your insights no matter who it may reflects on poorly.
This is type of reporting is missed and needed in American MSM, if Americans are to truly understand what is happening here and around the world!
Could Hamass’ main goal been to stop the Israel-Saudi peace agreement? If all the Arab states come to peace agreements it could render the Palestinian cause moot.
I look forward to your next article.
BLUF (bottom line up front): Rescuing the hostages is - and always was - the operational priority, and is the reason for the brutal attack on Gaza. Israel can't responsibly or effectively rescue the hostages, which requires operating in the tunnel network, without first clearing the surface structures above. Hamas could end the siege instantly by releasing all hostages, thereby eliminating Netanyahu's rationale for the current character, pace, and intensity of operations.
The fact that Netanyahu is PM figured both in Hamas's predicate for their attack and for the because-Netanyahu-is-PM predictable Israeli response (similar to ObL's calculus pre-9/11). The corrupt PM was caught with his pants down and had to move precipitously for his own political survival, not operational necessity. A different PM might have been able to take time to establish contexts, open up lines of communications for hostage negotiation, seek multinational cooperation, etc.
I might've missed it but failed to observe in Mr. Abramson's account the hostage rescue mission. That's the one that matters urgently, and justifies Israel's actions in Gaza right now, not "elimination of Hamas," as Netanyahu says, because that's virtually impossible.
EDIT: I take to be the main thrust of this installment of Mr. Abramson's Gaza reporting to be about implications associated with reporting accuracy, and politicians' role in inaccurate reporting. I don't dispute that it happens, I don't fault the journalist for concerning one's self with it. It doesn't strike one as particularly urgent to note in this moment, considering that 1) once bullets start flying (this in regard to Hamas's intent versus actual execution), all operational plans go out the window and 2) the fog of war isn't conducive to accurate reporting for many reasons.
Thanks again Seth for your always detailed reporting. Your early analysis of Trump's Jan 6th 2021 operation to disrupt the POTUS succession was later verified by reality - Congressional and judicial.
To mention an obvious political angle: There is absolutely no reason why Netanyahu would want to conduct himself so as to not hand the White House over to the GOP, with or without Trump. That besides keeping the war hysteria going so as to keep him in office.
The question is, can the Israeli state afford the economic and financial costs of a longer war? JP Morgan forecasts "Israel's Economy Set to Shrink 11% as Hamas War Escalates" - just in one quarter! https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-10-29/jpmorgan-says-israel-s-economy-may-shrink-11-this-quarter?embedded-checkout=true
Did you see the report from Haaretz that said that IDF attack helicopters hit civilians at the music festival, too?
It will be interesting to see where all these “casualty” figures end up. It is true that the Israelis have lost the PR war as international opinion is decidedly against them.
Great work as always. Can you explain a little more how the revised numbers affect proportionality? My understanding is that in the legal sense, the proportionality of an attack is basically “was the target of high enough importance for the civilian casualties the attack caused,” and is assessed per action, and not as a whole/not in the sense of “they killed X amount, so you get to kill Y amount.”
It’s key that this remarkable and impressive piece of journalism touches upon the taking of land and removal of Palestinians from the Gaza as the motive for IDF actions.
The present echoes the past but with the information field now much less manageable than before perhaps outcomes will differ.