Record Set Straight Seven Years After Israel's Top Soldier Was Accused of Trashing Palestinians

[Toronto Star] Oakland Ross - In 2002, near the height of a violent Palestinian uprising now known as the Second Intifada, IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon was said to have said, "The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people." The statement was published in some of the globe's most distinguished publications, including this one. There's just one problem. Yaalon never said it. Only now, seven years later, is the record finally being corrected. In recent weeks, publications including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe have all carried retractions or clarifications. "It only takes one mistake, one falsehood, and others pick up on it," said Gilead Ini, senior research analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), that has been tracking down publications that have printed the comment. In the 2002 Ha'aretz interview in which he is supposed to have said these words, Yaalon actually seems to have been making a very different point. Attempting to define what would constitute an Israeli victory in the Palestinian conflict, he said: "I defined it from the beginning of the confrontation - the very deep internalization by the Palestinians that terrorism and violence will not defeat us, will not make us fold."

2009-08-14 06:00:00

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