Buried facts about the Gaza war

May 19, 2024 by Melanie Phillips - JNS.org
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The extent to which the political class and the media are burying facts that undermine their poisonous narrative in order to defame and undermine Israel’s war of survival has become simply jaw-dropping.

Melanie Phillips

The Biden administration has gone to great lengths to appease the genocidal and terrorist Iranian regime. It has funnelled billions into Tehran’s coffers through sanctions relief. It has refused to effectively respond to repeated Iran-backed attacks on U.S. interests. And it is doing everything it can to prevent Israel from taking action that would damage America’s relationship with the Iranian regime, such as the destruction of Hamas, a vital force in Tehran’s proxy army against Israel and the West.

The American appeasement of Iran has left many people mystified. They should have been paying more attention.

Twelve days before the Oct. 7 pogrom, Jay Solomon reported on the Semafor site that Ariane Tabatabai, chief of staff to the U.S. assistant secretary of defence for special operations and low-intensity conflict, was part of an “Iran Experts Initiative” created by senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials to bolster Tehran’s position on global security issues, particularly its nuclear program.

In other words, Tabatabai was an agent of influence for Iran at the heart of the U.S. government and with the highest level of security clearance.

Semafor and the Iranian opposition group Iran International obtained a large cache of Iranian government correspondence and emails. These revealed that, in 2021, Robert Malley—who was the point man on Iran under both the Obama and Biden administrations until he was removed in June 2023 following a still unexplained “mishandling of classified materials”—had infiltrated Tabatabai into the U.S. State Department to assist him in his negotiations with Iran.

The day Solomon’s article appeared, 31 U.S. Senators wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to express their concern. They wrote: “We find it unconscionable that a senior department official would continue to hold a sensitive position despite her alleged participation in an Iranian government information operation.”

They noted that, in March 2021, shortly after Tabatabai was appointed senior adviser to the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, Iranian dissidents reported her long history of echoing the Iranian regime’s talking points.

That month, Adam Kredo reported in The Washington Free Beacon on these dissidents’ shock at Tabatabai’s appointment. They claimed she parroted the Iranian regime’s position at multiple public appearances and that her father was part of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s inner circle.

In April 2021, several members of the House of Representatives requested a review of Tabatabai’s security clearance. In response, the Biden administration dismissed these claims as “smears and slander.”

Even more astonishingly, Tabatabai runs the office overseeing hostage negotiations. Three weeks after the Oct. 7 pogrom, a reporter asked White House Spokesman John Kirby whether it was appropriate for Tabatabei to be in such a position given the claims made against her.  Kirby stalled. Tabatabai is still there.

Online, several commentators (including myself) wrote about this. The mainstream media studiously ignored it. Over the past few days, they’ve ignored another vital revelation.

From the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, Israel has been accused of disproportionately killing Palestinian civilians. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry put out daily figures of civilians who had been killed that rose to more than 35,000, of whom the vast majority were said to be women and children.

These figures, promoted by the United Nations and used by both the Biden administration and the U.K. government to berate and threaten Israel, have fueled mass demonstrations and attacks on Jewish people worldwide.

On May 8, however, the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs halved its figures for the number of women and children killed in Gaza from the number it gave the day before.

Preposterously, U.N. Spokesman Farhan Haq tried to maintain that the claim of 35,000 dead remained “unchanged” and the only new development was that more than 10,000 bodies still had to be fully identified.

This, however, was merely an attempt to cover up the fact that the U.N. had been putting out Hamas figures that were always demonstrably ludicrous since they did not differentiate between terrorists and civilians.

In early April, after statisticians authoritatively demolished these figures as “statistically impossible,” the Gaza Health Ministry quietly admitted that it had “incomplete data” for more than 10,000 of the individuals on its lists and revealed that it had even obtained some of its numbers from the media. Now the U.N. has felt forced to adjust its own figures while fudging the reason.

Given that Israel says it has killed some 14,000 combatants, the ratio of civilians to combatants killed stands now at around 1:1—a far lower proportion of civilians killed than any other country has ever achieved in war.

In other words, this is a total refutation of the incendiary lie of “disproportionate” killing of civilians with which the U.S. and British governments and Western media have been beating up Israel and fueling incitement against Jews around the world. Yet not one word has been heard about this from either the government or the media.

Now comes an admission by Fatah—the ruling party in the Palestinian Authority whose leader is P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas—that it took part in the Oct. 7 pogrom alongside Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups.

Abu Muhammad, the official spokesman for Fatah’s military arm—the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades—said in a video message last week that the Brigades participated in the invasion “and together with our brothers in the Palestinian struggle organizations captured many Zionists; some of them were transferred to us and some are still in our hands.”

The Brigades, he said, were participating in the fighting against the IDF in Gaza and had carried out more than 470 “military missions” since Oct. 7.

According to a report by Arutz Sheva, the Brigades revealed on Telegram that, over the past few days, their forces had fired an anti-tank missile at a tank in the Jabalya camp, set off an explosive device aimed at a tank south of the Zeytun neighbourhood and launched rockets at IDF forces at the Netzarim junction.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades are yet another Iranian proxy army through which Iran can attack Israel under the cover of “plausible deniability.” As Phillip Smyth wrote last December in an article for West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, elements in the Brigades have thanked Iran and Hezbollah for weapons and equipment and openly asked Iran for money. In 2023, an unnamed P.A. security source told The Jerusalem Post that the group was being paid by Iran via the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Just think about this: The military arm of Fatah, the P.A.’s ruling party, is holding Israeli hostages. Fatah’s military arm is fighting Israel in Gaza and the disputed territories. Fatah’s military arm is being funded by Iran. The Biden administration is funding the P.A. and appeasing Iran. The Biden administration is trying to force Israel to accept a P.A.-run administration in Gaza after the war.

And Ariane Tabatabai is still in her post at the Defense Department.

The mainstream media says nothing about any of this because nothing can be allowed to destroy the left’s driving narrative of Israeli oppression and Palestinian victimization.

Biden’s betrayal of Israel is widely attributed to his need to buy off the hard left of the Democratic Party. But his administration was rotten from the start, widely seeded with Obama-retread officials who are viscerally hostile to Israel. Some of them have histories of supporting Palestinian terrorist groups.

Now Iran is said to be nearing the ability to make nuclear weapons. When it announces it has succeeded, the United States and the United Kingdom will doubtless say they did everything they could to stop it. And if Israel tries to defend itself against this nightmare scenario, the West will accuse it of aggression.

The dots have been obvious for years. Connect them.


2 Responses to “Buried facts about the Gaza war”
  1. Morris Givner says:

    Dear Editor:
    Do you plan to publish my comments sent a few days ago on Melanie Philips’ article?
    Thank you.
    Morris Givner,Halifax,N.S.,Canada

  2. Morris Givner says:

    Israel tiny and democratic-is now facing a very difficult situation as Gaza is occupied by civilians who totally supported the barbaric and depraved Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel on Oct.7,2023-murdered,raped and decapitated over 1000 Israelis because they were Jewish and was viewed justifiable according to the teachings of Islam for the past 1400 years which also justifies the expulsion of all Christians from the Middle East because they like the Jews are non-believers. Natanayahu is totally aware that Hamas and their Palestinian and Iranian supporters plan to attack Israel again at the first opportunity.There has been no truce between Hamas and Israel because Muslims view Israel and all Jews as eternal enemies.The World should remember that Israel has been under daily attack since the UN recognized her statehood in 1948.Israel is fighting daily not for victory but for her survival and her critics should look at the map and compare her size to the vast acreage of the 22 Arab nations’s resurgent Empire.


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