Wiesenthal Center: Huffington Post Headline on Gaza ‘Takes Art of Lying to New Depths’

July 24, 2014 6:56 pm 27 comments

A screenshot of the offending Huffington Post headline. Photo: Screenshot.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper on Thursday slammed the Huffington Post and reporter Sophie Jones, its Middle East correspondent, for the sensationalist headline, “‘They Just Wanted to Kill as Many People as Possible.”’ Cooper said the headline, accusing Israel of targeting civilians in its current war against Hamas in Gaza, and Jones’s reporting, “takes the art of lying and self-delusion to new depths.”

The Huffington Post article quoted Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, the IDF’s official spokesman, describing Israel’s policy and procedure to warn civilians before striking Gaza targets, but then accused Israel of targeting civilians as collective punishment.

In an email, Lerner told Jones: “The IDF has no intention to harm civilians. Any instance in which non-involved Gaza residents are harmed is a tragic byproduct of Hamas attempts to maximize local casualties.”

“When arms depots or military targets are deployed within residential areas, the IDF calls residents with a warning minutes before the strike, in order to provide residents time to evacuate,” Lerner said.

“If residents fail to comply, a small non-explosive munition is used to convey the seriousness of the warning, prior to the strike,” he told Jones. “Finally, only after visual confirmation that civilians have exited the premises does the IDF approve the strike.”

Then Jones wrote: “But in dozens of interviews, survivors from Israeli strikes mocked and criticized Israel’s insistence that it actively tries to avoid killing civilians. Instead, they said, civilians are being targeted as a form of collective punishment.”

On Thursday, Cooper told The Algemeiner, “This takes the art of lying and self-delusion to new depths. The people of Gaza know the truth.”

“Israel made a commitment unmatched by any other country in wartime to use technology to minimize civilian casualties,” he said. “Is it perfect, of course not. But Gazans know the truth – Hamas, who they voted into power, has turned them into human shields, their enemy Israel has tried to help them survive.”

Jones’s own reporting contradicted the article’s headline, as several of her “dozens of interviews” described how they and their families safely left their homes after the IDF warned as many as people as possible in their neighborhood.

In the article, Jones wrote: “Civilians living in homes that have been targeted say Israel often gives warnings to their neighbors, nearby relatives or friends. If those people are sleeping, can’t reach the residents by phone, or just can’t run fast enough, families often have no idea they need to evacuate.”

Jones quoted Dr. Nasser al-Tattar, head of Al Shifa Hospital, which has become an unofficial and illegal, according to intentional laws of war, headquarters for Hamas.

Al-Tatter told Jones he had “received a warning earlier this month about an imminent strike from his nephew, Mohammed, who lives in a house nearby.”

They said, ‘We are going to bomb Dr. Nasser’s house, tell the neighbors to evacuate,’ Mohammed recalled, standing next to his uncle’s destroyed home, the first floor cardio clinic now just rubble. ‘You have 10 minutes,’ they said. So I ran and told everyone.

Thanks to Mohammed’s ability to get to the house quickly, no one was injured or killed.

Rabbi Cooper said: “We shouldn’t be surprised that their neighbors won’t acknowledge it, let alone say thank you.”

“Israel made these efforts because its the right thing to do,” he said. “For now, that choice will have to serve as its own reward.”


  • The Huffington Post has done nothing but publish anti-Israel articles – every single article from this publication is strongly biased against Israel.

  • This is a lot simpler than many make it out to be.

    There have been about 800 total Palestinian deaths in this conflcit. Analyses of the age and gender profile of those deaths imply more than 400 of them have been combatants. Allow for human shield deaths and those killed by Hamas/Islamic Jihad rockets falling on Gaza even 100 and there are some 300 additional deaths to be accounted for.

    I understand there have been more than 2000 strikes into Gaza, implying that there is one death every six or seven strikes. If Israel is trying to kill Palestinian civilians, they’re doing a really inefficient job of it.

  • After spending YEARS commenting on Huff n’Puff I must admit to a great degree of NON-SURPRISE.

    They’ve been at it for years. A strict anti-Israel blog if ever there were one. Der Strumer for liberals. And as a liberal, it turned my stomach.


  • I thought Arianna sold HuffPo to AOL.

  • The people of Gaza voted for Hamas who appropriated concrete for restoring buildings and homes damaged in two wars, to build bunkers and tunnels. Now Gazans are living the legacy of their folly in choosing Hamas to rule their lives. As the old saying goes, you go to bed with dogs you wake up with fleas.

  • The Huffington Post would not exist without Jewish seed money. But like everyone else on the west all you need to do is talk about how powerful Jews are and you always justified in stabbing them in the back. As Arrriana has been doing ever since she kicked all her cofounders and investors of the Jewish persuasion.

  • Does Madam Huffington despise Israel so much? If yes, I would like to know why? What is the root of being a liar, an inciter and right out scumbag.

  • We need to start addressing the “Huffington Post” as the “Hamas Post”.

  • Lying, the art of which every politician excels.

  • rachel robinson

    the people of Gaza “voted” for a terrorist organization thinking they are voting for a “government”. This terror organization prevented their brethren from living as human beings. This area on the Mediterranean could have been a paradise if the inhabitants were allowed to develop it and live in peace with their successful neighbor, Israel. But instead the people remain poor and uneducated while the leadership of Hamas live in bunkers – remind us of Hitler who also lived in such underground holes – and live in unbelievable luxury. Their people are suffering because they are not allowed to live as free people, be successful and allow their children to be educated. Instead they live in a refugee camp and are prevented from developing their cities so that Hamas can fulfill its dream of destroying Israel. This is the real tragedy of those Palestinians, who are not aware and are not being allowed to improve their lives.

  • HUFF PO and the NY TIMES are just two branches of Der Sturmer in modern form.

    • The NYT fired the tiny firebrand Jewish liberal, for this reason and this reason only, because the New fake Left has no plce for the original liberals like JFK and her who love Israel.

  • Huffington Post are jihad terrorist they destroy with there lies

  • If Palestine (Gaza-muslims) were to lay down their guns, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down theirs, there would be no Israel. For those wanting a good insight into the ‘Occupier-In-Chief’ in our White House…have a listen to this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCxPn66Y-Aw

  • Michael Fox

    Of course Hamas knew they could not win a military engagement with Israel but this war would be fought on two fronts and they knew they had the advantage on the critical propaganda front. Civilian casualties would be impossible for Israel to avoid. Hamas was ready with cameras rolling and their directors of propaganda dissemination (the UN) standing by at the ready to exploit this advantage.. Always worked before, why wouldn’t it work again?

    Ego trumped logic and Hamas made a huge miscalculation.

  • Huffington Post should inquire how much warning US Air Force gave to the Vietnamese while carpet-bombing Vietnam. It should inquire how much warning was given to the Germans of Dresden when it was bombed with phosphorous bombs. How much warning did Hiroshima or Nagasaki get this can go on. Roosevelt on the other hand never allowed that the rail lines that took Jews to death camps should not be touched, nor did he warn the Germans if anything he approved in his anti Semitic sentiment. How much blame is going to the Hamas leadership living in safety in Qatar but fighting by proxy behind the Philistines human shield. Will Huffington dare publish the truth or stay with the mob journalism ???????

    • rachel robinson

      Huff Post should check out how much warning time the Syrians, the Iraquis and other are given. In those countries the dead are being killed by their own kind, not by Israel, and the world does not even say a word. Shame on them for being so utterly one sided and anti Israel and Anti Jews.

      • They should check out how many little kids are warned by Dear Leader of the IRS and State Department Media Herr Obama, when he keeps dropping bombs on little kids from drones in Pakistan, who his government also gives 11 billion a year to in free military aid.

    • Fred; Thank you so much for that clarity. Yesterday at synagogue I was talking about the children who were murdered because I feel horrible about it. But some context came from a fellow member who lived in London during the Blitz. She said; “Did Germany ever apologize for what they did to us? I don’t know how many British were killed, but many were children and Germany never said they were sorry for what they did.” I have been appalled at the level of hatred on HuffPost, and am only now realizing that this is a pattern with them. I used to admire that site but now I feel a sense of disgust at their blatant lies and over anti-Semitism.

  • Michael Fox

    Of course Hamas knew they could not win a military engagement with Israel but this war would be fought on two fronts and they knew they had the advantage on the critical propaganda front. Civilian casualties wold be impossible for Israel to avoid. Hamas was ready with cameras rolling and their directors of propaganda dissemination (the UN) standing by at the ready to exploit this advantage.. Always worked before, why wouldn’t it work again?

    Ego trumped logic and Hamas made a huge miscalculation.

  • Mark Zucker

    The Huffington Post has become a mouthpiece for Hamas. The IDF has done more than any army in history to avoid civilian deaths.

  • Help secure Israel’s food production in this conflict of Civilizations between good and evil. Help the Israel Longhorn Project http://longhornproject.org

    Have Israeli’s, Jews and Christians forgotten that the Attacks on Israeli Ranches and farms are still continuing. Help the Israel Longhorn Project to stop it. http://longhornproject.org

    Texas Longhorns may help farms in East Africa, Israel

  • She is an anti Semite and a Racist.

  • None of these “moral” beacons speak out against the collective punishment of rockets, mortars or missiles against Israel. How many days did it take for Obama/Kerry to condemn the kidnapping of the three Jewish boys?? Where were these “moral”monitors to tell hamas to stop the attacks BEFORE Israel reacted? Blood libel is still a tool to get Jews killed

    • the virtual silence from the WH on Ayal, Gilad, and Naftali was bad enough. but the unnecessary and punitive FAA ban on US flights to Israel was an actively hostile act. but I’m loath to say “well, Obama certainly can’t sink any lower than this,” because I’m sure he can.

    • The American leftists may live to regret their patronizing barbaric terrorists …

  • “Progressives” lie in the service of jihad.

    Knock me over with a feather.

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