Well, the IDF has now changed its story for the third time about the death of Jawahir Abu Rahmah. Here are the three, all right, four versions. (Five, if you count the one about asthma)
Version One: Abu Rahmah died of an honor killing. Not confirmed. She wasn't even at the demonstration. Reported by hasbaritas after an IDF "press conference." No tear-gas inhalation.
Version Two: Abu Rahmah died of leukemia. She wasn't even at the demonstration. No tear-gas inhalation
Version Three: Abu Rahmah died of health complications, coupled with poor treatment at the Palestinian hospital. She wasn't even at the demonstration. Certainly no tear-gas inhalation.
Version Four – the current one - Abu Rahmah died after inhaling tear gas and after being given the wrong treatment at a Ramallah hospital. She actually was close enough at the demonstration to inhale tear gas and be rushed to a hospital for it. Why? The IDF doesn't say. No other illness, no leukemia, no contributory conditions.
And the evidence for this all? Nada. Hearsay. Ye old crapola.
What the IDF did was gather the Palestinian testimony that was published in the Israeli press – much of it couldn't be denied – and then concocted its own version of the events based on undisclosed sources.
Nu, meila -- what will the old hasbarita, Elder of Ziyon, say – now that the IDF has contradicted itself and released a report based on unreleased testimony?
Apparently, the shame and pathetic nature of it have caught up with him. I doubt he will be endorsing the latest version. He has some shred of intelligence. In fact, isn't it interesting that he has let this one quietly go.
For those of you who missed it – compare what the IDF says now with the IDF initial statement, taken from Muqata:
IDF: We have reason to believe that the death 2 days ago was because of another reason than what the Palestinians are claiming (tear gas inhalation).
Facts: Abu Rahma's documented lab work is dated on Friday at 2:45 PM.
Her admission time to the ER in the same Ramallah hospital was 3:20 PM.
Hospital Lab work is usually done after you arrive at the hospital, not before you arrive.
There is no hospital ER admission report, no ER summary report, and no hospital records of this woman. [Jerry's comment: now the nonexistent hospital records demonstrate maltreatment]
The official PA Ramallah Hospital's death certificate for Abu Rahma states as the cause of death as follows (this is word for word):
Cause of death "Inhaling gas of an Israeli solider according to the family" [Jerry's comment: Now it is claimed that they misdiagnosed the gas.]
That is the entire medical basis for the family's allegations.
We know this woman visited the same hospital 10 days ago and many other times in the past month. When we looked at the medication she was taking – it was for cancer. [Jerry's comment Well, look what dropped out of the final report]
We have never heard of anyone dying from inhaling tear gas (5 years of experience with this particular tear gas). There were hundreds of other rioters in the same open air location, in broad daylight and yet she was the only one "allegedly" affected by the gas. [Jerry's comment People are treated for tear gas every week at Bil'in, and CS tear gas has claimed lives]
Palestinians claim she has been participating in the riots for the past 5 years as her brother is the head leader of the weekly Bil'in riots. [Jerry's Comment: Palestinians did not claim she participated, only that she inhaled tear gas.]
However, there are no photos of this woman participating at this riot or ANY riot over the past 5 years, and these riots occur on a weekly basis and are heavily photographed and documented. [Jerry's comment Anybody at Bil'in knows that you can be outside your house and choking from tear gas.]
We always see photos of rioters – yet this time, no photos appeared of this woman.
We believe there are many unsolved questions – and our assumptions are:
1. Abu Rahma wasn't even at the riot [Jerry's comment: Now this is known to be false; she was in the vicinity of the demonstration, inhaled tear gas, and collapsed.)
2. Abu Rahma died at her home [Jerry's comment: Now we are supposed to believe that she died at the hospital.]
3. Abu Rahma was chronically ill [Jerry's comment…oh, it's not even worth commenting about."]
If you keep this up, you are going to prove to the IDF that it's probably better in the future to tell the truth from the outset, in order to avoid becoming a laughingstock...
I want you to ask yourself honestly what the IDF should do in these situations. They could tell the truth and say, "We don't know, we're looking into it," but then by the time they reach their conclusions, the PR battle is lost (and you're well aware that the PR battle is very much a real part of the battle). Granted, it could be that this poor woman died from tear gas inhalation. It could also be that she's the next Muhammad al-Dura, Jenin, or number of civilian casualties during Cast Lead.
The unfortunate reality is "bari ve-shema, bari adif" - the media will gravitate toward the firm story, and by the time the IDF achieves any sort of certainty, they've lost, even IF the story was entirely fabricated.
So given this truly unfortunate state of affairs, what should the entity whose mandate is defending Israel do? What would you do to buy time until an investigation could be completed?
Jerry, this isn't even the official IDF position. Just spoke to the IDF Spokesman, and was told as far as they are concerned, the investigation still goes on, and yesterday's "report" has nothing to do with them. Hebrew post is up, working on the English version.
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