The pro-Israel media advocacy group CAMERA and Jerusalem Post contributor Isi Leibler both are arguing that the recent spate of articles about alleged Israeli misconduct in Gaza were based on biased and second-hand information that is proving unreliable.
CAMERA’s report on the issue cites stories from Ma’ariv and Israel’s Channel 2 that challenge the basis of the originial stories that appeared in Ha’aretz and later The New York Times. (JTA also ran a story on the controversy, which drew a rebuke from CAMERA.). The bottom line, says CAMERA:
The brigade commander of the unit linked to alleged “wanton killings” in Gaza launched his own investigation after hearing of the charges, speaking with actual eyewitnesses, all of whom said that the alleged killings did not took place. The original charges, based only on hearsay and rumors, have therefore been refuted and should be retracted.
Leibler, in a column titled "Jewish blood libels," takes aim at Ha’aretz:
For three consecutive days these unsubstantiated accusations against religious soldiers and chaplains were headlined and given front page prominence by Haaretz, the Israeli daily newspaper whose editorial policy and columnists like Gidon Levy and Amira Hass have continuously been demonizing their own country. Few would deny that over the past years Haaretz, notably its English Internet edition — has more effectively damaged Israel’s image in the West than all the Arab anti-Israeli propaganda combined. Depicting our soldiers as religious fanatics brainwashed by rabbis has chilling parallels to the anti-Semitic incitement of the Middle Ages promoted by converts who turned on their own people. Such libels emanating from Israel during the anti-Semitic tsunami now enveloping the world fall on receptive ears. The entire global media — including even those who occasionally try to be more evenhanded — carried blazing front page headlines highlighting these unsubstantiated accusations as evidence of war crimes committed during the Gaza conflict.
Even if these stories contained an element of truth (and there are no grounds to assume that), to depict them as the norm is like using Jack the Ripper to besmirch the British as a nation of cutthroat barbarians.