IDF Reservists Ask AG to Investigate 'Haaretz'

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reservists have asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to open an investigation against the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The petition, signed by 65 reservists who served in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, accuses the newspaper of publishing slander without sufficient investigation of whether the soldiers' accounts were factual, according to The Jerusalem Post.

"Professional journalism should include clarifying whether those making serious accusations were eyewitnesses or not, before publication," the reservists stated in the letter.

 "It appears to us that Haaretz did not do the minimum of checking before reporting false accusations," the reservists wrote.

"We believe that public discourse is critical to our society…We believe that whenever soldiers are found to have violated orders or behaved immorally, in Cast Lead or any operation, the problem should be given pubic exposure and dealt with," the letter continued.

"However, this does not justify or permit the serious and sweeping accusations against the IDF combat soldiers as a group, as they appeared in Haaretz," they wrote.

"We are fed up with being called murderers and war criminals," said reservist Ami Barak, who organized the petition.

"We will not tolerate being treated this way after, as reservists, we contribute to the State and come to service in the IDF," he said.

"We expect the State to stand up for us, its soldiers," he said.

The public should know "that not everything is permitted…that one cannot spread falsehoods, slander and lies in the name of free speech [and] that in Israel in 2009, blood libels are not allowed," the letter concluded.

Barak said some reservists may petition the attorney general to investigate Danny Zamir, head of the Rabin Pre-Military Academy, who provided the false accusations to the press.

Sources: Haaretz, israel national news

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