(IsraelNN.com) Forty-six IDF reservists who fought in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza have sent a letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz asking him to investigate the Hebrew-language daily Haaretz for slander. The reservists have accused the paper of publishing serious accusations against IDF soldiers without taking the time to examine the claims.I cannot think of a more deserving newspaper for a lawsuit than Ha’aretz.
Haaretz published testimony from two reservists who fought in Gaza who claimed to have witnessed war crimes, including the shooting of an innocent woman and her children. However, after the claims had gained worldwide media coverage, the two clarified that they had not witnessed the incidents in question, but rather had heard about them from others.
No eyewitnesses to the alleged incidents were found and an IDF investigation revealed that the woman and children who were supposedly shot had actually been redirected and sent unharmed away from the scene of battle.
"Professional journalism should include clarifying whether those making serious accusations were eyewitnesses or not before publication,” the reservists wrote. “Unfortunately, it turns out that Haaretz did not conduct even the most minimal fact check before publishing these false accusations.”
The soldiers clarified that they are not against the publication of articles criticizing IDF actions or policies. “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 other operation, the problem should be given public exposure and dealt with,” they wrote. "However, this does not justify or permit the serious and sweeping accusations against IDF combat soldiers as a group as they appeared in Haaretz,” the letter continued.