Guardian journalists use six year old PTSD study to accuse Israel of abandoning its soldiers.

Attention to threats and combat-related posttraumatic stress symptoms: Prospective associations and moderation by the serotonin transporter gene

Attention to threats and combat-related posttraumatic stress symptoms: Prospective associations and moderation by the serotonin transporter gene

By Richard Millett

Guardian journalists Amanda Forslund and Charlotta Lindblom have combined forces to write a piece that accuses the Israeli government of abandoning its soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Any idea that this might be a piece showing concern for Israel’s brave soldiers is dispelled almost immediately when they write “the UN accused soldiers of intentionally firing on civilians protesting at the Gaza frontier”.

The catalyst for their piece is a study that was released on 13th February 2013 called Attention to threats and combat-related posttraumatic stress symptoms: Prospective associations and moderation by the serotonin transporter gene.

The study acknowledges that “soldiers psychiatric responses to combat stress vary markedly between individuals” and it analyses soldiers deployed in various combat situations (see table above).

But in their piece Forslund and Lindblom reduce this complex report down to 19 words:

“As many as one in 12 Israeli soldiers who experience high intensity combat report PTSD symptoms, one study found,…”

The study seems to be a general study into the effects of combat and was carried out for the American Medical Association, not the Israeli army. Neither the Israeli army nor its soldiers are named in the title of the study as you can see. The results are presumably applicable to different armies and combat situations throughout the world. The IDF was used merely as a guinea-pig six and a half years ago.

Forslund and Lindblom use the study as a catalyst to specifically track down disatisfied Israeli soldiers to write about their fight for recognition of the illness and for treatment to be financed by the Israeli government.

Unlike Israel and many other countries the UK has a free health service (The NHS)  but there are still many problems. Here are examples of how The Guardian headlined cases of PTSD in the British army:

Universal credit is failing military veterans, study finds (June 2019)

Spare a thought for Britain’s veterans left to battle their demons alone (November 2018)

PTSD rates increase in UK military personnel, research suggests(October 2018)

Dealing with PTSD has made me even stronger (December 2015)

‘You don’t ever get over it’: meet the British soldiers living with post-traumatic stress disorder (October 2014)

Young British army recruits at higher risk of PTSD and suicide, says report (October 2013)

Now compare those to this piece by Forslund and Lindblom on PTSD in the Israeli army which is headlined:

Israeli government accused of abandoning soldiers with PTSD

I hope all Israeli soldiers recover from PTSD and other injuries. Sadly, thousands have been killed and thousands more left disabled. Those voluntary Israeli organisations mentioned by Forslund and Lindblom (Soldiers for Life, Metiv, Natal) set up to help are also to be highly praised.

PTSD is a serious issue in Israel and every country, but to single out the Israeli government for the accusation of “abandoning” its soldiers must be another sick low for Guardian journalism.


Categories: Guardian

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15 replies »

  1. Outstanding article, Richard.

    It would be too much to expect the Guardian to be ashamed of publishing this, but it should pull the entire article.

  2. The Guardian would use evidence of the comet that killed the dinosaurs against Israel if it thought that it could get away with it. Given the gullible stupidity of their readership, they probably could.

  3. Leaves you wondering if Hamas killers ever suffer from PTSD, or whether they simply get sadistic pleasure from murdering innocent civilians, the most recent being a teenage girl near Dolev.

  4. I’m pretty certain victims of the Sbarro, Dolphinarium, and Netanya Hotel bombings– as well as folks who survived stabbings, car rammings, and various bus bombings– have suffered from PTSD as well.

    And I’m super freaking positive that the Guardian cares not one whit for them.

  5. This is not news story, but rather a continuation of a campaign of defamation carried out by the Guardian against Israel.

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