More on the fallout from the Israeli government’s appalling report on the killing of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura 13 years ago in Gaza.
First, a grotesque measure of how far the Israeli polity has fallen. Jerusalem Post:
The government has no idea where Muhammad al-Dura can be found today, Steinitz added, and the IDF and Shin Bet have a lot of work to do other than search for him.
But (also from the Post):
Muhammad al-Dura’s father, Jamal, said on Monday that he was ready to have the remains of his son exhumed “to prove that he was killed by Israeli soldiers’ bullets.”
Paldfnet has published photos of the boy’s family at his grave, including the one below:
Al Dura family at his grave
Larry Derfner has a fine piece up at +972 showing that the Israeli report was the product of a rightwing conspiracist. The Israeli government has now drunk the Kool-Aid, he says; “the most fitting adjective I can think of for the report, and for the thinking behind it, is ‘creepy.’” Derfner:
In the 13 years since Muhammad al-Dura was killed in an Israeli-Palestinian shootout in Gaza while cowering behind his father, masses of right-wing Jews have eagerly embraced a conspiracy theory of the 12-year-oid boy’s killing – that it was staged, a hoax perpetrated by Palestinians to blacken Israel’s name. This theory, promoted most avidly by Boston University Prof. Richard Landes and French media analyst Philippe Karsenty, depends on a view of Palestinians being superhumanly clever and fiendish, and a view of reality that comes from the movies. The mentality here is essentially the same one that drives the 9/11 “truthers,” the anti-Obama “birthers,” those who say the Shin Bet assassinated Rabin, or those who say ultra-rightists assassinated JFK – a fevered imagination activated by political antagonism that knows no bounds. In the right-wing conspiracy theories of the al-Dura shooting, the boundless antagonism goes out to the Palestinians and their supporters.
This week, the State of Israel officially joined the movement.
Again I say this is an important moment in the life of the New York Times. It put the Israeli government report in its news section as a credible document. I know that great institution well enough to be sure that there are many fine writers and editors there who understand they were hoodwinked and hoodoo’d. They have surely been empowered by this blunder.