More on the ‘creepy’ al-Dura report

on 18 Comments

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
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.

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18 Responses

  1. eGuard
    May 23, 2013, 10:07 am

    Some hours ago, I commented in another thread here about Larry Derfner’s piece.

    His ends with his own conclusions/reasoning/”belief”/”absolutely true commission finding”/”easiest to accept” sort of logic. He starts with a quote from that same “creepy” report he tears up. I guess he tried a nip from the same Kool Aid.

  2. pabelmont
    May 23, 2013, 10:22 am

    “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.”

    Nice try, Phil.

    • Citizen
      May 23, 2013, 12:31 pm

      Yeah, like the NYT management has no political litmus test regarding Israel. “All the news gud fer yuze.”

      And with its well-known print subscriber base shrinking…

    • TonyRiley
      May 23, 2013, 1:16 pm

      Nobody really knows what happened – it’s 50/50 – it could have been the IDF, or it could have been Hamas.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 23, 2013, 2:21 pm

        hamas? did israel’s committee even accuse hamas? where did you get that? or is it part of a new theory?

      • Sumud
        May 24, 2013, 1:10 am

        or is it part of a new theory?

        I think “clutching at straws” best covers it!

        Unless TonyRiley knows something the Israeli government does not? Tony…?

      • Dutch
        May 23, 2013, 7:46 pm


        We have a shot-down father and a solid medical testimony of his wounds (notably in the Sheba Hospital, Tel Aviv). We have a killed boy. We have a purposely ruined place delict. We have a report from a commission that refused to speak to the main actors and didn’t investigate the boy’s DNA. We have an active Israeli policy of killing children; 1520 were killed since 2000, many on purpose. And so on.

        So what exactly can you produce to make up for your 50 percent?

  3. Denis
    May 23, 2013, 12:10 pm

    @Phil: It put the Israeli government report in its news section as a credible document.

    Phil, the link you have to Kershner’s report does not go to the “news section.” It goes to the NYT blog, Lens.

    As reported by Ira yesterday on Mondoweiss, NYT down-graded Kershner’s report from news to blog – or up-graded it, depending on ones’ POV.

    Ira refers to the Kershner piece as “advocacy journalism.” Not sure I follow that. I found Kershner’s piece to be neutral. A lot of people, including a lot of objective, fair-minded Israelis, are struggling to understand not just this story but the foul hasbara and litigation it has spawned.

    Thanks for keeping this issue hot. It’s important.

  4. iResistDe4iAm
    May 23, 2013, 12:27 pm

    Hasbara – 3 October 2000
    The dead Palestinian boy, identified as Muhammad Al-Durrah, was shot accidently by IDF gunfire.

    Hasbara – late October 2000
    The dead Palestinian boy was NOT shot by IDF gunfire (initial admission was made in “the fog of war” before all evidence was gathered).
    The dead Palestinian boy was shot by Palestinian gunfire.

    Hasbara – 2013
    The dead Palestinian boy who was shot by Palestinian gunfire is NOT really dead, and may not have been struck by any bullets at all.

  5. HarryLaw
    May 23, 2013, 3:46 pm

    This is one of those instances were the Israeli government hope that Dick and Jane, whose attention span is not that long, will conclude, ‘one side say this, the other side say that’, who knows what happened? now move along, nothing to see here.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    May 23, 2013, 6:58 pm

    ● RE: This theory [that it was staged, a hoax perpetrated by Palestinians], 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 . . . ~ Larry Derfner

    ● MY COMMENT: And, ‘psychological projection’ is just what the doctor (Freud) ordered ! ! ! Clever, fiendish partisans merely “project” their attributes (i.e., their cleverness & fiendishness) onto the Palestinians.

    ● FROM WIKIPEDIA [Psychological projection]:

    [EXCERPTS] Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to other people. . .
    . . . The theory was developed by Sigmund Freud – in his letters to Wilhelm Fliess, “‘Draft H’ deals with projection as a mechanism of defence” – and further refined by his daughter Anna Freud; for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as Freudian Projection.
    According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else. ‘Emotions or excitations which the ego tries to ward off are “split out” and then felt as being outside the ego…perceived in another person’.[4] It is a common process.[5] . . .
    . . . In one example of the process, a person might have thoughts of infidelity with respect to a spouse or other partner. Instead of dealing with these undesirable thoughts consciously, the subject unconsciously projects these feelings onto the other person, and begins to think that the other has thoughts of infidelity and that the other may be having an affair. In this way, the subject may obtain ‘acquittal by his conscience – if he projects his own impulses to faithlessness on to the partner to whom he owes faith’.[7] . . .
    . . . Projection can also be established as a means of obtaining or justifying certain actions that would normally be found atrocious or heinous. This often means projecting false accusations, information, etc., onto an individual for the sole purpose of maintaining a self-created illusion. . .


    ● ALSO SEE: “The Paranoid Style of Anti-Islamism”, By Jack Ross, Institute for Policy Studies, 8/02/11 [EXCERPT]

    . . . Nearly fifty years ago Richard Hofstadter published his classic “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”, which provides a wealth of insights for understanding anti-Islamism today. One of Hofstadter’s brilliant insights was what we might term his “projection principle”:
    “It is hard to resist the conclusion that this enemy is on many counts the projection of the self, both the ideal and the unacceptable aspects of the self are attributed to him. . . ”


    ● ALSO FROM WIKIPEDIA [Defence mechanisms]:

    • Projection: Projection is a primitive form of paranoia. Projection also reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the undesirable impulses or desires without becoming consciously aware of them; attributing one’s own unacknowledged unacceptable/unwanted thoughts and emotions to another; includes severe prejudice, severe jealousy, hypervigilance to external danger, and “injustice collecting”.

    SOURCE –

  7. gingershot
    May 24, 2013, 9:28 am

    Haaretz comes out today with a powerful article that gets to the strategic heart of the Dura story – in terms of Dura vs Apartheid (rather than focusing on the malevolent Israeli hasbara)

    ‘The Second Battle of Mohammed al-Dura is a lost cause – just like the first’

    “Israel did not lose the First Battle of Mohammed al-Dura, on September 30, 2000, when millions of people around the world saw the footage filmed by Talal Abu Rahma and were convinced that Israeli soldiers had deliberately targeted and killed a 12-year-old boy……The First Battle of Mohammed al-Dura was lost nearly five years later, on August 22, 2005, when 521 Israeli citizens were evicted from Netzarim, the last Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip to be dismantled. ”

    It’s a poignant article – very well said

  8. asherpat
    May 24, 2013, 6:01 pm

    So, even Derfner agrees that al Dura wasn’t killed by Israeli bullets. Note that he is sheepishly saying that al dura was killed “in exchange of fire” not in a “hail of Israeli bullets” as per Charles Enderlin, the enthusiastic dupe.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 25, 2013, 11:16 am

      “So, even Derfner agrees that al Dura wasn’t killed by Israeli bullets.”

      Wow. An israeli zionist believes israeli propaganda that is in line with the racist ideology of zionism. Shhhhocking!

  9. mcohen
    May 25, 2013, 5:33 am

    More on the ‘creepy’ al-Dura report
    by Philip Weiss on May 23, 2013 13

    even more creepy is the aftermath of that incident

    The murderers of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl used the clip when they posted footage of their nauseating crime on the internet

    Doreen Carvajal wrote that the France 2 footage acquired the power of a battle flag,[84] with Helen Schary Motro arguing that it took its place alongside other iconic images of children under attack: the boy with raised hands in the Warsaw ghetto (1943), the Vietnamese girl doused with napalm (1972), the firefighter carrying the dying baby away from the Oklahoma City bombing (1995).[12] Arab countries issued postage stamps bearing the images, parks and streets were named in Muhammad’s honor, and Osama bin Laden mentioned Muhammad in a “warning” to President George Bush after 9/11. The images were blamed for the lynching of two Israeli reservists in Ramallah on October 12, 2000, and a rise in antisemitism in France,[127] and could be seen in the background when journalist Daniel Pearl, an American Jew, was beheaded in February 2002.[128]

    thats the way you do it-save up the ready made,s in a dark place ,only to be trotted out when needed.they are like pearls ,to be fed to the swine.

    • iResistDe4iAm
      May 25, 2013, 9:34 am

      If the image of a murdered Palestinian boy “inspired many terrorists and contributed to the demonization of Israel and to the rise of anti-Semitism in Muslim and Western countries” (as claimed by Israel and its apologists), then Israel should stop murdering Palestinian children.

      Either that or Israel should restrict itself to murdering Palestinian children when there are no cameras present, like the following “confirmed kill”:

      “An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.”

      16 November 2005

      Lucky for Israel, there were no images of that particular child, “a girl about 10, she’s behind the embankment, scared to death”, soon to be dead.
      Hence there were no terrorist incidents or recorded increase in global anti-Semitism directly attributable to that “confirmed kill”, even after her confirmed killer walked free.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 25, 2013, 11:55 am

      “even more creepy is the aftermath of that incident”

      Not really. The fact that the zionist entity is trying to excuse its murder of this boy is more creepy than the fact that those who are, or perceive they are, fighting this racist apartheid state of the zionists and its supporters like the US, use this murder as a rallying cry for their cause.

  10. mcohen
    May 26, 2013, 8:21 am

    Woody Tanaka says:
    May 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    “Not really.”

    beheading daniel pearl was unforgiveable and those who did it are being brought to justice

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