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Why is Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s death different from all other Palestinian deaths?

Israel/Palestine
on 34 Comments

Lately commentators have spent time reflecting on the prominence of hate in Palestine/Israel. They write that we’re approaching the “Point of no return;” the juncture after “The window is closing” but still a ways from “What have we done?” and “How has it come to this?” Flat thinkers rue the loss of a halcyon, mythical Zionism, hardly realizing how old it’s gotten for the rest of us. Narcissism represses the capacity for self-awareness, it seems.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir

Mohammed Abu Khdeir

A lot of the commentary has been written in response to one murder. So, what was different about Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s death? He was murdered, but that’s not special; lots of Palestinians have been murdered. He was young – fifteen is a wrong time to die. Yet many, many Palestinian children have been killed and are being killed. Was it because he was burned to death? No. The notorious white phosphorous massacres of 2008/2009 produced the same nasty, deliberate result. Frankly, it’s a brutality we’ve come to expect.

So what was it?

For Palestinians – nothing. Mohammed’s death was nothing special. His life had meaning and value, but his death was a matter of course. The latest astringent droplet in the fight to abolish Zionism. One of 1,530 doses administered in fourteen years (What were their hopes and dreams? Who are their families?).

But for some Zionists the murder appears to have caused some discomfort. It will undoubtedly pass, like gas or bloating, but the fact that it occurred at all provides a sharpened insight into their society: murder is acceptable, dampened, kneaded and rounded out, but only when it’s perpetrated by an agent of the state, as in Gaza right now (or at the periphery, by settlers with guns for instance).

In Israel, the zealous, worshipful regard for tzahal – often described as the most moral of the world’s criminal syndicates – means that murder is palliated by an official pronouncement. A man with a dun badge begins to speak and the military correspondent at Haaretz, Yediot Ahronot, Maariv or the New York Times loosens his gizzard in preparation for the deluge. Children are not children, they are rioters. Stone-throwing is not an act of defiance, it is an act that showcases murderous intent. Collective punishment is not a war crime, rather, it is standard operating procedure in a hazardous operational theater. Best intentions are imputed to “our boys” and “terrorists” abound.

When, for instance, Israeli snipers murder two boys near the Ofer prison camp, a wooly character – Michael Oren in this case – is invited to squat heavily, langorously on the truth. Despite his heft, it wends its way through his porous trunk and eventually emerges. But for Jewish-Israelis, the mere fact of its now-yellowness is enough to relieve, absolve and forget – at least for those who paid attention in the first place. Michael Oren said Pallywood; we are left only to offer the boys congratulations on an authentic performance. The performance of a lifetime.

The contrast between the two scenarios, Mohammed’s murder and the murders of Nadim Nuwara and Mohammed Salameh, compels one to ask a set of questions: What is it that Michael Oren and Peter Lerner act so indispensably to produce for lay Zionists – those not directly involved in the killing and demolitions? Why is their role – shoddy obfuscation, muddlement and distraction – so important? After all, they fail to convince anyone who genuinely wishes to question; they are more leitmotif than effective hasbara at this point.

The answer goes directly to group identity and national mythology, the stories people tell about themselves. The foundational Zionist tale is a grainy mash of hokey idealism, exceptionalism, collectivism and jingoism tightly wound and propelled forward by the irresistible power of fate. 

But more than that. Zionism is shot through and electrified by a profound sense of victimhood. Prospective victimhood leers in the rearview mirror and lurks around the next bend. It’s the hook that ensnares American and French Zionists and causes them to move to Palestine. Simultaneously, Zionism imbues its adherents with a belief in permanent victimness. The bullies in the schoolyard are anti-Semites. Iranians are Amalekites. Barack Hussein Obama is an uppity kushi and a Muslim. Hajj Amin Hussein conspired with Hitler, Hamas is a death cult and the world will always be against us and so forth. Thus, victimhood is a collective memory, a potential state-of-being and a permanent frame of mind. It is the singular quantum of identity, spinning wildly and everywhere at once.

In that context, smearing shit on the walls of a family’s home in Gaza is eminently permissible, but only if it occurs at a distance, and through the organized hasbara bloc of the Israeli arms apparatus. No vigilantism please. Coprophilia, but only the state-sanctioned type – and for self-defense, only.

This structural understanding makes it easy to know how Mohammed’s murderers transgressed. It had nothing to do with the sanctity of human life or an aversion to overt acts of cowardice. Mainly, the murderers failed to submit themselves to the Collective Action Plan. And by doing so they stripped their co-ideologists of the sticky gauze holding the jumbled self together. Oren could not be deployed. “Self defense” could not materialize and “terrorist threat” evaporated. The hallowed Zionist tradition of Shoot-and-cry could not be evoked and a self-righteous moralistic self-regard could not be distilled from the circumstances. Tattered Victimhood was left to flit and flutter without its host.

And the wounded bleating commenced. But only for a little while, and only as interlude.

Ahmed Moor
About Ahmed Moor

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a PD Soros Fellow, co-editor of After Zionism and co-founder and CEO of liwwa.com. Twitter: @ahmedmoor

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34 Responses

  1. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    July 9, 2014, 12:07 pm

    I’ve just been suggesting on another thread that whatever evil is in killing is compounded if the killing is preceded by abduction, there then being something horrifying intimate about the infliction of death. So, as you suggest, is relentless taking of lethal action in which real children, those in a state of dependence and unable to take decisions for themselves, are all but certain to be caught up.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    July 9, 2014, 12:28 pm

    It is sad that despite the hundreds of children who are kidnapped and killed (1 every three days according to stats), that this gruesome murder of this poor young kid, so inhumane and vile, by those who remind us of evil savages, got the attention of the entire world.
    Ahmed Moor writes very well, and gives us a very interesting and true perspective, of the endless murder of Palestinian children, the obvious deflection, denial, and far fetched theories of Michael Oren, always insulting our intelligence, and the inability of the world to do something about it. Good article.

    • American
      American
      July 9, 2014, 7:19 pm

      ” Ahmed Moor writes very well”’

      Yes he does indeed. Every word a laser and scapel right to the bone.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        July 11, 2014, 8:43 am

        +1 on Ahmed’s writing, vivid.

        The Collective Action Plan and the settlers as [too real] transgressors – brilliant.

  3. lysias
    lysias
    July 9, 2014, 12:36 pm

    The fact that this murder was committed by private persons means that it was a lynching, and that is a very charged word emotionally in the U.S. The aggravated circumstances of the murder increase the plausibility of calling it a lynching.

  4. seafoid
    seafoid
    July 9, 2014, 12:41 pm

    The way they killed him was nauseating. They didn’t stab him or shoot him. No, they had a very particular way to kill him. It marked a significant step in the breakdown of Israeli society because of the moral cost of the occupation. And it had echoes of something out of the anti-Semitic tales told about Jews in the middle ages, which made it even worse.

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      July 9, 2014, 12:54 pm

      If I remember right, these were settler terrorists, showing the world how low they would go, to commit such a heinous, unbelievable crime.

      Someone should tell pamela geller, that the savages she speaks about, are the ones who committed this uncivilized crime. She seems to conveniently ignore the crimes going on in her favorite nation.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        July 9, 2014, 12:58 pm

        All the Zionist mouths are hypocrites. None of them believe in international law, which says it all.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        July 9, 2014, 1:11 pm

        Law that is merely international is not worth much, I suppose, compared with law that is solemnly laid upon humanity by God Almighty. The astonishing thing is that people who make a big point of not believing in God Almighty seem to believe that this solemn law exists.

  5. can of worms
    can of worms
    July 9, 2014, 1:34 pm

    “Mainly, the murderers failed to submit themselves to the Collective Action Plan.”

    This is a most profound observation, thank you.

    There is apparently a ‘game’ going on that every single zionist jewish israeli is supposed to understand how to play, but the lynchers failed because they were, paradoxically, too sincere – they believed the latest justifying stories too unambivalently, and thus they failed to submit themselves to the logic of the colonial state –

  6. Kate
    Kate
    July 9, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Note that on my Today in Palestine list today I have an article about two more attempted kidnappings of young Palestinians – perhaps more, if the locals quoted in the second article are correct. How terrifying this must be for parents – they must hardly dare to let their boys out of their sight.

  7. LuLu
    LuLu
    July 9, 2014, 3:17 pm

    So sad that anyone can be cruel to do this to a kid.. Same with the three Israelis.. once a person is cruel and evil, they have lost touch with being a human being. I support death for the both terrorist on each side who killed these 4 boys… This family is my cousins husbands family, also in the US, in MN.

  8. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    July 9, 2014, 3:35 pm

    There is an interesting article on Jpost website talking about the suspects. There has been much speculation about them being rootless street thugs who fell into the clutches of Kahanism and lost their way. But the article says this is not true. That they are part of the Mizrahim Heredim, albeit of the fringe.

    The group appears to be a extended family, an uncle and cousins. The ringleader has a business and is well known in the neighborhood. He is described by one neighbor as “quiet,” aren’t they all. From the Jpost:

    “According to sources, the young men suspected of the murder belong to a family affiliated with the Sephardic Shas party. At least one of them was described as a delinquent youth who lived on the fringes of the haredi community.”

    ” Asked about the young man, one resident said that “everybody knows that he’s crazy. The guy is just nuts. The whole family is nuts.” The grandfather of one of the suspects told Yediot Aharonot that his grandchild was disturbed and that he “could destroy worlds if he did not take his pills.” It is unclear if he was referring to the suspect from Beit Shemesh.”

    I heard that they’re all getting pysch evaluations. Whenever things like this happen it’s always the work of crazy people from nutty families.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      July 9, 2014, 9:31 pm
      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        July 9, 2014, 9:58 pm

        Yep, that’s how I learned the name of the main suspect, Ezra Batzri. I was surfing the inter tubes trying to see if there was anything on him. And I came across this article from Feb. 22, 2006 in Haaretz:

        “Son of Jerusalem Rabbinic Court head remarries – without a get”

        The son is named Hagay Batzri and he was accused of marrying without getting a get from his first wife. The article says “The groom’s father, Ezra Batzri, is the av beit din (president) of the Jerusalem Rabbinic Court…” Silverstein says the suspect is this guy’s grandson, so I’m assuming that Hagay is his father.

        The Jpost article I saw earlier said that the main suspect ran a business as an optician. I don’t know anything about rabbinical courts but I assume that being on one is a prestigious position. So it seems this gang leader was not some disaffected youth living on the edge of his community but came from a family that is very much a part of it.

  9. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    July 9, 2014, 3:59 pm

    not surprising that the views here are all about the morally ‘more repugnant’ murder of one child then the other. All kinds of hemming and hawing about ‘circumstances’ making one brutal murder different then another. Nobody knows what went through either mohammeds mind nor the 3 Israeli boys (only one of which lived over the green line) when they met their deaths. Hatred is the only thing that could be assumed to exist in the hearts of the killers and while the author above may think it is ‘different’ with this death it is not the first time Israelis have had to reckon with violence amongst their own citizens.

    Also-there is a certain amount of circular propaganda going on here not explained that Hopmi pointed out the other day:
    There is a lot of ‘media-monitering’ that takes place among the ME blogs. Opponents scour the comment section for the most rabid of the bigoted remarks and then post them to their own site-or link them- as evidence of what’s supposedly going on. I have seen the commentary on sites like JP and I am not naive. But its pretty obvious these commenters are the idiot dregs that scour the net and taking them seriously as representing anything but idiots or fringe loners is over-the-top.
    Israelis are reacting much as citizens react in the US or EU to a shocking crime. [ e.g. “How could a white upper class suburban mom teach her autistic and violent son so much about [legal] military grade firearms? And what does this say about that culture? And what does it say about inner-city violence being committed by a vast majority of illegal guns?”
    And so Israel , once again, must face the fact that a few members of its Jewish ultra-radical community are insanely violent and we lulled ourselves into believing they wouldn’t murder. We know there are some factions of Hamas, Fatah, and other Palestinian groups that wish for the same thing.

    • annie
      annie
      July 10, 2014, 1:46 am

      And so Israel , once again, must face the fact that a few members of its Jewish ultra-radical community are insanely violent

      of there’s one thing that’s become abundantly clear over the last few weeks is that the racist fanatics in israel are not limited to “a few members” or a fringe element. the frothing crowds calling for death to arabs, the FB pages filled with rabid comments. the narrative here is not about a ‘few insanely violent’, it’s about the society that has nurtured this mentality.

      All kinds of hemming and hawing about ‘circumstances’ making one brutal murder different then another.

      one thing that separates these murders (the set of 3; 2 palestinian boys on nakba day, 3 israeli teens kidnapped, murder of mohammed) as an observer, is we (the public) have no evidence who perpetrated one of the murders, that of the israeli teens. whereas the killings of the first incidence was caught on tape and the abduction of mohammed was caught on tape, the abduction and killing of the israeli teens is primarily based on accusatory allegations from the goi. so if you’re hearing hemming and hawing, i can say from my perspective that is what it is about.

      this circumstance (no evidence) coupled with the fact the party making the allegations is renowned for lying and fabricating, sets it apart from the other deaths. of course, for the families this makes no difference because it’s an awful loss regardless. but from an objective view as an outsider, we just don’t know the circumstances of the israeli deaths.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    July 9, 2014, 5:41 pm

    RE: “[S]mearing shit on the walls of a family’s home in Gaza is eminently permissible, but only if it occurs at a distance, and through the organized hasbara bloc of the Israeli arms apparatus. No vigilantism please. Coprophilia, but only the state-sanctioned type – and for self-defense, only.” ~ Ahmed Moor

    IN THE ‘ONE GOOD BOWEL MOVEMENT DESERVES ANOTHER’ DEPARTMENT, SEE: “Jews protect Palestinians in harvest of hate” ~ By Donald Macintyre in Awarta, West Bank, The Independent (U.K.), 10/10/08
    Israelis cross religious divide to shelter olive farmers from settlers’ attacks

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Born in Tel Aviv, Ms Siew served in the army, took a university degree, then a teacher’s diploma. Thirty-six years ago, she took the tough decision to emigrate to London, telling her parents: “I won’t come back until there’s peace.” Ms Siew, who is now 64, remains an Israeli citizen but now lives with her British husband in Hebden Bridge. She has kept to her word, except that each autumn she comes back to stay in her hometown with her relatives and spends each day of the two-month harvest season picking olives on Palestinian farmland in the West Bank.
    And Ms Siew does that for a purpose. Up on the ridge above us, you can see the red roofs of Itamar, a notably hard-line Jewish settlement, and she is here to help protect the Palestinian farmers from the threat of settler violence which has so often scarred the olive harvests.
    . . . Last year, she was in a group in the South Hebron Hills confronted by settlers who fired shots from a pistol and an M16 assault rifle, despite the presence of the army and police. “Then one of the soldiers said, ‘Look, one of them is coming down with a jug of water for you’. The settler emptied the jug over me. It was full of human shit.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jews-protect-palestinians-in-harvest-of-hate-956706.html

  11. wes
    wes
    July 9, 2014, 6:49 pm

    ahmed moor

    the 3 israeli students were murdered in the same circumstances.this was the response.

    none of the murders were justified.

  12. jimby
    jimby
    July 9, 2014, 7:31 pm

    I just read an article in the Daily Star of Lebanon that three of the suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu Kadhir are to be released tomorrow.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-09/263340-three-suspects-in-killing-of-palestinian-teen-to-be-released-media.ashx?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#axzz37160K4Lx

  13. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    July 9, 2014, 7:31 pm

    It looks like they’re releasing 3 of the suspects. Police say they weren’t involved in the lynching. Yeah, right.

  14. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    July 9, 2014, 8:58 pm

    So people affiliated with the Shas party perpetrated this lynching and now Mr Sara is going to ask them to join his government? Doesn’t that taint him with the lynching? Or are the rules different for Jewish folk?

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      July 11, 2014, 8:38 am

      Doesn’t that taint him with the lynching? Or are the rules different for Jewish folk?

      I’m not sure if taint is the right word. His polling numbers may well go up.

  15. Basilio
    Basilio
    July 9, 2014, 11:48 pm

    It appears that we’re hearing of many attempts at kidnapping Palestinian children as if to say if you kidnap 3 of ours, we will kidnap many more of yours. The conflict will only deform both sides, and the occupier, in the end, will look the worst.

  16. Truthunleashed
    Truthunleashed
    July 10, 2014, 12:02 am

    Im absolutely appalled by the reactions here. I know what this website is and what its followers views are, but it seems that you have all lost your humanity. Mohammed abu Khdeirs murder was indeed a heinous act, there is no 2 ways about it. In fact the state of Israel condemned it harshly, its government members visiting the the grieving family. What shocks me most, is the absolute absence of the mention of the 3 Israeli teenagers, 2 being the same age as mohammed, who were abducted brutally murdered and discarded in a pit hastily. If the kidnappers had not feared the police were onto them from the phone call made by one of the boys, believe me their murder would have been infinitely more gruesome. In fact the murder of mohammed occurred as a direct outcome of the murder of the 3 israeli teenagers, so to ignore their story is ignorant and to have no compassion of remorse is inhumane. Dont be swept along this evil road people. Grasp on to your humanity, and to your compassion. Mention both sides, grieve both sides, and strive for a better world, not one full of more hate.

    • annie
      annie
      July 10, 2014, 12:18 am

      who were abducted brutally murdered and discarded in a pit hastily.

      actually,there’s evidence to suggest that didn’t happen.

      http://www.bhol.co.il/Article_EN.aspx?id=70446

      “There were no signs of abuse or harm to the body”

      Rabbi Yaakov Roger, a member of the Chief Rabbinate and Rabbi of ZAKA, the rabbi at the morgue of Forensic Medicine, said in a conversation with Behadrey Haredim that for the first time, since receiving the case where bodies lay in the warm weather, worms were not found on their bodies.

      “I testify that the three saints were not controlled by maggots,” says the rabbi, and is surprised. “Beyond the bullet holes there were not any signs of abuse or damage.”

      “According to doctors at the Forensic Institute, there is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon,” says the rabbi.

      the murder of mohammed occurred as a direct outcome of the murder of the 3 israeli teenagers

      to coin your phrase, i am “absolutely appalled” there is no mention of Nadim Nuwara and Mohammed Salameh in your comment. the death of 3 israeli teenagers, for all you know, is a direct result of the cold blooded murders of 2 palestinian teenagers by israel. where was your compassion when they were hunted down?

    • tree
      tree
      July 10, 2014, 12:48 am

      Check the archives, unleashed. The kidnapping and murder of the 3 Israeli teens was covered extensively here, as was the reaction of the Israeli government, which included violent collective punishment and killings. Before that the murder of 2 Palestinian teens by the IDF was also covered extensively here (those teens were the two named by Annie in case you didn’t know).

      Ahmed Moor’s point in this essay is that the beating (and sometimes killing) of Palestinian teens by the IDF, border police, etc. was been an ongoing reality unrelated to the current murder of the 3 Israeli teens. And yet you have no sympathy for that and instead think that Moor needs to mention the violence against the recently dead Israelis instead of pointing out the decades of violence against Palestinians. Before you call for compassion from others, try it yourself. Otherwise you just look like an uncaring hypocrite.

    • eljay
      eljay
      July 10, 2014, 7:45 am

      >> Truthunleashed: Im absolutely appalled by the reactions here. … the murder of mohammed occurred as a direct outcome of the murder of the 3 israeli teenagers, so to ignore their story is ignorant and to have no compassion of remorse is inhumane. Dont be swept along this evil road people. Grasp on to your humanity, and to your compassion. Mention both sides, grieve both sides, and strive for a better world, not one full of more hate.

      It’s also ignorant to ignore the fact that Israel has been oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians and stealing, occupying, colonizing Palestinian land for over 60 years. Grasp on to your humanity, and to your compassion. Demand justice, equality and accountability for all people.

      • annie
        annie
        July 11, 2014, 2:28 am

        It’s also ignorant to ignore the fact that the israeli military targeted and executed in cold blood 2 palestinians teens weeks before the teens were kidnapped. and to use truethunleashed’s own words “so to ignore their story is ignorant and to have no compassion of remorse is inhumane.”

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      July 10, 2014, 8:27 am

      @Truthunleashed
      You ignore the fact that the Israeli government used this incident to rampage thru the West Bank, killing up to 10 Palestinians, wrecking homes and belongings along the way, stealing several millions from their victims (cash, jewellery, other belongings), arrest hundreds, and so forth. There is no equivalency whatever, and you come across as ignorant and pompous.

    • Donald
      Donald
      July 11, 2014, 8:53 am

      “Truth Unleashed”? I guess “Another Walking, Breathing Manifestation of the Dunning/Kruger Effect” was already taken. Oh, it wasn’t? Damn. Should have picked that one myself. Seriously–no, that is serious. You really should have thought about how the title comes across. What the hell were you thinking?

      Anyway, others have done the substantive response, which won’t stop me from piling on. You ignored the content of the article, which is about how government approved violence and oppression on a massive scale doesn’t seem to disturb many Israelis and Americans the way the brutal murder by a few individuals acting on their own does. You might want to comment on that, and if you also think that some here are insufficiently disturbed by the murder of the three Israeli teens, then ask whether we condemn that as well. I do. It was despicable. One can’t excuse one murder or set of murders by pointing to another set of murders, though murderers seem to think you can.

      But you seem to have utterly ignored the whole point of Moor’s piece and remarkably enough, you did it in the name of compassion.

  17. milx
    milx
    July 10, 2014, 11:25 am

    This is an amazing piece from Mr. Moor. Israeli condemnation for the killers of, and mourning for the death of, Khdeir undermines the party line from Mondoweiss. In the MW universe, Israel has unjustly occupied the Palestinian people’s land, forced them to live under horrible military rule for no reason, and then killed them mercilessly when they try to protest, even though said protest is toothless and ineffective. Israelis are not interested in peace, only land, and in the most extreme versions of this narrative – Israel is committing a slow-motion genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

    If all this is true, why are Israelis upset about Khdeir’s death? Why are they visiting Khdeir’s family to mourn with them? A dead Arab is a dead Arab, right? Moor speculates that this is because the vigilantes didn’t submit to the Collective Action Plan, but surely a failure of protocol does not explain why Jewish mothers are weeping alongside Arab mothers. If Mondoweiss accepted their political opposition’s beliefs as sincere (even if misguided) – that Israeli State violence protects its citizens from vigilante terrorism – this would be much more explicable. But that would entail ascribing humanity to one’s political opponents, and the pro-Palestinian movement has always viewed granting humanity to the Israelis as a concession of weakness. The truth is that despite a myriad of elisions, there still remains a difference between civilians killed in the course of legitimate military action and the intentional targeting of civilians. This is why Khdeir is different. Until the pro-Pal movement can understand their opponents (and not just vilify them), such things will always remain mysterious psychodramas.

    • annie
      annie
      July 11, 2014, 2:19 am

      that would entail ascribing humanity to one’s political opponents, and the pro-Palestinian movement has always viewed granting humanity to the Israelis as a concession of weakness.

      source. i’ve been part of the pro palestine community for a long time and as far as i know they do not exclude israelis as part of the human race. maybe you could either re phrase this or provide a source link for this “granting humanity” allegation.

      In the MW universe… Israelis are not interested in peace, only land

      not really. there are israelis who are very much interested in peace, we’ve published quite a few.

      Israel is committing a slow-motion genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

      true.

      If Mondoweiss accepted their political opposition’s beliefs as sincere (even if misguided) – that Israeli State violence protects its citizens from vigilante terrorism – this would be much more explicable.

      it occurs to me perhaps you are using the term ‘israel’ and ‘israelis’ interchangeably. one is a nation state, one is the population made up of individuals. Israeli State violence can be attributed to the government but should not be attributed collectively for there are many israelis (though unfortunately not the majority) who do not support Israeli State violence or the occupation.

      , why are Israelis upset about Khdeir’s death? Why are they visiting Khdeir’s family to mourn with them?

      obviously all of them are not on the same page. maybe you didn’t hear about the MP who went to visit mohammed’s mother and received death threats calling for his assassination.

    • Donald
      Donald
      July 11, 2014, 8:17 am

      “The truth is that despite a myriad of elisions, there still remains a difference between civilians killed in the course of legitimate military action and the intentional targeting of civilians.”

      I’m all for nuance, and personally agree that people on both sides demonize their opponents, but something about your post led me to think you had something else on your mind besides getting everyone together and singing around the campfire. And there it is–apologetics for Israeli brutality.

      The killing of the Palestinian boy is different because many Israelis, like many Americans, are all too willing to go along with government propaganda and they eagerly lap up the notion that their side is scrupulous about not killing civilians, even as the bodies pile up. If the Israeli government were genuinely scrupulous they would not have shot protestors in May, they wouldn’t shoot at Gazans routinely, they wouldn’t have used the terrorist killings of three teens (and the Israeli government knew they were dead within a day) as an excuse to go rampaging through the West Bank, killing several more Palestinians and arresting hundreds of Hamas members. They commit violent acts like the beating of the Palestinian-American boy (which only got attention because he was American), they continue the settlement building, they provoke terrorism (and by the way, I think the Palestinian violence is both counterproductive and immoral) and they use tactics that they know are guaranteed to kill dozens of civilians a day. But that’s what the government does, the government Israelis voted in, so they have to believe it is basically doing the right thing, or else face the fact that they themselves are complicit. On the other hand, if some private citizens take it upon themselves to murder a boy, that’s a shocking breakdown in law and civilized behavior. I understand this perfectly, because many Americans think the same way. It’s a psychodrama of the privileged, where we trample on the rights of others routinely, don’t think it matters, and when some of them react with terrorist violence, we are genuinely shocked. And if some individual American responds to the terrorism with another private act of violence, there’s more shock. But what our government or society does to others–we don’t see it, or many of us don’t, because we don’t want to see it or because the MSM whitewashes it or most likely, a combination of both.

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