Child’s beating in Jerusalem brings unprecedented coverage of Palestinian experience to U.S.

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The brutal beating of a 15-year-old Palestinian-American boy by Israeli forces in Jerusalem is proving to be a landmark moment in coverage of the conflict, as American media are reporting Tarek Abu Khdeir’s story in a straightforward manner for once. Their sympathetic reports are bringing the Palestinian experience back here as never before.

You can see what the New York Times did today. As Jamil Dakwar notes: “US passport gets you out of Israeli jail 2 house arrest, 1st page in NYT & condemnation. That’s something!”

Then there’s the Washington Post.

The Post has up a video interview of the youth, in which he says that he was just watching protests of his cousin’s murder when police attacked him. Tarek Abu Khdeir says No when asked he threw rocks.

I was standing there watching what was happening… I tried to jump the fence, and I fell after I jumped the fence… I don’t know why they came running at me, but right after they came running at me, I ran… I don’t know why they hit me that hard. I fell asleep from how hard they hit me. I went unconscious.

His mother Suha adds:

I’m angry, I’m disturbed. I’m ready to take legal action. Because this happens to Palestinians every single day… [Because he’s an American] He got the opportunity for all the media and for the whole world to hear him. For once. But other Palestinians that live here, this happens all the time, they never have the opportunity to voice, to talk about it, to show.

She says that one official from the US consulate has been with the family from day 1.

My message is that I’m sorry you don’t show that you have feelings. You do not have hearts. This is a child. He’s 15, and to beat him up this badly, you have no personal issues with him. No one should be beat up this badly. No one. For any reason… This is not human.

Ayman Mohyeldin of NBC posted this video of Abu Khdeir being released to house arrest and had an excellent report on the Nightly News last night. He asked Abu Khdeir what the marks were on his wrists. The boy said: “This is from the handcuffs when they took me to jail.” Mohyeldin also showed video of marks on the youth’s back– from “stomping,” Abu Khdeir said.

On National Public Radio this morning, a story on the conflict was introduced by Steve Inskeep, who said that “Israel says” that those it killed in Gaza are “militants.”

Reporter Daniel Estrin also spoke with Suha Abu Khdeir and said she “rejected the police claim that [her son] was found with a slingshot… She understood what her Palestinian relatives have been experiencing all these years.” He then quotes her:

After actually coming and going through it, I don’t blame these people for hating, for having so much hate for Israel.

Note that Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the U.S., went on national television yesterday, ABC, and accused this boy of throwing Molotov cocktails and petrol bombs. While NPR reports that the police have accused him of using a slingshot. So Dermer was wildly exaggerating Israeli police claims, which the youth has denied?

Here is ABC’s interview of Abu Khdeir. “I was blown. I was like Why? Why is this happening?”

Here’s the CNN report on the beating:

And see what Col. Patrick Lang has to say about the case— Obama should bring Tarek out for medical evaluation.

This Floridian is being held in house arrest as a suspect in a case of supposed violence against Israeli police. He is an Americn kid, born in Florida who was in Jerusalem visiting his dying grandmother. He IS NOT a dual national. His parents seek competent medical attention for his injuries. Obama should order USAF medical evacuation of this boy and his parents to US medical facilities in Europe where his government can be assured of his safety. The Israeli government should be informed of what they can do with their house arrest order.

Tell the US government what should be done to make this right.



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Ron Dermer should be tossed out of the US and the Israeli embassy flattened to the ground. The Israelis have poisoned the soil of the US for too long with their lies and excuses. I’m surprised that they didn’t claim that this innocent boy wasn’t planning on setting off a nuke.

McCain is on MSNBC now saying Kerry should go there and try to work some magic as “this thing is in danger of spiraling out of control.” The presentation of the “breaking news” is one of even balance, i.e., both sides are doing nasty things to each other. No context at all, and the narrative is that the death of the 3 Israeli teens initiated this cycle of violence, with one Israeli victim being an… Read more »

Burston has an editorial worth reading today, imho: “…..I want to apologize for what’s in the air. I want to apologize for those on my side who can speak with appropriate condemnation about brutal kidnap-murders – but who feel they must add, as Prime Minister Netanyahu did this week, that the moral high ground is my side’s alone: “This is what differentiates us from our neighbors. There the murderers are welcomed as heroes, and squares… Read more »

meanwhile the idf child beating sickos running free…

I have a feeling that this is Israel’s At long last, have you left no sense of decency? moment.