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Netanyahu distorts a Palestinian’s helpless reaction to occupying soldiers to dehumanize Palestinian parents

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Two days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted outraged commentary on a video of an encounter last Friday between a Palestinian father and son and Israeli occupying forces in Nil’in, Palestine.

The video showed Ayoub Sroor daring Israeli soldiers to shoot his three-year-old child, Mohammad.

Netanyahu said:

“I’ve just watched a video that shook me to the core of my being. In just a few seconds, it shows why our conflict persists… What did this child do to deserve this? The answer is nothing. He’s innocent. He should be in a playground. He should be in the sun, laughing with other children. Sadly, this father’s crime is not an isolated example. In Gaza, Hamas runs summer camps that teach children to value death over life.”

The Palestine Liberation Organization has responded forcefully to Netanyahu’s video, showing how he took a few comments by the father completely out of context.

PLO General Secretary Saeb Erekat issued a statement that Ayoub Sroor had suffered numerous “physical and psychological attacks” from occupying Israeli soldiers, which led him to seek psychiatric treatment given to torture victims. Here is a portion of Erekat’s response:

The Israeli Prime Minister’s denial of Palestinian rights and humanity is morally and ethically outrageous. Once again, Israel and its propaganda machine attempt to defend its prolonged and belligerent occupation of Palestine. Through seconds in a video, Netanyahu justifies the racist narrative that Palestinians are to blame, rather than Israel’s military machine and armed settlers that exercise violence and oppression against the land and people of Palestine.

This event took place in Nil’in, a village severely affected by Israeli colonization policies, including the Annexation Wall and Settlements. The few seconds  shown by Mr. Netanyahu omit a large portion of the physical and psychological attacks that Mr. Ayoub Sroor (45 years-old), who is the father of Jihad (18 years-old), Mamdouh (17), Issa (16), Bara’a (10) and Mohammad (3), has been subjected to for years by armed Israeli soldiers, a situation that brought him to seek psychiatric treatment…

Our position remains firm and clear with regards to not involving children in demonstrations, wherein the Israeli occupation army indiscriminately shoot at Palestinians with its huge arsenal of arms.

Mr. Sroor’s helpless reaction shows the desperation a life under occupation creates. Netanyahu and his extremist government are the ones responsible for killing the hope in the minds and hearts of millions of Palestinians. His public relations tactics won’t change the reality of the daily theft of land and natural resources, the oppression and humiliation that our children suffer on a daily basis, nor will it make us forget that 578 Palestinian children killed in Gaza during the summer of 2014.

The PLO posted the video below of the father, Ayoub Sroor, who describes himself as a refugee from the 1948 Nakba, explaining how the Israelis took his land in Nil’in by means of the annexation wall, and Israeli soldiers assaulted him on that land in 2008 and he suffered a memory loss. He then was treated for six months with therapies given to “torture victims.”

He says that his recent confrontation with the Israeli soldiers that Netanyahu has landed on was a “moment of helplessness” and that he knew Israeli soldiers would not fire, because the media were all around him.

It was a moment of helplessness. With the protection of the cameras and the media presence, and I saw the army’s guns pointed at the little children, I told them, you want to kill the little children, here’s the boy. This video [of Netanyahu] only showed a short shot of what I said.

At the end of the video, Sroor’s son Mohammad tells the camera of the many assaults on his relatives carried out by the Israeli army.

The Palestinian Authority says this video shows an Israeli soldier assaulting Ayoub Sroor in 2012.

Thanks to Allison Deger and Yakov Hirsch. 

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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38 Responses

  1. xanadou on August 4, 2016, 7:52 pm

    Netanyahoo’s: “What did this child do to deserve this?” “This video shook me to the core of my being”

    The First Pazzo’s maudlin rhetoric conveniently ignores israel’s absolution of the murder of an 18-month old baby burned alive by a settler, the Israeli flyboys who drop white phosphorus from empty blue skies on defenseless Palestinian families, the immoral army that abducts children from their homes in the middle of the night, the military courts that adjudicate trumped up cases of underage Palestinians, or the wretched “living” conditions of Palestinian children and their families deprived of basic utilities.

    Or to recycle netanyahoo’s own words: What did the many generations of Palestinian children do to deserve israel’s profound savagery that for more than 68 years, daily, injures the moral core of the planet’s humanity?

    • Cazador on August 5, 2016, 11:57 pm

      It’s called genocide attempt, xanadou.

      Here is a declaration from Ben-Gurion about Jewish children:

      “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.”
      — David Ben-Gurion (Quoted on pp 855-56 in Shabtai Teveth’s Ben-Gurion in a slightly different translation).

      • BethlehemOlivesRedeem on August 7, 2016, 3:30 am

        that’s a misquote. Ben-Gurion wasn’t talking about children, he was talking about Jews of Europe, and it was in a letter to his son, not an open declaration in public, to the effect that if he had a choice to save all the Jews of Europe by having them emigrate to whatever countries would take them, or only half the Jews of Europe being allowed to emigrate to Palestine, he’d willingly sacrifice half the Jews of Europe for the greater cause of repopulating Palestine with Jews. It is testament to the atrocity-blind ethos of Zionism not only when it comes to non-Jews interfering with the Zionists’ agenda of land conquest, but even when it comes to other Jews, whose lives are imperilled by the very agents of genocide with whom Ben-Gurion’s team of Zionists should have bravely fought and willingly died to defeat, but instead with whom Ben-Gurion and his ilk collaborated with in order to secure their so-called “safe haven” of “a national homeland” for “the” Jews.

    • Kathleen on August 6, 2016, 8:38 pm

      Tell it xanadou. Intentional humiliation, theft of land and lives creates horrific despair. And then BB pisses all over Palestinians again with his well thought out and terribly twisted misrepresentation.

      If there is a hell he will be there.

  2. xanadou on August 5, 2016, 1:55 am

    A couple of items intended for nyetanyahoo’s core of his being from 972+mag:

    Just another arbitrary detention of a Palestinian child

    Number of Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons doubles

  3. JLewisDickerson on August 5, 2016, 10:06 am

    RE: “Two days ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted outraged commentary”

    REGARDING NETANYAHU: The term Über-a^s comes to mind. Posting outraged commentary is truly Bibi’s forte.

  4. talknic on August 6, 2016, 2:36 am

    Netanyahu shows us time and time again the evil person he is

  5. Jon66 on August 6, 2016, 9:30 am

    So the bad guy is Netty, not the father who pushed his son at the soldiers.

    I guess I’ve been mistaken all these years when I told my kids I would take a bullet for them.

    • oldgeezer on August 6, 2016, 1:51 pm


      Yes. Nutty is evil. The father may have mental issues but nutty is just an evil monster.

    • Mooser on August 6, 2016, 5:26 pm

      “I guess I’ve been mistaken all these years when I told my kids I would take a bullet for them.”

      Yes, but that’s the kind of BS you have to tell the little human shields.
      You don’t want to tell them the truth, which is that being children, you brought them there to take a bullet for you.

      • BethlehemOlivesRedeem on August 7, 2016, 3:35 am

        and when you’ve attained Zionist binational (US-Israeli Jewish supremacist) fat-cat-hood, draftig you kid, male or female, into the IDF/IOF so s/he can suffer ptsd doing your killing for you, too.

    • klm90046 on August 6, 2016, 9:20 pm

      Isn’t it obvious to anybody here that the father was slut-shaming the occupiers? And just look at the feigned innocence and concern on the face of the Prime Shyster.

      • Marnie on August 7, 2016, 12:28 am

        My feelings exactly! Thank you!!!!

      • oldgeezer on August 7, 2016, 2:09 am


        Of course he was. And the immoral zionists are feigning deep concern child. Totally in denial of the fact that the child would not face any danger otger than the fact that Israeli thugs regularly, and wontonly blow away little children who pose nobthreat. They clearly acknowledge this for all to see by claiming the child was in danger.

    • Mr.T on August 8, 2016, 12:00 pm

      “So the bad guy is Netty, not the father who pushed his son at the soldiers.”

      The bad guy is Netanyahu, and you and every Israeli because you all perpetrate the great crime against the Palestinians.

      But you can’t have it both way, hypocrite. You people like to lie all the time about the filth in uniform that you call “soldiers” being moral. If so, then there should be no danger to the child, because these people are doing nothing but marching on their land.

      So which is it? Are you and Netanyahu perpetrating a blood libel against this man — a man who you and your wretched countrymen have driven to a clearly mentally exhausted state — for kicks or are you admitting that the pieces of human waste that wear your uniforms are the evil murderers we all know they are?

  6. Talkback on August 6, 2016, 11:25 am

    So what’s the difference between the Prime minister of the Kahanist Apartheid ethnocrazy and a Holocaust denier who blames the victims?

    • Jon66 on August 6, 2016, 1:56 pm

      The victim here is the poor child whose unfit parent placed him in harms way instead of doing everything in his power to protect him. Perhaps the father needs help as well, but if he’s not responsible for his actions than someone else in the family should be caring for the boy.

      • annie on August 6, 2016, 2:19 pm

        jon, netanyahu is exploiting this family for hasbara purposes. the address is in english and it is for a foreign audience. he’s using this example, of a man who admittedly has a condition similar to ptsd he sought therapy for who was tortured and imprisoned and his land taken away as an opportunity to claim palestinians don’t love their children and teach them hate and all the other hasbara crap israel hasbrats have been pushing for decades ignoring the constant middle of the night home invasions, home demolitions and atrocious conditions the occupation has enforced on this imprisoned community. and you lecture us on the “poor child”? where have you ever referenced the “poor child” where he’s been an obvious victim of israeli oppression? spare us your concern.

      • oldgeezer on August 6, 2016, 2:26 pm


        I agree the child is a victim. Just as the father is. Nutty is the current abiser in chief and should in jail for his human rights abuses which lead to these conditions and situations. Nutty is a despicable man, leading a despicable government. He is acting like a vulture as he tears out yet another piece of meat from the victims.

      • Jon66 on August 6, 2016, 6:10 pm

        I’m opposed to all violence, including throwing the bike of an 8 year old, targeted at unarmed civilians. I have also stated that I think it’s wrong to kill and not capture unarmed murderers by the police.

        I don’t think this father is anymore representative of all Palestinians than the Israelis are who commit illegal acts. But this guys actions while possibly explainable are not defensible.

        Perhaps Netty pushed it too far, but that’s what happens when you try to equate the actions of a bad apple, e.g., one border policeman throwing a bike, with an entire nation.

      • annie on August 6, 2016, 6:59 pm

        but that’s what happens when you try to equate the actions of a bad apple, e.g., one border policeman throwing a bike, with an entire nation.

        you mean because bt’selem releases a video of a border policeman tormenting a little child and his sidekick throwing her bike into the bushes (that’s 2 bad apples btw, not one) you get the prime minister making a hasbara video humiliating a palestinian family and hasbrats reminding us who the real victims are?

        funny, because i don’t see you anywhere on that thread calling this little girl a “poor child” or a victim: not when the “bad apples” do it. why’s that? the palestinian children are only “poor children” and “victims” when you deem their parents responsible?

        but thanks for being honest about why netanyahu would make this hasbara video at this very time — to distract from the sadistic tormenting “bad apple” soldier and his bike throwing “bad apple” soldier side kick.

        i ask you before where have you ever referenced the “poor child” where he’s been an obvious victim of israeli oppression?

        no where, that’s where. like i said before, spare us your concern.

      • Jon66 on August 6, 2016, 11:45 pm

        I don’t think I have used the term “poor child” before but I have criticized Israeli actions and treatment.

      • Marnie on August 7, 2016, 12:31 am

        Dear jon
        Well for once you aren’t claiming to be the victim. Even though no one believes your concern. And you should really re-read klm90046 remarks above and actually see the light.

      • Jon66 on August 7, 2016, 10:52 am

        At the risk of derailing the conversation, I would like to point out that “slut shaming” is not a good thing. It is the practice of trying to shame a woman for expressing her sexuality as a man might instead of playing the role a conservative society has approved for her. If he was “slut shaming” I don’t see how that helps. The sluts who are shamed are the victims.

      • Marnie on August 8, 2016, 12:04 am

        Dear jon

        ‘Marnie, At the risk of derailing the conversation..’ Bwahahahahahahahahahahaahahahaha!!!!

        But of course, you’d never do that.

        Btw – slut-shaming is a concept that’s way over your head dude.

        “I don’t see how this helps” Of course you do, that’s why you’re squawking.

      • Jon66 on August 8, 2016, 10:40 am

        “Btw – slut-shaming is a concept that’s way over your head dude. – See more at:

        Perhaps if you typed very slowly I could wrap my feeble mind around it.

      • Mr.T on August 8, 2016, 12:03 pm

        “The victim here is the poor child whose unfit parent placed him in harms way instead of doing everything in his power to protect him.”

        What can he do? Your evil state and its wicked ideology has targeted him and his child because they are non-Jews. In the face of such evil — being a non-Jew in the land which the evil of Zionism has targeted and which has slated such non-Jews for ethnic cleansing, oppression and perhaps genocide — there is no place where a Palestinian can be which is not “in harms way.” You people, your vile state, and your evil ideology have demonstrated that again and again.

      • Marnie on August 8, 2016, 12:44 pm

        Dear jon – last word

        This father is taking the power from the IOF by saying telling them to go ahead and shoot, knowing full well they only shoot when they are begged not too. How dare you or anyone else judge him for his actions when you haven’t been in his shoes. To hell with your pious crap. He was in control of the situation! He had had control, not the IOF, and this drove them and you nuts, but especially netanyahooo, and after his BS speech inviting Arabs to ‘work in droves’ (building more apartments for Jews only at half the wages?) blew up in his face when Ayman Odeh told him to shove it. He had to come up with a way to spin the story in his favor and folks like you fall in line all over yourselves to support him and prop up his (and your) lies. Keep drinking that kool-aid. Oh Yeah.

      • Mooser on August 8, 2016, 1:12 pm

        “Perhaps if you typed very slowly I could wrap my feeble mind around it.” “Jon 66”

        That’s not funny, “Jon 66”. It is very easy to tell how feeble your mind is from your comments.
        And I think “wow, is this dude feeble-minded” has pretty much been the unanimous conclusion.

        Even the other Zionists steer clear of you, “Jon 66”.

      • talknic on August 8, 2016, 9:38 pm

        @ Jon66 August 8, 2016, 10:40 am

        // Marnie,
        “Btw – slut-shaming is a concept that’s way over your head dude”//

        “Perhaps if you typed very slowly I could wrap my feeble mind around it”

        To a mind infected with Zio-slam-shutting, wrapping itself around and rapping anything other than Ziocrap is all but impossible without self implosion.

        One only has to tug at any of the myriad of loose ends in the Zionist narrative to watch them and their arguments unravel

      • Jon66 on August 8, 2016, 10:30 pm

        Still no explanation of what “slut shaming the occupiers” means. Slut shaming is bad for both the shamer and the shamee. Can anyone explain how this relates to the situation at hand as stated by Klm or Marnie?

  7. klm90046 on August 6, 2016, 7:58 pm

    “He’s innocent. He should be in a playground. He should be in the sun, laughing with other children.” So says Netanyahu.

    But that’s exactly what four kids were doing on Gaza’s beach when their bodies were torn apart by Israeli bombardment.

    • jackal on August 7, 2016, 11:53 pm

      A timely reminder. There are daily reminders in Mondoweiss about children who are jailed for the simple act of stone-throwing, the only refuge they have against a totally armed apartheid regime. It would be, oh, so nice if the Palestinian children had the playgrounds, the teachers, the libraries, the swimming pools that are part of the life style of Israeli children. But, they don’t. It is easy enough for a well-heeled gov’t agent to sit in his nice office and pontificate and moralize about a situation his own children would never have to experience.

  8. klm90046 on August 6, 2016, 10:26 pm

    “Hamas runs summer camps that teach children to value death over life–” Netanyahu.

    Even with your exaggeration, Mr Prime Shyster, someone far more honorable than you said: Give me liberty, or give me death.

  9. Ossinev on August 7, 2016, 9:22 am

    “The victim here is the poor child whose unfit parent placed him in harms way instead of doing everything in his power to protect him”

    What mind boggling disgusting hypocrisy. If a Jewish parent in the Warsaw ghetto had done a similar thing ( and there were probably many who did ) you would have lauded him or her as a courageous and honorable person demonstrating despair at the humiliation and degradation they were undergoing on a daily basis and not condemned him or her as somehow “unfit”

    And please do not say that this is somehow a false comparison or somehow an intrinsically anti-semitic comparison to make.

    Evil is evil whatever its ultimate extremes.

    • Jon66 on August 7, 2016, 10:56 am

      Now your just making things up. Do you have any evidence of any similar behavior in Warsaw or is it all conjecture? I would not laid anyone who puts his child in front of a soldier daring them to shoot. Perhaps this man is mentally unstable and that explains his action. But it doesn’t condone it.

      As Malcolm X said, “Real men don’t put their children on the firing line.”

      • Mr.T on August 8, 2016, 12:05 pm

        “As Malcolm X said, “Real men don’t put their children on the firing line.” ”

        Tell that to the evil Zionists who brought their children with them when they invaded Palestine, starting in the 19th and 20th centuries, and who continue to invade the West Bank, bringing death, war and oppression to the native people in their wake.

  10. xanadou on August 9, 2016, 7:50 pm

    Jon66: “Perhaps this man is mentally unstable”.

    If you had read PW’s article, you would not have asked the dumb question, b/c in that article the despairing man admits to battling psychological problems. From the day he was born he has been exposed to the savagery of a genocidal occupier, whether a cop or soldier with their guns’ safety catch permanently on “off”, or Israeli school-age bullies, little girls with pink ribbons tied to their pony tails, writing vile crap on Israeli bombs, the latter readied to be loaded onto Israeli aircraft, and soon to be dropped on defenseless Palestinian civilians that include the little girls’ Palestinian peers. And, pray, do tell why were little Israeli girls anywhere near the shells stuffed with massive amounts of white phosphorus and/or record-breaking tonnage of TNT? Why did their parents allow them to be there, as did the military morons on the airfield? Clearly, your inappropriate quote seems to point at the absence of “real men” among the israeli population. Mazeltov!

    Next time, before you abuse the memory of Malcolm X by taking liberties with his words, maybe you should try using your own brain, clearly addled by the daily genocidal nightmare that defines not only Palestinians, but also israelis. And you.

    That daily ratcheted horror is propelling a growing number of Israeli parents to pack up and leave the blight unto nations, with Germany being the preferred safe haven for most. Germany!

    In fact, why don’t you read the article/letter written by Na’aman Hirschfeld who, by now, is, with his kids and rest of family, in the safety of Germany, away from genocidal Israel:
    “Emigration as a political act
    (…no) thanks. I will not sacrifice my children’s future for a hopeless struggle. Desperation is indeed the reason why I left.”

    As for netanyahoo’s above PR stunt, the word genocide is no longer verboten verbiage, and he and his cronies are reduced to attempts intended to insult the intelligence of all men and women as he desperately tries to further victimise his victim. Hoping to present himself as a real man?

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