Just when you thought Israel couldn’t get any lower… The Israeli army has just released an incitement video, titled “Hamas’ use of human shields must stop”, in which it frames the slain medic Razan al-Najjar as a “Hamas human shield”– two days after it claimed she was killed by accident.
This is more than adding insult to injury. This is adding malice to crime.
The propaganda effort is based on twisting al-Najjar’s own words. I have consulted with three Arabic experts, who have looked at the original Arabic interview from which the IDF took the “human shield” text, and it is clear to them beyond a doubt that the IDF was knowingly and cynically manipulating Razan’s words to mean something other than what she said.
Bear with me, this requires close analysis:
First the video features Razan throwing away a gas grenade in the field. Obviously, this is one of the tear gas grenades fired by the Israeli army, which she is taking up and throwing to a safe distance. By this visual, the IDF is trying to create the impression that Razan is a kind of ‘combatant’.
Then comes the short clip from an interview. The original interview has been found to be from Al Mayadeen News, a channel based in Beirut. The IDF video runs subtitles, saying: “I am Razan al-Najjar, I am here on the frontlines and I act as a human shield…”
That’s all the IDF needs. Now, with the ominous music in the background, the IDF text states:
“Hamas uses paramedics as human shields”.
But the IDF cut out a very significant part of the sentence. Razan actually says:
“I the Paramedic Razan al-Najjar, I am here on the Front Line acting as a human shield of safety to protect the injured at the Front Line. No one encouraged me on being a Paramedic, I encouraged myself. I wanted to take chances and help people…” (my emphasis).
The very critical term here is obviously “human shield”. The IDF cuts Razan off after she says “darea bashari” ( درع بشري ), which in itself means “human shield”, but she is actually saying “darea bashari munqith” ( درع بشري منقذ ): human shield of safety, where the third word (cut out) makes it obvious that she is not meaning it as the classical military notion of “human shield”. The continuance of the sentence and the next make that also very obvious. My translators say that “munqith” contains overtones of “relief” and “protection.”
Razan is describing herself as a protector of the injured, by being a medic.
I have not seen Razan affiliate herself with Hamas. The IDF doesn’t show it either. It doesn’t even seem necessary. Israel has framed the Great March of Return protests as a Hamas operation, and thus everyone there is essentially a “terrorist”, and now, Razan al-Najjar is made into a Hamas-terrorist-human-shield.
This video is now making rounds in the Israeli media. Before long, it will be out everywhere – the “news” – Razan al-Najjar was actually another cynical ploy by Hamas, who made us kill her (by mistake).
How low can you get?
Many thanks to Sena Sugihara, Reham Darwish, Khalid S. Barghouti, Ofer Neiman, Rawan Natsheh