Nidra is in Tel Aviv covering the Gaza Beach blood libel. Here is her seminal report, unedited. Only here in the Atlas sphere.
LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD
Tel Aviv June 14 2006
Eight Palestinian civilians are killed by an explosion on a Gaza beach and Israel is immediately accused, chided, chastised, rebuked …on the basis of a questionable news report from vaguely identified sources. Outrage is intense and close to unanimous. When, in the space of a few short days, the Israeli Defense Ministry produces the results of a serious investigation that clears Israeli troops of responsibility for the deaths, the media tamper with the evidence! In a sham of scrupulous caution, the IDF report is picked apart as if it were necessarily shoddy, while undue credibility is given to a lone expert, Marc Galasco, working for Human Rights Watch. Le Monde reports that the Israeli investigation is incomplete, suggesting it is half-baked, when in fact it will be voluntarily pursued to determine whether the accident was caused by buried Palestinian artillery or an unexploded Israeli shell aimed at rocket-launchers on a previous occasion. CNN-World reported Galasco’s “findings” as if they were Pentagon brand high-tech, only revealing his HRW affiliation hours later.
In the face of this perverse pussy-footing, a forthright reply is in order. Israel does not target sunbathing civilians. Israeli civilians are in fact targeted by an incessant rain of rockets fired from the recently evacuated Gaza strip. Israel attacks launching pads, launchers, and vehicles transporting rockets. If jihadis deliberately operate from the midst of civilian populations, what is Israel to do? What would you want your army to do if the rockets were landing on your house?
Reliable information was available from varied sources shortly after the initial broadcast of what looks like a Hamas-produced exploitation video passed off as news. A thorough scientific investigation has now been presented, countering allegations of Israeli guilt. To pretend that reasonable doubt subsists is simply dishonest. To claim that the Hamas version should be given equal weight with the IDF investigation is to abandon all notion of rational analysis and, consequently, all sense of reality. To maintain that we should give equal credence to both sides of the story is to engage in life-threatening mental contortions.
Every single Western media with a claim to integrity should not only publish a retraction of the unjust accusations thrown at Israel, they should explore their own readiness to pick up and relay these unfounded accusations. And, further, they should admit that the death of the Galia family and the grief of the 11 year-old orphan Huda were cynically exploited. The image of Huda running across the sand, discovering the dead bodies, throwing herself around hysterically, crying, and mouthing totally inappropriate accusations should be reviewed, cleansed of the twisted emotional impact it was designed to provoke, and studied as a stunning example of blood libel.
Nothing less than this is acceptable. And it should be understood that Israel is not the only victim of this manipulation. The target is much larger. It includes the entire Western world, our values, and our future.
What has happened? Instead of admitting the error and retracting the extravagant accusation, media and public officials have jumped on a June 13th incident in which Palestinian civilians were inadvertently killed in an aerial attack aimed at a truck transporting Katyusha rockets…to be launched against Israeli civilians. And somehow, in this ethical swamp of public opinion, the fact that many of these Katyushas and Qassams fail to kill is chalked up to the credit of the launchers. The Israeli attack is “murderous,” the terrorists are “militants,” and the rockets are “crude and unsophisticated”…about as harmful as spitballs.
Now Israeli officials are dancing on seven feet trying to prove that they are not evil monsters but decent people trying to protect their civilian population. They should be standing straight and tall and demanding an apology from public opinion and those who forge it.
How can such a bald-faced lie as the Gaza Beach Massacre get away with murder? Reliable information exists. The IDF scrupulously records, films, monitors, times, measures every single operation, every last shot. There is no ambiguity here. Nothing mysterious. No bone to gnaw on. Public opinion does not need to mull over the details, the shrapnel extracted from the bodies of the wounded, the size of the crater, the timing, the exact whereabouts of all six shells fired by an Israeli gunboat earlier that afternoon. The detailed report drafted by responsible officers of an honorable army serving a respectable democratic country should be accepted as given. The media should honestly explore their own guilt. And individuals should ask themselves how they were blinded by images of a child’s grief, and unable to think rationally about the story she was illustrating.
Falsified emotions and false accusations have seeped into the public mind, poisoning the heart, and incapacitating the logical facilities. Every journalist with eyes to see now knows that the “news report” included a spliced-in image of an Israeli gunboat, taken earlier that day, to give viewers the impression they were seeing the shell fired in real time, following it as it hits the beach, maims and kills, and creates a grieving orphan. Either these procedures are common practice or they should be denounced.
Huda has become an icon in the Arab-Muslim world, bringing to mind Mohamed al-Dura seminal icon of the jihad-intifada launched against Israel in September 2000. There too a crude enactment of a child’s suffering served as the emotional flash that obliterates rational thinking. The failure to come to grips with the al-Dura blood libel, despite the relentless efforts of analysts and investigators, has facilitated acceptance of the Sudaniya Beach version.
There is not a shred of evidence that Mohamed al-Dura was killed. [Myth, Fact, and al-Dura Affair, Commentary] Ample display of bleeding bodies and bloody garments corroborate reports that Palestinians were in fact hit by an explosion on a Gaza Beach on June 9th. Nothing indicates that they were, as France 2 Jerusalem correspondent Charles Enderlin said of Jamal and Mohamed al-Dura, “targets of fire coming from the Israeli positions.” But we see today that no amount of scientific proof can suffice to nullify this type of accusation. Unless and until they are recognized for what they are—blood libel. Irrational, exterminationist hatred of Jews. Unacceptable.