It’s more difficult to rewrite history when the people who saw it are still kicking around.
Yossi Kuperwasser, the man behind the recent report denying the killing of Mohammed al-Dura, is connected to several far right organisations, including Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center), an organisation whose “intention is to silence any and all criticism of Israel” (Sourcewatch). The boy was killed in Gaza on the 30th of September, 2000, when Israeli soldiers entered a gun battle with Palestinian fighters nearby. He was shot while screaming in terror and hugging his father. The scene, broadcast by France 2 television was a game changer for the long-standing occupation, throwing its brutality in front of everyone’s face. I remember seeing it in the newsroom I worked in at the time. It was immediate and visceral.
No wonder Kuperwasser has spent a dozen years trying to fight it, battling France 2 TV, the journalist Charles Enderlin, Reporters Without Borders and anyone else off the kool aid. I’m usually not one to drop spoilers, but here it goes: In his version, the kid lives! Huzzah, the land of miracles lives up to its name. Praise Jesus, and continue the immense foreign aid spending.
From a purely objective standpoint, the report is complete tripe. But it’s been getting some attention, because it’s referencing a watershed moment in Gaza occupation history. We’ve heard from several pundits, policy wonks and associated speculators on the topic. There’s only one voice that matters, though. The only one anyone needs to take seriously. The boy’s father:
“Israel says my son isn’t dead. Can you imagine how this feels for a father who has lost his child? They have all the technology tools in the world. He’s not dead? Then bring him to me.” — Jamal al-Dura, while standing at the grave of his son Muhammad
Yep, still too soon.
Update: This posts is somewhat related. I posted it over at Tumblr so as not to let the right-wing fringe links soil the blog.