Remember Muhammad al-Durrah? He was the boy in an iconic Palestinian video claiming that his father had not succeeded in sheltering him from the fire directed at him by Israeli soldiers in late September, 2000.
Subsequent inquiries established that the video was edited in a way to hide the possibility that the boy was not injured. It remains unclear whether the shots alleged were fired by Israelis or Palestinians. Later reports are that an older Muhammad al-Durrah was seen walking the streets of Gaza.Another fabrication occurred in June, 2006. A family of seven died in an explosion on the beach of Gaza. A video photographer filmed a young daughter running, finding her family dead, screaming and throwing herself on the sand. The pictures appeared time and again on television news programs: Arab, Israeli, CNN and others. The girl appeared in repeated interviews, and received a filmed visit from Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian National Authority said that Israeli artillery fire was responsible, proclaimed three days of national mourning, and lowered its flags to half-mast.
The IDF and government authorities expressed their regret, and brought some of the wounded to Israeli hospitals. The area of the disaster was one of the places that Palestinians used to fire rockets at Israel. The IDF had warned Palestinians to stay away from what would be an open field of fire.
An IDF investigation concluded that it was not responsible. There was a gap of 8 minutes between the time of the last cannon fire and the explosion. There was no crater in the sand of the type an artillery shell would create. And Palestinian efforts to collect evidence and keep it from IDF investigators did not suceed. They did not get all the shrapnel in their combing of the beach. Some remained in the people taken to Israeli hospitals. Analysis of the metal found it was not the type used in Israeli munitions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_beach_explosion_(2006)
Now there is another story in the same mold. Palestinians and Israeli leftists are trumpeting the charge that Jawaher Abu Ramah, a woman in her 30s, died from inhaling tear gas shot by Israeli security forces while she was demonstrating against the security barrier near the village of Bilin. The story gained weight by virtue of the report that a member of the same family died in an earlier demonstration at the same location.
As in the case of Muhammad al-Durrah and the family killed on the Gaza beach, Palestinian authorities refused to share their information with Israeli investigators. But the IDF has its sources. The woman''s medical records indicate that she probably died of cancer. Moreover, she does not appear in pictures taken at the seen of the protest where she was said to have been attacked by tear gas.
"Blood libels?" Sounds right.
Do these stories serve the Palestinian cause? Only initially, and then perhaps only with those who accept their narrative without question. Do these stories advance their demand for a state of their own, 1967 borders, a capital in Jerusalem, and refugee rights?
Not among Israelis or others who hesitate about creating another state whose leadership confuses fantasy with reality, where officials deposit aid funds in their overseas personal accounts, and lock themselves into a narrative that precludes negotiations.