Al-Dura: Icon and myth

Israel cannot behave like an ostrich, lifting its head for an instant and then burying it in the sand again

By
June 5, 2013 16:43
Palestinian Children walking the streets

Palestinian Children521. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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In late May I buttonholed Yuval Steinitz, the minister for Strategic Affairs and International Relations, and urged him to hold a Knesset debate on the Mohammed al-Dura affair. The minister’s office had just published a startling report to the effect that al-Dura, the 12-year-old Palestinian boy who became an international icon for Palestinian resistance, had not been killed in the early days of the second intifada and may still be alive.

Steinitz refused. A pity, because I think public debate on this painful chapter in Israel’s fight against Palestinian terror is crucial. I reached this conclusion while working on my PhD, which dealt with media coverage of the second intifada. I focused on three seminal cases: the al-Dura affair, the lynching of two Israeli soldiers in Ramallah, and the so-called IDF “massacre” in Jenin.

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