Muhammad al-Durrah – obsession and stupidity

A lot of people are asking themselves if this is for real – an event that happened 13 years ago and dragged Israel’s name deep into the dirt is now being brought up again by Israel’s ever vigilant government chasing lying anti semites wherever they raise their ugly heads. What is the purpose of this ? To prove that there are people out there who make up terrible stories to harm the public image of Israel ? Does anybody need proof of this ? To prove to the world that we didn’t kill Muhammad al-Durrah on purpose, although everybody knows that despite having the most moral army in the world we have killed quite a few Palestinian children, as part of what euphemistically is called “collateral damage” ?

What exactly are we trying to do ? Does this serve any sane purpose ? Is there anybody out there who will look at the results of this curious body of inquiry which counted on the testimony of veteran conspiracy theorists and say: Glad they did this, it’s so rewarding to know that it’s not the IDF who killed the child but rather the Palestinians ! ?

At the same time, government spokespersons never fail to mention that we don’t really know if the child has been killed in the first place. The boy may, after all, still be around since we haven’t seen the body. I trust that this macabre dance will end with the buried body exhumed and Muhammad’s death (or his being alive) established beyond reasonable doubt. The world will continue to hold Israel responsible for his death, regardless of what an Israeli commission of inquiry has to say or what indeed happened.

Why are we doing this ? To prove, once again, that we are right, no matter what? Last time we did something similar was when our then Chief of Staff and present Minister of Defence went on TV to declare the transfer of a collapsible stretcher from an ambulance by Palestinians a transfer of a shoulder launched surface to air missile. He had to backtrack, in the end when the truth came out.

This incredible need to prove something which nobody really wants to know except for a few people obsessed with being right, doesn’t serve any particular purpose. All it does is set up the State of Israel for another potentially embarrassing disclosure. The people who are responsible for this stupidity waste precious time and resources and almost nobody in his right mind who knows about media and public diplomacy will see any sense in this tour-de-force. It puts the spotlight on Israel’s continued maintenance of the occupation and the suffering of the civilian population in the territories and we need that like a hole in the head. It also establishes once again that we only look back, not forward, that our efforts are to be right in retrospect, no matter what and regardless of evidence to the contrary, and that we waste no effort to do better in the future.

Yesterday at the occasion of the launch of the lobby for the advancement of an agreement with the Palestinians and the Arab world in the Knesset, I had the opportunity to hear two representatives of the government, our Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Avi Wortzmann and the Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Zeev Elkin. All they do is ask for justice and truth. Justice and truth, so be it.


About the Author
The author served in the Prime Minister’s Office as a member of the intelligence community, is a member of the Council for Peace and Security and was a candidate in Labor’s 2012 primary election for the Knesset list