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Monday, August 04, 2014

Spare us the photos of dead children

The image at the top of this post was one of the tamer ones I found when searching "dead Palestinian child" for an image. As you might recall, the picture was from Operation Pillar of Defense and the child was the son of a BBC journalist who lived in Gaza. Three months later, the United Nations 'human rights council' (of all entities) determined that the child had been killed by Hamas.

Perhaps that's one of many reasons why James Delingpole speaks for many of us when he says he has had with the 'Palestinians' grotesque use of images of children to arouse sympathy.
The point they are trying to make goes like this: here is a dead child; killing children is evil; Israel killed this child; therefore Israel is evil.
Are you buying this argument? I'm not. I don't even think it qualifies as an argument. In fact, I think it has about as much insight and depth as one of those posters with kittens on it saying: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
What I loathe about it is its mixture of hectoring presumption and manipulative dishonesty.
Presumption: "If you support Israel, then you clearly don't care about dead children," it says. (Is there anyone in the world who isn't moved by the sight of a dead child? I don't think so. The people who are implying otherwise are beneath contempt).
Dishonesty: other than the truism that war is hell, the photograph actually tells us nothing.
We have no idea whether this boy was actually a victim of the fighting in Gaza - or of the far bloodier and uglier civil wars in Syria and Iraq.
If he was indeed a Palestinian, we have no idea whether he was killed by Israeli fire or by Hamas ordinance.
Nor, even if he was killed by Israeli fire, do we know the circumstances. Maybe it was a tragic mistake; maybe, he was one of those innocents that Hamas likes to use as human shields in its rocket launching sites; maybe he was being used as a "tunnel rat"; maybe he'd tried to flee with his family to a shelter only to be driven back to his apartment by Hamas who recognise the propaganda value of dead children.

Read the whole thing.

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At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evil: a ruling power having enough concrete to protect its terrorists, and enough concrete to build miles of tunnels with the intent to kill...but this same ruling power provides NOT ONE bomb shelter for any children!!!

No discussion of dead civilians in Gaza should leave out this crucial and incontestable fact.


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