|The widely published image of a dead child in the arms of his father,|
Jihad Masharawi, is now understood to depict something quite
different from what it seemed at the time of publication. AP issued this
correction on March 11, 2013 [Image Source]
The errant rocket that killed Omar Misharawi was fired by Hamas terrorists from a densely populated civilian area adjacent to the home of the BBC reporter Jihad Misharawi. Hamas selects such locations for firing its rockets precisely so that Israel will respond by firing into civilian areas and killing Palestinian civilians. They regard such dead civilians as "shahids", or martyrs for the cause. It is better for Hamas' publicity campaign if the rocket that kills the Palestinian baby was fired by the Israeli Defense Forces, but even if the rocket was fired by Hamas terrorists, Hamas will claim, as they do regarding this death, that the lethal rocket was fired by Israel. Often the evidence is inconclusive, though the forensic evidence in this case points clearly to a Hamas rocket. The important point is that it doesn't really matter who actually fired the rocket that killed the baby. The baby was killed by Hamas as part of a calculated strategy designed to point the emotional finger of moral blame at the IDF for doing what every democracy would do: namely, defend its civilians from rocket attacks by targeting those who are firing the rockets, even if they are firing them from civilian areas. As President Obama said when he visited Sderot shortly before becoming President: "The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if…somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing."Babies like Omar Misharawi will continue to die in Gaza and in Israel so long as the world media continues to serve as facilitators of Hamas' dead baby strategy.Prof. Dershowitz offers a reminder of just how tough and really brave the terrorist leadership of Hamas have proven themselves to be:
Of course these Hamas leaders don't desire their own death. They build shelters for themselves and for the terrorists who fire the rockets at Israeli civilians. As soon as these rockets are fired from crowded civilian areas, the terrorist scurry into below-ground shelters, leaving babies, women and other civilians in the path of Israeli rockets that target the rocket launchers. This isn't martyrdom by the leaders and terrorists. It is cowardice. That too is part of the dead baby strategy: make martyrs of babies, while the leaders and terrorists hide in shelters. In Israel, it is precisely the opposite; shelters are for civilians; soldiers put themselves in harm's way.An earlier post of ours, "9-Mar-13: The viral power of a lying image and the editors who make it all happen" explains how a picture, to change the usual expression, can all too often turn out to be worth a thousand malicious, distorting, lying words.