On 15 May 2014, Nakba Day for Palestinians around the world who commemorate the loss of their lands to the Israelis, two Palestinian youths were shot dead in Beitunia, a small town near Ramallah in the West Bank, while demonstrating against Israeli occupation. The killings were captured on CCTV and the footage has gone viral around the world to a point where even the US government are insisting on a full enquiry over the killings by the Israeli government.
What happened is plain to see; two youths were shot by Israeli soldiers who were among a group that were throwing rocks harmlessly toward the Israeli soldiers who were quite obviously too far away to have actually have been hit by the rocks but clearly not so far away enough as to be able to shoot at Palestinian demonstrators.
Now, despite the killings clearly being cold blooded, US neoconservative full-time Commentary magazine propagandists Jonathan Tobin and Evelyn Gordon, are trying to twist it to suggest that the whole incident was set up to deliberately demonise the Israeli defence forces. Tobin says:
…unlike the kangaroo court of international public opinion in which the Israelis already stand convicted, a more sober and less prejudiced probe of what happened may well reveal something very different than the narrative of Israeli brutality and Palestinian victimization. Until we know how much the film produced as evidence was edited and just what the Palestinian demonstrators were doing prior to the shootings, it would be a mistake for anyone, including the Israeli government, to assume that the soldiers were in the wrong.
He goes on to say:
The only point of throwing rocks and bombs at armed soldiers is to get them to fire and thus create an international incident. At best, the two Palestinians were merely the latest example of youths who were needlessly sacrificed in order to generate bad publicity for the Israelis. At worst, the story is yet another fraud.
Tobin can’t imagine that all the teenaged Palestinian lads were doing was throwing stones at the Israelis in some vain and naïve attempt to deter them from continuing their presence in the West Bank and to show the Israelis that they won’t be giving up their lands without a fight no matter how fruitless that fight might be. For Tobin and Gordon the incident was deliberately staged by some master manipulator of Palestinian youth who desired their deaths for propaganda purposes. The irony, of course, is that it’s Tobin and Gordon who are using the incident in order to push their own anti-Palestine propaganda.