Setting-Up the “Settlers”

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Update: See very bottom update for my correction.

Yesterday, I posted the picture of the IDF soldier protecting the injured PLO Arab from what the media and the IDF were describing as an attempted “lynching,” at the hands of “settlers.”

I have not been comfortable with the term “lynching”, but in the absence of any evidence to suggest that it was not an attempt to kill an innocent person, I was not going to say as much. After all, I feel strongly about all deliberate attempts to kill an innocent human being. However, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a chance that things were not as they seemed, and that this might have been a part of the systermatic effort to demonize residents of the disputed territories.



Sure enough, it seems that this may have been the case.

Frequent commenter Shy Guy has sent me a link to some photos regarding the incident.

First, we have proof that the “innocent” PLO Arab being protected was not as innocent as everyone would like to have you believe. Right before he was photographed, he was involved in throwing rocks at Israelis – exactly the kind of behavior that got the Israelis the label of “lynchers.”

But even more to the point, we have photographic evidence that the photo of the injured PLO Arab was staged. below, you can see how photographers instructed the PLO Arab how to lie down. What I am not sure about is whether the soldier was involved in the set-up, or whether he found the “injured” PLO Arab, saw he was in danger, and attempted to protect him.

Don’t get me wrong. If it turns out that Israelis did try to kill the PLO Arab while he was lying down, I will still condemn this behavior. But it is clear that this was a set-up, which is part of a campaign to villify the so-called “settlers.” In fact, this villification is one area where the PLO Arabs, Israeli government, and media can co-operate.

Update: Arutz Sheva on the “set-up”:

The main story of the day, however, was the alleged “lynching” of a young Arab boy. Israel Radio and Army Radio continually used this word to describe what happened, and Israeli television stations showed footage of an Arab lying on the ground and then two Jewish boys running towards him and throwing rocks at him.

“That’s not the story!” said A.D. “I saw this same Arab get hit in the head with a rock – and yet he continued to throw rocks, like a tiger, for the next 15 minutes! And then I saw some reporters go over to him and tell him to lie down and act as if he was unconscious. Later on, he was taken out walking on his own, holding on to a soldier; all this talk of his being mortally wounded is total nonsense. In addition, he was taken to a hospital in Gaza; if he was really mortally wounded, they would have taken him to Soroka in Be’er Sheva.”

In fact, media reports continued throughout the next day to report that he was still mortally wounded – though even Arab sources had admitted by then that he had “regained consciousness,” was talking and felt fine. By Friday, the victim of the alleged “lynching” was reported to be “lightly hurt.”

Another thing to bear in mind. If this was indeed a true attempted “lynching,” the Arab street would be in a rage right now. As it is, I can’t even find reference to the incident in their media.

Update: dAWK provides a video link of the incident to prove there was no set-up. View it for yourself. While the boy was clearly hit with rocks, the way in which he dramatically gets up after being hit, stumbles over to the photographers, and falls down in exactly the same place that the photographers instructed him to (per the above photos) indicates to me that at least parts of the incident were staged.

This was clearly not an attempted “lynching.” According to Dictionary.com

lynching

n : putting a person to death by mob action without due process of law

I don’t see a mob here. I see some people throwing stones at the PLO Arab, just as he had been doing to them moments earlier. This does not excuse their behavior in throwing stones at him while he was lying on the ground, but it also doesn’t preclude the probability that this incident was dramatized to paint “settlers” in the worst possible light.

Update: I have examined the film again, and taken the following still:

This does, indeed, look like the suspected “staged” photos. Consequently, I have no problem admitting that the incident was not staged.

I would still not call it an attempted lynching, but that is another point. In any event, I don’t want to minimize the severity of what seems to have occurred. Regardless of who threw the first stone, the Jewish stone throwers in this incident did something that went contrary to Jewish law and basic humanity.

I am just glad I live in a society where this kind of behavior is the exception, and not the norm.

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A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media