The Death Of Kayla Mueller And The Art Of The Own Goal

kayla muellerAn own goal is a term used to describe when a player scores a goal against their own—not the opposing—team in sports like soccer and hockey.

It is also the term I use to describe the phenomenon of pro-Israel advocates doing things that undermine our credibility or otherwise do harm to our noble and righteous cause.

I have noticed a number of own goals over the years. The Hamas Pedophile wedding that never was, the Paul McCartney BDSHole death threat story, and the tale of the stoned donkey spring to mind.

But in recent days, I have become frustrated over a new own goal.

A number of days ago, confirmation was received that aid worker and ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller died. A number of pro-Israel sites were very quick to point out she had a past working for the anti-Israel ISM organization.

While true, no good can come of this immediate reaction.

Here we had the tragic death of someone who probably meant well, albeit with very misguided views about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Pointing out her involvement with the ISM while most mourned her death made the pro-Israel advocates concerned look at worst heartless and unfeeling, and at best petty.

Some may argue she was being portrayed as an angel in the media, so it was important to expose the truth. I would argue so what if she was portrayed as an angel? The story was about her dying while a hostage for ISIS, not while undermining Israel like in the case of Rachel Corrie.

Besides, there’s also the issue of timing. People are still grieving over her.

Not only that, but some of the pro Israel posts on Kayla Mueller’s death are tinged with a “served her right” tone. As far as I am concerned, that is the “bicycle goal” of own goals. Naive and misguided? Absolutely. But not deserving of death.

Predictably, the Israel haters have seized on the own goal.

So guys, if you want to solely preach to the choir, feel free to continue scoring own goals like this.

It’s just that some of us prefer to be hitting the back of the other side’s net.


David Lange

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