The Onion has proven itself to be an extremely popular and funny news satire site. So popular, funny and smart in fact, that I have regularly used the catchphrase “Not the Onion” to introduce news items that seem so ridiculous, they must be satirical, but are not.
But the Onion has published an article that is neither funny nor smart. Just dumb, and malicious.
JERUSALEM—Saying they were pretty hard to miss during her two-week visit to Israel, teenager Sarah Caplan told reporters Monday that she hadn’t expected to see so many dead Palestinians on her Birthright trip. “My friend Kate who came over last year said she noticed a couple, but this is way more dead Palestinians than I ever imagined,” said Caplan, who explained that her tour group was prepared to see a few scattered bodies while driving around the country, but were completely caught off guard when they stumbled on entire groups of dead Palestinians near the Gaza border. “It was cool to see the Western Wall, and we all got to ride camels in the desert, but we still saw a couple bodies there, too. At first you think it’s just this one-time thing and you don’t worry about it, but pretty soon, you realize they are kind of everywhere. They didn’t really mention anything about this during the orientation.” Caplan was also surprised that there were so many people her age in the Israeli Defense Forces killing Palestinians.
Perpetuating the myth that the IDF wantonly kills palestinians is not satire. It is a blood libel. And given the Onion’s huge audience of what I suspect are mostly young people, plus it’s way of dressing up this lie under the guise of satire, it is a particularly pernicious one.