The Jerusalem Post international edition online reported yesterday about a 16-year-old girl named Neda (Seraphic Secret‘s post says her name was Neda Salehi Agha Soltan, and that she was 27) who was shot and killed “by a member of the Basij, a volunteer paramilitary organization, which takes orders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards under the direction of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini” while observing a demonstration in Tehran. In other worlds, this girl was killed not by a hired thug, but by a volunteer thug. I really don’t know which is worse.
Looking more and more like Beijing’s Tiananmen Square these days, Tehran is finally getting some well-deserved bad press. Of course, those evil Zionists are to blame, says Ahmedinejad’s (y”s) government, but quite honestly, this kind of protest by Iranians is long overdue in my opinion, and we evil Zionists couldn’t have done it better ourselves.
Only one thing frosted me about the Post’s reporting. At the end of the piece, the reporter writes, “A popular re-tweet [on Twitter] … compared Neda to Muhammad al-Dura, a Palestinian boy shot and killed during the first days of the Second Intifada, who became the face of the Palestinian uprising. ‘Like Mohammed Al Dura the kid killed by Israeli soldiers in 2000, the image of Neda killed by a Basij in 2009 will remain with me forever,’ read the re-tweet.”
I don’t look for fact, or even intelligence, on Twitter. It’s the voice of the people, after all, in a tuneless cacophony. But I feel it incumbent on me to point out a serious factual error here.
Mohammed Al Dura, a 12-year-old Palestinian Arab boy who, with his father, was taking cover during an exchange of fire between Palestinian Arabs and IDF, was indeed shot. The initial press reports proclaimed that the boy had been killed by Israeli soldiers. However, what this Twittering twit doesn’t seem to be aware of is that an investigation was carried out which re-enacted the events and showed that the boy could only have been killed by Palestinian fire, not IDF. In addition, a lawsuit was recently decided in France against a reporter from French Channel 2 who, despite the result of the investigations, had refused to back down from his fictional version of the story. Why would the Palestinians carry out such a gruesome stunt? For the very reason that shows up in this Twitter tweet: Nothing’s better PR than a lasting image, and children bleeding to death (no matter who shot them) on camera are pretty hard to forget.
A more apt comparison with the Neda incident in Tehran would be Shalhevet Pass, an 10-month-old Israeli infant who was shot by a Palestinian Arab sniper in Hevron in 2001. Like Neda, Shalhevet Pass was an innocent killed by the side of the conflict instigating the violence. True, Arab Palestinians garner much more support and sympathy than any perceived government juggernaut (oppressive or not). But in all three cases—that of Neda, Al Dura, and Pass—the murderers were medieval-minded Muslims whose hands should never be allowed to warm the steel of a firearm.