Israeli Settler Minister: We Published Pictures of Corpses for Hasbara
It’s hard to believe that any minister of any government, even Israel’s, would’ve given an interview so patently disgusting and self-serving as Yuli Edelstein did with Haaretz’s Nir Hasson. Edelstein is the aptly named ‘minister of hasbara’ (in Hebrew–in English he’s the ‘minister for public diplomacy’). And what he’s done is disseminate terror porn.
To get the full flavor of just how odious the interview is I’ll quote extensively from it and let Edelstein hang himself with his own words:
Two days ago, the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs released horrific photographs from the scene of Friday night’s terrorist attack in Itamar. The photos show the stabbed and bleeding bodies of the members of the Fogel family, with only the faces blurred, as per their relatives’ request. Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein is the one who made the unprecedented decision to release them.
Do you think this sort of publicity can change Israel’s image?
People who deal more with information sent quite a few supportive messages. I know that on the Internet the images are really catching on and circulating. It’s hard to talk about in terms of success, because we all understand that this is an unbelievably heinous crime. But it does have an important impact.
What astonishes is an Israeli minister publicly admitting that he’s exploiting the dead for the propaganda value of their images. This is one of the worst sins Judaism can imagine: exploitation of the dead. It’s a hillul ha-Shem, a desecration of the divine name. Edelstein, who is a settler himself and Orthodox Jew, has allowed Israel to become his religion, while abandoning his actual religion.
The Ashrey prayer says: “the dead will not praise God…but we [the living] will bless Him from now and forever.” Not so in this perverse version of Judaism (or perhaps I should use Bernard Avishai’s apt term, Judeanism, to distinguish this from real Judaism), in which the dead don’t praise God, but rather Israel.
In the days of the Temple, Jews used to slaughter animals as sacrificial offerings to propitiate God. Now, we allow our own slaughtered co-religionists to be the sacrificial animals. What kind of religion is this? A religion in which God approves of the blood of his followers? Is this the religion of Abraham where, instead of God staying the father’s hand as he raises it to slay his son, Issac, God actually demands and approves of the act of child-murder?
To be clear, I’m not saying that either the Jewish God or the settlers approve of murdering their own. But clearly they’re not only willing, but eager to use the dead for political purposes. Perhaps we should put a value not only on human life, but on a pint of the poor victim’s blood. How much is it worth to the propaganda ministry??
What are these images and what is the purpose of their dissemination but to conjure in the minds of viewers a mini-Holocaust? The little babies of Itamar are fascimiles of the Jews killed in the Kishniev porgroms (even lefties like Didi Remez have quoted Bialik’s famous poem, On the Slaughter, about this 1903 massacre) or those killed in the arms of their mothers in the Nazi gas chambers or in Mainz during the First Crusades. There is no difference for the settlerists between Jew hatred from the ancient past or present. For the settlers and those who sell their message, there is nothing better than to brand the Palestinian people as Nazis, and its terrorist acts (for Palestinians as a collective entity are guilty of such murders) as expressions of a wish to genocide. No, Bibi hasn’t said this, but you can be sure there are settlers and their leaders who have before and are now.
There is absolutely no historical proof in any of this. As I’ve written many times here, Palestinian terror is political in nature and not religious. Though settler terror against Palestinians is a mix of politically and religiously motivated, the violence of the Israeli state in the form of the IDF is largely (though not wholly) political. When the conflict is fully resolved politically then there will no longer be violence from either side. To claim otherwise is to be a propagandist for jihad, whether Jewish or Muslim.
What every Jew and every Israeli has to ask him or herself is: if the settlers want to take us down the road of perpetual Jewish jiahd against Islam, will we follow?
How did the decision to publish the photos come about?
From Saturday night, when I found out about the terrible event…we started checking to see if there was any documentation and what happened to it. I started receiving reports that the family apparently would not object [to publishing the images]. I sent messengers to the family to make sure that nothing was done in the heat of the moment. The family had some deliberations and they agreed.
…We held a professional consultation with people from the Foreign Ministry and from the Prime Minister’s Office. Not everyone thought the way I did, that the photos should be published, but everyone was starting to realize that, in this case, it was necessary to act in an unusual manner. The majority felt that since all red lines had been crossed, it would be impossible to just carry on normally, and so we decided to publish the photos.
Every time the topic of public relations and information in Israel and abroad is raised, I’m always asked – why don’t we publish the photos? I say with a bit of cynicism that I can already answer this question in several languages. I always explained that there was the matter of the family and a desire not to cause further suffering – and also that we are not like them, we are not like the Palestinians.
“We are not like them.” Just how are we not like them? We don’t butcher their children as they butcher ours? We don’t exploit our own dead to score points in the international propaganda war as they do? Of course we do. In fact, one of my Israeli readers sent me images of Israeli dead from the Maaleh Akravim terror attack going all the way back to 1954. And for those interested in terror porn it’s available to you, where else, but on the ministry of foreign affairs website. So to act as if this was the first time any Israeli government decided to do what Edelstein’s ministry did is ahistorical and a lie (though perhaps one based on ignorance since I doubt Edelstein is the brightest bulb in the box).
So are we like the Palestinians now?
No, there is a huge difference. They have no problem issuing such photos a few minutes after the incident, without asking the family and without blurring anything out. It is also needless to say that, in some cases, fabricated images are released too.
Israel always criticizes the Arab press for airing photos of damage from IDF attacks in an endless loop, which leads to incitement and hatred. What is the difference here?
There is a big difference. I remember photos of a girl being brought into a hospital in Gaza without a stretcher, of course. They held her in their arms so that everyone will see her and air the picture over and over, as a kind of background image. This is something that causes hatred, whose purpose is to incite more than to shock.
And releasing the images of the murdered Fogel family is NOT intended to cause hatred and its purpose is not to shock??! Then what is its purpose? This is a perfect example of the propagandist who deliberately ignores the impact of his own actions. He so believes in his own victimization and that he is merely responding to evils perpetrated upon his own people, that he simply cannot grasp that he is doing precisely what the other side does. This is a case of willful blindness. It’s as if the entire Israeli government along with much of the country is the blind leading the blind. They kill us. We don’t kill them. They exploit their dead. We don’t exploit ours (except in response to them).
Another point to consider is Edelstein’s absolute inability to understand that it isn’t the image that incites hate, but the IDF’s murder of thousands of Palestinian civilians, some of them in cold-blood, that provokes Palestinian rage. To break this down to its simplest form: pictures don’t kill, weapons do. Whether they be your own guns turned on others or the knives of your enemy turned on you.
Here’s more from Edelstein:
I also don’t put it on Israeli television and ask everyone to watch it. I have no problem with a journalist who decides not to print the image, but I want him to deal with it on his own and always remember the picture. If he doesn’t remember it, then he is less of a person than I thought.
Oh, he’ll remember the picture all right…along with his conviction that any government which would deliberately exploit such images for short-term political gain is a bankrupt one, both morally and politically.
There have been numerous horrific attacks in the past. Why specifically after the attack in Itamar was the decision made to distribute the photos?
It is true that we have experienced quite a few horrors, but at the same time, slaughtering an entire family in their sleep, including children and an infant is, thank God – even according to the standards of these wicked people – something out of the ordinary. There also appears to be an accumulation of things here, with an understanding that words can kill and there must be a response.
Again with the incitement themes: it was the Palestinians who made the killer act, who poisoned his mind with hate. Not the murder and maiming of scores of Palestinian villagers by Itamar goons and those of other extremist settlements.
Recently, a kind of dialogue has emerged to the effect that IDF soldiers are clearly murderers, rapists and looters. This is the feeling that exists around the world and I’m not speaking about [just] the Palestinian Authority.
Well, as for the first and last, there are surely more than enough examples of this. But as for rapists, Edelstein has clearly been smoking a bit too much of the hasbara weed. If there are accusations of rape against the contemporary IDF, they’re made by the most those who lack any credibility. Though it is possible Edelstein is talking about the War of Independence when even a right wing historian like Benny Morris concedes there were instances of rape by the Palmach. But for Edelstein to raise this claim here is merely to invoke solidarity in his fellow Israeli readers for the allegedly terribly injustices perpetrated upon Israel in the world press and on the world stage.
In this atmosphere, of wild incitement against and demonization of Israel, there needs to be a shocking reaction [to the attack] that will cause people to recognize the reality here. We are not doing this out of hysteria and panic, but in a thoughtful way – to convey this image to the same people who think that words do not kill.
No, surely not out of hysteria or panic. Because the hasbara war is going so very well for Israel. So well that it can stand above the fray and act wisely and dispassionately. So that it needn’t milk every situation for potential points scored in the propaganda wars. And as for “thoughtful,” if this is what thoughtful is in an Israeli context, then it’s no wonder that Israel’s Occupation pathology has proceeded to the advanced state of deterioration that it has.
I don’t think that every politician who says that Israeli policy is militant incites murder, but the cries that Israel is “an apartheid state” and “a state of occupation” can lead murderers to think that, by carrying out their murderous crimes, they are freedom fighters.
Do you know if the media around the world used the photos?
The emphasis is on the foreign media. I know that in Israel, apart from a few people for whom not everything makes sense, you don’t have to convince anyone to use horrific images.
Pity the poor lefty extremist editor or pinko peace activist who rejects such images because he simply can’t “make sense” of the fact that the nation NEEDS these images splashed all over the pages of the world’s newspapers. I’d venture to say that there are more than a few such deluded souls even in an Israel debased by Occupation, who couldn’t be convinced of the efficacy of doing precisely what this propaganda minister did.
I also knew that because of the disaster in Japan and the barrage of reports from there, it would not be a lead photo on the front page of The New York Times. The possibility that the images would not be published was also considered. But the mere fact that an editor or senior analyst would receive the photos and look at them and carry out a discussion – I’m certain that this had an effect, and these are the people who shape public opinion. I am sure that whoever has not lost their humanity, will in the future be more careful with regard to Israel.
What kind of “discussion” does he think that Bill Keller had about whether to run these photos beyond: “Run these? Are you kiddin’?” As for editors “losing their humanity,” I’m sure that the next time Yuli Edelstein’s ministry sends anything to any self-respecting journalist they’ll hold it up by two fingers to make sure it doesn’t stink to high heaven before even opening the package.
In the event of another terrorist attack, should we expect the publication of such photos?
Definitely not after every attack. First of all, the family’s wishes will be the determining factor and every case will be considered separately. But at the same time … we will have to think about the specific sort of documentation. The photos taken this time were taken for the purpose of the investigation, not for the needs of the press.
Extraordinary that the Israeli police or whoever investigates such a crime would allow the images to be circulated around the world in such a way. There is such a thing as polluting the scene of the crime and polluting Israel’s case on the world stage. Edelstein has done this with the collusion of investigators who should’ve known better.
Next time – let there never be a next time and let it never happen – I hope we will be prepared with a photographer who has a media-oriented approach, instead of an investigative focus.
Yes, next time let’s have a designated photographer hired by the propaganda ministry whose job it will be to monitor the settler radios for terror activity and get there before the police and ‘shoot’ the bloodiest pictures possible. And instead of waiting, let’s use the latest technology to distribute these images directly from the camera to newsrooms throughout the world. Why even wait and get the family of the victim’s approval? Don’t the needs of the state trump mere human feeling or sorrow?
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The Itamar massacre and its gruesome aftermath reminded me of something that I read a while back about the Mau Mau in Kenya:
Here is the relevant quote from the link above:
“Thirty-two British civilians were murdered by Mau Mau militants. The most well known Mau Mau victim was Michael Ruck, aged six, who was murdered along with his parents. Newspapers in Kenya and abroad published graphic murder details, including images of young Michael with bloodied teddy bears and trains strewn on his bedroom floor”
The Brits attempted the same thing over fifty years ago to no avail, Kenya got its independence in the end.
I don’t expect Israeli politicians to learn from history and to try to avoid further bloodshed. I have a sneaky suspicion that they are flogging the corpses on international media for two main reasons – a) As a future excuse for settling/not negotiating/killing Palestinians with impunity. b) As yet another attempt to demonize Palestinians so that any collaboration between lefties and Palestinians is automatically suspect – Hence the connection to Dimi’s (highly obnoxious) post from earlier this week.
I could not even read the whole post. It is so unfortunate that such sick people are in position of power.
What can I say ?
It is a bad idea, no because it cannot be effective, but because it puts the state before the person.
Well, frankly, that was one of the major tools for bringing the state of Israel into existence, wasn’t it? Without the Shoah there might not have been the impetus necessary to create the state in a bloody war, at least not at that time. IMO turning the victims into sacrificial animals was as disgusting then as it is now, (and that’s also why I don’t use the “Holocaust” term. A “burnt offering”? Please.)
Over at Mondoweiss, Max Blumenthal raises the possibility that Palestinians didn’t do it http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/after-itamar-exploring-the-cynical-logic-that-makes-everyone-a-target.html
‘ . . .However, even if the motives of the killer seem obvious to everyone, journalists covering the incident must be reminded there is no hard evidence that a Palestinian terrorist committed the crime. No viable armed faction has taken credit, and Israeli police are even treating Thai workers as suspects.
Itamar is heavily guarded, surrounded by an electrified fence, and monitored 24/7 by a sophisticated system of video surveillance. Yet there is no video of the killer. Like it or not, until the identity of the killer is confirmed, the murder can only be described by journalists as an “alleged terror attack.” Legitimate outrage is no excuse to flout the basics of journalism 101.’
Then commenter marc b. post this http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/after-itamar-exploring-the-cynical-logic-that-makes-everyone-a-target.html#comment-293395
‘An Asian worker is suspected of the murder of the Fogel family, a settler family from Itamar settlement near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Palestinian press sources.
Quds Net news quoted local residents from the area that he was infuriated with an Israeli settler for not paying him his wages carried out the killing of the settler’s family in Itamar, Palestinian press sources reported. . . ‘
So this whole thing might be more embarrassing for the minister.
The foreign worker story so far is complete speculation. The only thing I can say for sure is that they are investigating foreign workers. But to say that they even have a suspect fitting such a description is way too premature. Palestinians, like Israelis, have a vested interest in reporting this story in a certain way. So let’s await further clarification.
And what I notice with great satisfaction: that NO Palestinian faction – no matter how ‘extremist’ it may be – has taken responsability for the odious crime of killing three children.
Whatever the motives of Mr.Edelstein, those five human beings are still just as dead, the same as they were before his contribution to this tragedy. And I suppose it’s a safe bet that many more than five will meet a similar fate before the matter rests.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
At the end of every human drama, when the final curtain falls and each actor has to leave the stage, one question alone remains.
Is it God or Man that writes the book of life?
If God, then we all may have some serious cause for complaint.
If Man, it will take a massive rewrite to make any of us look good as we exit this place.
It may already be too late for the Fogels. If we don’t get out collective finger out and soon, it’s probably too late for the rest of us as well.
The organs of the memebrs of the Fogel family will be donated to save other lives
May they be rest in peace.
There is a very moving video on this website which I hope people will watch. You are doing God’s work. Bless you.
I saw the video, and looked through the website. What’s more symbolic than a heart beating in the “ennemi’s” body ?
“Heart of Jenin”
A German-produced awarded documentary on the organ donations of the 12-years-old Palestinian Ahmed Khatib, killed by Israeli soldiers.
We follow his parents’ decision to give his organs to Israeli citizens, and later his father’s journey through Israel – from where his family was expulsed in ’48 – to visit three of the 5 or 6 receivers, a young Druze girl, a Bedouin boy in the Negev and a small girl from a Jewish Orthodox family.
We experience the xenophobic reaction of the Jewish father when he realizes that the organ is “Arab”, and later when Mr Khatib goes to meet the girl in Jerusalem, the reception in the family’s apartment gives you a stomach pain. Of course, some extremists accused the documentary of antisemitism, but I think it’s a wonderful film portraying a wonderful person.
It’s a 90 minute documentary that I really recommend – now or when you have the time:
The English subtitles are not very readable. There’s another 60-minute version on the net, but it’s not available in my region (continental Europe).
A twenty-minute resumé:
Thank you for the link, Deir Yassin. I’d never heard of this story before, although I’ve come across others like it – there have been several incidences of kidney donation. In November 2005, thirteen-year-old Ahmed Khatib was shot by Israeli soldiers during a firefight in Jenin. He was rushed to hospital in Haifa, with the army expressing regret for mistaking him for a militant, but he couldn’t be saved. His dad Ismail made the decision to donate his son’s organs after learning of a Jewish child who was awaiting a kidney transplant in Haifa hospital at the time their son died. Describing the rationale for Ismail’s decision, Ahmed’s uncle Jamil said, “You shouldn’t need a reason to act with humanity, but he had a brother, Shawkat, who died several years ago from kidney failure. He understood what it was like.”
There have been other cases like this. In 2001 Mazen Joulani was shot in Jerusalem, possibly in a vigilante retribution attack for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. His family donated his organs. The family of the Jewish recipient of the heart responded very positively:
“David Cohen, whose brother, Yigal, 37, received the heart, said he was ‘surprised’ to hear that the donor was an Arab. ‘Apparently there are no borders or wars when acts of mercy are concerned. This is a noble deed on the part of the family. The very fact of the act taught me that there are other kinds of people on the other side, and maybe there are more. Through people like this we will find the path to peace.”
The full story is here. The doctor had a similar thought to you about the heart transplant: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/1311634/Family-of-martyred-Palestinian-donates-organs-to-let-three-Israelis-live.html
There have also been cases of Israelis donating organs to ill Palestinians. Zeev Vidro died in a suicide bombing in 2002; his family gave one of his kidneys to a Palestinian woman who was struggling to find a donor. I think it’s very important to remember stories like this, especially when murders happen. It’s a beautiful thing when people can take their grief and use it to save lives.
@ Dear Vicky)
You say you’ve never heard of this story before, BUT it is the first one that you describe in your own comment :-)) : Ahmed Khatib from Jenin. But you give me an occasion to recommend the documentary once again. The long version. The father, Ismael Khatib, is one of the Gandhi’s that the Israelis say the Palestinians don’t have 🙂 He’s leading a cultural center for children in Jenin, and if you ever go there, you should pass by.
And thank you very much for the Zeev Vidro story. I’m maybe too sentimental, but that kind of stories make me cry more than killings …. I don’t cry at Hollywood-productions, though.
Take care of youself in Bayt Lahem.
Sorry about that, I was skim-reading! I will watch the documentary when I have a faster Internet connection.
I know the centre you’re talking about. Cinema for Peace? They show quite a divere array of films, including Israeli ones. I love the cultural upsurge in Jenin – they’ve got the Freedom Theatre too, and a bunch of other good projects.
P.S. I think the father of the little girl who received the transplant changed his mind about the value of Arab hearts, as he and his family were guests of honour at the opening of the Cinema for Peace. I didn’t know that he’d ever objected to it, but now I do I think it’s even more terrific that they went into Jenin.
It’s not Cinema for Peace, though they projected the “Heart of Jenin”-documentary.
The name of the cultural center for children is now named “Cuneo Center for Peace” and is financed by Italian NGO’s.
I don’t think the Levinson family were guests of honour at the opening of Cinema for Peace. Maybe you’re talking about one of the other families. Ahmed Khatib’s organs were given to six different children.
Levinson, the father of the little Menuha, had very anti-Arab statements in the film, and Ismael Khatib had to insist a lot to see the girl. When Khatib went to see them in Jerusalem, Levinson asked him why he didn’t leave for London or Turkey if it was difficult to find jobs in Jenin ;-(
You’re right about Jenin: that’s where Arna Mer and Juliano Mer Khamis worked too. Another recommendable documentary “Arna’s Children” is on the net too
Ah, it was Sameh’s parents who attended the CP opening. I didn’t realise that there was more than one female recipient – for some reason I thought the others were boys. I probably am confusing them with other transplant cases. Still, it’s quite heartening that there are so many to confuse them with.
RE: “In the days of the Temple, Jews used to slaughter animals as sacrificial offerings to propitiate God. Now, we allow our own slaughtered co-religionists to be the sacrificial animals.” – R.S.
MY SNARK: Déjà vu all over again?
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, FROM WIKIPEDIA:
SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zealotry
RE: “For the settlers and those who sell their message, there is nothing better than to brand the Palestinian people as Nazis, and its terrorist acts (for Palestinians as a collective entity are guilty of such murders) as expressions of a wish to genocide.” – R.S.
A WISE SAGE, 03/12/11:
SOURCE – https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2011/03/12/death-in-itamar/
P.S. ALSO SEE: The Wrong Side of History, by Uri Avnery, Counterpunch, 03/08/11
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery03082011.html
P.P.S. FROM Bernard Avishai, TPM Cafe, 03/14/11:
The question as I see it is not so much who or what drives this situation as it goes from bad to worse but why all of us stand by and let it get so out of control.
It reminds me of this terrible plight that Japan is in right now.
There, the primary cause of the disaster was a magnitude 9 earthquake, the offshoot of a battle between two titanic forces, each deep within the ocean floor. In its aftermath, an overwhelming tsunami and consequent setbacks with nuclear power stations have elevated the initial problem to one of truly gargantuan proportions.
What would the Japanese have given for some means to ease and divert the build-up in geological pressure that has delivered such cataclysmic blows? Quite a lot, I would imagine.
The parallel here is almost exact.
Palestinians and Israelis have contended with each other for generations over the same small piece of this Earth. As both sides grapple with the situation in very unstable conditions, tensions inevitably start to rise; stress increases until a breaking point is reached. And the result? A series of shocks and aftershocks, every one of which leaves death, destruction and desolation in its wake.
What would the Palestinians and the Israelis give for some means to ease and divert the build-up of the many pressures long active on their own patch of real estate? Quite a lot, I would imagine.
Well, humanity’s control over earthquakes is, as yet, still in its infancy. The best we can do is to try to predict where and when these occur and then relay some warning to all those nearest the epicentre.
But what about control over the forces that Mankind itself generates?
Have we any chance there of reigning in those even more incomprehensible disasters that too many men still continue to visit upon their fellows?
When Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish spoke in Los Angeles recently he held back tears as he described what remained of his daughters and niece after they were literally blown to pieces in a bedroom of their Gaza home. We listened and witnessed the pain on his face and we wept too, imagining the horror of those moments two years ago. We didn’t need to see photographs, and there weren’t any to be seen. On the web there are pictures of these beautiful girls laughing together, playing together, studying. Dr Izzeldin understood that putting graphic photographs of their broken and bloodied bodies in glorious color on the internet would do nothing to alleviate his suffering. I am embarrassed for the Fogel family and for those who decided to exploit their tragedy in such a tasteless manner.
For Hebrew readers: I’d like to share this blog piece by Idan Lando. Provides interesting background on the settlement of Itamar.
Duck, you better avoid this one. I wouldn’t want to see you spontaneously combust out of rage. 🙂
There are plenty of examples in the Tanach of various graphic displays to make a strong statement and motivate emotion and action including displaying bodies.
A body of an executed criminal is left to hang till the evening to make sure people see his fate and not follow his example.
A body of the concubine of Givah (an innocent victim) was cut into 12 pieces each sent to one of the tribes of Israel to arouse their anger at the actions of Benjaminites who raped her and caused her death:
Shoftim (Judges) 19:29 http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15827
And one can bring more such examples.
What do you know of worst sins? You seem to reinterpret Judaism to suit the current zeitgeist and your own sentiments as you go along. Do you have a religious authority you follow without a question? If not why deny Edelstein the same rights you reserve for yourself to interpret Torah and Judaism as you feel like.
Anyway Israel has many Torah scholars who are free to criticize Edelstein’s decisions to release the pictures. Since none of them has done so perhaps such a use of these images is within the consensus of Jewish law and practice.and it is you who has to paraphrase your words has has allowed Liberalism to become your religion, while abandoning your actual religion?
If Al-Jazeera and other Arab news outlets can repeatedly broadcast gruesome pictures of Arabs/Muslims who are killed in order to “stir up” their people, why can’t Israel do the same for Jewish victims?
There’s a letter in today’s Daily Mail, which suggests that the killer was not actually Palestinian, but a Thai workman who had not been paid.
There must be some possibility this is true, or the Mail probably wouldn’t have printed it. This would make a complete nonsense of a great deal of the comment about Holocaust revisionism, etc.
Though I’m a bit wary of the sudden change of scapegoats.
Though it might reinforce my earlier point about not responding to provocations, (at least until you know who they came from!)
The letter in the mail suggested that Israeli police and soldiers had rounded up all the Thai construction workers in the area, but had not said anything to the press to defuse all the anti-palestinian hate. It’s that detail which lends credence to all this.
It would be interesting to know to what extent Thai workers are being used to avoid employing Palestinians? Though I suppose there are many building trades, steelwork and so on, where they might have skills not available locally.
I haven’t seen any proof that Israeli police have actually taken the Thai worker theory seriously. It’s an unsubstantiated claim as far as I can tell.
They did question Thai workers, but I think that was more to rule out suspects than because they felt a Thai would’ve committed the crime.
Worth quietly bearing in mind in case something else emerges, then.