AL DURAH INTRODUCTORY ESSAYSPeople from opposite sides of the political spectrum agree that the Muhamed al Durah Affair sheds light far and wide on the nature of the Middle East conflict between Israel and its neighbors. For the pro-Palestinians it is emblematic of the entire story:
The harrowing image… carries the emblematic power of a battle flag. Its heart-rending intensity, its fevered veracity, puts it beyond all rational understanding. It is a lasting image of the war against the Palestinian people and how Israel has conducted it… For in its gruesome starkness, its distinctive dread, that video… jettisons all of the Palestinian conflict’s subplots checkpoints, collective punishment, targeted assassinations, land grabs, home demolitions and leaves it bare for us all to see.
For some, as they examine the dossier, the “fevered veracity” morphs into feverish fantasy, and the tale is a lasting image of the war against the Israelis and the way the Palestinians have conducted it, as well as the ways that Western media – dupes or collaborators – have assisted them. For if indeed this footage is not an actual scene of a boy being shot (never mind by whom), if the absence of blood, of bullets, of autopsies and investigations, if the presence of so many anomalies indeed point to the possibility of a staged sequence, then this dossier raises immense questions with enormous reach.
We invite you to look closely at the footage and come to your own conclusions, to read the essays we offer on the impact of this footage on various audiences around the world. Then we invite you to read the essays here which explore a range of issues raised by the possibility that a) Palestinians staged the event and used it to preach the most virulent hatred of Israelis, and b) that the Western media, rather than catching the fake, presented it to the world in all its “fevered veracity.” Properly understood the Al Durah Affair is a key to understanding why this conflict seems so insoluble and what relationship it has to the global problem of 21st century Jihad; and properly confronted, the Al Durah Affair may indeed offer a possibility of solving this impossible conflict and addressing some of the basic issues in dealing with global Jihad.