A very Moodey retraction of a blood libel against Israel

The knee-jerk response in some quarters to civilian casualties in fighting between Israel and its terrorist opponents is to blame Israel. The test of their integrity comes when the facts show otherwise, as in the case of a Palestinian boy killed by a Hamas rocket, not "murdered" by Israel as was claimed

The pain is real; the guilty party was Hamas, not Israel
Dexter Van Zile
On 6 August 2015 03:40

Wonder of wonders. Jeremy Moodey, who regularly uses his position as CEO of the charitable organization, Embrace the Middle East, to assail Israel, has updated a blog post on his organization’s website in which he leveled a blood libel at the Jewish state.

In the original post, dated November 16, 2012, Moodey described Omar Misharawi, a Palestinian “baby child” who at the time was believed to have died from shrapnel from an Israeli air strike, as having “been murdered.” As it turns out, Misharawi was probably killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short.

On July 25, 2015, Moodey updated the post in question by reporting that Misharawi might not have been killed by the Israelis after all, and that he could have been killed by a Hamas rocket.

Apparently, Moodey was responding to an article (by this writer) on the website Breaking Israel News published on July 23, 2015.

Here is what Moodey appended to his Nov. 16, 2012 blog entry, which included an image of Misharawi in his father’s arms:

"UPDATE (25 July 2015): The above image of Omar Misharawi was carried in many of the world's news outlets, including the BBC and Guardian websites, along with reports that the shrapnel which killed Omar had come from an Israeli rocket.

"Israeli military officials had privately briefed journalists that they had been targeting a militant who was in the building, hence the assumption about the source of the rocket. However, in March 2013 a UN agency reported that Misharawi may have been killed by a Palestinian rocket, not an Israeli one. This later report has only now been brought to my attention, hence this clarificatory update."

Moodey’s “clarificatory update” falls short for two reasons. First, his initial accusation that Misharawi had “been murdered” by the Israelis was false and defamatory as soon as it was leveled, even if Omar Misharawi had been killed by shrapnel from an Israeli missile.

As Moodey’s clarifactory note indicates, the boy was never the intended target of an Israeli air strike (and without intent, there is no "murder"). According to Moodey, Israel “had been targeting a militant who was in the building”, which is why people initially blamed Israel for his death.

But even if Misharawi had been unintentionally killed as the result of an Israeli air strike directed at a legitimate military target -- such as a Hamas terrorist -- it would not qualify as murder. If, for example, a terror organization, say Hamas, targeted civilians with rockets and civilians were killed, that would qualify as murder.

But Moodey’s use of the word “murder” in the light of the facts he himself provided in his “clarificatory update” is simply libelous.

Another reason why Moodey’s update does not cut the mustard is that it implies that he had just recently learned about the uncertainty surrounding Misharawi’s death in July 2015 -- almost three years after the incident.

This is simply unbelievable. Moodey’s November 16, 2012 blog entry was referred to in an article that appeared in The Commentator (by this writer) on December 15, 2012 -- just one month after Misharawi’s death.

The article points out that the New York Times reported that there was good reason to believe that Misharawi was killed by “an errant missile fired by Palestinian militants.” And Reuters indicated that Misharawi was possibly killed by a Hamas missile. In the same article, I wrote:

"To be fair, Moodey may not have seen the early reports casting doubt on the cause of Misharawi’s death. A month has passed since the incident, but Moodey has yet to acknowledge that Hamas is likely responsible for the boy’s death. Will Moodey ever acknowledge that Hamas is largely at fault for the suffering and terror endured by the people it used as human shields during the recent fighting?"

Moodey saw this article when it was published. We know this because he complained bitterly about its content on Twitter and asked for a right of reply soon after it was published in December 2012.

But in his clarificatory update published three calendar years later, Moodey disingenuously appears to suggest that he just now learned about the uncertainty regarding Misharawi’s death by writing that the UN Report published in March 2013 “has only now been brought to [his] attention.”

The fact that Moodey did not learn about the UN report until very recently does not absolve him from his failure to correct for so long. Moodey knew of other credible reports indicating that Omar Misharawi was killed by a Hamas rocket and not an Israeli missile years ago.

Still, Moodey’s correction comes better late than never.

Dexter Van Zile is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

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