Richard Landes: How the media-created icon of Muhammad al Durah’s death, helped launch a new phase of global Jihad
[Richard Landes is Professor of Medieval History at Boston University, the animator of  The Second Draft, and blogger at  The Augean Stables. Having analyzed a  major dossier of forgeries around the dawn of the second millennium, he has turned his attention to another, and far more dangerous constellation, that permeate our MSM at the dawn of the third millennium.]
To this day, most Westerners typically greet any effort to discuss the Al Durah MSM scandal with: “Fuggedaboudit! It’s over. History. Let sleeping dogs lie.” But such is not the way with blood libels.
They constantly emit their poison into the information bloodstream. So once the Al Durah “lethal narrative” entered the mainstream of public opinion worldwide, it exerted – and continues to exert — an astonishingly noxious influence, blighting our young and global 21st century.
Icon of Hatred explores:
- how PA TV took the footage of what was, at most, an Israeli error, most likely a work of Pallywood, and turned it into an accusation of cold-blooded murder, a proof of Israeli intentions to commit genocide.
- how this “blood martyr” became the icon not only of the “Al Aqsa Intifada,” but of global Jihad, catapulting Jihadism from the margins to the center of Muslim “street,” making suicide bombing the weapon of choice.
- how Al Durah became the symbol of outraged compassion in the West, fueling an anti-Zionist crusade that aligned the “human rights” and “anti-war” left with the most murderous theocrats on the globe. And how, in embracing the Muslim equation of Israel with Nazis, European intellectuals have encouraged the surge of Islamist triumphalism not only in the Middle East, but within their own countries.
In the history of psychological warfare, the Al Durah icon was an atom bomb, perhaps the first. No single event stirred Global Jihad Warming more ardently. We still suffer from its fallout.
Icon of Hatred offers a potent “red pill” for those who wish to awaken from the virtual reality that the MSM have spun around our understanding of the Middle East conflict with their “grand frame” of “Palestinian David vs. Israeli Goliath.” It sheds a stark light on the dynamics of war and mega-death that, hatched in the tragic crucible of the Arab Israeli conflict, now haunt this whole earth. The fate of the al-Durah Icon of Hatred offers that rare single narrative that unpeels multiple layers of the cultural folly that has placed the West in its current danger and disarray.
[Note: Sources for statements made in this article are listed on the website where this article was first published.]
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