Monday, October 24, 2022

"Carrying the liberation movement like crowns"

On Twitter, I've been following an account that supports the Lions' Den (the new Palestinian terror group in the West Bank, mostly in Jenin and Nablus). I'm following them not because I agree with them (far from it!) but because I'm trying to understand them. Today there was a fight in Nablus between the IDF (Israeli army) and Lions' Den, and several Palestinian gunmen were killed by the IDF, including, it seems, the leader of the Lions' Den. (It's not entirely clear to me what's happened, because I've been following various Twitter accounts posting about the fight, and their information isn't complete yet).

The account I've been following just reposted this disturbing piece of propaganda (originally posted in late August):

I remember the first intifada, when I lived in Jerusalem from 1987-1989. When a Palestinian was killed by the IDF, the family would set up a mourning tent outside the house. I remember sometimes reading or hearing quotes by the mother of the person killed (often a young man who had been throwing stones or molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers), who would talk about how proud she was of her son for having fought against the IDF. I always wondered what she felt inside herself, when she wasn't making public statements. I think that one of the most horrible things that can happen to a parent is the death of their child, especially through violence. 

I was in Jerusalem in the summer of 2014, during the eruptions of violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem that led to war between Israel and Hamas. The final spark that began the war was the brutal murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir on July 2 by Jewish fanatics, Yosef Haim Ben-David and two minors whose names have not been released. The murderers were captured by the police several days later and have been convicted. The Israeli peace group Tag Meir organized a visit to the mourners' tent for Muhammad, and I went with a fairly large group of Israelis. My account of the visit is here: Visiting Mourning Tent for Muhammad Abu Khdeir. This is what I wrote:

I went yesterday with the group and it was very sad. There are two mourning tents, one where the men of the family are sitting, and the other, right next to the house, where the women, including Suha [mother of Muhammad], are sitting. I went into the men's tent and shook hands with a line of men of the family, and then went to the women's tent and sat while women went up to Suha to offer her comfort. She was distraught and crying as the row of women came up to her, one by one. 

I saw and heard only grief, no bombastic statements by propagandists about "women carrying the liberation movement like crowns." I hate this pseudo-pride that wipes away the profound grief that the mother and the rest of the family feels when their son is brutally murdered by the IDF. You can hear and read the same kind of bombastic nationalism, mixed with putting the grieving mothers on a pedestal, from the supporters of many wars.