The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

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Peace through Oddities?

Bassam Aramin, Jan. 20, 2007.
Back in January, Snapped Shot reported on a particularly odd funeral over in the Palestinian territories of a 10-year-old girl named Abir Aramin, who was supposedly killed by the Israeli Defence Forces at an "anti-barrier" protest.

Imagine my surprise, then, to learn from freelance journalist Hélène Keller-Lind over the weekend (en Anglais for we non-Francophiles) that this poor girl's father has been shamelessly using her death as an anti-Israeli prop, during a "neutral" peace conference hosted by the Shimon Peres Centre for Peace.

The first sign of trouble was the fact that the event was scheduled on the 40-year anniversary of the Six Day War. For such a date to escape the notice of the "peace movement" by accident seems unlikely, so one is left to wonder whether the event organizers were trying purposefully to single out Israel for scorn by picking such a controversial date. The Al Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue, in fact, confirmed that as far as they were concerned, the date was selected for that very reason!

Which brings us back to Bassam Aramin, the father in question, who just happens to be associated with the Al-Quds group.

According to Hélène, when she personally spoke with Mr. Aramin, he claimed that the Israeli Defence Forces shot his daughter for no reason, and claimed that there was no demonstration going on around her at the time. In fact, he goes so far as to claim that she was killed by a soldier while she was on the way home from school, and that the soldier told him that "they were told to kill Palestinian civilians deliberately".

Mourners carrying her body, the same day of her death. Notice how the posterized prints are already prepared for the occasion?
Sound odd to you? It sure does to me, considering that the news wires all quoted Bassam as saying that, and I quote verbatim: "[Abir] was struck on the head by a rubber bullet fired at close range by Israeli security forces during a demonstration Tuesday against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Anata, near Jerusalem," and that she "suffered a fractured skull."

What's also cute is to see that he told her he, "had been in an Israeli jail for 7 years for having thrown stones and raised a Palestinian flag." What makes that cute? The touching caption, which were passed along with Kevin Frayer's pictures of this girl's wake, indicated that Mr. Aramin was, "an ex-Fatah gunman."

The man definitely seems to have developed a penchant for stretching the truth... The question is, to whom is he lying? Were the initial press reports correct? We've discovered, via CAMERA, that an autopsy indicated that rocks could also have been to blame for her death, but that her death was not caused by a normal bullet. Was he a peace activist before her death?

And again, I can't stress enough that no "demonstration" goes unseen in the West Bank. I've seen thousands of photographs of these types of events, which tend to happen every Friday, immediately following afternoon prayer services at the local mosques. Without fail. And for each protest that happens, there are dozens of photographers who witness each and every one.

Pop quiz: Which group(s) in the middle east is/are identified primarily with throwing stones at protests?
To make matters worse, the dozen Palestinian children who were brought along on this "Peace Trip," with the intent of bringing them together with a dozen Israeli children for a picturesque and friendly bike ride, were all instructed to wear t-shirts with Abir Aramin's photo on them--along with drops of blood and the question "Why?" written in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. It looks like it was intended for these children to be trotted out in front of the press wearing these heart-rending (but utterly false) t-shirts, in order to make an emotional strike against Israel in what was intended to be a "peaceful, non-partisan" get-together.

The Al-Qods Association's plans were foiled when some of the event's participants protested that the shirts were "inappropriate" for a peace gathering, as they were excessively inflammatory. Thankfully, Al Quds relented.

If you want to see some of the photographs which aroused my original suspicion, be sure to check out the Snapped Shot archives.

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.

  Intifada


Comments:

#1 Captain_Lewis 12-Jun-2007
Great work on this story! I hope this gets picked up by some others.

Question: What do you infer from the fact that the day of her death/funeral they had posters ready?
#2 Brian C. Ledbetter 12-Jun-2007
[i](argh, let me try that again...)[/i]

Cap'n,

At the very least, it suggests that they were [i]very[/i] well prepared for her funeral... to say the least. Which, to me, would seem to be the [i]last[/i] thing that should be on a parent's mind when they are looking at the prospect of losing their child...

So at a minimum, they use her death as a propaganda tool. At the absolute worst, they [i]cause[/i] her death to do so. The truth most likely lies somewhere between these two points (i.e., I still stand by my suspicion that she was killed by an errant flying rock. See here for another example of this kind of misdirection.)

Regards,
Brian

(I think I found a bug in Safari 3... ;) )
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