Readers of this blog will know that in the last few years the UK's free Jewish newspaper "The Jewish News" has become increasingly ambivalent to Israel. But never could I have imagined that it would stoop so low as to promote a blood libel that even Palestinian propagandists have avoided. Yet that is exactly what has appeared in the Editorial of the 26 June (which I have referred to the Press Complaints Commission).
The editorial claims that "six Palestinians have been killed" as a result of what it implies is Israel's disproportionate response in attempting to find the kidnapped boys. In particular, it says this includes a "3-year-old Palestinian girl". There is no reference to such an incident in the paper itself, but it is almost certain it refers to the case covered here (by Elder of Ziyon) in which even the Palestinian propaganda agency Maan confirms a 3-year-old girl was killed on 24 June 2014 by a Hamas rocket targeted at southern Israel but which fell short. The implication that Israel killed the 3-year-old in response to the kidnappings is therefore a clear blood libel.
It is also interesting to note that the newspaper provides no evidence to support the implication about the other 5 Palestinian deaths. In fact, two of these reported deaths were of Hamas operatives involved in firing rockets from Gaza, and so are also completely unconnected with the kidnappings (except in the sense that Hamas has increased the number of rocket launches since the kidnappings). The other three reported deaths were all of Palestinians involved in violent clashes with Israeli security forces.
While the Editorial expresses great concern for the kidnapped
Israeli schoolboys, it says it also understands those critics of Israel
such as William Hague who has called Israel's response
disproportionate. The newspaper is therefore supporting another standard anti-Israel propaganda tactic that is used every time Israel is attacked in one way or another - namely to focus on, and question the legitimacy of, Israel's response while playing down the seriousness of the events that precipitated it.
It is also important to note that the newspaper ignores an extremely important phenomenum that provides some context for the kidnapping story, namely the widespread support, joy and pride that Palestinians in all walks of society have been publicly expressing at the kidnappings.