The tragic death of an iconic journalist

  • The Palestinians are shameless for denying Israel a joint investigation into the reporter’s death. If someone shot Shireen on purpose it is more likely the Palestinian irregulars involved in the battle than the IDF (though nothing is impossible). If someone shot her by mistake then that is again more likely the Palestinian irregulars involved in the battle. It’s clear the Palestinian Authority assumes Israel will be blamed and is trying to milk it. This is a very dangerous game that is not cool. That said, the IDF investigating itself does not inspire confidence and a neutral third party should be involved.
  • Assuming an Israeli bullet killed her is almost Trumpian in its disregard for facts. It attaches to the post-truth moment in which facts do not matter and narrative — and its fickle cousin “feelings” — are everything.
  • Shireen was an icon, and it is strangely comforting that it is so. The Arab media was basically without any credibility until Al Jazeera showed up a quarter century ago (even though, yes, Qatar is a dictatorship). Shireen was the face of Al Jazeera in Israel, a symbol of better journalism and feminine empowerment.
  • Whoever shot the fatal bullet the framing of the story in terms unfavorable to Israel is inevitable and attaches to Israel’s actions (which makes it less unfair). No other democratic country builds towns in a given territory for one ethnic group (Jews) while their neighbors (Palestinians) live under lesser and undemocratic conditions. If such is your policy, you’ll look like a thug and should expect to pay the price by being treated as one. Look in the mirror. Stop blaming the messenger. Freeze the indefensible settlements. The military occupation is a separate issue with its own complications.
  • If Israel ever wakes up and again elects a government that offers the Palestinians a partition (as in 2000–1 and 2008) then the picture shifts. The Palestinians have negotiated too hard. It very much looks like they do not want a partition because they prefer a civil war in which they hope to demographically prevail.

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Author, entrepreneur and technologist who led the Associated Press in the Middle East, Africa, Europe & Caribbean. Working on solutions to help media thrive.

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Dan Perry

Dan Perry

Author, entrepreneur and technologist who led the Associated Press in the Middle East, Africa, Europe & Caribbean. Working on solutions to help media thrive.

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