Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Doctor's Anguish Stirs Ugly Debate Among Israelis

The Globe and Mail (Canada, reporting from Jerusalem), January 28, 2009 - Israelis are arguing over whether they should pity or blame a Palestinian doctor for the Israeli tank shells that hit his Gaza apartment and killed his three daughters and a niece.

"I prefer to believe the Israeli army, that a sniper shot from his house, and not [to believe] the doctor," one Israeli posted on an Israeli news website.

"Is there such a thing as an Arab who is not Hamas?" asked another.

"How can anyone not believe this man?" a third wondered.....

The media coverage of Dr. Abu al-Aish's anguish forced Israelis to confront the notion that their government was responsible for killing the family of a man of peace, someone who had publicly condemned Hamas, someone who had treated Israeli patients. He'd been considering a move out of Gaza to take a job offer in Canada.

For the first time since the war began, the personal tragedy of a Palestinian civilian in Gaza grabbed Israeli headlines. Since then, Dr. Abu al-Aish's story has been endlessly debated on Israeli television and radio, discussed online and in print and argued on video on Facebook and YouTube.

Some Israelis expressed remorse, but many reacted by blaming the doctor or Hamas....

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