What Really Happened at Shireen Abu-Akleh’s Funeral and Why
Here is the inflamatory video from Shireen Abu-Akleh’s funeral that has the world up in arms (once more) against Israel. Watch the video and then read below to know what you are really seeing. And then read below that to know why the family likely will never be able to verify the story. At the end of this article, I mention what is missing from the description of the events in order to bring the story to full and complete closure.
This will never be unseen. pic.twitter.com/Gtfrjqs6Q3
— Riya Al (@RiyaAlsanah) May 13, 2022
It looks like we are seeing the Israeli police interfering with the funeral procession bringing journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh to rest. In seven consecutive Tweets, the Israel Police account tells the whole story. Here is the first of the series and, for space considerations, I will list the texts of the next six posts:
1/7) Plans for the funeral procession of Shireen Abu-Akleh were coordinated in advance by the Israel Police together with the Abu-Akleh family
— Israel Police (@israelpolice) May 13, 2022
2/7) On Friday, about 300 rioters arrived at Saint Joseph hospital in Jerusalem and prevented the family members from loading the coffin onto the hearse to travel to the cemetery – as had been planned and coordinated with the family in advance
3/7) Instead, the mob threatened the driver of the hearse and then proceeded to carry the coffin on an unplanned procession to the cemetery by foot
4/7) This went against the wishes of the Abu-Akleh family and the security coordination’s that had been planned to safeguard the large number of mourners
5/7) Israel Police instructed that the coffin be returned to the hearse, as did the EU ambassador and Abu-Akleh’s own family, but the mob refused
6/7) Israel Police intervened to disperse the mob and prevent them from taking the coffin, so that the funeral could proceed as planned in accordance with the wishes of the family
7/7) During the riot that was instigated by the mob, glass bottles and other objects were thrown, resulting in the injury of both mourners and Police officers
A bit of an analysis
This version contradicts the propaganda overwhelming the social and mainstream media. Readers may wonder where the truth really lies. To help you in your reflections, ask yourself: who has more interest in the funeral proceeding in a dignified and quiet, uneventful manner: Israel or Hamas?
The issue could easily be resolved if a representative of the Abu-Akleh family were to speak up. Will this happen?
Not likely. If the official Israeli version is validated, the family could find itself in danger at the hands of those in the Palestinian Authority who oppose normalisation with Israel and will not take kindly to having their propaganda debunked. Nor would they like it known that it is possible to cooperate with Israeli authorities to maintain law and order.
If you can think of a downside to the family saying the Israeli explanation is false, let me know and I will add it to this article.
In any case, Shireen Abu-Akleh’s brother did contradict the police version in a brief BBC interview. He said that they were leaving the hospital toward the church and the Israeli police came out and bombarded them without him knowing why. I am sure there are those who will believe this statement and say that this is the family representative comment I was asking for above. However, could he really say that the police were there in coordination with the family even if that is the truth?
The EU Ambassador to Israel made a half-hearted attempt to support Israel’s story:
Dismayed by the scenes witnessed today at the margins of Ms Abu Akleh's funeral and the disproportionate and disrespectful use of force on a funeral procession. Maintaining public order can be done by other means.
— Dimiter Tzantchev (@DTzantchev) May 13, 2022
This post got indignant responses by those who said (rightly so) that the scene was not at the margins of the funeral but at its center since the casket is certainly at the center.
But commenters objected to the word “disproportionate” use of force at a funeral procession. With all due respect, if one has no experience in crowd control, then one cannot know what is proportionate. Seemingly in order to appease the anti-Israel crowd, he added the word “disrespectful” use of force and suggested other means could have been used.
But most importantly, in my opinion, is this phrase: “maintaining public order.” By using this wording, Tzantchev is letting us know that that is what we are seeing — the Israeli police maintaining public order. In other words, there was a need for police action because there was “disorder,” to put it mildly. For me, this is validation of the police version of what happened at Shireen Abu-Akleh’s funeral.
To be honest, what is missing for me is another video showing the casket being loaded back onto the hearse and leaving the scene quietly.
Feature Image Credit: Screenshot from Tweet in this article.