Blood Libel 2.0March 21, 2012 16:10 by Joe Hyams
This commentary by Joe Hyams was originally published at the Times of Israel.
Surely, the advent of mass media sunshine would see its demise?
Unfortunately not. In fact, technology has delivered into the hands of Jew-haters the world over the most powerful of social media tools, equal in reach and influence to broadcast and print news of earlier years.
The paradox of this Wild West of digital communication platforms is that everyone has the power to speak loud and clear, but few, if any, have a responsibility to answer for their messaging.
So what happens when an individual uses the soapbox of social media to level Blood Libel 2.0 at Israel?
One heart-rending image of a little Palestinian girl, bleeding in her father’s arms, killed by the Jews, spread like wildfire through online news and social environs. It was no less sinister and doubly devastating as village whispers of old. The image spread so far and wide it trended on Twitter.
But this child actually died in a tragic car accident – years ago. That’s right. No Jews. The photo wasn’t even recent.
Last week my organization broke the news that Khulood Badawi, the individual responsible for this blood libel, works for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Imagine that: A UN employee engaged in a blood libel.
In a formal complaint demanding Badawi’s dismissal, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor wrote:
We have before us an OCHA information officer who was directly engaged in spreading misinformation, [which violated UN conduct in that Badawi] actively engaged in the demonization of Israel, a member state of the United Nations. Such actions contribute to incitement, conflict and, ultimately, violence.
When the conduct of an OCHA employee so grossly deviates from the organization’s responsibility to remain impartial, the integrity of the entire organization is eroded.
UN Under-Secretary General Valerie Amos responded with clear acknowledgement of the outrage, and distanced the world body from the substance of the libel. An internal enquiry has been set in motion.
But I’m less concerned about the bureaucratic niceties.