Toulouse, Twitter, and the Media Incitement Factor

The four Jews killed in front of their Toulouse Hebrew school are being buried as I write. The funeral’s not far from where my own children go to school.

It weighed on my mind as I watched my own son innocently skip over to his classmates happily tumbling out of a van onto a sun-drenched sidewalk.

No amount of soul-searching will bring back Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, his two children Aryeh and Gavriel (ages six and three respectively), or the eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego. My heart goes out to the grieving families.

An email from a reader I’ll identify as R. presciently summed up my headspace.  The email’s verbatim, the paragraph break’s mine, and now the soapbox is R’s.

To: “” <>
Date: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:38 AM
Subj: RE: Update: UN Investigating False Photo Tweeter

Dear Honest Reporting

Why don’t you make a connection between the release of the tweet on March 10 and the killings in Toulouse a week later. The gunman has apparently said that he did the attack on the Jewish school “in revenge” for “atrocities” on Palestinian children by Israelis. There is clear connection/timing to a tweet that went viral showing an emotive picture of a horribly injured dead Palestinian child which was then followed by killings of Jewish children and for which dead Palestinian children were given as the reason.

Can you not make a case against Badawi for incitement and responsibility for those killings. Surely the time has come that journalists/activists etc who make blatantly false statements that could lead to violence against the Jewish community worldwide should be held accountable and thereby hopefully make them more cautious/responsible before making inflammatory comments/false reports/reports that have not been verified.

Keep up the good work!