Yesterday George Galloway tweeted…
“This child, aged 7, has just been fished out of a well dead in #Jerusalem Murdered by illegal Israeli settlers. Will anyone in power cry with his mother and father today? Will anyone check this evil rampage against the people of #Palestine? Anyone?”
The child in question is called Qais Abu Ramila.
The reason for posting the link to his rescue is that it gives you the opportunity to decide if it is a well, a cistern, a ditch, a drainage ditch, or a sewer: it has been described variously, depending upon the news outlet, and where they are in the news cycle.
Also depending upon the the outlet, the boy, Qais Abu Ramila (and it is important to remember this is a real person) is said to be either seven or eight years old.
Of more use is this piece from The Times of Israel, which was written while the boy was missing…
“Qais Abu Ramila, from the city’s Beit Hanina neighborhood, was last seen there around 4:00 p.m. before vanishing.
Police asked the public to assist in locating the boy and hundreds of volunteers joined in the search as authorities investigated all possibilities in the disappearance.”
“ Clashes broke out overnight after Beit Hanina residents searching for Abu Ramila tried to enter the nearby Jewish neighborhood of Neve Yaakov, believing residents there had kidnapped the boy. Residents were blocked from entering the neighborhood and some of the demonstrators threw rocks at police.”
At which point Qais Abu Ramila stops being a real child of seven or eight, and becomes a political football.
One of the more extraordinary interventions came from Gabriel Milland…
“ Like buried anthrax spores, the myths that inspired genocidal antisemitism turn out to lie much close to the surface than we thought. I don’t know if Galloway knows how close this accusation is to one of the key blood libels, the murder of “Little Hugh” in Lincoln.”
“ Officers had been focusing their search on a pool of water near Beit Hanina after tracking dogs picked up Abu Ramila’s scent in the area, speculating that he may have fallen in. Video footage from the scene showed first responders wading through the body of water with searchlights.”
And mention of searchlights suggests that this searching of the ‘pool of water’ was occurring at night, possibly at the same time as this crowd of several dozen people were stopped from entering Neve Yaakov. Add into the mix that relatives had released a video supposedly of the boys kidnapping, which “his immediate family and police said that the video had no connection to the case”.
It is not hard to see where the story stops being about a missing boy, or the parents, or anything real: and becomes a prepared airing of grievance.