It seems that Israel cannot win the public opinion battle being waged across the Middle East and beyond over the May 11 shooting death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank town of Jenin. The odds are stacked against it by Palestinians and other Arabs, human rights organizations and even friendly foreign governments.
Israel is making concerted efforts to fight back, unlike past incidents when it abandoned the public opinion arena. The most famous such incident, highly reminiscent of Abu Akleh’s killing, was the 2000 shooting death of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durrah during a clash between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. Television footage showing the child cowering next to his father and the Palestinian narrative blaming Israel for his killing echoed around the world. Israel denied responsibility for his death, but various probes were inconclusive.