Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, footage aired on American television of a group of Palestinians in Jerusalem celebrating in the street.  Fox News reported that in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, revelers fired weapons in the air, with similar celebratory gunfire heard at other camps as well. 

However, the jubilation of the Palestinians was apparently not due to pleasure over the attack. Footage not included in the film reportedly showed that the streets surrounding the celebration were quiet. People were reportedly gathered together specifically for the shot and children were incited to celebrate.  A woman seen cheering stated afterwards that she was offered cake if she celebrated on camera, and was frightened when she later saw the pictures on television.

It shows us how prone we are to reacting to direct threats from specific persons that an image of people celebrating our tragedy resonates so strongly in our mind.  The attacks were bad enough, but it's the thought that others were celebrating the attacks that enrages some people.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been claiming that he personally saw a crowd of Muslims celebrating in Jersey City following the attacks, raising the question of what Trump was doing in a Muslim section of Jersey City on 9/11.  But I wonder if what he saw was actually the discredited footage, and if his mind may have conflated it with memory of something he actually witnessed first hand.  

If he can't tell fourteen-year-old memories of Fox News footage from actual experience, how fit is he to be President of the United States, Commander in Chief, and leader of the Free World?    

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