Online opprobrium has been sparked by footage showing a little girl brandishing a knife as she says to the camera that she wants to "stab a Jew". The home video was posted on social media last week, amid the spate of stab attacks that have plunged Israel and the Palestinian territories into violence.
The clip was uploaded on 16 October on a Facebook account in the name of Abdulhaleem Abuesha, who according to the page is a Jordanian-Palestinian schoolteacher in the city of Madaba that is home to a large Palestinian refugee camp. It was later picked up and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri), a US monitoring group, which identified the girl, named Rahf, as Abuesha's daughter.
"I want to stab a Jew," she says in the video, according to Memri. "Why do you want to stab the Jew?" a man asks. "Because he stole our land," she replies. "With what do you want to stab them?" the man inquires. "With a knife," she says. "Oh, you're so strong! Allah willing, my dear," the man concludes.
The video was posted with a caption reading "Rahf threatens Zionists with a knife" and drew a few, mostly sympathetic comments on Abuesha's Facebook page. Memri's version with English subtitles instead triggered a torrent of outrage, particularly among Israelis still reeling from the recent wave of violence, dubbed the 'knife intifada'.
A day after the clip was posted on Facebook, Israeli envoy to the UN, Danny Danon, claimed Palestinian children were being "brainwashed" and taught how to kill at school. On 17 October Danon showed a press conference in New York a diagram titled "How to Stab a Jew" depicting a human body surrounded by knives. Danon claimed it was "an example of what Palestinian children are being exposed to day in and day out, in school, after school".
The diagram was also sourced from Memri. An independent NGO headquartered in Washington DC, Memri has been in the past accused of partisanship, with critics saying it promotes a negative view of the Muslim world selecting for translation only extremist and highly controversial videos.