You may have seen this video of Israeli Soldiers shooting a poor kid in the leg, and then laughing about it. Later images in the narrative include the kid in the hospital with his leg in a cast, and then discharge papers for the kid leaving the hospital. It all sounds watertight, right? An Israeli soldier caught on video shooting a child with a high power rifle, and proof the child was then taken to the hospital for treatment.
There’s a single problem with this narrative: it’s all in your perception. This entire episode is an example of why eyewitness testimony isn’t as reliable as you think it is — why God required at least two eyewitness testimonies of a single event before bringing in a conviction. So let’s go down the list of facts we know here.
First, the kid limps off. If you’ve ever seen a shooting with a high power rifle, you’d know the person shot doesn’t “limp off.” They are carried off with a broken leg (at a minimum).
Second, the person in the video is limping from an injury in their left leg, while the person in the hospital bed has an injury on their right leg. These aren’t the same two people.
Third, the discharge papers from the hospital don’t show a name or a date, and they’re written in English (how many American hospitals write up their discharge papers even in Spanish, much less Hebrew?).
Fourth, the sniper claims a shot in the butt, not the leg. In fact, the sniper probably couldn’t see the “kid’s” leg at all, given the construction of the building.
Fifth, the “kid” isn’t a “kid.” He’s at least 18, perhaps older, and he’s not so innocent, going to an Israeli city to throw heavy objects off a building at the people below. Do we have any video of someone being hit by a large stone from three stories above to offset his “injuries?”
In sum, something isn’t adding up here. Thomas Wictor has pointed to sand bullets as the solution — plausible. With or without the sand bullets, however, the facts just aren’t completely in line with what we think we see. In this case, the perception becomes reality for most people — “Hitler, we’re sorry!” according to one comment on the video (and there are plenty more like it).
As Christians, we face this type of situation every day. Things that seem unreal are, in fact, real. Homosexual marriage, which will ultimately harm our social fabric, is promoted as an unmitigated good. Racism is pulled out to counter serious arguments about real policy problems, from illegal immigration to foreign policy to obvious lawlessness.
What is the Christian responsibility towards the truth?
We expect the world to take our claims of a risen Savior seriously. We expect our friends to spend time investigating our claims made on faith. We expect our family members to take our belief in a God you can neither see nor hear nor feel in earnest.
And yet, far too often, we take the world’s claims about reality in an off handed manner. We, like the world around us, are often all too willing to take a narrative that’s presented to us at face value. It takes work to try and find the truth; it’s far easier to watch a two minute video and react, especially if that video fits a preconceived narrative. How would we react if we came across a crowd in Jerusalem screaming “crucify him?” Probably much the same as we do today — we’d join right in.
If we are truly committed to the truth, then we need to be willing to do the work to dig and find out more — to pay attention to the little inconsistencies that say, “something else is going on here.”
If we are truly committed to the truth.