The battle between Israel and Hamas in Gaza certainly is an emotional one for all sides. People are dying and, regardless of your view, that is a tragedy. But deference to such dire events is no excuse for letting advocates make outrageous claims without challenge.
The BBC should have figured this out by now, but it is drawing criticism for an appearance on an Arabic language program last week by Kamal El-Helbawy, a Muslim Brotherhood figure and founder of the Muslim Association of Britain. As the Telegraph reported, Helbawy said Israeli children were fair targets for attack because they are "future soldiers."
He also repeated a meme that Israeli children are taught math through examples involving the killing of Arabs:
"In elementary school they pose the following math problem - 'In your village, there are 100 Arabs. If you killed 40, how many Arabs would be left for you to kill?' This is taught in the Israeli curriculum."
Critics say Helbawy's words could incite attacks. "That goes in people's ears and spreads like wildfire and the listeners think it's OK to go and murder Israelis," Palestine Media Watch Director Itamar Marcus told the newspaper.
Helbawy calls himself a moderate. But he has a history of slurring Jews and Christians and advocating conflict. Officials barred him from coming to the U.S. in 2006.