The reaction of the Arab and Muslim world to the Al Durah story constitutes perhaps the most tragic and troubling part of the tale. As with Palestinian culture, but writ large, the Al Durah story became an icon of hatred, infusing with new vigor a cult of death propounded by the most extreme forces of Islamism and global Jihad. It is within this framework, that one clearly sees the operation of a new kind of “blood libel” that animated both suicide bombers and those who applauded and sanctified them.

In a larger sense, this narrative strengthened the forces of war and extremism throughout the Arab and Muslim world. When the Arab intellectuals who wrote the UN Human Development Report on the Arab world, lamented the utter absence of the kinds of cultural traits that would contribute to growth, freedom and peace, they were in part, looking at a cultural landscape devastated by the success of this lethal narrative.