Richard Lakin died at Hadassah University Hospital-Ein Kerem on Tuesday, Oct. 27, but not before sending a message to the United Nations about social media and Palestinian incitement to violence.
During Lakin’s two weeks in a coma in the Jerusalem hospital after he was shot and sliced open by young Palestinians from East Jerusalem, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the intensive care unit where both the 76-year-old and one of his killers, Bilal Abu Ghanem, received care.
It was a quiet visit with no video news coverage, Hadassah National President Marcie Natan told a crowd gathered at the Selig Center on Sunday, Nov. 1, for the opening of a Breman Museum exhibit on Hadassah’s centennial in Atlanta.
Lakin’s son, Micah Avni, came out of the hospital room with a photograph of his father, showing him as a real person and not just a victim and a patient, and the son demanded action, Natan said.
“My father is lying here because somebody watched a video,” Avni said, according to Natan. That video, spread on social media, showed how to deliver a knife wound to the torso that would slice vital organs to ensure death.
Avni urged Ban to persuade Facebook and other social media networks to remove such videos inciting and guiding Palestinians to kill Jews.
Regardless of whether Ban can or will listen to Avni, Natan said, the rest of us can take up his challenge and write to elected officials and newspapers about the role of social media in terrorist attacks and the need to remove such videos.