I am completely dismayed by the Western media coverage of the Gaza war, (in general, with a few honourable exceptions), because the vast majority of the Western media is allowing itself to be manipulated by a gang of genocidal maniacs who hate Jews every bit as much as the Nazis did. We should expect more of those entrusted with the sacred duty to inform the public of the truth.
Hamas knows that many in the West are anti-Semites who hate the Jews but are afraid to say so out loud. So it has come up with a strategy to cover up the anti-Semitism: it deliberately draws Israeli fire to civilians hoping that its own civilians will be killed accidently by Israeli bombs. Then it tells the reporters that Israel is committing “genocide” and so ought to be condemned by all right-thinking and moral people. It accuses Israel falsely of “war crimes” despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that Israel has ever deliberately targeted civilians (which is what a war crime would be in this context). They call the Israeli response “disproportionate,” which is ridiculous. Targeting the missiles being fired into Israel is hardly disproportionate. This anti-Israel rhetoric gives the anti-Semites a cover to denounce Israel and support Hamas. Hamas writes the script; the media never deviate from it.
The media thus functions as the enablers of the genocidal maniacs in Hamas and are giving cover to vicious anti-Semites on the streets of European cities. The publicity created by the media’s one-sided coverage of the war translates into credibility and money for Hamas and makes it seem less disrespectable to be anti-Jewish. At this points, the morality and reputation of the Western media (with a few honourable exceptions) is in tatters.
Let us face some unpleasant facts:
1. Hamas, not Israel, is primarily responsible for the dead civilians in Gaza. Hamas started this war by targeting civilians in Israel, which is a war crime. No excuses here, please: if nothing justifies Israel killing Palestinian civilians then nothing justifies Hamas killing Israeli civilians. But it gets worse because Hamas also deliberately ensures the deaths of Palestinian civilians, which is also a war crime.
Hamas puts rockets and command centers in schools, hospitals and civilian homes to force Israel into a devilishly difficult choice: either take out the rockets that are being fired into Israel and risk Palestinian civilian deaths or leave the rockets alone and wait for the inevitable Israeli civilian deaths to occur. Was Israel killing civilians before Hamas started firing? No. Did Hamas know that Palestinian civilians would likely be killed as a result of its strategy? Yes. Whatever you think of Israel’s actions, Hamas is still responsible.
2. But Hamas is not the only guilty party; Western left-wing opinion shapers, ranging from elected politicians to actors to reporters to news editors to academics are also just as responsible. Everyone who engages in the odious practice of moral equivalence between the genocidal maniacs in Hamas and the rational, morally scrupulous Israeli Defense Forces is also responsible for the dead children. There is no moral equivalence between trying to wipe out another people and that people trying to defend itself using the minimum force possible. Hamas is based on hate and wants only to destroy; Israel just wants to be left alone. There is no moral equivalence whatsoever.
Thomas Sowell criticizes this false attribution of moral equivalence by pointing out that the US killed far more German civilians in World War II than the number of US citizens Germany was able to kill. Does that mean that the actions of the US in that war were morally equivalent to Nazi Germany’s actions in that war? To answer that question affirmatively is insanity – or else a revelation that one is morally evil.
The only reason Germany did not kill more Americans is the same reason Hamas has not killed more Israelis: it didn’t get the chance. The battles took place in Europe. But the Western media continues to hammer Israel and if it succeeds in turning public opinion against Israel strongly enough maybe Hamas will get that chance.
3. When the talking heads on TV say that they agree that Israel has the right to defend its citizens from attacks and then they go on to demand that Israel to stop bombing schools and civilian targets, you will notice that they always omit one detail: they never say how Israel should defend its civilians while rockets are being fired from the targets they are forbidden to attack. Do you think this is because these people are just thick? Or have they already thought of the probable consequences of Israel taking their advice?
We should also remember that these same people are also vociferous about how “occupation” is the cause of all the problems in the region. If only Israel would end the “occupation,” all would be well. But Israel did end the “occupation” of Gaza and then the Muslims allowed it to be turned into a terrorist-attack launching pad. If Israel withdrew from the West Bank, it would just give the Jew-hating, Islamic supremicists the perfect opportunity to destroy Israel and it is perfectly obvious that they would take the opportunity to do so. In this context, what is the demand for Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders but a call for the destruction of Israel?
Having withdrawn from Gaza, now the Israelis can only reach it from the air. But they aren’t supposed to attack schools with bombs. But the rockets are launched from the schools. I would like to hear these “experts” who claim to believe in Israel’s right to self-defense but who slam Israel for civilian causalities explain what they mean by “self-defense.” How would these experts go into a densely populated territory that has been turned into an armed terrorist camp and neutralize the terrorists without harming any civilians? Maybe the UN would like to take control of Gaza and show us how it is done? How about it, media experts: if you can’t stop criticizing Israel for doing it wrongly why don’t you just show us how to do it right?
So what does the claim that “Israel has the right to defend itself” amount to anyway? Absent any actual alternative solutions, it is just a meaningless platitude designed to make the terror-apologist appear reasonable to low-information viewers. The ugly truth is that most Western leftists do not like the spectacle of Jews fighting back against their oppressors.
4. The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is very fine and anyone who denies that they go hand in glove with each other is being disingenuous. Of course people are free to criticize Israeli policies and actions; no one is more vociferous than Israelis themselves in doing that. But it should not escape anyone’s attention that the Israeli Left has realized that the country’s leadership is doing everything it can in a very difficult situation. Even the leaders of Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK are beginning to acknowledge that the street violence, demonstrations and anti-Zionism in their countries today contain a disturbing and unsettling amount of old-fashioned anti-Semitism of the kind they thought was a relic of history.
Even the New York Times, hardly a bastion of right-wing Zionism, can’t help but notice it. A story on Aug. 1 was headlined “Anti-Semitism Rises in Europe Amid Israel-Gaza Conflict.” The story notes that a synagogue in Wuppertal was fire-bombed the other day and “two young men” were detained. It doesn’t say whether they were native Germans or Muslim immigrants and it doesn’t mention one other poignant fact, namely that the synagogue in question was destroyed during Kristallnacht in 1938. Rich Lowry points out this fact in his New York Post article “Europe’s New Jew-Hatred is the Same as the Old.”
The fact is that anti-Semites are being emboldened by the anti-Israel stance of the Western media. When the media concentrates on criticizing Israel for the dead children and gives Hamas a pass, what do they think the Jew-hating fanatics will think? The NYT article notes that Jews are fleeing France in recent months and that Jewish businesses and synagogues have been targeted. Here the Times does admit that French authorities have spoken of “a need to counter anti-Semitism among certain segments of the country’s Muslim youth.” That is quite an admission for the NYT! But it is true.
What should the Western media be doing? Perhaps they could start by blaming Hamas for the violence and explaining every time they show pictures of the civilian carnage that Hamas could prevent this but chooses not to do so. Maybe they could ask every Hamas spokesmen who appears on camera why the world should pressure Israel to negotiate with Hamas before Hamas takes its commitment to finishing what Hitler started out of its charter? Maybe they could study up on terms like “war crimes” and “disproportionate” and use them correctly. Perhaps they could go after the United Nations and demand an explanation of why they have allowed Hamas to store rockets in schools and why they seem not to care about the consequences? Maybe they could raise the question of whether or not the only way to peace might be the destruction of Hamas, given that Hamas seems unwilling to change its genocidal, terror tactics.
Depriving Hamas of the favorable publicity it needs in order to de-legitimize Israel would accomplish two things: (1) it would remove Hamas’ motive for continuing the violence (and thus possibly save lives) and (2) it would send a strong signal that Jew-hating is unacceptable in civilized society (and thus discourage the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe). Why don’t they do this? The only answer I can think of is that they have been so busy reading from the script provided by Hamas that they have lost the ability to think for themselves.