Friedman also points to laziness. “Many of the foreign journalists do not know the history,” he says.
“They do not know Hebrew or Arabic, and they have no real grasp of what is happening. Because of that, they stick to their colleagues’ story and move with the herd. The AP is a large organization and, like Reuters, part of the herd. Both agencies make similar decisions.
“The reason we did not know that the Middle East was about to erupt like a volcano was that the foreign media was busy counting houses in settlements.
“Israel is a tiny village on the side of a volcano, but the media describes it as the volcano itself. When we look into this distortion more deeply, we see that it is part of a problem that has been going on for the past five years – a problem that will be studied in journalism schools in the future.”
Friedman elaborates on the implications of the media’s faulty coverage of Israel.
“It reached an extreme situation this summer. The media outlets agreed to serve as part of Hamas’ military operations. Strategically speaking, Hamas knew it could rely on the foreign media’s cooperation – that it would not show rocket launches or combatants or speak at all about what Hamas wanted to accomplish. They knew, from the experience of the past few years, that the foreign media would cooperate. The foreign media served as Hamas’ deadliest weapon, and so we need to understand the media. This is no marginal subject for research, but a major part of the story.”
He estimates the chances that this attitude will change as slim to none. “My article was reported about in in the [Wall Street] Journal and in the Washington Post, and I was interviewed on CNN,” he says. “There are signs that they are willing to take these assertions seriously. But it’s like an aircraft carrier: it’s impossible to change direction easily. I haven’t seen any reason to be optimistic over the past six years. As Israelis, we need to realize that at the moment, the game is rigged.”
According to the AP, contrary to the claims of its defenders, Hamas operatives have admitted firing rockets from civilian areas in Gaza. But they say they did so at a distance from actual buildings. As the AP report noted, videos from surveillance conducted by the Israeli Air Force has produced evidence of rockets flying from residential neighborhoods, hospitals, cemeteries, mosque courtyards and other civilian areas. But Hamas officials quoted by the news service now say that when they did fire from such places, the rocket launchers were always at a “safe distance” from such structures or that the nearby buildings were deliberately kept vacant.
Given the evidence of civilian casualties from Israeli fire directed at such launchings, this is a transparent lie. More to the point, if human rights groups and the international press accept this excuse they will not only be validating an almost certainly false story but also moving the goalposts to accommodate the terrorists propaganda needs.
At approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, 23 July 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Deir al-Balah. As a result, Na’im Jum’a Abu Mizyed, 33, was killed and another 2 persons were wounded.
It counted him as a civilian.*
But no one tried to hide the fact that Mizyed was a member of Islamic Jihad’s Al Quds Brigades. The very same day his death was mentioned in Palestinian newspapers, saying that Islamic Jihad said it proudly.
There is no way that PCHR could not have known that he was a terrorist.
But he was counted as one.
On August 2, PCHR wrote:
At approximately 18:20, medical crews recovered the body of Ussama ‘Abdul Malek Abu Mu’alla, 37, whose house in the west of al-Nussairat refugee camp was bombarded by Israeli warplanes on 25 July 2014.
At approximately 16:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at the vicinity of a house belonging Hatem ‘Abdul Karim al-Louh in Deir al-Balah. As a result, the owner’s son, Kamal, 32, was killed.
Here’s his Islamic Jihad Al Quds martyr photo:
Thanks to Elder of Ziyon
While I don’t think he was an actual fighter for Hamas, he certainly was no journalist. His Facebook page was pure Hamas propaganda.
His cousin Suhaib also works at Al Aqsa TV. One of his favorite subjects for photos is children.
Here are some of the children of Gaza, as captured by Suhaib Murtaja:
- No matter how many concessions Israel makes, the world will always justify Arab terrorism because there will always be still one more capitulation Israel failed to make.
- No matter how nice Israel is to its Arab citizens and no matter how many affirmative action programs it implements, Israel will always be accused of being an “apartheid regime.”
- Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is not an apartheid regime.
- Much of the world has no qualms about seeing Jewish civilians murdered by terrorists.
- Many people around the world would not raise an eyebrow if Israeli Jews were shipped off to concentration camps in cattle cars – except perhaps to demand improved rail service.
- Israel bashers do not care about dead Arab civilians, other than as a useful tool with which to bludgeon Israel.
- The only country on earth expected to respond to the murder of its civilians by turning the other cheek is Israel.
- The only country on earth that has spent years trying to defeat aggression and terrorism by turning the other cheek is Israel. It failed.
- No matter how Israel responds to aggression and terrorism, it will always be denounced as a “disproportionate” response. The only “proportionate” response is complete capitulation by Israel.
- If an Israeli coughs in the general direction of Gaza, it’s considered a disproportionate war crime and an act of genocide.
Residential tower destroyed in Gaza City, August 26, 2014 [Image Source]
While we’re under the relatively fresh influence of news reports focused on the devastation in Gaza [BBC video here], on photos of dead children and of their parents and clans-people screaming with agony and anger, and on social action NGOs clamoring for more funds to rebuild and revive, it’s good to take a moment to remind ourselves of how the terrorist leadership that has turned Gaza into a vast underground arsenal is selling the events of the past two months - and their plans for the future.
This report by Barak Ravid comes from Haaretz this evening: “Israeli official: Hamas has begun repairing Gaza tunnels”:
Israel has received intelligence indicating that Hamas has begun reconstructing the attack tunnels that were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge, a senior Israeli official said on Sunday.
Two weeks have passed since the cease-fire went into effect, the official said, and Hamas has already begun preparing for the next confrontation with Israel and is focused on replenishing its arsenals.
The senior official said that Hamas militants have returned to arms smuggling through several tunnels that remain intact under the Philadelphi Route in Rafah. He said that the smuggling continues despite the Egyptian security forces’ more concentrated and effective efforts to stamp out the tunnels.
The official added that production of the M75 rockets – capable of reaching the Gush Dan region in central Israel – has resumed in factories inside the Gaza Strip. He said that even after Operation Protective Edge, 40 percent of Hamas’ capability to produce rockets locally remain intact.
A Friday article in the Chcago Sun-Times [“Decimated Hamas makes ludicrous claims”] captures some of the madness in the moment:
While the truce holds, the propaganda war continues. Despite the many funerals, the hospitals filled with the wounded, the loss of hundreds of combatants, and the rubble of collapsed high-rises and other buildings and homes, Hamas ridiculously claims victory.
Yes, it is ridiculous. Actually it’s far worse than that because it is clear to rational onlookers that the absent Hamas political leadership, issuing commands from luxurious hotel suites in Qatar and Dubai, fully intend that as many as possible Palestinian Arab Gazans should die at the hands of the Israelis. Their utter absence of remorse would be breathtaking if we were not already so familiar with it. And tragically - leaving morality and humanity out of things, which is what they do - it has to be said their calculation is right; dead children advance their side’s interests.
Over there in Gaza, the Palestinian Arab masses are thoroughly in the grip of victory fever. It even has numbers by which it can be quantified; we posted about this two days ago: “5-Sep-14: A society steeped in the ethos of terror, and the poll results to prove it”.
In another part of the Arab world, where there’s much more money, they see victory and loss differently. Here’s an August 10, 2014 article [“What the world builds, Israel bombs”] from The National, published in the Emirates:
International donors are wary of funding another rebuilding effort in Gaza, with the European Union divided over increasing pressure on Israel for a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue… An international donor meeting for Gaza is to be held in Norway next month. Yet, there is concern about a repeat of the donor conference after the 2008-2009 war, where only a fraction of the nearly $5 billion pledged for rebuilding came through. “We hope to receive help, but promises aren’t always kept here,” said Naji Sarhan, Gaza’s deputy minister of public works. “It’s hard to convince people to come here when they know Israel acts as our agent of destruction.”
Whether viewing Israel as the problem (something of a constant theme in the UAE’s media), or seeing the issues as more nuanced and influenced hugely by the terror-addiction of the Hamas leadership, the outcome might be the same. In reality, there is no bottomless well out there of funding available to restore what gets devastated when Hamas takes on Israel. At some point, the emerging middle class in Gaza - the customers of its classy restaurants, the buyers of its luxury vehicles, the owners of its penthouse apartments - may demand to be heard, and to have their interests brought into consideration. Once there is a significant part of Gaza that has something to lose, some interests to protect, the game changes. At that point, declaring victory in the face of utter defeat may get harder to do.
But not yet.
During the recent war in the Gaza Strip, armed Hamas militias committed the ugliest crimes and violations.
This charge did was not made by the Israeli Government Press Office or the Israel Defense Forces spokesman.
Rather, it was Palestinians who made this charge – and not just ordinary ones.
Leaders of the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank made the charge against Hamas in a strongly worded statement that was issued in Ramallah on August 30.
The statement refers to Hamas’s crackdown on dozens of Fatah members in the Gaza war during Operation Protective Edge – the name used by the IDF to describe the war with the Islamist movement.
The Fatah leaders – members of the faction’s Central Committee, a body dominated by supporters of Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas – accused Hamas militiamen of shooting dozens of their activists in the Gaza Strip in the legs and other parts of the body.
They accused Hamas militias of brutally beating other Fatah activists who, with Israel’s help, were later transferred for medical treatment in West Bank hospitals.
Fatah’s leaders also accused Hamas of placing some 300 of their members in the Gaza Strip under house arrest during the war and “endangering them and their families’ lives by exposing them to Israeli airstrikes and shelling.”
In addition to the clampdown on Fatah members, Hamas militiamen confiscated food and medicine sent to the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and some “friendly countries,” the Fatah leaders disclosed. “Hamas distributed some of the aid among their men through mosques or sold it on the black market,” they said.
The Fatah charges against Hamas did not surprise many Palestinians, especially those living in the Gaza Strip, who witnessed some of the assaults on the Fatah members.
"Children are our hope, not our human shields."
Thank you Orly and Ziggy Marley for being advocates for children in Israel and Children in Gaza. Thank you for being voices for peace.
Thank Orly and Ziggy by writing on their Facebook pages and tweeting at them @ziggymarley.
@JudgeDan48 Has this girl ever had another “toy”? Has she been taught anything else, but hate?
I dream of a world where kids are allowed to be kids; to run, play, and live to see their full potential.
If you come across anyone in America who calls for an end to aid to Israel for allegedly persecuting Gazans, feel free to use the below as a model response:
Notwithstanding your faulty premise, let us play along. You are American. Your tax dollars also goes to UNRWA which provides aid to Gaza all of which is pocketed by Hamas’s gang of bandits all of whom just so happen to be mostly millionaires.
This money is used to maintain Hamas’s dictatorship which entails the persecution of political minorities in Gaza, the murder of gays in Gaza, the murder of so-called collaborators in Gaza, the torturing of political dissidents in Gaza, the persecution of Christians in Gaza, the teaching of martyrdom in Gaza, the conscription of 12 year olds in gaza for the sake of martyrdom, child slave labor vis-a-vis building tunnels in Gaza (wherein, according to Palestinian Arab sources, 160 children were murdered in the process) and the sanctioning of honor crimes by Hamas (and other groups) in Gaza, just to name a few.
Therefore by your own standard, you must not only protest aid to Israel, you must also protest aid to Gaza since it is stolen and mismanaged (thats a nice way of putting it) by Hamas.
Moreover, these human rights abuses committed by Hamas dispels your entire premise. The idea that a blockade of Gaza which, ostensibly, persecutes Gazans is the reason why Hamas launched rockets against Israel makes no sense, when you consider that Hamas engages in ACTUAL persecution of Gazans, which you seem to be sinisterly silent about.
I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you have been largely innocent of this fact. I await your condemnation of Hamas and your subsequent call to end all aid to Gaza based upon the standard that you have set forth.
There Is No Israeli Siege On Gaza
The numbers speak for themselves - 1.7 Million tons of merchandise were imported into Gaza via the Israeli border in the last 2 years.
Israel allows in all the food and medicine that Gaza wants. Everything can go in, except for weapons and items that can be used to make weapons.
Same goes for the ability of people to cross the border for medical needs and for business. 10% of the people who crossed the border were internationals - journalists & aid workers.
Given Hamas’ creation of terror tunnels used by it to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel against civilians, it is clear that there has to be control over what goes into the Gaza strip, so as to make sure that it is not used for Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure.
With neighbors like Hamas, would you give up control over your border?
An Israeli military intelligence report reveals that terrorists killed by the IDF in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge were subsequently given fake identities to disguise the fact that they were armed grown men.
The report was prepared by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), a body associated with Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate (often abbreviated in Hebrew as “Aman”). In it, a careful analysis of the first 500 Palestinian casualties in the war is presented, including an estimated ratio of armed men to innocent civilians based on names, ages and photographs of the deceased.
The report determined that 46 percent of those killed were militants, while 54 percent were uninvolved civilians. However, due to Hamas’ policy of concealment and deception, the numbers might actually skew even more toward the militant side.
For example, a great many armed militants killed during the fighting in the Gaza City suburb of Shejaiya between July 19-August 1 remain buried under rubble, and therefore do not appear on any casualty lists. According to intelligence estimates, some 100–150 terrorists were killed in Shejaiya.
The report also revealed that armed terrorists killed during the fighting were later listed as young children by the Gaza Ministry of Health (MoH).
For instance, Gaza’s MoH said that Abruim Jamal Kamal Netzer from Khan Younis, killed on July 18, was just 13-years-old. In reality, he was a 26-year-old militant associated with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement.
The ITIC said this was not an innocent mistake, but rather a deliberate effort to identify deceased terrorists as children.
Another casualty, Wasim Reza Saleh from Khan Younis was innocently listed as a child of just 15. Analysis found that while Saleh truly was only 15, he was also an armed member of the same Fatah-affiliated terror group. This demonstrated that casualties under the age of 18 cannot automatically be assumed to be innocent civilians.
Hamas got wise to the fact Israel was carefully analyzing all the casualty figures and related evidence, and on August 5 issued a call via Facebook warning Palestinians to stop sharing details of deceased militants on social media.
“The occupation (ie. Israel) collects all this information and uses the evidence to justify its crimes [sic] against the Palestinians,” read the Hamas post.
The ITIC also noted that Gaza’s Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the concealment and deception campaign, ordered the Ministry of Health to quickly remove uniforms or identifiable insignia from the bodies of deceased militants.
Australians Against IsraelAustralians for Palestine have been caught doing what many of us have caught Israel haters doing all the time: using photos from Syria and claiming they are from Gaza.
THE activist group Australians for Palestine has prompted outrage by misrepresenting an image of children killed in Syria as young victims of the conflict in Gaza in an email to MPs that attacked Israel’s operations.
The group, whose August 10 email compared those killed in Gaza to victims of the Holocaust, has declined to correct the error or apologise, even after the deceptive use of the image was exposed.
Underneath the image of dead children, Australians for Palestine editor Sonja Karkar wrote that “some people may find the above photo disturbing and we hope it is”.
“It is not being shown gratuitously, but to bring home the true awfulness of what is happening in Gaza,” she wrote.
The email continued: “Almost 2000 Palestinians have been slaughtered and some 10,000 Palestinians have been wounded … Israel’s bombs continue to strike with vengeance at the civilian population below. Make no mistake about it: more than 80 per cent of those already killed were civilians.
“We cannot shed tears over yesteryear’s Holocaust victims when reading books, seeing films or visiting museums and not see that these innocent Palestinian children today are just as deserving of your sorrow and outrage.”
Liberal MP Luke Simpkins told The Australian he believed he had seen the photo before. The former long-serving army officer raised the picture’s provenance with Ms Karkar.
Mr Simpkins discovered the same image had appeared in a Canadian online news site in May this year and an Israeli website last November, well before the current fighting in Gaza began early last month.
On August 12, Ms Karkar told Mr Simpkins: “Since sending out this email I have been alerted to the fact that this picture was taken in Syria and not Gaza. It was a careless error to make on my part.”
She continued: “In my next post I will be apologising for using the wrong image.”
The following Australians for Palestine email bulletin, dated August 18, made no mention of the matter.
Ms Karkar did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
Another key Australians for Palestine figure, Nasser Mashni, declined to speak to The Australian, but Mr Simpkins lashed the group.
“Given that the AFP calls for outrage, I can say that I was outraged at their abuse of the facts and taking advantage of the deaths of innocent Syrian children in the biggest, most desperate conflict and human tragedy in the region,” he said.
Notice how the appropriately named Ms Karkar did not just use the false image. She also lied about the proportion of civilians killed, and belittled the Holocaust.
Though I am glad to see Mr Simpkins gets what we are up against.
“I find their ethics and tactics deplorable in their attempt to win favour with the Australian people.”
Mr Simpkins said there was no comparison between the civil war in Syria, unfolding events in Iraq and the most recent round of action in Gaza targeting Hamas.
“Hamas is a terrorist organisation that uses public television to encourage and indoctrinate children to aspire to kill Jewish people,” he said. “For years Hamas have fired rockets into Israeli suburbs and towns, all from civilian areas. They are cowards that hide behind innocent people.”
Update: Karkar has since posted this “apology” on her FB page.