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Journalists Should Stop Falling For Hamas’ Deadly PR Efforts Against Israel


Hamas isn’t merely a terrorist organization committed to murdering Jews, it’s a terrorist organization that urges its own people to become cannon fodder as a means of appealing to Western journalists and intellectuals. The higher the death toll, the happier Hamas will be. And few things have more of a detrimental effect on the Palestinian cause than the media’s asymmetrical coverage of this conflict with the Jews.

Until Palestinians shed their hatred, turn from the Israeli fences, and march towards their own governments, they will remain pawns and saps in a decades-long suicide mission. That’s because no amount of bad press about Israel’s efforts to stop violence coming from Gaza will impel that nation to create a terror state on its borders. It’s untenable, not to mention immoral. We would never contemplate such a thing. Nor would any rational country.

Despite what you’ve heard, the 35,000 Palestinian “demonstrators” massed along the security fence between Israel and Gaza — the ones throwing firebombs and other explosives, burning tires, chucking rocks (if you think these are aren’t deadly, you should see one landing; I have), and those attempting to light fires to burn crops and vegetation — are only ostensibly protesting the United States moving its embassy to Israel’s capital. I know this because Hamas doesn’t accept a U.S. embassy anywhere in Israel, as it doesn’t recognize Israel at all.

Hamas has openly asserted that it’s attempting to create incursions into Israel, and that has absolutely nothing to do with East or West or North or South Jerusalem. For Palestinians this is about the 70th anniversary of Israel — or, as they see it, Nakba. It’s about an ongoing historic effort — an intermittently theocratic or nationalistic effort, depending on the trends — to play victim.

So while it might grate against the sensibilities and preconceived notions of those covering the mess, Hamas is the oppressor in this situation. And while rioters might think they’re fighting a “war,” Israel is merely trying to stop a mob from breaching a fence. To frame this as a battle between occupier and occupied is deeply simplistic. Gaza is unoccupied territory. It is only after a Hamas coup d’etat that dispatched the opposition political party of Fatah led by Mahmoud Abbas, the internationally recognized leader of the Palestinians, that both Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on Gaza. Like Israel, Egypt was rightly worried about the increase of Iranian influence and terrorism.

Although there is occasionally talk of a unity government with Hamas, Fatah leader Abbas still threatened Gaza with more blockades. Now, if Hamas can’t even adhere to agreements with the supposed moderates of the Palestinian government, what is Israel expected to do?

Hamas might regularly crush political dissent, torture opponents, and limit every freedom imaginable, but let’s not forget that it’s also plagued by corruption. Since Israel conferred semi-autonomy on Gaza, Hamas has created one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, at more than 40 percent. The government siphons off hundreds of millions in international aid it should be using to promote economic growth and for basic necessities for the people, to fund the making and use of thousands of rockets and mortars (rendered ineffective by the Iron Dome; and the reason Hamas has not turned to riots), concrete-bolstered tunnels that shuffle terrorists into Israel, and other unnecessary terror activity.

One of those activists is ginning up mobs to rush a fence separating Gaza and Israel. At one gathering near Gaza City, The Washington Post reported, Hamas organizers encouraged rioters to push through the fence, “telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them.” The purpose, of course, was to create casualties.

On the other hand, Israel dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from the fence. “Save your lives and work on building your futures,” the papers read. Israelis also fired warning shots at people as they began breaching the fence. Snipers only fired real shots at those who had already crossed the first fence despite warnings and were trying to breach the main security fence.

Using civilians as human shields and canon fodder, and the resulting death tolls as propaganda, has been a tool for Palestinian groups for more than half a century. In 2015, the United Nations was forced to admit that Hamas was storing explosives in at least three UN schools (where displaced people as well as children were housed) that Israel targeted during the mini-war of 2014. Using international aid buildings as staging grounds for terrorism is part of Yasser Arafat’s legacy.

Of course Israel makes mistakes. Many of them. But what is Israel supposed to do when a mob of violent rioters march towards them? Should it shut down the IDF and allow Hamas to overtake their military positions? Should it tear down the fences and allow a million Gazans, propagandized over a generation by violent regimes and steeped in virulent anti-Semitism, to walk into Israel proper?

Should they give full autonomy to Hamas and allow it to create a mini Iran right on its border? Should Jews pick up and leave Jerusalem? Even if Israel wanted to make a deal, Hamas makes no genuine demands, much less offers any concessions. It wants to provoke death. They want to become the victim. Sadly for the Palestinian people, they get plenty of help creating that fiction.