As the funeral was being held in the Israeli town of Kiryat Gat today for five year old Ido Avigal, whose mother and sister were wounded in the rocket strike from Gaza, Palestinian war criminals fired projectiles at the town forcing the mourners to take cover. According to the Kan public broadcaster, the timing of the rocket fire was clearly aimed at disrupting the funeral since Kiryat Gat has not been a regular target during the current fighting.
This was a war crime. All two thousand or so missiles that the Arabs have been raining down at Israel from Gaza over the last week are war crimes because they are intended to murder civilians. Hamas and their fellow jihadi attackers are guilty furthermore of a second set of war crimes in using their own civilians as hostages and human shields by deliberately siting their missile launchers, ammunition dumps and other infrastructure of war in and around apartment blocks, hospitals and schools.
Yet in most of the media coverage in Britain and America, there is virtually no mention of these Palestinian war crimes. Instead, Israel is being presented as the wanton slayer of Palestinian children.
The Hamas-run health ministry today put the Gaza death toll at 119, of whom 27 were minors.
Israel has consistently said that about one third of the now almost 2,000 Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli civilians in recent days have fallen short and landed in Gaza, some of them killing Palestinians.
Now Hamas itself has admitted that its own rockets have been killing its own people. The Gaza NGO “Defence for Children International - Palestine” says that eight Palestinians, including two children, died in a Hamas rocket attack. And on Tuesday alone, according to Palestinian NGOs, Hamas rockets killed 16 Gazans including eight children.
Yet British and US media have been misleading the public into believing that the entire Gaza death toll is the result of Israeli strikes. Not only is this media falsehood inflaming general anti-Israel sentiment, but it is also exacerbating the hysterical, paranoid and even murderous hatred of Israel among Muslims.
The media is refusing to acknowledge the fact that, far from bombing civilian targets indiscriminately as it implies, Israeli forces are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid unnecessary loss of civilian life.
Of course there will unavoidably be civilian Palestinian casualties, including children, as Hamas has deliberately placed these unfortunates in the path of maximum possible harm. But the Israelis’ sole aim is to neutralise the capacity of Hamas for further attacks.
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad aim to murder as many Israeli civilians as possible. The Israelis aim to neutralise their ability to do so while doing whatever they can to minimise the inadvertent killing of Palestinian civilians.
At this stage, accurate numbers are impossible to obtain. But from the figures that are available, we can see that the media narrative of indiscriminate attacks on Gaza's civilians is not borne out. Hamas say 119 civilians have been killed. Israel says it has killed more than 100 Hamas and Islamic jihad operatives. Even given the inconsistencies among all the numbers available, it seems overwhelmingly likely that the majority of those killed by Israel have indeed been combatants.
And the lengths to which the Israelis go to avoid civilian casualties are extraordinary. When targeting a civilian building because it has been hijacked for military purposes, the Israelis use phone calls and messages to warn the inhabitants to get out, as well as the “knock on the roof”, a small relatively mild missile strike to warn that a major strike will follow.
The Israelis appear to be inflicting huge damage on Hamas operatives. The Jerusalem Post reports:
The Israeli Air Force bombed Hamas's underground tunnel network late Thursday night in the northern Gaza Strip in what military officials said was one of the most aggressive aerial assaults in recent years.
This appears to have been the result of a spectacular act of military deception that tricked Hamas into sending scores of its operatives straight into the line of fire. But also read this:
The IDF also bombed the house of Hamas' military official Ayman Nepal, after having removed civilians from their homes [my emphasis], according to reports on Friday afternoon.
No armed forces anywhere else in the world go to such lengths to avoid civilian casualties — not to mention in such impossible circumstances, where civilians are deliberately used as cannon fodder and placed in harm's way.
Yet an entirely different story is being served up to the British and American public through the media’s appalling distortions. As in the astonishing interview of Israel’s ambassador to the UK by Adam Boulton here, the media tells the public that Israel is “overreacting disproportionately” — to 2000 rockets!!
It is blaming Israel for provoking the violence through storming the al Aqsa mosque. This is a lie. The Israeli police only went into al Aqsa to stop the attacks by “worshippers” who had turned the mosque into an ammunition store for rocks and petrol bombs being launched at Israeli Jews and police officers.
The media has made virtually no mention of the incitement to holy war by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, with false and incendiary claims that Israel intends to occupy al Aqsa. Nor has it explained the key fact that when Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the Palestinian Authority election that he seemed certain to lose to Hamas, the latter decided to show the Palestinian people that they alone would take the fight to the exposed Israeli Jewish throat.
The media have made no mention of the steady radicalisation by Islamists of Israeli Arabs — that is, Israel’s own Arab citizens — who have now been rioting and attacking Israeli Jews with whom they had previously lived side by side for decades.
Instead, the media have claimed that the Israeli Arabs are attacking Israeli Jews because they are discriminated against. This is a lie. They are Israeli citizens with equal rights.
The media falsehoods, imbecilities and malevolent lies are far too numerous to mention here. You can read some of the worst ones from the BBC, Guardian and other media here, here, here, here and elsewhere on the excellent CAMERA UK media watchdog site.
There are a few honourable exceptions to this. On Reaction, Tim Marshall of Sky News points out in an excellent piece the key role of Iran in suppling Hamas with rockets. He writes:
As the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) official Ramez al-Halabi said on Iraqi TV this week, “We buy our weapons with Iranian money. An important part of our activity is under the supervision of Iranian experts… I am proud to say that the rockets that are used to pound Tel Aviv have an Iranian signature on them.”
He also notes that, with various factors having increased tension and Palestinian violence in Jerusalem during Ramadan, the key moment was several weeks prior to this when the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, postponed its election. Marshall notes:
This, at a time when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was distracted by corruption charges, was the chance Hamas had been looking for. In reality Abbas only rules the West Bank. Hamas, headquartered in Gaza intends to replace him and control both territories. As Abbas has failed to hold elections for 15 years, Hamas can paint him as illegitimate and themselves as defenders of Palestine. They issued an ultimatum to Israel: leave the al Aqsa compound or we fire rockets. Both sides knew Israel would not agree.
He concludes with an accurate summary of the hideous dilemma that Israel constantly faces:
Israel feels it has no choice but to try and smash the military infrastructure in Gaza. It also knows there will be civilian casualties despite them usually giving advance warning to people about which buildings they will hit. A proportion of the civilian casualties on the Palestinian side will be killed by the roughly 20 per cent of Hamas/PIJ missiles which fall within Gaza or blow up upon launch.
Yet that is unlikely to be widely propagated in the Arab world. Iran and Hamas are prepared to sacrifice another generation of Palestinians to the overwhelming firepower of the Israelis in order to win the propaganda battle, and eventually the war.
In the US, a Democratic politician, Representative Ritchie Torres, who is the son of African-American and Puerto Rican parents, said on Wednesday in a remarkable protest at his fellow Democrats:
…what is under siege is not only Israel. What is under siege is the truth itself. Circulating on social media is a vicious lie — a lie that deceptively reframes the terrorism of Hamas as self-defence and deceptively reframes the self-defence of Israel as terrorism. Increasingly, we seem to live in an Orwellian universe where the truth no longer matters.
…We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced by an overbearing Twitter mob, dominated by the extremes of American politics. If we, in elected office, are not willing to say and do what is right, then we are unworthy of the office we hold.
Truth is indeed under siege in the west where Israel is concerned. But its treatment raises still deeper questions.
A few days ago, Islamists bombed a school in Kabul killing 94 Afghan children. Yet there are no protests, no denunciations, no media pile-on.
This astonishing disconnect and double standards over Israel is absolutely routine. Every time the Israelis finally resort to military action to defend themselves after years of bombardment, they find themselves falsely accused of heinous behaviour while their aggressors are portrayed as their victims.
As Brendan O’Neill notes on Spiked:
Anti-Israel fury in the West has intensified to an extraordinary degree following an escalation of violence in the Middle East in recent days. Protests were instant and inflammatory. Israeli flags were burned on the streets of London. Social media was awash with condemnation. ‘IDF Soldier Recounts Harrowing, Heroic War Story Of Killing 8-Month-Old Child’, tweeted The Onion, to tens of thousands of likes. Israel must be boycotted, isolated, cast out of the international community, leftists cried. Western politicians, including Keir Starmer, rushed to pass judgement. ‘What’s the difference?’, said a placard at a march in Washington, DC showing the Israeli flag next to the Nazi flag. The Jews are the Nazis now, you see. Ironic, isn’t it?
This is the question anti-Israel campaigners have never been able to answer: why do they treat Israel so differently to every other nation on Earth? Why is it child-killing bloodlust when Israel takes military action but not when Turkey or India do? Why must we rush to the streets to set light to the Israel flag but never the Saudi flag, despite Saudi Arabia’s unconscionable war on Yemen? Why is it only ‘wrong’ or at worst ‘horrific’ when Britain or America drop bombs in the Middle East but Nazism when Israel fires missiles into Gaza? Why do you merely oppose the military action of some states but you hate Israel, viscerally, publicly, loudly?
Why indeed. It’s not just not just the serial falsehoods, blood libels and inversion of victim and aggressor involved in the media treatment of Israel. It’s not just that no other conflict in the world is twisted in this way. Heaven knows, all of that is astonishing enough.
But what takes this onto another level is the gleeful alacrity with which the media seize upon any evidence that the Israelis are killing Palestinians. It doesn’t matter to the media and their “progressive” comrades whether nor not these Palestinians have been trying to murder Israelis. The very fact that Israelis are killing anyone, even in self-defence, is a trigger for demonisation.
It’s hard not to conclude that the reason for this near psychopathic obsession is that they don’t see Israelis as Israelis. They see them as Jews. And Jews aren’t supposed to kill people, are they. The historic role of the Jews is to die.
Well, here’s something they haven’t yet understood. Never again.
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