The west’s fifth columnists
Media outlets are enabling anti-Jewish evil in a time of war
For several hours this week, the BBC, The New York Times, The Financial Times and other prominent mainstream media outlets claimed that Israel had bombed and destroyed Gaza City’s Al-Ahli hospital, killing hundreds of patients and staff.
This was a lie. A Palestinian rocket fired at northern Israel intended to murder Israeli civilians had misfired and fallen into the hospital’s parking lot, causing an explosion and killing an as yet unknown number of people.
The lie, however, immediately ignited the Arab tinderbox. Mobs attacked American and Israeli embassies across the region.
In Berlin, a synagogue was attacked by assailants shouting “revenge for the hospital”. In Rome, a Jewish school was evacuated following bomb threats. In Tunisia, mobs filmed themselves setting fire to a historic synagogue.
Immediately after the hospital explosion, the obvious question was whether it had been caused by an Israeli missile or a Hamas rocket that went astray.
But media outlets didn’t wait to discover the answer. Instead, they uncritically repeated and amplified to millions of viewers and readers the claim by Palestinian sources that it was an Israeli missile.
“Israeli strike kills hundreds in hospital, Palestinians say,” said The New York Times. “Hundreds killed in Israeli strike on Gaza hospital — Palestinian officials,” said the BBC.
These outlets and others suspended not just objectivity but also their powers of reason as they leapt to the wrong conclusion in order to hold Israel responsible.
On BBC TV News, reporter Jon Donnison announced that it was “hard to see what else this could be really given the size of the explosion other than an Israel airstrike or several airstrikes because when we’ve seen rockets fired out of Gaza, we never see explosions of that scale”.
Yet he had no idea of the scale of the explosion other than what Hamas was claiming. And it was perfectly easy to imagine “what else” it could have been. Barrages from Gaza always involve a proportion of rockets that fall short. Israel estimates that approximately 450 rockets have misfired and fallen inside Gaza during the current war, killing untold numbers of Palestinians.
So it was always possible that the cause was an errant Palestinian missile hitting one of the ammunition dumps that Hamas places near hospitals, schools and apartment blocks — or a bunch of parked cars.
Western antisemites and Israel-haters promptly parroted the Hamas lie. In America, Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) spread on social media that the hospital had been hit by an Israeli rocket.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that “it’s not acceptable to hit a hospital,” as if Israel had done so. British Labour MPs shrieked about the “murder of innocent civilians” by Israel and branded the event a “war crime”.
And Agnes Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International, tweeted about the “bombing” of the hospital, “This is the cost of the US and EU unreserved support for Israel: more civilians killed; more war crimes; more, more, more.”
Yet the blood libel against Israel was untrue and there was soon evidence to prove it. There had been no Israel attacks in the area at that time. Instead, an almost simultaneous barrage of rockets had been fired at Israel from launchers in close proximity to the hospital.
Two videos — one showing footage from Al Jazeera, the other from Israeli TV —showed one of these Palestinian rockets falling into Gaza. In addition, there was audio of an overheard conversation between two Hamas terrorists talking about a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket misfiring and hitting the hospital.
Slowly, the media adjusted their accounts. Several offending outlets, however, merely said vaguely that the responsibility for the explosion was contested. None admitted that their initial reaction had been wrong and unjustifiable. None set out the Israeli evidence in detail. None condemned the Palestinians for the war crime they had just committed against their own people.
Instead, they remained suspicious of Israel’s evidence. When US President Joe Biden said the hospital blast had been caused by “the other team,” a reporter asked what made him so sure it hadn’t been an Israeli missile. To which Biden replied: “The data I was shown by my Defence Department.”
While the media doesn’t believe Israeli sources in spite of the evidence, they take at face value the baseless claims of proven Palestinian liars. They quote Hamas sources without a health warning, but when it comes to Israeli denials they say primly that they have been “unable to verify such claims”.
During an interview on BBC Radio’s Today programme, IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner was asked whether the IDF would submit its information to an independent investigation — as if Israel were a war criminal.
Lerner retorted: “When Hamas says something, no evidence is required; but when Israel comes forward and says something, you ask, ‘Where’s the evidence.’”
There’s been a sustained offensive against Israel by the western media for many years. The BBC, the world’s most important, influential and trusted news organisation, is a serial offender.
This past week, it has come under unprecedented attack from British politicians and commentators, as well as the Jewish community, for its behaviour in the current Israel crisis.
It refuses to describe the Hamas genocidists as terrorists, even though the British government declared Hamas a terrorist organisation in 2021 — and even though the BBC used the word “terrorism” to describe 9/11, the 7/7 London bombings and the 2015 attack on the Bataclan theatre in Paris.
Entering the controversy, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor John Simpson declared: “Calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides.”
So the BBC won’t describe genocidal Hamas butchery as terrorism, but referring to an “Israeli strike” merely on the basis of claims by that genocidal group is not “taking sides”.
Simpson provoked further fury in the Jewish community by drawing an inappropriate and offensive analogy with BBC broadcasters not calling the Nazis “evil or wicked” during World War Two.
The BBC is now “urgently investigating” claims that a number of reporters at BBC Arabic shared comments hailing the Hamas pogrom as a “morning of hope” and portraying Hamas as freedom fighters.
Following this, a report revealed that Ahmed Hussain, the head of the BBC’s Asian Network — a radio station listened to by thousands of young British Asians —retweeted a post calling Israel’s retaliation in Gaza over the Hamas attacks “genocide”.
The BBC has responded to this by merely stating that its guidance sets out the need for impartiality, that any breaches of the guidance are “taken seriously” and that it has “spoken to Ahmed and reminded him of these responsibilities. The retweets have been removed”.
The BBC’s feeble response showed yet again that the broadcaster simply refuses to face up to the implications of its Israel-hating staff. Small wonder that the normally soft-spoken Israeli President Isaac Herzog called the BBC’s reporting “atrocious”.
It’s been atrocious for years. The BBC is the single most important media conduit in the world for disseminating, laundering and legitimising Palestinian lies and incitement against Israel and the Jewish people.
Like other outlets, the BBC is the voice of the left-wing intelligentsia, for whom the lie that Israel is a “colonialist” occupier and the Palestinian Arabs its displaced and oppressed victims is an article of faith.
The Hamas pogrom has upset this narrative. The BBC and other media seized upon the Gaza hospital lie because they can’t wait to get the narrative back on track.
It’s not enough to view this as political ideology or even antisemitism. This is a profound moral sickness poisoning the west.
Such misreporting is more than irresponsible. These media outlets are the west’s fifth columnists, acting as enablers of the enemies of civilisation in a time of war.
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