The Hamas group, which rules Gaza, mounted an incendiary balloon attack against civilian areas in Israel June 16, which caused at least 20 fires inside the country. This was meant to provoke a military response from the new Israeli administration, and it did with two jet strikes on Hamas military compounds. The “woke” liberal media in the U.S. and in Europe jumped in to act as the propaganda department for the Islamist group.
The Associated Press ran a story headlined “Israeli Airstrikes Target Gaza Sites, First Since Cease-Fire,” falsely blaming the Israeli government for starting the fighting. The New York Times, NPR and other liberal media ran similar stories.
Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and driving all Jews out “from the river to the sea.” Its short-term goal is to undermine progress over the last year where several governments in the region established relations with Israel.
This slanted and dishonest coverage is part of a broader pattern. The Times ran a feature article in its May 28 issue that began with front-page pictures of 64 of the 67 children killed in Gaza during earlier fighting May 10-21, also initiated by Hamas. There were many more photos inside. “They Were Just Children” was the headline.
“Nearly all of the children killed were Palestinian,” the Times wrote. The message was clear — the Jewish state is deliberately massacring innocents. This kind of coverage is a sharp shift from years past, when the Times considered itself “pro-Israel.”
After the Times article was published, it was exposed that a number of the children they listed were in fact combatants, including 17-year-old Khaled al-Qanou and 15-year-old Mohammed Suleiman.
Khaled’s older brother, Osama, told the Times that his family opposed him joining. “They exploited him,” he said. When Mujahideen members tried to pay their respects in a mourners’ tent set up for Khaled, “we kicked them out in front of everyone.”
That’s a bold move in Gaza, where torture and jailing of opponents of Hamas’ rule are common.
It’s not until two-thirds of the way through that the Times article mentions, “Hamas and other militant groups fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli towns and cities, also indiscriminately.” Leave aside that some of those killed in Gaza were killed by Hamas missiles that fell short. And that the Times can’t bring itself to say that if not for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense, which intercepted some 90% of Hamas’ missiles, there’s no doubt that the total death toll of 12 in Israel — which included children, migrant workers and Arab citizens — would have been far higher.
“Israel blames Hamas for the high civilian death toll in Gaza because the group fires rockets and conducts military operations from civilian areas,” the Times does report. But they quickly add, “Israel’s critics cite the death toll as evidence that Israel’s strikes were indiscriminate and disproportionate.”
It’s no secret that Hamas deliberately operates from densely populated civilian areas. Many videos capture the launching of rockets from sites next to houses, hospitals and schools. Gaza is riddled with tunnels that Hamas military forces have built through residential neighborhoods. The Islamist group uses civilian casualties that result from this cynical practice precisely to get coverage like the Times editors delivered.
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency — no friend of the Israeli government — reported June 11 that an Israeli rocket that struck the courtyard of the Zaitoun Preparatory Boys’ School it runs in Gaza City had exposed one of these tunnels underneath the school.
Hamas, Tehran want ‘martyrs’
The Hamas leadership — encouraged by the reactionary clerical regime in Iran, which also trains and “advises” Hamas on its missile program — deliberately uses Gaza residents as human shields. They know that the Israeli government will not stand by while thousands of missiles are fired at its civilian population. The Hamas leaders wanted and intended the deadly consequences.
They use the deaths of children and other civilian “martyrs” to pull at the heart strings of world bourgeois public opinion and put pressure on imperialist regimes and institutions to aid Hamas in destroying Israel.
But as a haven for Jews in the face of anti-Semitic attacks in the world today, Israel deserves recognition from Arab governments in the region and everywhere.
One of Hamas’ central goals is to derail the “Abraham Accords,” the establishment last year of diplomatic relations between the Israeli government and the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Morocco, Bahrain and Kosova, with more to come.
In a speech in Qatar May 15, Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas Political Bureau, claimed they had accomplished another major goal by provoking the fighting. “The theory of coexistence between the two peoples [Jews and Arabs] within the 1948 borders — a theory they have been cultivating for 70 years — is being trampled underfoot,” he said.
The opposition by Hamas and its Islamic Jihad and Mujahideen allies to the accords and “coexistence” is less popular than the Times and other liberal media would have your believe, including in Gaza.
Despite the best efforts of Hamas, ties between the Israeli government and neighboring Arab regimes are improving. Just days after the Israel-Hamas ceasefire began, the United Arab Emirates opened an exhibit on the Holocaust, the first ever in the Middle East outside of Israel, at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum.
Six million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis in the Holocaust, while the imperialist rulers in Washington and London turned away Jews fleeing the Nazi onslaught and concentration camps. The exhibit highlights examples of Muslims and Arabs who protected Jews during the war.
Inside Israel itself after Hamas began its missile attacks, many Jewish and Arab workers and their unions organized to defend each other and end any attacks by either rightist Israelis or Arab gangs.