Media bias against Israel continues apace. Even the recent apparent confirmation from the alleged ringleader that Hamas funded the abduction of the three murdered Israeli teenagers this past June gets hardly a mention or is derided in the press.
Some mainstream media outlets were quick from the get-go to cast the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teenagers as essentially a rogue operation undertaken without Hamas authorization or backing. New York Magazine, for example, published an article on July 25, 2014 entitled “It Turns Out Hamas May Not Have Kidnapped and Killed the 3 Israeli Teens After All.”
Buzzfeed posted an article late last month that essentially exonerated Hamas of any responsibility, citing unnamed Israeli sources to back up its claim.
Al Jazeera, which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said offers “real news,” published an article last month charging, without any evidence to support its accusation, that “Israel knew full well that neither Hamas nor its armed wing (al-Qassam Brigades) were behind the boys’ disappearance.”
Then came along Hussam Qawasmeh, the alleged ringleader of the kidnapping operation whom Israeli authorities now have in custody. He is reported to have pointed the finger at Hamas jihadists in Gaza as the source of the money to pay for the operation.
Instead of objectively writing about Qawasmeh’s reported reference to Hamas’s involvement, Buzzfeed chose on August 6th to compound its biased anti-Israel reporting. It focused in its lead paragraph on accusations by Qawasmeh’s lawyer and relative working on the case that Qawasmeh’s statement was obtained as a result of “heavy torture.” Buzzfeed devoted substantial space for Qawasmeh’s lawyer to air his dismissal of any Hamas connection. “Israel is trying to tie this to Gaza, by saying the money for the operation came from Gaza,” the lawyer said. “But that is not exactly true. This is something they [Qawasmeh’s family] could have planned to boost their own family’s name, for their own motives.”
Incredibly, Buzzfeed also quoted Ala Rimawi, a Hamas member in the West Bank, who unsurprisingly disputed any involvement of Hamas in the kidnappings and murders:
“It is obvious that what happened in Hebron was an individual incident. If it had been organized by Hamas, the kidnappers would not have been allowed to kill the three boys — they would have wanted to keep them alive in order to bargain and try to use them to release prisoners.”
Al Jazeera did not see fit to retract its previous unsubstantiated accusations of fabrication against Israel despite Qawasmeh’s reported revelation of Hamas funding. Rather than offer the “real news” that Hillary Clinton credited al Jazeera with providing, this propaganda outlet controlled by Hamas backer, Qatar, continues to cast Hamas in the most favorable light and Israel as the villain.
The New York Times published on June 17th what it purported to be a news article on the abduction under the headline “Abduction of Young Israeli Hitchhikers Spurs Debate on Conduct.” Mind you, this headline was not referring to Hamas’s conduct. It was a reference to the “conduct of Jewish settlers in the West Bank — particularly what many consider the cavalier practice of hitchhiking.” In other words, blame the victims for their “cavalier” behavior.
When it came to reporting about Qawasmeh’s capture and reported statement regarding Hamas funding of the abduction, the New York Times buried the story on p. 9 of its August 6th print edition.
The Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren has consistently cast Israel in an unfavorable light. One of her most blatantly biased articles was entitled “In Gaza, Epithets Are Fired and Euphemisms Give Shelter,” which appeared on p.1 of the July 21st print edition of the New York Times. More than three times as much space in Rudoren’s article “focused on Israel allegedly demonizing and inciting against Hamas (509 words) than on Hamas engaged in PR efforts, boasts or threats to Israel (149 words),” according to an analysis done by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
“With her inversion of reality, selective citations, withholding of relevant and crucial information, and the sort of hollow comparisons that any elementary social science student would recognize as invalid and flawed, Rudoren’s ‘analysis’ is an example of shoddy, biased journalism at its worst,” the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America concluded.
Rudoren showed her pro-Palestinian leanings when she first took on the Jerusalem bureau chief post, in her exchange of tweets with Ali Abuminah, a Palestinian-American anti-Israel activist who has advocated for a third intifada:
Ali Abunimah @AliAbunimah · 14 Feb 2012
As new @nytimes bureau chief, Jodi @Rudoren will get to move into this lovely property stolen from Palestinians in 1948 http://electronicintifada.net/content/ny-times-jerusalem-property-makes-it-protagonist-palestine-conflict/8705 …
Jodi Rudoren@rudoren @AliAbunimah Hey there. Would love to chat sometime. About things other than the house. My friend Kareem Fahim says good things
Rudoren’s “friend” Kareem Fahim, who also reports for the New York Times, has written critically of Arab nations’ apparent support for Israel over Hamas. Writing from Cairo, Fahim expressed shock that “Egypt even blamed Hamas, the Islamist movement in Gaza, rather than Israel, for dozens of Palestinian deaths.” But then again, why listen to those who know the jihadists’ murderous ways the best?
Such coverage tends to treat the conduct of the latest war in Gaza by Israel and Hamas as morally equivalent at best. Often, Israel is painted as the prime violator of international law. The reason often cited by Israel bashers for portraying Israel this way is the supposed “disproportionate” force used by Israel to conduct attacks in civilian neighborhoods where Hamas militants hide and keep their weapons, causing the loss of hundreds of innocent Palestinian lives. Hamas is portrayed as the underdog, which is resisting the “occupying power.”
The Associated Press, for example, sent out the following tweet on July 29th, criticizing members of Congress for daring to support Israel over Hamas: “As much of world watches Gaza war in horror, members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel.” Apparently, someone at the Associated Press realized that this tweet may have gone too far since it was retracted a few hours later.
CNN came under criticism from Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer for not reporting in an even-handed manner. Ambassador Dermer properly noted CNN’s failure to state that Hamas was storing rockets in United Nations schools as part of its reporting on Israeli military activities in Gaza, including the alleged Israeli shelling of a UN school.
It is true that Israel is militarily superior to Hamas. It is also true that, in the course of Israel’s military operation in Gaza to destroy the tunnels and rockets being used by Hamas to deliberately target Israeli civilians, a substantial number of Palestinians have lost their lives, including civilians. And yes, Israel does have the technology to protect its own citizens from Hamas’s indiscriminate rocket attacks. Iron Dome has helped to keep Israeli civilian deaths to a minimum.
Some in the mainstream media seem to think that the lopsided comparison of the very low number of Israeli casualties with the far larger number of Palestinian casualties resulting from the fighting in Gaza proves Israel’s culpability. It’s just not a fair fight, they believe. And they get support for that bizarre point of view from senior United Nations officials and world leaders who regularly condemn Israel for alleged “war crimes.” As reported by Breitbart, for example, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay had the audacity to recently criticize Israel for refusing to share its Iron Dome technology with the “governing authority” of Gaza – i.e., Hamas. “No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling,” she is reported to have declared.
If Hamas were not deliberately using the civilian Gaza population as human shields and had accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal weeks ago that it has now tentatively accepted, ninety percent of the fatalities in Gaza could have been avoided. The mainstream media prefers to show dramatic pictures of Palestinian women and children caught in the cross-fire, implying, or sometimes stating explicitly, that it is all Israel’s fault. There is hardly any intellectually honest attempt among many journalists and analysts covering the Gaza conflict to grapple with what Hamas has done to bring those tragic circumstances about. And Hamas has threatened to end the current ceasefire and attack Israelis with even more powerful rockets if its demands are not met. If that happens and Israel is forced to resume its ground operations in Gaza in order to protect its civilians from indiscriminate attacks, guess who will be blamed for the consequences?
Despite the United Nation’s repeated demonstrations of bias against Israel, reporters often take their numbers of civilian Palestinian casualties from the UN, which in turn relies on data from the Hamas-run health ministry and from various human rights groups who generally oppose Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.
Moreover, the mainstream media often parrots condemnations of Israel by UN officials and world leaders and opinion-makers without considering the full context of Hamas’s urban war strategy to exploit Gazan civilian deaths for propaganda purposes.
Incredibly, for example, there has been scant reporting of what appears to be a Hamas manual on urban warfare entitled “Introduction to the City War,” which the Israeli military said it seized. The New York Post did report on it, but it was in a distinct minority.
“The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens toward the attackers and increases their gathering around [to support] the city defenders,” the manual stated, according to the Israeli Defense Force. “The soldiers and [IDF] commanders must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].”
This document does need to be independently verified as genuine. But the quotes above are certainly consistent with Hamas’s pattern of conduct, in which it operates in heavily populated areas and attempts to draw Israeli fire in response to Hamas military action in the vicinity of UN schools and the like. The silence of the mainstream media in essentially ignoring the existence of the alleged Hamas manual is deafening. Indeed, it shows yet again the complicity of much of the mainstream media in Hamas’s propaganda war.
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