When war comes, the first casualty is truth.
During the Gaza operation, this famous phrase was once again proved true in the international media.
Blatant falsehoods spilled out of Twitter account @AlqassamBrigade – throughout the conflict. See a round up of their lies here.
Thankfully much of the world still had the sense to see through the various distortions the extremists wanted to promote.
But that didn’t stop Hamas trying to get people to see their side of the story…
With many excellent organisations clearly demonstrating how Hamas have ‘borrowed’ pictures, you would have thought it shouldn’t take too much journalistic intuition to smell a rat.
Sadly, the BBC fell fowl of the propaganda, making at least two howlers!
The first and worst was this:
The second was one of their journalists not checking his facts with this tweet:
An honest mistake? Yes, most likely. Does he deserve to be fired for it? Probably not. But it again demonstrates how many lies have crept in to the coverage of this conflict. Even top media organisations have been fooled. Hamas 1, Truth 0.
In sharing some of this material and exposing lies on my Facebook and Twitter accounts I’ve been disowned by family members and had my credibility and character attacked numerous times.
(I’m not looking for sympathy. Anyone who takes any kind of view on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict should expect criticism.)
But what has surprised me, has not only been the viciousness of the rhetoric but the lack of logical arguments.
The Occupation Argument
How can people defend Hamas’s terrorism?
The answer is they can’t. Palestinian sympathisers, knowing that they can’t side with Hamas, decide to change the subject. They bring up the West Bank and say the reason Hamas fire rockets is because of the “brutal occupation”.
Why is it that Western liberals have a hard time understanding that some people are motivated by extremism and hate?
We (thankfully) don’t see much of this is hate in the West, but that is no reason to believe it doesn’t happen elsewhere. Western liberals think “ah no there must be a logical reason why they are bombing innocent civilians”.
Of course, the most acceptable reason why Hamas would be attacking innocent civilians would be one that lands the blame back at Israel’s door. That’s why they say it’s Israel’s occupation of the West Bank which results in rocket-fire.
But if you want the real reason, why not go to the horses mouth and read Hamas’s own charter here? “Occupation” is never cited as a reason for their terrorism. The motivation always has been and always will be their own brand of Islamic extremism.
Believe it or not, the ‘Gaza is occupied’ argument is still going! How is this physically possible? There hasn’t been a single Israeli – let alone a Jew – in Gaza for seven years. By definition – in order to “occupy” somewhere, you have to be there! That didn’t stop people tweeting #freegaza this week.
The only people Gaza needs to be freed from are Hamas terrorists.
The Proportionality Argument
Another key argument against Israel has been the same accusation that came out of Cast Lead: Because over 150 Palestinians died and less than a dozen Israelis died, this must mean that Israel are being brutal. This claim has been rebutted well by British Colonel Richard Kemp, as demonstrated in this Huffington Post piece.
One of the most shocking and overlooked facts of the entire conflict is that Hamas managed to shoot more rockets at their own people than at Israel!
That’s right, three times as many rockets fell inside the Gaza strip than inside Israel.
And when Hamas killed Palestinians, who did Hamas blame?
That’s right: Hamas claimed Israel had bombed their civilians. Thanks to this blog, we know that on at least one occasion, they had done no such thing.
Why Stick up for Hamas?
Few people stood up for Al Quaida when they bombed the Twin Towers. Few people today would stand up for the Nazis despicable campaign in the 1940s. Despite Hamas’s spirit of anti semitism being identical to that of the Nazis, millions around the world still try to support their “side” of the story in Gaza.
I fully accept that Israel will have made mistakes in Gaza and accidentally shot civilians. For this, everyone – Israel included – will mourn.
This is what unites peace loving Israelis and Palestinians. A respect for human life. Good luck finding that in Hamas – an organisation that hides behind Palestinian children in order to kill Israeli children.