I’ve been looking through old letters and articles I wrote, and I’m continuously struck by how little needs to be changed to make the articles relevant to today’s situation.
Reel after Reel of Civilian Flak Jackets for Hamas (August 12, 2014)
“Never have so many, owed so little, to so few,” would describe the work of BBC’s reporters covering events in Israel and the region.
At 1:30 AM on 7/27/14, on an NPR radio program, one of the BBC’s reporters stated that they use “intelligent conjecture” to fill in where facts weren’t readily available. In the King’s English, “conjecture” is defined as “speculation”, “assumption”, “supposition”, “presumption”, “hypothesis”, “theory”, “postulation”, “fancy”, and last but not least, “divination.”
Perhaps this can explain their verbal antics (providing their own facts, even if they are sometimes fiction), together with their photographic semantics, to try and equate Arab terrorism with Israeli measures of counter-terrorism. Doesn’t it seem strange that night after night, their reporters always seem to be in Gaza hospitals at the right time and place, filming wounded Palestinian Arab children, so they can equate the sometime collateral damage caused by Israeli shelling with the premeditated acts of barbarism committed by Hamas? Please note that in all these weeks, these professional reporters never managed to film Hamas fighters with rockets and mortars only yards away from them. What they managed to film were irate UN officials stating that they had given the Israelis the exact coordinates of schools where women and children were congregated. They didn’t have to give the coordinates of these schools to Hamas fighters, because the Hamas fighters were already outside the schools firing their mobile rockets and mortars. Were there ever any reports of UN officials requesting Hamas fighters to leave the premises?
What BBC reporters obviously failed to photograph, reporters from other nations did. Maybe that’s why the BBC reporters continued to report from hospitals and schools, while the other reporters were being expelled by Hamas for photographing the truth. Also, the figures of the number of wounded were not subject to “intelligent conjecture”, because they were supplied by Hamas officials.
Employing the inverse logic of BBC reporting, had the Israelis evacuated the entire civilian population of Gaza and put them in Israeli hotels for the duration of the battle, the BBC would have accused the Israelis of ethnic cleansing, even while the Palestinians were assaulting and killing the staff of these hotels. Had the Palestinians started digging tunnels under these hotels, the Israelis would be accused of not providing them with the proper tools. Thus, reel after reel of wounded Palestinian civilians were encouraged by Hamas because they were using the civilians not only as flak jackets to hinder Israeli military movements in the area and to provide cover for rocket launches and mortars, but also as propaganda for the media. Barbarity is nothing new for Gaza. When Hamas won a popular democratic election, there were films of them throwing their political opponents from rooftops. The only difference between throwing people from rooftops and having them blown up by their own stray rockets are a few steps on a staircase. Hamas knows that the only victory they may have against the Israelis is a propaganda one, because of their allies in the BBC.
I must remind the journalists of the BBC and the public radio and television stations, programming their invective against Israel, that during World War II, the RAF carpet-bombed German cities. They did not drop one leaflet warning the population. They did not make one phone call. They carpet-bombed civilian areas in Hamburg and Dresden to such an extent that the heat caused a firestorm, which consumed 65,000 civilian non-combatants. Compare that with the IDF (Israel Defense Force) that did not intentionally bomb civilian targets. For the sake of “journalistic excellence in the Digital Age”, please admit that the adulation for the RAF should at least also be extended to the IDF.