VICE Swayed by Propaganda Artists

Its unfortunate that even those dedicated to uncovering the truth are so consistently bombarded with fallacies that they begin to believe them. VICE, the youtube channel dedicated to showing the living conditions of those people most struggling across the globe, committed themselves to uncovering the “truth” about Israel and Palestine.

Sadly, though displaying a more accurate representation of Hamas in the video, “Crime and Punishment in the Gaza Strip,” a newer video, “Resistance in the West Bank” takes almost entirely the Palestinian narrative, failing to properly understand the Israeli narrative.

Beginning with the name alone, “Resistance in the West Bank,” the pro-Israel side may call this “Terrorism in the Disputed Territories.” Depicting terrorists as martyrs and freedom fighters, the documentarians of VICE began their journey to “understanding.”

"Peaceful" Protests
“Peaceful” Protests

The video was wrought with fallacies from the very start: VICE described the settlements as illegal under international law, a disputed fact, and argued that “Hamas recently traded rockets with Israel” (Operation Pillar of Defense). VICE failed to note clearly how many hundreds of rockets were fired weekly into Israel by the terrorist group without a backlash and before a counter operation from the Israeli side. In regards to the settlements, the international law is tricky, but I recommend looking here:

One of the largest fallacies that VICE disseminated unknowingly was the idea that the Palestinian government is “A government with aspirations of being recognized on the global stage and whom aim to do this by maintaining stability and acting like any other government.” A normal government does not institute policies of terror, attacking the Jewish State and calling all Zionists the enemy; any other government would have been condemned by the world community for their support of suicide bombers and missile attacks; a government with aspirations of acting like any other government would refrain from naming schools and mosques after those that murdered large numbers of Israeli civilians.

Hamas "trading" rockets with Israel
Hamas “trading” rockets with Israel

VICE later mentioned, in their discussion of Balata, the largest refugee camp in the West Bank that Israel was to blame and that there was not enough housing or schools accessible. Failing to note who was in charge of providing these resources (UNRWA) and continuing to blame Israel, VICE then proceeded to call the security fence a prison wall, and a useless one at that.

VICE documentarians argued that because there have been no suicide bombings since 2008, the fence must no longer be relevant. Failing to understand the whole story again, VICE neglected the countless attempts to bomb Israeli schools and buses and towns that were stopped by the careful work and quick action of Modiin, the IDF, and the barrier itself. Even the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, publicly admits that the West Bank barrier successfully keeps suicide bombers out of Israel.

Fortunately, VICE was able to document a game played by Palestinian children, the “Thief and the Cop,” otherwise known as the Palestinian and the Jew, a game in which the goal of the Palestinian participants is to kill the Jews. Continuously propagated on Hamas Television, one should have no trouble understanding the deep-seated anti-Semitism in Palestine.

VICE further attested that the Israelis do not let the Palestinians do anything with their land, a blatant lie propagated by false news sources like Electronic Intifada, a radical anti-Israel blog dedicated to undermining the Jewish State. In actuality, only land absolutely necessary and crucial for security purposes is confiscated and Palestinians are compensated for their loss of property.

The list of fallacies goes on, but who can blame VICE for depicting them? It is true that violent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians occur, although condemned by the Israeli government, with those who perpetuate such attacks arrested when possible. It is also true that Palestinians are often subjected to necessary profiling; there are issues to be contended with in Israel, issues that are being addressed every day. Unfortunately, these documentarians were swayed by an emotional narrative that has swept up so many hapless supporters; people come to support Palestine and the “Liberation of Palestine” without understanding what that entails.

Seth Greenwald is an intern at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting in America (CAMERA) and a student at Clark University. 

About the Author
Seth Greenwald is passionate in his fights both against anti-Semitism on college campuses as well as the fight against anti-Israel bias and slander worldwide. Seth first developed a passion for Israel after traveling there for his Bar-Mitzvah, kindled that passion through United Synagogue Youth, and has continued to develop throughout his undergraduate career at Clark University. Seth also served as an intern at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting for America (CAMERA), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and the David Project.