The Spanish government on Monday announced that it had “provisionally suspended” sales of weapons to Israel because of its supposed targeting of civilians in Gaza. This came a day after the Obama Administration declared that it was “appalled” by Israel’s “disgraceful” shelling of a UN school in Gaza. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called the shelling a “moral outrage” and a “criminal act.” The only problem with all this moral indignation is that it is wrongly placed on the victim rather than the perpetrator, and bears witness to the success of Hamas’s propaganda barrage.
These are just two of the most recent examples of the success of Hamas’s skillful manipulation of the mainstream media, and the eagerness of the media to be manipulated – an eagerness so great that amid the frenzy to demonize Israel in the court of world opinion, Hamas’s oft-reiterated genocidal bloodlust and brazen breaking of ceasefire agreements goes unreported and ignored.
The U.S. condemnation of the Israeli shelling of the UN school was a particular victory. Jeff Dunetz reported in Truth Revolt Monday that “evidence is emerging that the Israeli strike hit outside of the school and the bodies were moved into the courtyard to make it look like Israel hit the school.” This wouldn’t be remotely close to the first time that Palestinian jihadis have been caught faking Israeli “atrocities” – recently they even billed a still from a horror movie as a fresh Israeli killing of a Palestinian civilian.
Meanwhile, Hamas is cheerfully above-board about how it manipulates the mainstream media. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported in July that “in light of the recent round of fighting in Gaza, the Hamas interior ministry has issued guidelines to Gaza Strip social media users for reporting events and discussing them with outsiders.” These guidelines included this unabashedly Orwellian instruction: “Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.”
But the international media has been almost unanimously indifferent to how it is being played. Nor does it show much interest in the numerous reports of Hamas launching attacks against Israel from civilian areas, so as to provoke retaliatory strikes that can be used for propaganda purposes. The Indian network NDTV reported Tuesday that they had witnessed Hamas constructing a rocket silo “under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying. Minutes later, we saw the rocket being fired, just before the 72-hour ceasefire came into effect.” NDTV noted that they were publishing their report “after our team left the Gaza strip – Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired.” The network, which is no friend of Israel, concluded: “But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel’s offensive on Gaza’s civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones.”
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