Opinion
Palestinian Hamas militants stand next to M-75 home made rocket as they take part in a military parade marking the first anniversary of the eight-day conflict with Israel, in Gaza City November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem Palestinian Hamas militants stand next to M-75 home made rocket as they take part in a military parade marking the first anniversary of the eight-day conflict with Israel, in Gaza City November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem  

Skewed Media Subverts Israel, Strengthens Terrorism

Photo of Paul Miller
Paul Miller
Op-ed Contributor, Franklin Center

Over the past month, the world has been bombarded with images of dead Palestinians in Gaza. Support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens from rocket fire and tunnel infiltration has been reduced to lip service from world leaders and left-leaning pundits. Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields has become a footnote in the media coverage and the international narrative. The press’ quest for a moral equivalency is proving to be immoral.

But recent video footage of Hamas setting up and launching rockets into Israel from civilian neighborhoods – next to hotels, hospitals and shelters. Eyewitness accounts from brave journalists, demonstrating how the press’ failure to report all the facts has emboldened terrorism and will only lead to a future of higher body counts.

Sreenivasan Jain is a reporter for NDTV in India. Last week his news crew caught on video Palestinian terrorists setting up a rocket launcher and firing into Israel.

“Israel has argued that that these rockets are fired from civilian areas, and this is why its retaliatory strikes can result in civilian casualties,” Jain reported. “But this morning, NDTV witnessed one such rocket silo being created under a tent right next to the hotel where our team was staying. Minutes later, we saw the rocket being fired.”

Jain’s report is a veritable “smoking gun.” In one four-minute news report from Gaza, his exposure of Hamas’ human shield tactics reveals a clear and deliberate violation of international law.

“Under the law of armed conflict, the presence of the civilian population cannot be used to render certain points immune from military operations, or to shield one’s own military operations. International law also explicitly forbids directing the civilian population to shield military objectives from attack,” claims the IDF.

So where is the international outrage?  No condemnation by human rights groups? No statement from Jen Psaki at the State Department?  Where among the worldwide headlines and news reports is this video that validates everything Israel has claimed about Hamas’ inhumanity to the people of Gaza?

Silence is not only deafening – it’s deadly.

Recently the world, including the Obama administration, rose up against the Jewish State – harshly condemning a “deadly strike on UN school in Rafah, Gaza.” This “moral outrage” and “criminal act,” according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was inaccurately reported by the international press, as video footage clearly shows the school was unharmed and Israel indeed struck outside the building.

It is especially important that these stories be accurately reported, because journalists are also sometimes intimidated by Hamas. Reports from Australian media claim “Hamas is not just targeting Israeli civilians, threatening Gazans and using them as human shields. It has another terror tactic: intimidating foreign journalists.”

Ynet News quotes a Gaza correspondent from Spain: “We saw the Hamas men [firing out of population hubs and near UN facilities]. But had we dared point the cameras at them, they would have opened fire at us and killed us.”

Sophia Jones of the Huffington Post tweeted, “The Israeli side of the border with Gaza was briefly open today, but Hamas did not let journalists leave Gaza.”

Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati reported on Twitter, “Out of #Gaza far from #Hamas retaliation: misfired rocket killed children yday in Shati. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.”

Anything about this in the headlines of the New York Times? Perhaps the lead story on the NBC Nightly News? Hamas violations are blatant, but somehow are not deemed newsworthy.