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ANALYSIS: The American Left Bought A Terror Group’s Propaganda

(Photo by Hamas via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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As war raged in the Middle East, American leftists and a number of corporate media outlets bought into the talking-points of the very terrorists launching thousands of indiscriminately aimed rockets into a key U.S. ally, Israel.

Hamas, a State Department-designated terrorist organization, started launching rockets into Israel on May 10. Hamas has provided justification for this new wave of attacks by creating two specific narratives in order to wage war against Israel and attempt to kill more Jews — narratives that became talking points for American progressives and dominated corporate media coverage.

In the days leading up to Hamas launching the barrage of rockets from Gaza, Senior Hamas Official Fathi Hammad gave an address on Al-Aqsa TV during which he stated the terror group’s intentions very clearly.

“People of Jerusalem, we want you to cut off the heads of the Jews with knives. With your hand, cut their artery from here. A knife costs five shekels. Buy a knife, sharpen it, put it there, and just cut off [their heads]. It costs just five shekels. With those five shekels, you will humiliate the Jewish state,” Hammad said. (RELATED: Joe Biden Is Trying To Destroy Trump’s Progress In The Middle East)

The first of these two myths was created in anticipation of a ruling from Israel’s Supreme Court, supposed to be handed down May 10 but delayed at least 30 days by Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit because of the violence. The case is evaluating who has legal ownership of land in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem. Palestinians could face eviction if the court upholds Jerusalem’s District Court ruling that says Jews with deeds to this land have the right to evict Palestinian families living on it, according to The Times of Israel.

The question may seem cut-and-dry, but Jewish purchases of this land date back to 1874 — when Jerusalem was under Ottoman control, according to National Review. However, these Jewish residents of Sheikh Jarrah were forced to flee their neighborhood when war broke out in 1947. Palestinian Arab families then moved into the area, some of whom have been living there for 70 years, National Review reported.

The case is only complicated by the fact that Jordan, which had control over east Jerusalem from 1948-1967, issued land permits of a different kind that gave the Arab residents leaseholder status, according to the Kohelet Policy Forum. The Jewish deed-holders to this land are seeking to take it back given that the Palestinian leaseholders’ permits have now expired, or never existed in the first place, the Kohelet Policy Forum claimed.

Hamas’ political leadership took to social media in order to spin its own version of events regarding Sheikh Jarrah. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader, tweeted out a thread that claimed “Palestinians are living under APARTHEID,SIEGE, OCCUPATION, SYSTEMATIC RACISM, CONTROLLED POVERTY & ETHNIC CLEANSING.”

“Families in #Shiekh_Jarrah neighborhood are being forcibly evicted from their homes to be replaced by Israeli Settlers (under & supported by israeli LAW),” Haniyeh said in a subsequent tweet.

The second myth emerged when the Israeli police cracked down on Muslims worshiping in the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam and built on top of the Temple Mount (the most sacred place in Judaism), according to The Associated Press. As Israelis were preparing to celebrate Jerusalem Day, a holiday celebrating the repossession of Jerusalem by Israel in the 1967 war, Islamists were stockpiling projectiles such as rocks, stone bricks and fireworks, to be hurled at Jews during the Jerusalem Day parade, The Times of Israel reported.

Israeli police showed up in force and used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd and seize the projectiles being thrown at them, as well as their stockpiles. More than 300 Palestinians and 21 police officers were injured in the melee, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society and reported by Reuters.

However, Haniyeh claimed that the Al-Aqsa incident was “a result of the protests against #SheikhJarrah settler harassment and Gov evictions,” and that “the israeli gov targeted the AlAqsa mosque preventing worshipers to reach it.”

Haniyeh argued that it was racial and religious bigotry that fueled the Israeli police, rather than concerns of further violence breaking out in the streets of Jerusalem. “Israeli forces Broke in alaqsa, attacked unarmed civilian worshipers causing hundred’s of injuries in one of the holiest islamic sights during the holiest islamic month!” he tweeted.

In response, Haniyeh said Hamas will use its “Voices,” “Rocks,” “Bare Hands” and “Rockets,” to settle this dispute.

Prominent American leftists at some point bought Hamas’ version of events and parroted its talking points, couched in U.S. progressive terms.

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, Ihan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — all members of the so-called “squad” — were among the most vocal supporters of these same narratives.

On Twitter, Tlaib implored her followers to “Listen to these Palestinians voices living under Israel’s violent apartheid government that continues to be funded by our own country without any accountability, or even acknowledgment.”

“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces are forcing families from their homes during Ramadan and inflicting violence. It is inhumane and the US must show leadership in safeguarding the human rights of Palestinians,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Omar tweeted out a readout of President Joe Biden’s phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told Biden, “You’re siding with an oppressive occupation.”

On May 10, as Hamas was beginning to launch rockets into Israel, Omar tweeted, “Many will tell you Israel has a right to defend itself, to safety and security, but are silent on whether Palestinians have those rights too. Until we can defend the rights of Palestinians just as we do Israelis, we have no leg to stand on when it comes to justice or peace.”

But it wasn’t just radical members of Congress circulating Hamas’ claims. Corporate media outlets ultimately ran with Hamas’ lines, too.

The New York Times claimed in a report the Al-Aqsa clash and subsequent rocket fire’s “catalyst … was the conflict over recent Israeli efforts to remove Palestinians from strategic parts of the city,” in reference to Sheikh Jarrah.

A report from The Washington Post read, “May 10 began with more than 300 Palestinians — who had come to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City during the holy month of Ramadan — injured in clashes with Israeli forces, who fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades,” and made no mention of the stockpiles of rocks and other projectiles inside Al-Aqsa.

While a ceasefire has been called for now between Hamas and Israel, Haniyeh tweeted, “Netanyahu, do not forget your missing soldiers.”