The London Daily Mail carried the headline BLOODBATH in referring to the orchestrated Hamas attack this week on Israel’s security fence with Gaza.
Later in the story it reported that the “demonstrations … called for the right of return for Palestinians displaced in 1948”.
Indeed, events in recent days along Israel’s border with Gaza have been referred to by Hamas as a “A March of Return”. Protesters were seen with wire cutters that they used to break through Israel’s security fence. One of them was photographed with a meat cleaver, no doubt intending to attack people at one of Israel’s nearby villages or kibbutzim.
The Right of Return is a major item on the Palestinian agenda, but Israelis recognize that conceding to such a demand would spell the end of the Jewish State.
My late father was a refugee, who fled his home in Breslau, then in Germany and now in Poland, when Hitler came to power. Like those Jews who were fortunate enough to escape the Holocaust, or the hundreds of thousands who fled Arab lands when the State of Israel was established, he built a new life for himself elsewhere.
Only when we stop living in the past can we begin to create a future for ourselves. The Palestinians in Gaza and on the West Bank have yet to understand that.
Language can be misleading. When one uses terms such as “protests” and demonstrations” one does not conjure up images of what the Daily Mail at least concedes were mob attacks on Gaza’s border with Israel.
UN Human Rights office spokesman Rupert Colville was less generous when he told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday. “The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot.”
BBC World News‘ report on events along the Gaza border carried the sub headline: “Funerals are to be held in Gaza for 58 people killed on Monday when Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinian protesters, in the deadliest day of violence there since a war in 2014.”
Only later in its report does the BBC concede that “Hamas has called for Israel’s destruction and is in a permanent state of conflict with the Jewish state”.
The loss of any life in violent circumstances is a tragedy. However, as long as Hamas’ ultimate goal remains the destruction of the Jewish State, Israel can hardly be blamed for taking whatever action she considers necessary to protect the lives of her citizens.
Richard Kemp has argued that the criticism of many media organizations “plays directly into Hamas’s hands and validates the use of human shields and the strategy of forcing the killing (of) their own civilians”.
Those who so quickly criticize Israel for her handling of the Hamas uprising might well wish to consider the part that the media play in fanning the flames.