For a brief moment in time, the media seemed willing to call evil by its name. In the aftermath of open acknowledgment that Hamas has been shielding its rockets with civilians, including women and children, and building tunnels designed to kidnap and murder Israeli civilians, the media seemed to understand Israel’s plight and sympathize with Israel’s quest to protect its citizens.
And then the media reverted to type.
Over the last week, media members have begun echoing the worst libels of Hamas’ propaganda machine – as Hamas undoubtedly believed they would. Hamas has restricted reporter access in Gaza, lied repeatedly about casualties, and used the United Nations as a propaganda tool. None of that has made the press. But Hamas’ lies about Israel targeting civilians somehow have become the prevailing wisdom.
Here are the worst, Hamas-supporting media members over the last week.
Piers Morgan. Morgan, who now presumably tweets from his basement while waiting for his severance checks from CNN, tweeted:
Israel’s making a massive mistake with this monstrous child-slaughtering military strategy. Someone needs to rein @netanyahu in… fast.
– Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 31, 2014
This is blood libel. Israel has no “child-slaughtering military strategy” any more than Jews bake children’s blood into their matza. But Morgan wasn’t done:
You deliberately shell a UN facility full of women & children – you lose any moral high ground. Enough, Mr @netanyahu ….ENOUGH.
– Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 31, 2014
Hamas has repeatedly used UN facilities full of women and children as launching points for rocket attacks.
Joe Scarborough. On Thursday, faux conservative Joe Scarborough intoned:
I’ve always been a 100 percent supporter of Israel. The joke in Congress was anytime I wanted a key to the city of Tel Aviv, I could, you know, get a gold-plated one. I’m sorry – this is just, this is asinine. This continued killing of women and children in a way that appears to be indiscriminate is asinine.
Israel is anything but indiscriminate, of course. Israel attempts to warn civilians in Gaza of attacks; with its total air superiority, if Israel truly wanted to engage in indiscriminate warfare, it could level Gaza. But no matter: Scarborough has earned his MSNBC paycheck this week.
Jon Stewart. After suggesting complete moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel in the current war (Stewart: “Tastes great. More killing!”), Stewart recently suggested that Israel’s technological superiority means that it should presumably stop defending its citizenry. He also mocked Israel’s attempts to warn Gaza civilians (“So the Israeli military warns Gaza residents of imminent bombing, with a smaller warning bombing! An amuse-boom, if you will.”) and Israel’s advance notice to evacuate (“Evacuate to where?!” -the answer to that question, as David Horovitz of Times of Israel states, is “anywhere but the building that’s about to be bombed”). Stewart even asked Hillary Clinton if Hamas were “freedom fighters.”
CNN’s Diana Magnay. Magnay, who was covering the Israeli action against Hamas in Gaza, tweeted, “Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong’. Scum.” CNN was forced to withdraw her from covering the conflict. The tweet has since been deleted. CNN overall has been quite disgusting: Jim Clancy’s horrendously anti-Israel coverage, CNN’s failure to report relevant facts surrounding Hamas’ use of UN buildings for cover, and even the normally reliable Jake Tapper’s The Lead utilizing the sarcastic headline, “‘Precision’ airstrikes hitting civilians in Gaza.”
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. While hosting Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, Mitchell asked, “What do you say to them that Israel may be losing its soul, may be losing the war because of the political impact of what is happening on the ground?” Neither Mitchell nor anyone else in the mainstream media has ever asked a member of Hamas’ leadership if they are losing their souls, despite the fact that Hamas routinely hides behind children, killed at least 160 children while digging their terror tunnels, and even reportedly chained a mentally ill man to a building to be a casualty.
The Guardian (UK). Really, the entire European press has been a horror show on the Israel-Gaza. But The Guardian has been uniquely awful. Giles Fraser wrote, “I want the paper to write, in big bold capital letters: we hate this f***ing stupid pointless war. I know, I know: this sort of emotion is not going to solve anything. But in the midst of unimaginable suffering, the idea of calm objectivity feels like a desperate attempt to maintain some thin veneer of civilization protecting us from the total futility of it all. Being calmly rational about dead children feels like a very particular form of madness.”
The Los Angeles Times. Last week, the Los Angeles Times printed a front-page story suggesting that Hamas’ only two choices were “war or blockade.” As Joel Pollak pointed out:
Nowhere–not once–in the entire article do Zavis or Sobelman note the terror tunnels that Hamas has spent the past several years building to attack Israel, diverting humanitarian aid and building materials for that purpose. Nowhere do they mention the fact that Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields, or that Israel has offered many ceasefires, or that the rockets fired from Gaza are intended to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible.
The New York Times. In early July, Steven Erlanger of The New York Times wrote, “Brutality against innocents is not new on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…A generation has grown up in a period of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with suicide bombs and military incursions, rocket fire and airstrikes.” That sort of moral equivalency is par for the course for the Times. The Times editorial board suggested after rogue Jewish extremists killed a Palestinian, allegedly as revenge for Hamas’ killing of three Israeli teens, that Benjamin Netanyahu was behind it, dramatically misquoting him in the process in order to achieve that twisted result. When four Palestinian boys were tragically killed in an Israeli strike directed at Hamas, the Times ran a full cover photo of the dead boys. The story read:
The four dead boys came quickly to symbolize how the Israeli aerial assaults in Gaza are inevitably killing innocents in this crowded, impoverished sliver of land along the Mediterranean Sea….Men carried the boys past on stretchers. One dead boy stared skyward, eyes still bright, his features fine and delicate. The wailing became screaming. Throughout the funeral, Mohammad’s father held the boy’s hand to his lips.
The Times‘ consistent parroting of the Hamas lie that Israel kills children lends credence to a terror group placing children in vulnerable positions.
Hamas is losing its war against Israel militarily, as it knew it would. But by co-opting the pathetic Western media – and by the Western media adopting Hamas’ line – Hamas is winning the battle of world opinion, thereby making more civilian deaths, both Jewish and Arab, an inevitability. The world media – and the politicians who act in accordance with them — have blood on their hands for providing the only true support Hamas has left.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.