Throughout the war between Israel and Hamas, western journalists in Gaza failed to report anything other than civilian casualties caused by Israeli air strikes. It took the accidental, frightening appearance of Hamas rockets being fired on live TV–using journalists as human shields–for the media to report that Hamas was, as Israel had alleged, firing rockets from civilian areas. Now, with the ceasefire, journalists are finally reporting the truth.
On Wednesday, CBS News aired a report by Clarissa Ward on postwar Gaza. She noted that many civilians had lost their homes, including a man who claimed, “There is no Hamas here.” She then showed viewers the Israeli military’s map of Hamas tunnels in the area, and the camera panned across concrete tunnel archways being stored in the alley next door, next to a mosque. Ward noted that CBS had been denied entry to the mosque.
Likewise, on Tuesday, Gallagher Fenwick, one of the France24 reporters who had been startled by rocket fire as he delivered a live report from Gaza during the war, filed a report in which he showed that Hamas rocket tubes had been mounted next door to a building flying a UN flag. Similarly, an Indian television crew showed Hamas firing rockets next to their hotel before the ceasefire. They aired the footage once they were safely out of Gaza.
The New York Times said during the war that it had failed to show photos of Hamas firing rockets because the secrecy under which Hamas operates made such photos difficult to obtain. But given that Hamas still controls Gaza, and evidence of Hamas war crimes is in plain sight, it is hard not to believe that other factors were at play: sheer bias, or the media’s submission to Hamas censors. Both suggest a complicity that demands explanation.
Photo: Screenshot/CBS News