Beginning on March 30, Hamas, which calls in its covenant for the destruction of Israel and the global murder of Jews, launched the ‘March of Return.’
Hamas describes the ‘March of Return’ as aimed at removing what it describes as the “transient border” between Israel and Gaza and to fulfill the legally and morally baseless “right of return” of some 7 million descendants of the Palestinian Arabs who fled their homes during the first Arab initiated war against Israel in 1948-9. In reality, the March, which has been falsely billed as a peaceful demonstration, has become a regular routine of orchestrated Hamas shootings, Molotov cocktails, and bombs aimed at tearing down Israel’s border wall, injuring and killing Jews, and causing Israel maximum public relations damage.
Thousands of tires have been set alight to provide a smokescreen for others attempting to break the border while homemade bombs have been lobbed at Israeli soldiers. Thirty-two Palestinians, 26 of whom were armed terrorists according to the Meir Amit Intelligence Center, have been killed in the consequent violence, so Hamas has sought to incentivize the fatalities: families of any Palestinian Arab who dies in the disorders Hamas has fomented are receiving $3,000 for their ‘martyrdom,’ while those who are seriously wounded or moderately wounded are receiving $500 and $200 respectively.
Nor is this all. Hamas has vowed to mount one ‘march’ each Friday until ‘Naqba Day,’ totaling a million participants, the day depicted in Palestinian national mythology as the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s creation in May 1948. In fact, Palestinian Arab refugees were solely caused by the Arab refusal to accept a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state, and then six Arab nations attacking Israel to destroy the fledgling Jewish state. Had there been no such war, there would have been no Arab refugees and a Palestinian Arab state would now be celebrating its 70th anniversary.
Yet it is not this violent reality, deliberately initiated by the Nazi-like Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, that has captured international attention; rather, the march of thousands to the Israeli/Gaza border has been depicted as a peaceful, almost carnival-like, event that has been violently, willfully and deliberately disrupted by malign Israeli forces.
Much of the world’s media depicts the events as a protest against a “blockade,” when the Israeli/Gaza border is of course an internationally recognized frontier. Putting aside the fact that hundreds of truckloads daily of food and medicines reaching Gaza from Israel every day give the lie to this, Israeli forces are merely standing guard over their own, internationally recognized border to prevent incursions and weapons from entering.
Yet, instead of roundly condemning the murderous provocateurs of Hamas, international leaders like the European Union’s Frederica Mogherini, Pope Francis, and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have called for an international inquiry into Israeli military action in the ensuing violence that they assert has claimed the lives of Palestinian innocents. Others have indulged in a bizarre moral equivalence. For example, the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, warned both Israel and Hamas that each could be committing crimes — as if the efforts of an outlaw terrorist group to breach an internationally accepted border and the military forces of a state legitimately seeking to protect that border were in any way behaving comparably.
The discrepancy is not new, but striking nonetheless. How can it be that the Hamas terrorists can proclaim that the world “should wait for our great move when we breach the borders and pray at al Aqsa [Mosque in Jerusalem],” that Gazan masses can chant “Death to the Jews” and “We are going to Jerusalem, millions of martyrs,” and that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar can declare that Hamas was “following in the path of martyr Yasser Arafat in resisting the enemy” and “if we explode we will explode in [Israel’s] face,” and yet it is Israel, not Hamas, that is wrongly condemned as the violent aggressor and instigator deserving of an international inquiry?
Part of the problem is systemic. Much of the breaking footage we tend to see, while presented by foreign media outlets, is not actually produced by them: it is Palestinian stringers and cameramen who, if not already critical of Israel, must in any case continue to live in the Hamas-controlled enclave, who file copy.
Hamas officials tend to be sufficiently savvy in foreign interviews, reliably reproducing a litany of Israeli sins and avoiding the more blood-curdling statements that emerge at their rallies, although the odd refusal to accept Israel’s existence when pressed emerges from time to time. However, interviews with Hamas officials in Arabic language media not generally televised in the West reveal a different story, one of unbridled antisemitic hallucinations of world Jewish control.
Given the bombardment of false and misleading information to public around the world from a Hamas-compliant media, it is little wonder that much of the world remains uninformed as to the actual nature of the conflict. A much more unnerving consideration is the fact that the journalists concerned do not share the relative ignorance of the public they misinform. One is obliged to conclude that the media is not merely conforming to Hamas’ wishes and directives in Gaza. Rather, it is predisposed to cooperating with it in purveying a false narrative of Jewish moral failure in a conflict that is actually devoid of resolution so long as Palestinians insist on Israel’s removal from the map. The latest flashpoints in Gaza show that this deep thought pattern is still very much operative.
Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). He was named one of the top five influential Jews in America by a major national Jewish weekly. WWW.ZOA.ORG. Follow him on Twitter @Mortonaklein7.