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Hypocritical journalism and artificial stupidity

This writer’s previous post stated that the 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which took effect on August 5 at 8:00 a.m., held for the full 72-hour term unlike the seven previous ceasefires, which were all broken by Hamas. This writer must here issue a correction of that information.

The quiet of the ceasefire was not broken by a salvo of rockets at 8:03 a.m. as the post stated. Israeli officials have since confirmed that the ceasefire was in fact broken by Hamas around 4:00 a.m. when it fired several rockets toward Israel’s Eshkol region and two more in the closing minutes of the ceasefire before the air was shattered at 8:03 a.m. by dozens of rockets being fired into Israel, including the salvo aimed at the city of Ashkelon.

Currently, there is another 72-hour ceasefire being observed by both Israel and Hamas; this went into effect at one minute past midnight on August 10. However, with either Hamas or one of its proxies breaking eight consecutive ceasefires, what chance is there that the current ceasefire will not be broken and hostilities resumed? Hamas leaders have said that the truce was the last chance for peace. There can be little doubt that Hamas’s proclamation was intended to intimidate Israel and push it into yielding to Hamas’s non-starter demands. What Hamas does not seem to realize that is that rather than having pushed Israel into a corner, Israel is seriously considering launching a full-scale ground offensive against Hamas that will make the previous one look like a picnic in comparison. A good few members of the Israeli Knesset, including some from the Security Cabinet, together with the great majority of the Israeli populace, want Israel to destroy the threat of Hamas rockets and terrorist infiltrations once and for all. This is only possible by an Israeli invasion force that will go ‘all the way.’

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is wary of a full-scale invasion of Gaza; he knows there will be heavy casualties among IDF soldiers and he does not want to have to live with that if it is avoidable. He wants quiet on Israel’s southern border and he promised he would give the people that. Netanyahu is pragmatic, if there is a chance of obtaining peace and quiet for Israeli citizens without surrendering to Hamas’s somewhat ludicrous demands, he will work for that. Netanyahu is not a Neville Chamberlain or an Édouard Daladier, there will not a ‘peace at any price’ in order to bring “peace in our time.” Netanyahu is resisting ministerial pressure to decimate Hamas, but how long can he withstand the pressure? Netanyahu wants the international community to demilitarize Gaza and disarm all the terror groups, but no nation seems willing to get its hands dirty. When push comes to shove there are no cojones to be found among the nations that make up the international community.

If Netanyahu is out-voted in the Security Cabinet in a call for ousting Hamas militarily, he will have no option but to call up virtually the entire army and send it into Gaza. Numbers of soldiers who fought in Gaza during the recent ground offensive have, in contravention of IDF orders, expressed their disappointment at not having been allowed to continue the offensive until Hamas was unable to rise from the dust again; they say they are ready to risk their lives to bring peace to their country. And Israelis, cognizant of the fact that they may well lose sons, husbands, brothers, and friends, have weighed the pros and cons and are willing to suffer the loss now rather than later when the threat from Gaza will be much, much worse.

In the last post it was mentioned that 40,550 tons of aid — some 1,500 truckloads of food, medicines, and humanitarian aids — were sent into Gaza from Israel during the war with Hamas. However, the Kerem Shalom border crossing, through which the trucks carrying the aid passes from Israel to Gaza, was targeted by several mortar attacks just before the current ceasefire came into effect. Several mortars landed inside the crossing causing extensive damage and trucks carrying highly inflammable fuel and oil narrowly escaped from being turned into fireballs. The crossing has now been closed.

The members of Hamas and its terrorist proxies possess not one single humanitarian cell between them. They use the old, the weak and feeble, the women, and the children of Gaza as human shields in order to get the casualty numbers up; civilians are used as mere public relations fodder. And now, just before the latest truce went into effect they deliberately target the sole crossing through which humanitarian aid can enter and which only partially relieves a little of the dreadful distress in which the miserable civilians have found themselves in. And yet, unbelievably, almost the entire Western world is in an uproar over the ill-perceived inhumanity of Israeli forces that have had the courage to hit back at Gaza’s terrorist minions who are endeavoring to snuff out all human life in Israel. This unmitigated stupidity is generated by overt antisemitism, which is partly due to the policies of myopic Western politicians who threw open their nation’s gates and welcomed millions of Jew-hating Islamists into their midst.

The apocalyptic destruction in Gaza that we have all witnessed via our television screens is due to Hamas’s orders to journalists; they are to show only building damage and bodies, especially bodies of children. If journalists defied Hamas’s orders they were not allowed to broadcast and were restricted to their hotels. Almost all journalists who reported from Gaza have refused, even on condition of anonymity, to speak to the Israeli media about the intimidation they were subjected to by Hamas. They were in fear of Hamas retaliation and happily toed the Hamas line in their reporting, which meant they concentrated on showing the colossal amount of damage that has befallen Gaza, and both showed and talked about the number of dead “innocent civilians,” showing bodies of women and children; the result of “Israeli aggression.” Most journalists were also sure to mention Israel’s “disproportionate” responses to Palestinian rocket fire, which no reporter seems to have ever witnessed during his or her time in Gaza covering a war in which close to 4,000 rockets have been launched into Israel. This can only be described as artificial stupidity; almost as stupid as the folk who take the Gaza reporting to be the gospel truth.

According to Israel’s Government Press Office, some 705 journalists from 42 countries came to Israel specifically to cover the Gaza conflict. This number joined the 750 journalists who are stationed in Israel on a permanent basis. With the world being so anti-Israel in the best of times the Jewish state is always a hot news item no matter what it does. Jerusalem’s foreign press office is the third largest in the world, only Washington and Moscow host more foreign journalists. Israel is placed under a microscope and is held to a standard higher than any other nation. Even the UN Human Rights Council has Israel slotted into its every meeting agenda, something no other nation in the world is subjected to. Hypocrisy and antisemitism is very much alive and flourishing in the UN world, the media world, and the Western world in general.

A Press Office statement said that during the coverage of the Israel-Hamas fighting journalists often received threats and – in several cases – were the victims of violence that included destruction of their equipment. This was due to them having documented criminal activity by Hamas such as the launching of rockets from the heart of civilian areas. Several Western journalists in Gaza have been harassed and threatened by Hamas for documenting cases of the terrorist group’s involvement of civilians in warfare. The Times of Israel confirmed several incidents in which journalists were questioned and threatened. These included cases involving photographers who had taken pictures of Hamas operatives in compromising circumstances — gunmen preparing to shoot rockets from within civilian structures, and/or fighting in civilian clothing — and who were then approached by Hamas men, bullied and had their equipment taken away.

One journalist, Christian Stephen, founder of Freelance Society, a media company specializing in hostile environments and conflict zones, agreed to discuss his experience reporting from Gaza, because he was heading to Iraq. Stephen quipped, “Hamas can’t get me there.”

Asked if he had photographs he could show Stephen said, “Unfortunately, I don’t have any shots for you. I saw a good amount of buildings releasing rocket fire towards Israel; however, the fighters were more or less ghosts in living rooms.” He told the English-language Jerusalem Post, “Gazans only want us to show damage, not shooting.” He was brutally honest when he said, “Any journalist who professes to observe without bias, feeling or fear is a liar, as well as any journalist who claims they are without apprehension of theconsequences when working in a geographic raw nerve.”

Without doubt the coverage of the war with Gaza has been heavily biased against Israel and the images presented day after day have totally misrepresented what the war was about, it was an insidious double standard and an example of true media duplicity. Few and far between have been the journalists who have stood with Israel by reporting fairly. Sean Hannity of Fox News has been one of those people and he deserves an award for his integrity. Apart from most Israeli journalists and one or two others, Hannity stands alone.

However, a few journalists did run the gauntlet in Gaza when they either tweeted or reported on rocket fire from civilian areas. A television reporter from the Finnish Helsingin Sanomat confirmed on August 1 that Hamas had been firing rockets out of the Shifa Hospital, the main Gaza medical facility. The reporter, who was not named for security reasons, said that a rocket was launched “right in the back the parking lot” of the hospital at 2 a.m. on Friday morning. “Really, it happened right in the area, the sound of it was really loud,” she said, adding, “It’s true that rockets are launched here from the Gazan side into Israel.”

Regarding Gaza’s Shifa hospital, an Israeli official said. “We know that downstairs there is a Hamas command and control center and that Hamas leaders are hiding there. No reporter is allowed to go anywhere downstairs. They’re only allowed to work upstairs to take pictures of casualties, the pictures that Hamas wants them to take.” The Washington Post reported on July 15 that Shifa has indeed “become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.”

A reporter in the Gaza Strip had her live broadcast interrupted when a rocket launched by Hamas whistled by over her head, startling her. The launch site was in such close proximity that the area was immediately lit up by the launching. Speaking in Arabic, the reporter informs her audience about the civilian casualties and even mentions the dangers posed to journalists before the very area she was reporting was thrust into the war-zone.

The extensive use of civilian areas and infrastructure has posed a continuing challenge to the IDF, which must respond to enemy fire from these areas. On August 4 India’s NDTV filmed what the New York Times said it could not: footage of Hamas fighters in Gaza assembling and then launching a rocket aimed at Israel, from a residential area. The launch took place in a dense, urban environment in Gaza with plenty of civilians around — and one intrepid Indian reporter, Sreenivasan Jain. The report by Jain on India’s NDTV shows a Palestinian rocket crew using a tent as cover to set up a rocket launch, then launching the rocket. Jain notes that the Hamas rocket launch takes places “meters away from our hotel” and “bang in the middle of what is a residential area full of hotels and apartment buildings.” He then heads to the spot from where the rocket was fired but is “asked by people not to go to the location, so we’re just pulling back…” Click onto the URL below to watch this:

In the text that accompanied the video report on NDTV’s website, Jain wrote that it was published “after our team left the Gaza Strip – Hamas has not taken very kindly to any reporting of its rockets being fired. But just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel’s offensive on Gaza’s civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones.” Two days later, Jain published an article on NDTV’s website with the story behind his report, explaining that his team waited days before airing the video clip due to “fear of reprisals from Hamas against us and those who worked with us, fear of inviting an Israeli response on the spot.”

In a previous blog this writer criticized France24 reporter Gallagher Fenwick for conforming to the Hamas story-line to only show damage and bodies; however, while he was giving his usual Hamas-scripted version of events on August 5 a rocket was fired from close to where he was reporting from and that apparently caused Fenwick to change his tune; the brief, shocked look on his face is priceless. The French TV station, France24, also showed a rocket launching pad, located about 100 yards from a United Nations building flying the blue UN flag. A hotel housing journalists covering the Gaza conflict was located about 50 meters (yards) from the launching pad, according to Fenwick who was reporting from Gaza City. Fenwick and members of his crew were forced to take cover when reporting from the site last week when a rocket was unexpectedly launched.

“This type of setup is at the heart of the debate,” Fenwick reported. “The Israeli army has repeatedly accused the Palestinian militants of shooting from within densely populated civilian areas and that is precisely the type of setup we have here.” The URL is given below, however it only seems to work when it is pasted into a browser:

On Wednesday, August 6, the Christian Broadcasting Network aired an interview with Archbishop Alexios, whom reporter George Thomas called “Gaza’s most prominent Christian leader.” CBN estimates there are 1,500 Christians living in Gaza. Alexios said Hamas used Gaza City’s Greek Orthodox church compound to fire rockets at Israeli communities, but he would not discuss details on camera for security reasons.

When the IDF expanded its offensive in the Gaza enclave in July, Archbishop Alexios of the Saint Porphyrios church made the decision to open the holy site’s doors in a show of interfaith solidarity, offering food, drink and shelter to around 2,000 Gazans, regardless of their religion. A frightened Alexios claimed that even with Palestinians crowding the church, Islamist fighters had set up a rocket launching site in the compound. Click onto the URL below to watch the video:

Many Israelis are frustrated at how rotten this Gaza conflict has been reported and understood overseas. With the exception of the occasional courageous Finn and intrepid Indian, none of the hordes of super-professional journalists in Gaza could document the almost 4,000 rocket launches — including over 600 from near schools and other civilian facilities? None of them saw Hamas gunmen firing from homes and hospitals, dressed in civilian clothes? As this writer said earlier, antisemitism is alive and flourishing in the media world.

Melanie Phillips, the British journalist, author, and commentator was voicing her obvious disgust at the media coverage emanating from Gaza during an August 10 interview on Israel’s Channel 10 television. Phillips suggested that Israel ban journalists from reporting from Gaza, but, she added, I don’t know how you can do that.”

Melanie Phillips was patently on Israel’s side insofar as the reporting of the Gaza was was concerned, but on the other side, aligned to the anti-Israel hordes, we have a mustachioed zero, Geraldo Rivera, who holds himself to be some sort of expert on conflicts, but who really knows as much about conflicts as the man in the moon. Rivera appeared on Fox News a few nights ago and castigated Israel for its actions in Gaza; he was not merely blasting Israel, he was downright ugly. This writer always wondered why he did not like Rivera, but after seeing and hearing him on Fox Five he knew why: he is a pompous, antisemitic fraud. Rivera let forth about how he had covered conflicts for decades and that Israel hit a UNRWA school with a tank shell which is only accurate within two football fields and that it should use Hellfire missiles, etc. However, Rivera was quoting verbatim what a UN military man in Gaza had said two days earlier, right down to the ifs and buts. It was good to see that the girls on Fox Five jumped on Rivera and took him to task for his obvious hatred of Israel. In this writer’s opinion Geraldo Rivera is nothing but a bag of hot air with an overgrown mustache. He and his wife changed channels; we could not stomach any more Rivera.

WND’s Thomas Sowell, referring to Rivera’s criticism of Matt Drudge, wonders whether we are not in a ‘post-thinking era.’ He called Rivera’s criticism “artificial stupidity.” And that about sums up Geraldo Rivera and all the other antisemitic leftists who pose as journalists. Shame on you all!

If you have enjoyed reading these postings by Ramon Bennett and would like to read more of his writings, consider subscribing to Arm of Salvation’s “Update,” which is a regular newsletter written by Ramon and which covers events around the world affecting the nation of Israel. To subscribe, click on the tab marked “Newsletter” on this site. It is available in either digital or printed form.

Arm of Salvation welcomes readers’ comments to the posts on this blog and would also welcome donations to its ministry in and for Israel and the Jewish people. Donations toward covering the costs of maintaining this Shekinah website would be appreciated as would those given in appreciation of the time and effort Ramon invests in producing these postings.

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