Consider this recent article from The Telegraph entitled “Revealed: the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces”:
More children than Palestinian fighters are being killed in the offensive on Gaza, according to the UN. The name, age, sex and location of 132 of the 155 Palestinian children killed have been collected by the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights.
The Telegraph is allegedly conservative, yet the above text is indistinguishable from the “narrative” dispensed by The Guardian and other lefty news outlets. The media line on what is happening in Gaza and Israel right now is all but uniform across the political spectrum: reports by stringers from Gaza about bombed schools and hospitals, photos of dead children and weeping mothers on the nightly news, calls by world leaders for an immediate ceasefire, and condemnation in the UN of Israeli “war crimes”.
Occasionally a newscaster will venture off the main path to mention that Hamas terrorists have fired thousands of rockets from Gaza at civilians in Israel. And there are occasional articles about the terror tunnels used by Hamas to infiltrate Israel and murder more civilians.
Almost all major news outlets neglect to look beneath the surface to look at Hamas’ strategy of war, which the terror organization openly declares in Arabic-language media, especially those in Gaza itself. An unusual exception may be found in this opinion piece by Michael Oren at CNN, of all places:
More than a military strategy, Hamas has a media strategy. Calculatingly, Hamas employs primitive military tactics to mount a sophisticated media campaign that can threaten Israel’s basic security. And in conducting that offensive, Hamas can count on one of the world’s most powerful weapons: the international media.
In a war with Hamas, though, Israel’s strength and morality can become vulnerability and guilt. By investing nothing in air raid sirens and bomb shelters, by hiding deep beneath neighborhoods and shooting near hospitals and mosques, Hamas ensures that Israel will invariably wound and kill civilians.
Hamas gunmen carry out attacks disguised as women and old men, fight from UN and Red Cross vehicles, store rockets in schools, and physically prevent Palestinian civilians from fleeing combat zones. This context, though, is rarely mentioned by the media when covering the civilian cost of the fighting.
As the Israeli cabinet member Naftali Bennett told Wolf Blitzer on CNN, “Hamas is committing massive self-genocide to its woman and children.”
This is the deliberate use of the civilian population of Gaza as raw material for a “humanitarian” crisis for which Israel will be blamed. Yet the international media seem unable — or unwilling — to recognize what Hamas is doing.
As Carl in Jerusalem pointed out, this is the reason why Prime Minister Netanyahu did not order a ground offensive sooner. As long as there are more dead Palestinians than dead Israelis, any effective Israeli response will be seen as a “disproportionate” use of force and “indiscriminate slaughter”. In other words, Mr. Netanyahu would have to fail in his primary duty to protect his own citizens before the United Nations, foreign political leaders, and the international media would view any Israeli military action as justified.