May 07, 2019

ISRAEL IS UNDER SIEGE, BUT YOU WOULDN’T KNOW IT FROM LIBERAL RHETORIC

Israel is under siege... 

700 rockets were fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into the Jewish state last weekend. Scores are injured and at least 4 are dead as missiles rained down on civilian and urban areas. In response, Israel conducted airstrikes killing multiple terrorist operatives.

Unsurprisingly, the media and left-wing activists have again characterized the situation with misleading information. As such, they intentionally or unintentionally place the blame at Israel’s feet and delegitimize it in the process. Don’t believe the spin: Israel has the right to defend its people and Hamas and its terror cells are at responsible for the bloodshed, not Israel.

Israel has dealt with this situation many times before.

Throughout its short history, the Jewish state has been forced to confront bias and skepticism when it uses military force, even defensively. So-called ‘fake news’ is constantly bombarded on social media including falsified images and misleading Twitter hashtags meant to demonize the Jewish state as cold-blooded killers.

Still, this should be expected of partisans who seek to advance an anti-Israel agenda. But that trend has changed as mainstream media outlets and prominent politicians have joined in on the disinformation campaign.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than a recent headline from AP News titled “Palestinians step up rocket attacks as Israel strikes Gaza.” Quickly scanning this, one could be excused for thinking that those in Gaza were rightfully defending themselves from Israeli aggression.

This is despite the actual situation which is that the Jewish state responded with airstrikes because missiles were launched from Gaza into southern Israel. By the way, these aren’t ‘Palestinians’ firing rockets, they are members of the radical Islamist group Hamas and its affiliate Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

And it wasn’t just the AP, CBS blamed “both sides” for the rocket attacks and Israel for a rocket attack (by Hamas) that killed a Palestinian mother and child. Consequently, such a misleading spin from the media was amplified by two prominent progressive U.S. politicians.

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib blasted an accurate New York Times headline labeling it as “misleading” and stating with no evidence that Israeli forces purposely target “Palestinian children,” a grotesque claim. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also chimed in, seeming to downplay Hamas’ actions.

To be sure, these sorts of disinformation campaigns combined with sloppy reporting have had a harmful impact on the Jewish state. But possibly worse is the impact it has on the people of Gaza, considering such claims provides ammunition to Hamas and its allies whose objective is to legitimatize its radical movement.

Anyone being intellectually honest can see that Hamas is no moderate political party or a liberation group, it is a radical terror organization who carries out despicable activities that harm Palestinians as much as Jews. The group’s clearly defined goal is the destruction of the Jewish state its inhabitants.

Don’t take my word for it, look to Hamas’ own covenant. An excerpt of Article 7 states “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.”

And its PIJ affiliate is no better.

Funded by the radical Islamists Mullahs in Iran, the PIJ is hell-bent on destroying the Jewish state and all its occupants. At a summer camp for Palestinian children hosted by the PIJ, an official stressed to a reporter that children are taught “As long as Jews remain here, between the [Jordan] river and the sea, they will be our enemy and we will continue to pursue and kill them.”

Such vile hate being taught to kids is despicable.

Instead of recognizing these obvious distinctions, Israel and these two groups are many times placed on a leveled playing field. Attempts to compare Israel’s actions to that of Hamas or PIJ is dishonest and unscrupulous.

One group is trying to defend its nation and citizens from terror, whereas the other uses children and mothers as human shields to defend its radical Islamist fighters. Israel targets terrorist cells and military infrastructure, Hamas targets women and children.

So, for the Jewish people’s sake, we must push back on false information when it is encountered. Such lies are like a disease and must be rooted immediately before being allowed to spread. Like any sovereign nation, Israel has the right to defend its own people. That is a right that the international community must respect and defend.

Alex Titus is a Policy Advisor at America First Policies.

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