... [A]fter Hamas sent more that 4,000 rockets and missiles into Israel over 11 days while Israel tried to defend itself by taking out the places from which the fire had initiated, one heard yet again from Gaza, "The enemy has been defeated!" As in past years, Israel did its utmost to avoid killing Palestinian civilians while Hamas deliberately targeted Israeli civilians and used its own civilians to try to protect its weapons, and then displayed its dead—the more the better, especially children—to television crews.
None of this is a shock, unfortunately. What is shocking is the way the Western media covered the war.
On May 24th, Boston Globe artist Christopher Weyant drew a tank with an Israeli flag on it, the implication being that it was driven by a Jewish soldier. The soldier is deliberately killing a presumably peaceful Palestinian man holding a flag (now sticking out from under the tank). The background shows Israeli planes indiscriminately dropping rockets en masse. The caption is a note being read by a Palestinian woman: "This is from Prime Minister Netanyahu. Please respect the right of the state of Israel to exist. We appreciate your cooperation while we build on you."
Faith Quintero, author of Loaded Blessings, a family saga that alternates between Inquisition-era Spain and modern-day Israel, responded via Twitter:
The Globe/Weyant cartoon has Jews literally killing Palestinians for a home just as Nazi propaganda has Jews counting money on the skulls of Germans, and instead of planes dropping bombs as in the Weyant image, there is an implication that Jews caused some type of destruction in the background of the Nazi image. I posted the Nazi propaganda image as a response to the Weyant propaganda and asked 'What is the difference?'
In response, Twitter suspended Quintero. "It's wrong. I wouldn't have minded someone on Twitter telling me my Nazi comparison isn't fair, or why it's wrong and very different from the Globe cartoon. But that isn't what happened. They just removed my point," Quintero said. "I don't care about not being on Twitter. But it terrifies me to have my voice silenced—by a company based in the US."
Meanwhile, The New York Times, which did not bother to recall the 85 schoolgirls recently killed in Afghanistan, published pictures of all the children allegedly killed during the latest clashes between Hamas and Israel.
The NYT story did mention that "Hamas and other militant groups fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli towns and cities indiscriminately." It also correctly stated that the Israeli air defense system had managed to stop about 90% of the rockets.
The article also noted that at least two of the children killed in Gaza may have been killed when Palestinian militants fired a rocket that fell short, and that one of the children killed in Israel, Nadine Awad, was Palestinian. "The low toll on the Israeli side also reflected an imbalance in defensive capabilities," NYT concluded.
All the same, the paper's pro-Hamas propaganda was deeply problematic in its evasive language. The authors of the op-ed, in expressing their sorrow over the fact that "most of the children who died were Arabs," in fact covertly confessed that they would be happier if most of the children who had died were Israeli Jews.
Would the West's underdog-nation romanticists feel better if Hamas rockets had killed 500 Israeli children instead of two?
Would the West's underdog-nation romanticists feel better if Israel's Iron Dome had failed, and Hamas rockets had killed 500 Israeli children instead of two? Is it really too hard to understand that 500 Israeli children were spared not because Hamas did not want to kill them, but because, as the NYT article pointed out, there is an imbalance in defensive capabilities? Is it Israel's sin to have built the Iron Dome to minimize casualties when it is threatened by thousands of rockets flying over its skies? ...
Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based political analyst and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.