It is always heart-rending to see the suffering of civilians, and particularly that of children, in war zones. Most coverage, however, does not deliberately attempt to make propaganda out of it, and very few newspapers support that propaganda making. The quality media do not intrude, unless of course they are invited to do so, and rarely in order to act as propagandists for one side or the other.
Not so the Guardian which, like CiF, seems very willing to adopt that role. The Guardian itself, with its usual one-sidedness and eagerness to vilify Israel alone in the conflict, posted a video which painted that suffering, without any context and without any mention of the role of Hamas in exacerbating it. No comments were allowed after the article, which in itself speaks volumes about how badly the Guardian copes with criticism of its approach, but note how the Guardian translates the seated woman near the beginning of the video as saying “Israelis” when she is really saying “yahud,” which means “Jew” in Arabic. It seems that either the Guardian cannot distinguish between the two or does not want to admit that Hamas-inspired hatred of the “Zionist entity” is, in fact, hatred of her Jews.
The video was typical of what we have come to expect from Guardian reportage about Gaza. I have little doubt that children and families suffered. However, not mentioned (and the record cannot be put straight there since no comments are allowed to the article) is the deliberate contribution to and exacerbation of that suffering by Hamas, which the media, including the Guardian, reinforced by its mindless coverage which was often entirely lacking in curiosity about context.
We know that Hamas deliberately embedded itself among civilians, in schools and in private houses during Cast Lead, and that it used its own people as human shields. It launched kassams against civilians in Israel from playgrounds in which it deliberately encouraged children to play. These kassams are indeed rudimentary but they were still capable of doing damage. Sometimes they exploded during manufacture (and innocent people were killed because they were manufactured in private homes) or on their launch pads. Ordinance was stored among civilians in direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions.
Since the Guardian has not given people the opportunity to do so, I believe that we should remind their readers who come here of the context of the trauma to those Palestinian children and who is primarily to blame for it. As Col Richard Kemp has said war is by its very nature chaotic and mistakes happen in it. I am not trying to excuse any alleged excesses on Israel’s part, which are under investigation.
I have written previously about the plight of Gaza’s children, which has been deliberately brought about by Hamas and is equally deliberately made use of to further Hamas’ anti-Israel propaganda. The Guardian’s and CiF’s role in aiding and abetting and, as we see, lying by omission about this, is inexcusable. Worse, Hamas deliberately continues inculcating young children into its own culture of death and hatred, but the Guardian and CiF studiously ignore this. In the same article I described at length the psychological manipulation of little children by Hamas, so as to undermine their entirely natural fear of violent death, thereby ensuring the supply of the next generation of Islamist terrorists from Gaza. I also wrote about the probable psychological effects on these children of witnessing Muslim on Muslim violence in Gaza, as a result of Hamas’ violence against Fatah.
This, then, is the context into which the video should be placed, but which the Guardian deliberately ignores.
I have no doubt that the children of Gaza display the psychological symptomology described in the video. I repeat, however, that the video makes no attempt to tell its audience about the effects of over eight years of continued shelling on the children of southern Israel (see also here and for a more detailed account of the psychological trauma of the citizens of Sderot, see here and on the children of Sderot, here ). In this, and true to form, the Guardian portrays the Gazans as the only victims of Cast Lead and reinforces their victimhood by lying by omission again and again when it chooses to paint Israel as the archetypal villain.