scorecardThe media is ignoring the true culprit of the unprecedented violence in Gaza
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The media is ignoring the true culprit of the unprecedented violence in Gaza

The media is ignoring the true culprit of the unprecedented violence in Gaza
PoliticsPolitics3 min read

palestinian protests gaza Jerusalem embassy

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli troops during a protest on the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Monday, May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians are protesting near Gaza's border with Israel, as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

  • More than 50 Palestinians have been killed protests along the Gaza border as the US announced the move of its embassy to Jerusalem.
  • Media reports chastising Israel for these deaths ignore the true culprit, Hamas.
  • The White House on Monday said the blame lies solely with Hamas.

The media narrative on Monday pointed to a poignant dichotomy unfolding in Israel and Gaza.

On one side were the Israelis, elated that at last, the US government lived up to its 23-year-old promise to move its embassy to Israel's capital city, Jerusalem. On the other side were Palestinian protesters who ramped up their activities along the Gaza strip and, as a result, were targeted by the Israeli army with increasing intensity.

The headlines were explicit and one-sided in their portrayal of the latter:

  • "Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem," read a headline in the New York Times, as if Israel arbitrarily decided to kill innocent people because the US opened an embassy in its capital.
  • An ABC headline: "Over 50 Palestinians in massive protest are killed by Israeli military, bloodiest day in Gaza since 2014 war," might have reasonable people wonder why a democratic country would kill people purely for protesting.

Countless other news platforms had similar headlines, which were followed by stories that chastised Israel for its use of deadly force. Many took particular issue with the fact that Palestinian children have been hurt in the melee.

But absent from the commentary that children have unfortunately been among the injured and dead are questions about how they ended up at the border. On that question, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the extent to which Palestinians have glorified violence and martyrdom - and the extent to which the terrorist organization Hamas has organized the "protests."

There isn't a country in the entire world that would tolerate this kind of activity at its border. There are Israeli towns one mile from Gaza, and flaming kites sent over the border - at least one that was emblazoned with a swastika - have already set fire to Israeli warehouses and fields.

It's hardly a secret what these types of actors plan to do should they be allowed across the border. They have thrown not just rocks and flaming kites but Molotov cocktails - and attempted to plant a bomb. These individuals are not simply seeking the right to march through the territory they believe is theirs. This is not about a peace-loving cabal looking to hop the fence.

"We are excited to storm and get inside ... whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones," The Washington Post quoted one of the "protesters," 23-year-old Mohammed Mansoura, as saying.

And the role Hamas as an organization is playing in the violence should not be underrated. The Washington Post reported that organizers of the protest went so far as to tell the people protesting "to burst through the fence," because "Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions," when in reality, they were reinforcing them. Critics of Israel say that they do not care about Palestinian lives, but it is Hamas that continuously endangers them.

It's likely to get worse on Tuesday - on Nakba day, or "the day of the catastrophe" - when Palestinians mourn the establishment of the state of Israel and the ways in which their lives changed as a result.

Israel's Channel 10 has reported that Palestinian sources have indicated that on Tuesday, armed Hamas members will shoot at soldiers and attempt to kidnap one. Should they succeed, much of the media will likely run with the headline: "Israeli soldier has audacity to show up to Nakba day ceremony uninvited."