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Gaza 2014: International media in the service of Hamas

Gaza 2014: International media in the service of Hamas

Skewed reporting and newsroom bias served the interests of the Hamas propaganda machine.

On August 2, 2014, in the middle of the Gaza conflict, we ran the A.F. Branco cartoon that is the featured image to this post.

It’s a fitting occasion to revisit the media bias that frames the international view of the 2014 Gaza conflict, as the fourth in our series looking back at our coverage. Our first three posts were:

As before, we are focusing on revisiting our contemporaneous coverage.

The international media is extremely sensitive to discussions of its bias, so much so that when, in June of 2015, the Israeli Foreign Ministry produced a comical short cartoon video poking fun at international media bias, the international media blew a gasket. The Foreign Ministry took down the video, though it was captured by others:

Was this unfair to the international media?

No, it was very fair, though overly simplified (just like the media’s coverage of Gaza). Our posts from the summer of 2014 reflected the media bias.

In that conflict, the media played a key role in covering up Hamas use of civilians as shields:

For example, this tweet exposing Hamas’ use of Gaza’s main hospital, Al-Shifa, was deleted:

nick casey deleted tweet

As was this article by a Palestinian journalist about his interrogation down the hall from the operating room in the same hospital:

Liberation Magazine You must leave Gaza Shifa Hospital removed

Liberation Magazine You must leave Gaza Shifa Hospital

Hamas bragged about its intimidation of reporters:

Hamas Spokeswoman Intimidate Reporters Gaza

This Finnish reporter accurately reported rocket fire from near Al-Shifa, but then complained when people reported about her report.

http://youtu.be/Nu-e5qWXx-k

It is noteworthy that although there is a mountain of evidence of Hamas using hospitals as cover, this Finnish reporter was the only, or one of the only, to do a broadcast from the location.

Another reporter disclosed how Hamas staged a blast scene it caused to make it appear Israel was at fault — but he only made the disclosure, in his words, when he was out of Gaza and far away from Hamas:

CAMERA discovered a Wall Street Journal reporter coming to the same conclusion as the Italian reporter, but then deleting the tweet:

wsj tamer el-ghobashy deleted tweet

The reporter later claimed he deleted it because it was speculative.

And that’s how it went. Key disclosures were not made, or deleted. An those that were made, were made only after reporters left Gaza. But by that time the narrative set by Hamas through the media had been set.

For example, this report by NDTV was released only after its reporters left Gaza:

And that was the problem.

It’s not that there was zero reporting, it’s that Hamas intimidation of reporters made such reporting the exception, rather than the rule, and pushed that reporting to an after-thought.

https://twitter.com/Nehemia_G/status/500701447994871808

In an after-assessment, the Foreign Press Association in Israel (and not an organization that shrinks from criticizing Israel) decried Hamas’ “blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods” to intimidate journalists.

The result was an almost total lack of on-the-ground media coverage of Hamas’ war crimes, with the coverage of casualties caused by Israeli responses to Hamas rocket fire.

Without the first part of the equation — the use of civilians and civilian structures — the second part of the equation was out of context. It allowed anti-Israel propagandists to make ridiculous claims that Israel deliberately tried to kill civilians.

Reporting from Gaza thus served a critical role in the Hamas propaganda machine.  An al-Jazeera reporter was so valued by Hamas that when the final ceasefire was announced, he was lifted on shoulders in thanks:

The role of reporters on the ground was amplified by more traditional media bias against Israel in the form of selective framing of the conflict, including unquestioning acceptance of Hamas casualty reports claiming few military combatant deaths.

So yes, the international media did serve a critical role in the Hamas war machine.  International pressure resulting from civilian casualties is a critical part of the Hamas war plan, but reporting how Hamas was responsible for the casualties by hiding behind and among civilians would harm the narrative. And reporters, and the media generally, thereby became complicit.

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Comments

The next time around I hope Israel uses a non-nuclear EMP on Gaza. It would kill all vehicles, all communications and all electricity. No pumped water. No food. No nothing. Israeli columns could race to the coast in 15 or 20 minutes. Al Shifa hospital where Hamas has its war command could be surrounded. Kill any thing that moves. Those won’t be the patients on gurnnees. The point is to capture all of Gaza and imprison all of Hamas. This can be done, but who do you put in charge? The PA? Not a good choice either. Perhaps you just keep it as a captured territory and try to de-radicalize it. I don’t know. But with Hamas gone things have to improve.

I apologize for breaking the thread I notice that no one goes to Sam Dubose thread .I caught a position marker foot where Tensing landed.There is a White signpost in left side of road appx 25 ft up from Sam’s car to the silver car on hill. When Tensing falls out of car there the sign shows when he is falling and when he rises up you see the top of the sign.Also this corresponds to appx 25 ft forward and across the other side of lane This also corresponds with Tensing being 45 degree single you see when he looks at the silver car visually much closer to that car .He walks out and starts running he passes car in 5 seconds , which could not have been done if he shot him at original position appx. I am surprised some more media outlets have done more with this info that is out there

Sorry 45 degree angle not single spellchecker is a bit…. if you don’t catch it .Some in’s showed as on’s. I apologize tired. Hit post instead of preview

    Great comments in context of this article? 😉 Ok, so they’re not so great after all, especially in context!

    What’s the matter, GoDaddy’s site down today? And, these comments just had to get out now?

    When are you going to cover the missing 18-minutes on the Oval Office tapes?

As do radical islamists, fellow-traveling leftists hate liberty and Jews

No surprise the corrupt leftist news media participates in this fraud.

The real surprise is that so many Jews are leftists.

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