This will be an exceedingly difficult column for me to write because no matter how I phrase it, many readers will think I am trying to find a way to justify the Hamas assault on Israel, if only to provide some kind of counterpoint to the extraordinary pro-Israel bias demonstrated this past week by the Fake News.
But the issue as I see it is not whether Hamas was justified in attacking Israel and targeting as many civilians as possible in its assault. For me, violence is violence no matter who uses it and there has to be a better way. But that’s a given and not worthy of dispute.
The real issue is that we like to think of ourselves as an enlightened and informed population because we support a Constitutional ideal known as ‘freedom of the press,’ and if we are going to cloak the behavior of media within a Constitutional security blanket, the least the media can do is at least attempt to operate with a modicum of objectivity and respect for honest news.
Which has not been the case at all when it comes to how outlets like CNN, MS-NBC and the national networks have reported what has been happening in Israel and Gaza over the past several days.
The very first report I saw had a group of Hamas ‘terrorists’ attacking the ‘Jewish state.’ From that moment until now, every report has always referred to the Hamas attackers as ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’ and the Israeli defenders as ‘soldiers’ or ‘troops.’
Get it? One side is illegal and illegitimate, the other side is legal and legitimate. The latter wear uniforms and speak English, the former dress in hoodies and camo and have yet to be approached or interviewed by any media at all.
In fact, as of Tuesday night, I have yet to see a single report from any media representatives standing within Gaza, as if their access is somehow blocked or denied, even though nobody has reported that a news team from CNN or NBC has even attempted to enter this seemingly forbidden space.
I always thought the word ‘terrorist’ was used to describe an individual who committed an act of violence against a civilian population so as to make it difficult for that population to support its governmental agencies and authorities. In other words, terrorism is a strategy to undermine the legitimacy of a particular government by robbing that government of its ability to protect its subject population.
Want the best book ever written about terrorism? Try Franco Venturi’s Roots of Revolution.
Key to a successful terrorist strategy is going about both planning and executing the terrorist attacks in a covert manner because, by definition, the terrorists are committing a strategy which is illegal within the country where they intend to launch their effort to subvert or eliminate the current ruling class.
From the moment the fighters who crossed from Gaza into Israel appeared, they made no secret of the fact that they represented a formal, legal entity known as Hamas. This organization is a political party with identifiable leadership which has been the political and civic leadership of Gaza since 2006, an arrangement which, by the way, was acknowledged at the time by the government of Israel itself.
Now the fact that these fighters don’t wear uniforms like the uniforms worn by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) may make it convenient for Western media to refer to them as ‘terrorists’ or ‘terror brigades’ (I have heard the Hamas troops described both ways) but they happen to be a regular, military organization, albeit one whose strategies focus on unspeakable violence against non-combatant populations. But so what? Is anyone going to be so naïve as to believe that when Israel shoots rockets to tear down a Gaza apartment house which allegedly is a location used by Hamas ‘terrorists’ that Palestinian civilians are somehow never killed?
This morning I listened briefly to the AM shock jock because I want to get an idea of how the MAGA-GOP (which is how I’m going to describe the Republic Party from now on) will deal with this whole Israel-Gaza mess and the noisemaker was ruminating about a pro-Hamas rally somewhere which was allegedly organized by some LGBTQ group. And this asshole knew for a fact that sooner or later, Joe would cave and let the Hamas terrorists off the hook in order to preserve the coalition he is building for the 2024 campaign.
I would be quick to dismiss this shithead except that this narrative will result in the liberal media becoming even more committed to pushing the idea that there are good guys in the Near East and there are bad guys in the Near East, and we know which is which.
If you think the way the Fake News is covering the latest conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians for control of this slice of the world is appropriate, a conflict which has been going on since 1978, you can stick your head back into the sand because between Gaza City and Tel Aviv, there’s plenty of sand to go around.