As readers of this blog will know the Western media has done sterling work over the years to suppress any news and images of atrocities committed by Hamas in Gaza. So when a video and multiple photos emerged last work of the public lynching of six Palestinians accused of being 'Israeli collabroators' I was wondering how long it would take for the apologists to explain that actually this was all Israel's fault. It was no surprise that the London Evening Standard - of which some half-million copies are handed out free - came to the rescue of Hamas (they have form as being a Hamas mouthpiece). The 23 November issue has a massive 2-page spread to 'fnd out what drives young Palestinians in Gaza to kill six informers and tow their corpses around the street' . Nabila Ramdani 'investigates' "The real story behind this brutal picture". And you do not need to read all the article to see what that 'real story' is because it is stated in large print by the side of the photo:
"Expecting Hamas to respond to Israeli expansion and aggression with anything but ruthlessness is ridiculous."
And what kind of in-depth 'investigation' has Nabila Ramdani conducted to discover the 'truth'. She relies on somebody called Eman Shakir, a 24-year-old law student who grew up in Gaza City but who actually lives now in Paris. Quoting Shakir, Ramdani confirms:
"You only have to look at the pictures taken this week of young children lying on slabs in makeshift morgues to realise what Hamas is responding to. As Israel carries on with its killing, and continues to ignore demands for a proper Palestinian homeland, people have no option but to turn to Hamas.”Ramdani makes no attempt to inform readers that those pictures (with the exception of one which was of a baby killed by a Hamas rocket) were actually from Syria.
And Ramdani displays her own clear biases and ignorance throughout the article with comments like:
"the kind of targeting of Arab civilians seen in Gaza this week had to be met with further bloodshed ..."Funny how less than 40 civilians were killed from Israel's assaults if they were targeting civilians and even funnier how there is no mention of the real targeting of 3 million Israeli civilians by Hamas.
"Many (Gazans) are disaffected young men like those pictured on the motorbikes — the kind who have known nothing but unemployment, poverty and subjugation to an enormously powerful, American-backed enemy"Note the casual attempt to delegitimize Israel by portraying it as nothing more than an American puppet, while ignoring the incredibly powerful backing from Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia and now Egypt that Hamas receives.
So she is either under the impression that Israel is still occupying Gaza, or that is was Arabs and not Jews who built the communities of southern Israel like Sderot. What she certainly ignores is the FACT that Palestinians in Gaza now occupy houses and land built, developed and lived in by Jews who were forcibly expelled in 2005.
"..many of the Israeli communities based on land once filled with Palestinian houses just 20 miles from Gaza City ..."
The Standard's entire coverage of the Gaza conflict is perfectly captured by the fact that every day they have published a diary/report from Hamas sympathiser Kim Sengupta 'in Gaza' which focuses purely on telling the story of the 'human agony' suffered by Palestinians, with headlines like "We wake on a quite morning and go out to see the destruction". There has been no attempt to balance this with any human stories from Israel.
The Standard also had a report on 23 Nov headlined "Israeli soldiers open fire on Palestinains at Gaza fence" without giving any indication in the story itself that this was a mob of 300 Hamas supporters - some armed - who actually were trying to break through the border to attack Israelis (incredibly, a fact which even Hamas has this morning admitted).
p.s. I have submiited a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. Don't expect anything out of it - as per last time - but at least it ensures someone at the Standard has to respond.
I also note that the online story actually no longer has the same headline or the major quote highlighted (maybe even the editorial morons at the Standard realised that this was taking Hamas propaganda a bit too far).
Update 26 November 2012: The Daily Mail reports that the lynched Gazans were Al Qaeda members who threaten Hamas's grip on Gaza rather than 'Israeli informers'.
Update 29 January 2013: As a result of my complaint to the Press Complaints Commission the Standard has published a letter by me.