Saturday, April 1st | 10 Nisan 5783

May 29, 2018 7:43 am

The Deadly but Simple Games of Hamas

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avatar by Roz Rothstein


Hamas leader Mahmud al-Zahar steps on an Israeli flag, with Arabic scrawled on it, as part of celebrations marking the 23rd anniversary of the Islamist movement’s foundation in Gaza City, Dec. 9, 2010. Photo: Mohammed Othman / Flash90.

Many feel that Hamas won the PR battle during the recent Gaza border violence. After all, more Palestinians died than Israelis — something widely reported in the international press. And nobody cared that, according to Hamas itself, the vast majority of those who died were Hamas operatives. The story is told very simply. Cut to the bottom line and don’t worry about the details: if it bleeds, it leads. So it was predictable that Hamas would win the PR battle.

But one fact should be gnawing at every single journalist who plays into the simple, yet misleading paradigm that the “side” that has more casualties should be portrayed as one-dimensional victims. That fact is the one thing that everyone should already know: Hamas openly states that its goal is to murder Jews and destroy Israel by any means necessary. Oh that. Right.

Apparently, many journalists forgot that the violence on the border was the result of Hamas living out their very clear mission statement.

The rockets fired into Israeli communities, the terror tunnels that Hamas continues to build, and lately, the aggressive attempts to breach the border fence in order to kidnap or murder Israeli soldiers and families living nearby are all for the same purpose and the same mission — to kill Jews.

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Hamas’ supremacist ideology promotes murder. Not in the future, but right now. It’s a living credo that informs their chants, their sermons, their lessons to school children, and their actions.

It’s very hard to ignore all of this hate and violence. And yet, far too many journalists consistently omitted this important information in their stories about the tragic loss of life in Gaza. They also omitted information about the way that Hamas continues to use its civilian population as human shields and propaganda bait.

And the more that Hamas “wins” the ink and attention of the media, the more enabled and encouraged that Hamas becomes, the more they try to fulfill their basic mission of murder, the more their own people will suffer and point the finger at Israel instead of Hamas. It is indeed a vicious cycle of violence.

Perhaps some day, journalists will be more honest in their coverage of Hamas and its self-destructive goals. Until then, we are doomed to read about how Israel intentionally kills peaceful protesters.

Roz Rothstein is the co-founder and CEO StandWithUs.

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