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Monday, September 26, 2005

The media's love affair with Hamas

As a followup to yesterday's media circus, with hundreds of articles breathlessly reporting Hamas' latest lie that they will stop all attacks from Gaza, there was another statement from a Hamas spokesman yesterday:
“We decided to participate in the elections as part of our legitimate struggle against the occupation”, Al Masry said, “Resistance is a legitimate and strategic right, Hamas will not disarm
Even more explicitly, Hamas' leader Mahmoud A-Zahhar described in a recent interview the true goals of Hamas, going way beyond the destruction of Israel to the establishment of a pan-Muslim state throughout, presumably, the entire areas ever occupied my Muslims (probably including Spain):
TML: What is the final goal of Hamas?
A-Z: If you ask any Palestinian or Muslim, wherever he lives – in America or in Britain or in Indonesia – he would tell you that according to the religious point of view, this land is part of the Arab and Muslim nations. This means, that there is no other option but to reunify this land once again.

TML: What is 'this land' that you are talking about? Are you talking about the whole of Israel?
A-Z: I understand where you are headed, and I will answer you. First of all this Palestinian land, and all the Arabic nation, is all part of the same area. In the past, there was no independent Palestinian state; there was no independent Jordanian state; and so on. There were regions called Iraq or Egypt, but they were all part of one country. That is why it is not permitted to [agree to] establish separate countries, which was the case after the Sykes-Picot Agreement [1916]. Our main goal is to establish a great Islamic state, be it pan-Arabic or pan-Islamic. Therefore, it is not allowed to establish an Arabic state over the land of Palestine alone. Also, remember this land is still occupied. To sum up, the Islamic and traditional views reject the notion of establishing an independent Palestinian state. The European example is clear. Europe's history is filled with wars and blood. Its races are varied, its languages are varied, and nevertheless it established the European Union. The Islamists' view, which Hamas adheres to, is that a great Muslim state must be established, with Palestine being a part of it. Within this state, Israel has no place – its history is different, its language is different, its religion is different, its culture is different, and its security and political affiliations are different. This is the view of Hamas movement.

Why will the mainstream media never place as much importance on Hamas' aggressive statements as on its lies?

There are a couple of possibilities:
1. "Man bites dog" - it is not news when Hamas acts like terrorists, so their statements are not "newsworthy." This would be true, if the media indeed makes it clear in their other articles mentioning Hamas what kind of a record Hamas has in terror and breaking previous "promises" The media's failure to mention this context in Hamas-related article shows that this is not the reason.

2. Liberalism. The liberal media cannot philosophically accept the existence of evil third-world people, and holds that everyone is inherently good, and only circumstances make them do bad things. (Somehow, evil capitalists and Republicans are a given.) So naturally they will trumpet the news that fits their worldview and softpedal the news that contradicts it.

3. Wishful thinking. Related to #2, this is that the media reports the news that they hope is true, rather than the news that is true.

Either way, we are stuck with MSM that will report the news through their less-than-truthful filters, and this results in casual news consumers thinking that a liberal, open, democratic Israel is the aggressor and that Hamas and Fatah are legitimate freedom fighters.