Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.
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At least seven Israelis have been killed in shooting and stabbing attacks perpetrated by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs over the last several weeks, and dozens more injured. No formal effort to coordinate the attacks has emerged, and the spate of violence has the hallmarks of a popular uprising rather than an organized set of terrorist operations. Palestinian leaders in the West Bank, led by Fatah, and the Hamas regime in Gaza have offered full-throated praise for the attacks, and urged people to continue perpetrating them. However, with Hamas all but sidelined amid violence taking place exclusively outside Gaza, the organization’s leadership has decided to remedy their shameful non-involvement by exploiting the international media’s knee-jerk attitude that faults Israel for violence: they announced a plan this morning to implement a program under which parents in the Gaza Strip will stab their children, then point the finger at Israel for perpetrating the murders.
If implemented, the program will represent a step beyond the customary Palestinian use of noncombatants as human shields. Previously, Hamas strategy involved placing women and children in or next to military positions likely to be attacked by Israel, either to deter such attacks or to capitalize on the resulting civilian casualties by claiming that Israel indiscriminately kills them. The new policy will test whether Agence France-Presse, AP, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian, The New York Times, and other media outlets continue to uncritically parrot Palestinian claims of Israeli brutality and culpability even when the killings are committed by Palestinians.
Testing the boundaries of media complicity in the propaganda became an option, said Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar, when blatantly false versions of the ongoing attacks were repeated in some of those media. “It is one thing for Ma’an, which is run by Fatah, to insist that Sunday’s bomb attack on the Jerusalem-Maale Adummim highway was just a car fire, despite ample video evidence,” he explained. “We expect Palestinian media to invent eyewitnesses who say the stabbings were self-defense, or that there was no stabbing at all, and the alleged stabber was executed in cold blood – that’s par for the course. What we didn’t expect is for supposedly respectable, objective Western media to give equal weight to Palestinian propaganda even as Israelis were being attacked. That phenomenon made us realize we might be able to push the boundaries even further, and not actually have to provoke Israel into actions that harm our children in order to reap the benefits of their doing so.”