Friday, May 18, 2018

  • Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Matti Friedman in his New York Times op-ed talks about Hamas' ability to use the media to tell an anti-Israel story:

Most Western viewers experienced these events through a visual storytelling tool: a split screen. On one side was the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem in the presence of Ivanka Trump, evangelical Christian allies of the White House and Israel’s current political leadership — an event many here found curious and distant from our national life. On the other side was the terrible violence in the desperately poor and isolated territory. The juxtaposition was disturbing.

The attempts to breach the Gaza fence, which Palestinians call the March of Return, began in March and have the stated goal of erasing the border as a step toward erasing Israel. A central organizer, the Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar, exhorted participants on camera in Arabic to “tear out the hearts” of Israelis. But on Monday the enterprise was rebranded as a protest against the embassy opening, with which it was meticulously timed to coincide. The split screen, and the idea that people were dying in Gaza because of Donald Trump, was what Hamas was looking for.
In The Forward,  Lisa Goldman pretends to destroy Friedman's argument this way:
In fact, the May 14 demonstration was planned and announced many weeks ago. The date was chosen to coincide with the eve of Nakba Day, the day on which Palestinians mark their exile 70 years ago from the land now called Israel. It was not, as Friedman writes, chosen to coincide with the inauguration of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
Why would the Great Return March organizers have chosen the eve of Nakba Day, and not Nakba Day itself?

A little research shows that the original date of the climax of the riots was indeed May 15, not May 14:

Al-Monitor, April 18:
Despite the protest organizers noting specific dates for the "Great Return March" — from Land Day, on March 30, to Nakba Day, on May 15 ....
+972, March 30:
Thousands of Palestinians are protesting in Gaza near the border fence with Israel on Friday. The protest marks the beginning of the “Great Return March,” a 45-day series of events planned to culminate on May 15, Nakba Day.
Middle East Eye, April 4:
In the Gaza Strip, where 1.3 million of the territory’s two million inhabitants are refugees, protest organisers have called for six weeks of demonstrations called the "Great March of Return" along the border of the besieged Palestinian enclave and Israel, starting on Land Day and culminating on 15 May for Nakba Day, marking the displacement of Palestinians by Israel in 1948.

The organizers did originally plan to protest on Tuesday as well, and Friedman is correct that the Monday protest was timed to coincide with the US Embassy opening. I couldn't find any announcement of May 14 protests until after the US Embassy opening schedule was publicized.

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said this pretty explicitly:
I must emphasize a great strategic goal accomplished on May 14. Our people in Gaza recorded, for the whole world to see, their testimony over the transfer of the United States embassy to Jerusalem and the declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the occupation entity.
The Monday protest did its propaganda job so well that they canceled the protest that was meant to be the culmination of the entire Great Return March! When have Palestinians ever canceled a demonstration before?

This is hardly the mot objectionable part of Goldman's article in The Forward. She claims that every single Gaza death was civilian even after knowing that 88% of them were Hamas members in civilian clothing when she says "Israel’s population is four times that of Gaza. Imagine the reaction if 240 Israeli civilians were killed and 10,000 wounded in a single day in a military attack. Just the thought is unbearable." Her entire premise, that blaming Hamas for Palestinian deaths is "racist," is undone by the knowledge that IDF snipers somehow managed to shoot around the masses of civilians and hit the small  minority of disguised terrorists.

But this just shows how easily and willingly the anti-Israel "journalists" are willing to lie for their cause.





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