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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A Taste of Hamas... Propaganda

- Letter to the Birmingham Mail, 8.6.2010

DR from Redditch is quite simply wrong about the Israel-Palestine conflict (‘Have Your Say’, Tuesday). Israel does not ‘launch indiscriminate air and missile attacks’ on the Palestinian population. It never has. It has always used precision weapons which, nevertheless, can and do go wrong. (Why hasn’t it obliterated its enemies yet? It could do if it wanted.) Remember, this is a war with Hamas. And in war, civilians die. And it doesn’t help that Hamas almost always hides behind civilians or in civilian buildings, such as schools, hospitals, and even kindergartens. There is a vast amount of evidence which shows this; some of which has come from organisations which are otherwise anti-Israel. The reason for this is that Hamas, and sometimes even the civilians themselves, will deem the civilian dead to be ‘martyrs’ if they die in what they call ‘jihad’. That is partly the reason why Hamas does not distinguish between Israeli citizens and its armed forces. It says that Israel is a ‘militarised society’ and that ‘all civilians are potentially part of the Israeli military’.

As for the Israelis ‘refusing to allow the influx of sufficient aid’ through’. That is wrong too. It is weapons which Israel does not allow through - not aid. You soon realise this when you surf the internet and see the numerous pictures of Gazans in well-stocked shops and markets, luxuriating on the beach, driving around in flash cars and so on. I am not saying that all Gazans ‘have got it good’. Full stop. However, the Hamas propaganda machine, which is relied upon by many Western individuals and even by Western journalists, simply must paint the Palestinian situation as being desperate in order to score political points against Israel. Not only that, when is Hamas itself going to start to build hospitals, provide bunkers and jobs? Or will that spoil a propaganda campaign which is based on Palestinian suffering?

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