Hamas Lied About Everything. And the media believed it.

It’s the Mideast equivalent of “Dog bites man,” but it took the media nearly a month to recognize its sheer obviousness: Hamas lies. Hamas lies systematically, instructing civilians to misinform the foreign press. It lies habitually, with a formidable record of mendacity from previous conflicts. And it lies guiltlessly, convinced that the objectives of ‘resistance’ supersede quaint notions of truth-telling. Nonetheless, since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge over a month ago, Western media have relied on Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry – as here, here and here – for casualty tallies. As one reporter told the Washington Post, when it comes to body counts, the Hamas Health Minister Ashraf Al-Qidra is “the only game in town.” For his part, Qidra has acknowledged that he considers any fatality who has not been claimed by an armed group as a civilian. And for its part, the Hamas leadership almost never admits its operatives have been killed – and instructs Gazans to do the same. Consequently, Qidra’s running total labels three-quarters of Gaza deaths as civilians. The result has been thundering condemnation of Israel for “indiscriminate” bombing. Hamas has taken a beating in its latest battle with Israel, but so too has media credibility.

Published: August 15, 2014
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