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Jordan Candler / May 15, 2018

Palestinian 'Demonstrators' Aren't Innocent Bystanders

Hamas is convenient cannon fodder, which explains the media's assigning blame for violence elsewhere.

By now you’ve probably come across numerous stories describing the dozens of Palestinians who were killed in recent days at the hands of Israeli defense forces. The U.S. embassy officially opened in Jerusalem yesterday, so it’s no surprise that the ceremony coincided with violent opposition from thousands of Palestinians. The New York Times describes the antagonists as “demonstrators.” Likewise, The Washington Post used the term “protests.” But neither term accurately reflects what is happening on the Gaza Strip.

As The Weekly Standard editorializes, “In ordinary English usage, a protest is a collective action or gesture meant to bring pressure on a government or corporate entity. The Gaza ‘protests’ are meant to bring pressure on Israel, but they’re intended mainly to kill and maim both Israelis and the Palestinian ‘protesters’ themselves. These demonstrations would be better described as suicide-riots.”

Imagine if Mexican officials encouraged illegal immigrants to wield weapons as they attempted to infiltrate the border wall near San Diego. That’s basically what’s happening in Israel. As the editorial explains, “For nearly two months, Hamas and other militant factions have been encouraging young Palestinian men to storm the fence separating Gaza from Israel. The rioters cut holes in the fence, charge Israeli guards with crude weapons like axes, and lob fire bombs over the wall in attempts to set Israeli fields on fire. Hamas has pledged to massacre those on the other side of the fence, and these riots are expressions of that intention. Israeli defense forces are obliged to respond with force.”

Death is unavoidable in such circumstances. And guess who gets blamed? The Israelis. “This is Hamas’s longstanding strategy,” opines The Weekly Standard. “The more Palestinian young men die, the more hellish the conditions of Palestinian neighborhoods, the more sympathy aroused in Western media.” On that last note, Erick Erickson,observes, “The media is a knowing accomplice in helping a terrorist group push out its propaganda.”

Hamas is a sinister group of Islamic terrorist provocateurs. But Hamas is also convenient cannon fodder, which explains the media’s sordidly empathizing with it and assigning blame elsewhere. When it comes right down to it, the Leftmedia and most Democrats believe that the Israelis lack sovereignty over Jerusalem. Therefore, their resentment extends not just to the Israelis but to Americans who join them in defending Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The headlines are replete with Palestinian deaths. But those deaths are self-inflicted. Israel’s restrained military might says enough.

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