Why Do People Still Continue To Believe The Media Lies About Israel?

News Image By Robert Williams/Gatestone Institute July 06, 2024
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For months, Israel has refuted libelous claims of famine in Gaza, as international organizations -- especially the UN and the EU, the International Court of Justice and mainstream media alongside NGOs such as Human Rights Watch -- pushed the false, malicious narrative that Israel was causing famine in Gaza and even using it as a "weapon of war." Israel might have saved itself the effort. No one was listening.

"Starvation," claimed EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, "is used as a weapon of war. Israel is provoking famine." His words came after a UN-affiliated body, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (ICP) published a special brief in March claiming that hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza were already experiencing famine and that by July the figure would rise to more than a million.

"Famine is imminent" the IPC claimed. "1.1 million people, half of Gaza, experience catastrophic food insecurity."

The International Court of Justice based its March 28 order to Israel to increase the supply of humanitarian aid to Gaza on the IPC report. Israel was therefore met by a deluge of outrage and hate from the world community for supposedly causing this "famine."

In May, the World Food Programme (WFP) of the UN claimed, without a shred of evidence, that there was a "full blown famine" in Gaza.

Now, it turns out, it was all a big lie. There was no famine, there is no famine and Israel has not been using hunger as a "weapon of war":

In its report published on June 4, the UN's IPC concluded that famine was no longer even "plausible" and had no "supporting evidence." The UN has also admitted that until now there have only been 32 deaths in Gaza from malnutrition and 28 of those were among children under 5 years old. 

No one, however -- not the UN, or the ICJ, the NGOs or all the media outlets that magnified and distributed the lies -- has admitted that they were wrong. On the contrary, on June 18 the New York Times, claiming that Gaza "is facing extreme levels of hunger," continued spreading the lie.

The most recent IPC report, published on June 25, concluded that the supply of food to Gaza had, in fact, increased, not decreased, in recent months and that "In this context, the available evidence does not indicate that famine is currently occurring." '

By comparison, more than three million children in Sudan are acutely malnourished, and a quarter of a million are likely to die in the coming months. By the UN's own admission, the war in Sudan is "the war the world has either forgotten or ignored." The irony of that statement has clearly been lost on the UN, which is probably the main reason that Sudan - and other conflict spots - is ignored: the UN focuses almost all its resources on Israel and Gaza.

"About 222,000 severely malnourished children and more than 7,000 new mothers are likely to die in coming months if their nutritional and health needs remain unmet," the Nutrition Cluster in Sudan - a partnership of organizations including the UN, Federal Ministry of Health, and NGOs including Save the Children - recently concluded. Overall, 18 million people in Sudan face starvation. Evidently, no one cares.

The "made-up" famine is just the latest in a long string of fabrications demonizing Israel's military operations in Gaza, which over the last months have been exposed as lies yet have received zero coverage in the media. Predictably, none of the revelations has been widely published in the mainstream media or acknowledged by organizations such as the EU or the many NGOs which have been spreading the lies, such as Human Rights Watch.

Here is a selected list of some of the most exorbitant lies:

Israel is not allowing enough humanitarian aid into Gaza: This claim, based on a lie, was the ostensible reason for US President Joe Biden to build a pier in Gaza. According to UN Watch:

"Data published by both the UN and COGAT shows that as of April 4, 2024, approximately six months into the war, some 13,000 trucks of food have entered Gaza, which amounts to 272,000 tons of food, more than double the required amount according to the WFP. Moreover, while the total number of trucks entering Gaza since before October 7th has decreased overall, the number of food trucks entering Gaza since October 7th has doubled. At the same time, it appears that the UN lacks the logistical capacity to distribute the volume of aid entering. COGAT has repeatedly criticized the UN for failing to process all trucks entering the Strip in a given day."

Despite this situation, not of Israel's making, on June 18, UN human rights chief Volker Türk doubled down on the defamatory accusation that Israel stops humanitarian aid from entering Gaza. "The arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Türk outright lied. "This must end."

Israel has killed more than 37,000 people in Gaza, mainly women and children: For months the media has reported casualty figures directly from Hamas' propaganda machine, also known as the Gaza Health Ministry, which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) happily and uncritically publishes on its website on a daily basis. 

Why the UN is acting as a Hamas spokesperson is intriguing, at least officially, but nevertheless it seems the main source for journalists reporting on Gaza casualties. Those reported casualty figures were claimed to be extremely high from the beginning - currently at more than 37,000 - and almost always stated, according to Honest Reporting, that the overwhelming majority of the casualties, around 70%, were women and children. These numbers were unquestioningly parroted by everyone, including other UN bodies, the EU, the media, and self-described human rights NGOs.

Then, in early April, Hamas conceded that its numbers were "flawed." TFoundation for the Defense of Democracies wrote:

"The Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health said on April 6 that it had 'incomplete data' for 11,371 of the 33,091 Palestinian fatalities it claims to have documented. In a statistical report, the ministry notes that it considers an individual record to be incomplete if it is missing any of the following key data points: identity number, full name, date of birth, or date of death".

In early May, the UN effectively admitted that Hamas's casualty figures were untrustworthy, lowering the number of fatalities from roughly 34,000 to roughly 24,000 and reducing the alleged number of childhood casualties from 14,000 to around 7,800. According to the IDF at the time, 14,000 of those 24,000 were Hamas terrorists, meaning that the actual number of civilian deaths at that time was closer to 10,000.

"Civilians," in a Palestinian context, at any rate, are a complicated issue. For one thing, many so-called "civilians" took part in the October 7 massacres alongside trained Hamas terrorists, making them in effect equivalent to Hamas. In addition, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are known for their recruitment of child terrorists. In 2021, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on the "military wing" of Hamas to stop abusing children in its terror activities:

"I call upon the al-Qassam Brigades to cease the recruitment and use of children and to abide by their national and international legal obligations. I urge all Palestinian armed groups to protect children, including by preventing them from being exposed to the risk of violence or from being exploited for political purposes."

Hamas has been enlisting children under the age of 15 for decades. Hamas also runs military summer camps for children, where they train with the al-Qassam Brigades. According to Daniel Pérez-García, Researcher in the Radicalisation, Prevention and Security Area of the Research and Projects Department of the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies

"In addition to training in the handling of weapons such as the well-known AK-47, they are trained in the same way as the armed forces of a conventional army and in irregular tactics... Among other special training in asymmetric and irregular warfare, the armed factions of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad teach their youngest members to kidnap IDF soldiers... In the propaganda publications of both groups, it can be seen how the individuals in question are minors and how these methods are disseminated on digital channels such as Telegram..."

Finally, civilians play an active role in Hamas's war atrocities, not least as hostage keepers. The four hostages freed by Israeli forces recently were held in private homes, one of them owned by an Al Jazeera "journalist."

Israel is committing "massacres": Repeatedly throughout the war, Israel has been accused of committing "massacres." One such accusation was levelled at Israel at the end of May, after Israeli forces targeted senior Hamas terrorists in a precise strike, but inadvertently sparking a fire that killed a number of people in a nearby displaced persons' camp. The strike and the ensuing fire garnered enormous condemnation, with some calling it a "massacre" and the UN Security Council holding an emergency session.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres led the incitement against Israel, as the UN almost always does. "There is no safe place in Gaza. This horror must stop," he posted on social media. EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell declared that he was "horrified by news" of the strike; French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "outraged."

The precision munitions had targeted two terrorists. The IDF probe found that the munitions could not have ignited a fire of that size in the nearby encampment; most likely ammunition, weapons or some other material was stored in the area of the strike, which caused a secondary blast and ultimately the fire that spread.

The list of lies goes on, but the defamatory falsehoods, even when conceded by Hamas or the UN, continue to be spread as part of a fabricated, malign narrative about Israeli "war crimes" and "genocide." The lies keep being made up by Hamas and the terror organization's supporters, and repeated by a media that increasingly reveals itself as unprofessional and racist. The lies are never corrected, seemingly because doing so would completely destroy what the media apparently want you to have about Israel.

Large parts of the "elites" of the international community, including the UN, the EU, the media, and countless "human rights" NGOs, seem intent on aiding Iran and its proxies in their ambition to destroy the world's only Jewish state by perpetuating the lies and the false narratives. 

They then feign shock, when antisemitism reaches ever higher peaks, such as, most recently, the gang rape of a 12-year-old girl in France because she was Jewish. Hamas's tactics are now evidently being copied by adolescent boys on the streets of Europe. Evidently, no one cares.

Originally published at Gatestone Institute

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