For the first day or two following the 7 October pogrom in southern Israel, there was much media coverage showing the grief, shock and outrage in Israel. Within days the coverage became sanitised, with some of the footage so disturbing it was removed.
Then as soon as Israel announced its two responsive actions; to free hostages and eliminate Hamas, the tide started to turn. As previously posted, the notion that Israel should defend itself is an anathema for many.
Amid several weeks of very nuanced reporting that provides a relentless narrative of Israel as an aggressor, the opinions of many people unfamiliar with Israel’s predicament are being influenced.
Israel is clearly being blamed for creating a humanitarian crisis. Amongst the many points to consider in connection with this allegation are:
- If there is a humanitarian crisis, then Hamas is to blame.
- Israel only provides a small amount of water (5%) to Gaza. Most of it comes from their desalination plant. The aid money provided to provide water has been redirected, to the extent that drainage pipes have been used to launch rockets. Similarly it has been well documented that there are fuel supplies in Gaza being withheld by Hamas.
- The statistics provided regarding the “death toll” are not verified and sourced from an untrustworthy terrorist organisation. There are more than 2 million people in the small area of Gaza. If Israel was committing genocide (as so many allege) and indiscriminately bombing the civilian population (like Hamas have been doing to Israel for years) then the toll would be so much higher. Israel would not be dropping warning leaflets or extending time for a target area to be cleared. Israel is evidently doing all it can to keep its focus on the elimination of terrorism.
It was this latter point that I tried to make on a comments page for an online article. My comment was rejected, alongside similar comments attempting to put some balance into the news coverage. It is more than frustrating when the truth gets distorted, withheld, omitted and on occasions completely inverted.
Within our Australian media there has been one very good medium, being News Corp’s The Australian. The extent of their coverage, the quality of their op-eds, and their leadership and moral clarity has been greatly appreciated. Especially in comparison to other news outlets.
Yet even The Australian has been caught in the trap of sourcing material from foreign news agencies that are often nothing more than a megaphone for Hamas.
Last Saturday there was an article by Indonesian correspondents about the Gaza Indonesian Hospital. Content that fell through the safety net of the Australian’s editorial review included quotes and views including the statement “Hamas fighters have never intentionally targeted civilians because they launch their missiles at Israeli military locations. This is different from the Israeli military which has been clearly targeting refugee camps throughout Gaza, public facilities, and even the Al-Mahdi Al-Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital.” The article also repeats the “ambiguity” narrative of the hospital libel by saying “Gaza’s largest hospital was hit last month by a rocket that both sides have accused the other of responsibility for.”
In that very same edition of the Australian was an editorial that concluded “clarity of leadership matters, and terrorism cannot prevail, nor can it be justified or sidestepped. It must be confronted with clarity, strength and purpose.” Many other op-eds talked about morality, courage, and political virtue.
The Indonesian article may have been a rare lapse of editorial judgement, but it still appeared, allowing us to suggest that the Australian may not be taking its own advice. In this war it is important to tell the truth, the whole truth and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH on each and every occasion.
We find ourselves in a situation where there is almost no visibility of what is happening in Israel. Missiles are still being fired, sirens are still blaring, large populations have been displaced, and the grief and trauma of bereavement and anxiety over the hostages is relentless.
Our television screens are only full of vision of Gaza, replete with allegations and inferences that Israel is murdering babies, enacting genocide, starving innocent civilians, rejecting humanitarian concerns.
That morally inversed narrative is significantly contributing the anti-Semitism that our Prime Minister Mr Albanese insists “has no place in Australian society”. Why does he not insist on the Truth ?
Each time content is produced and shared with incendiary language that flames the fans of hatred by portraying Israel’s targeted defence as indiscriminate aggression it has an impact. The media, without nuance, balance and objectivity are culpable enablers of anti-Semitism.
What is occurring in Gaza is deeply traumatic. Israel did not want this war, and shouldn’t have to put its soldiers at risk. But it should also not be blamed for a situation that is the making of Hamas. Every fair minded Australian would agree that if the crimes committed against Israel had occurred here on our territory that we would expect nothing less as a response from our own Government than to seek out and eliminate the terrorism.
Each time you see a media or press item that is not honest in content or context it needs to be called out. Anything less will continue the compounding effect of stoking ignorance and hatred against the Jewish people.