The papers and media are full of the news that Israel has killed a Hamas leader in the Gaza. Why did this happen? Where did it come from? Is it not yet another example of the blood-thirsty Zionists doing their worst?
If you read most of the British media that may well be what you think. After all there has been barely any previous mention in the British papers of the massive escalation in rocket fire into Israel in the last month or the even swifter escalation this week. Certainly no British paper or broadcaster has come close to giving these attacks the front-page publicity they grant to Israel’s response today.
Nobody much bothered to report that in October alone, 116 rockets and 55 mortar shells were launched against Israel in 92 separate attacks. It is such a dull daily occurrence that no one any longer bothers to report the fact that the citizens of whole towns in Southern Israel have to rush to bomb shelters – on land that is indisputably Israeli – several times a week at best and many times a day at worst.
Since the beginning of this year more than 800 missiles and mortars have been fired at Israel. Since last Saturday, when Hamas terrorists fired an anti-tank missile into an army jeep Israel, injuring four Israeli soldiers, more than 120 missiles have been fired at Israeli civilians by terrorists in Gaza. Israel has now responded to random targeting of civilians with the targeted killing of a terrorist.
Yet because of the way in which this is reported, many decent people will once again come away with the idea that it is the Israelis who have started this latest round of blood-letting. Whatever atrocity Hamas carries out next will be portrayed as a response, regrettable or otherwise, to Israeli provocation. Thus the British media ends up legitimising terrorism and demonising an ally which is behaving with more restraint than this country would in the face of such barbarism.
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.