These past two weeks have provided a wonderful opportunity to examine the way the winds are blowing when it comes to European media’s reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While the Palestinian provocation organized along the Israel-Gaza border fence in which dozens of Palestinians were killed starred in news broadcasts, on news sites and on the front pages of newspapers, the Palestinian provocation of firing dozens of rockets at Israel from Gaza was given marginal coverage, if at all.
For the Europeans, if there are no Palestinian casualties, which are presented as a sacrifice on the altar of the war on the Jewish state, then there is no reason to report what is going on. The few reports on the latest escalation in the south blamed Israel, directly or indirectly. The headlines focused on Israel Defense Forces’ airstrikes in Gaza, and only later noted, almost incidentally, that the attacks were in response to Palestinian rocket and mortar fire.
The Palestinians are portrayed as the weak side in a conflict they themselves started. They are just firing mortars, which seemingly cause very little damage and don’t kill anyone, while Israel send out its powerful air force and rains fire on a population already suffering from a “total blockade that has lasted a decade,” as France 24 put it.
Treating the blockage on Gaza as the source of the Gazan people’s problems is a symptom of the way in which most European media chooses to spread false propaganda information, and thereby increase the suffering of the population of the Gaza Strip, while turning a blind eye to those mainly responsible for that suffering—the Hamas regime and the rest of the jihadist militias—and casting Israel as the sole cause of the Palestinians’ troubles.
This divisive product, which has already become tradition in the European media, corresponds perfectly with the documentary reports and films that have been broadcast in Europe these past few weeks to mark 70 years since the nakba or “catastrophe” (the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence). They hold that the establishment of the State of Israel is the only cause of the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians. The Palestinians apparently have no responsibility for or influence on their own future. They are absolute victims. Victims of the Jews, of course.
The left-wing liberal newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which has a considerable circulation and a major influence on public opinion, has not refrained from anti-Semitic cartoons in the name of “legitimate criticism” of Israel. When the Palestinian “return” marches began, the newspaper’s correspondent in Israel wrote a great deal about the suffering of the Palestinian population, which, she claimed, stood behind the border protest. The reporter refrained from noting that the purpose of these protests was to implement the Palestinian “right of return”—in other words, a planned breach of Israel’s sovereign territory, or that the residents of Gaza prefer to channel their protest towards Israel rather than the Hamas regime.
On Wednesday, the German paper published a one-sided report about the Hamas rocket attacks, which was about as brief as its reports on developments in the investigation against Sara Netanyahu or the arrival in Israel of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The Europeans hear almost nothing about the constant threat of Palestinian rockets and mortars that hangs over the heads of Israelis who live near the Gaza border because if they did, it might damage the European propaganda line that the Palestinians are hapless victims being killed for no reason by Israel.