“Dad, I killed 10 with my bare hands! Their blood is on my hands, let me speak to Mom. Please be proud of me, Dad.”
— Mahmoud, a Palestinian Hamas terrorist speaking to his parents on a victim’s phone during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel
Hamas, Iran and its proxies have stepped up their twisted propaganda campaign aimed at maligning the Jewish state and weakening worldwide support for Israelis. They are spreading insidious lies that are quickly parroted by major media without questioning the truth or intent of their narrative. It is vitally important to separate facts from fiction in this deadly battle, as Hamas and Hezbollah rockets continue to rain down on Israelis.
Some reporters and news organizations accept what the Hamas terrorist organization says at face value. It took days for international military analysts to correct the media that a failed Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket slammed into a parking lot next to Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, killing a fraction of the victims Hamas claimed. An Israeli bomb was not responsible. The New York Times belatedly issued a correction nearly a week later; other journalists, newspapers and media outlets neglected reality and moved on to the next story.
In these perilous times, when Israel is fighting for its very existence, it is vitally important that we not let lies and propaganda take hold. What follows is a list of the most commonly repeated falsehoods and the contrasting truth to help dispel myths and help when speaking with friends, colleagues and others.
DISPELLING FALSEHOODS, STATING FACTS
You might hear: The stories of the Hamas massacre are lies fabricated by Israel.
Reality: The stories of the Hamas massacre are proven by the videos recorded by Hamas terrorists themselves, as well as autopsies of the brutalized victims. There are Americans who are mirroring the rhetoric of Holocaust deniers, rejecting evidence about how Hamas butchered Jews. A man with his eyes gouged out. A woman’s breasts sliced off. A mother and child burned alive while hugging each other. These atrocities happened. Videos from Hamas terrorists show it and prove it.
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You might hear: Israel occupies Gaza. This justifies the attack.
Reality: Israel removed all of its citizens and settlements from Gaza in the summer of 2005. The only Israelis in Gaza today are hostages—from a 6-month-old baby to elderly Holocaust survivors—being held captive by Hamas. Gaza is an independent territory governed by the Iranian-backed Hamas.
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You might hear: Palestinians are not allowed to vote in Israeli elections.
Reality: Palestinians are supposed to be voting in Palestinian Authority elections. The last Palestinian election was held in January 2006. P.A. head Mahmoud Abbas, almost 88 years old, is in the 18th year of a four-year term. Hamas has ruled Gaza after violently removing the P.A. from power in 2007 and could have held elections at any time but didn’t. Hamas leaders prefer to subject their citizens to a dictatorship.
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You might hear: Gaza is an open-air prison, a concentration camp.
Reality: Hamas has been the independent government of Gaza since 2007, when it violently seized control from the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is free to build schools and improve the lives of Gazans, yet it chooses to divert most of its funds to buy concrete, fortify tunnels and build rockets. Any Palestinian suffering is caused by the terrorists that impose their will on civilians living there.
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You might hear: Palestinians do not support Hamas.
Reality: Many Palestinians indeed do not, but some Palestinians do support Hamas. The terrorist group won the Palestinian legislative elections in Gaza in 2006. Some Palestinians celebrated the recent mass slaughter by passing out candies and hitting the bodies of kidnapped Israelis paraded through the Gaza Strip.
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You might hear: Palestinians do not have agency—the power and resources needed to thrive.
Reality: Palestinians do have agency, but Hamas has never provided a better life for its citizens. The Palestinians receive more aid per capita than any country in the world, including $40 billion from 1996 to 2020. Arab and European countries have poured billions into Gaza, which have been used by Hamas to build bombs, rockets and terror tunnels.
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You might hear: Gaza does not have natural resources to grow its economy.
Reality: Israel overcame its lack of oil by investing in its people and technology, earning the nickname: the Startup Nation. Israeli ingenuity produced a variety of inventions from drip irrigation to the Waze navigation app. Israel made the desert bloom, and kept in place greenhouses and other valuable infrastructure when it left Gaza in 2005. Palestinian extremists destroyed the greenhouses and wasted the aid money they received.
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You might hear: Gaza is running out of food and medical supplies.
Reality: Hamas dug up water pipes to produce rockets instead of producing and securing food and medicine for its residents even though the European Union spent $100 million on water pipes in Gaza over a 10-year period. Hamas, though, is not running out of the rockets it keeps firing at Israeli civilians more than two weeks after slaughtering 1,400 Israelis and wounding thousands more.
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You might hear: Israel controls water in Gaza.
Reality: Yes, Gazans have been struggling and emergency supplies are now making their way into Gaza across the Egyptian border. In the current state of war, both Israel and Egypt are concerned about allowing in supplies that can be diverted and used by Hamas terrorists. As a case in point, Hamas recently filmed themselves digging up water pipes to build rockets instead of producing and securing food and medicine for its residents. The European Union spent $100 million on water pipes in Gaza over a 10-year period to help the Palestinians. Oddly enough, Hamas is not running out of rockets that it keeps firing at Israeli civilians more than two weeks after slaughtering 1,400 Israelis and wounding thousands more.
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You might hear: The Gaza Health Ministry reports or Palestinian officials say …
Reality: The Hamas-run Health Ministry is fully controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization. There is no way to verify the claims made by them. After the false reports on the hospital “bombing,” the Hamas-run Health Ministry immediately published the claim that 500 Palestinians were killed. How could the number of deaths have been determined in minutes?
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You might hear: The Palestinian news media and journalists are reliable sources.
Reality: Palestinian society does not have a free press, unlike Israel and America. Hamas terrorists intimidate journalists reporting from Gaza, influencing what the world is able to see. Immediate access to the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital would have shown that it was not directly struck by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that fell short. Many Palestinians also work as reporters or sources for international journalists. These Palestinians often have biases, including social-media accounts celebrating terrorism against Israelis.
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You might hear: Israel is responsible for providing aid to Palestinians living under Hamas.
Reality: Not only is Hamas responsible for providing aid to its citizens, but what explains the absence of Islamic countries that regularly boast of their support for the Palestinian cause? Egypt, which borders Gaza, refuses to allow a large number of Palestinians to seek shelter in the vast Sinai Peninsula. Jordan, which is a state with a majority Palestinian population, is also silent. Iran provides billions of dollars to fund Hamas but not the residents of Gaza. Leaders in these countries regularly slander Israelis and their people rally on the streets, but at the same time, they refuse to offer significant aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.
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You might hear: Israel intentionally targets schools, hospitals and mosques in Gaza.
Reality: Iran-backed Hamas intentionally builds tunnels under U.N. schools, locates their headquarters under a hospital and stores weapons in mosques—turning Gaza citizens into human shields. Israel goes to great lengths not undertaken by most other nations to warn Palestinian civilians. This includes sending messages to Palestinian cell phones and dropping alert fliers.
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You might hear: Hamas does not harm civilians, only soldiers.
Reality: Hamas intentionally targets civilians, both Israelis and Palestinians. Terrorists and their supporters claim that the group does not harm civilians and treats them humanely. A video showing Hamas terrorists caring for young children in an Israeli community—carrying a baby and feeding kids—with their parents clearly missing has circulated across social media. Now, Hamas has slowly begun to release female hostages. This is part of its propaganda war.
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You might hear: The Israeli Defense Forces are spreading propaganda.
Reality: The Israel Defense Forces shares facts. Israel has an independent press that is free to challenge any information shared by its military. There is no dispute about the horrendous atrocities committed by Hamas against innocent Israelis—raping women and girls, killing parents in front of their children and ripping out unborn children from the bellies of their mothers. Evidence confirming the brutality continues to come to light.
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You might hear: Palestinians are the only ones suffering now because they were forced to evacuate their homes.
Reality: About 250,000 Israelis have been forced to evacuate their homes on the borders with Gaza in the south and Lebanon in the north across dozens of communities. The Jewish state is taking precautions to protect its civilians from future attacks. Hamas continues to try to prevent Palestinians from leaving their homes so that they can serve as human shields for the terrorists.