CNN on Saturday published an article entitled “Protests in support of Palestinians expected across the United States,” which was not so much a piece of reporting on those protests, but a free advertisement for them, complete with a case for why you should participate in your local orgy of Jew-hatred. Writes Robert Spencer
First the Associated Press was exposed sharing an office building with Hamas in Gaza, which meant either that they were aware of Hamas’ activities and covered for the terror group, or didn’t know Hamas was there and are therefore the worst reporters in the world. And now comes more confirmation that what we are told are news organizations are actually propaganda arms not only for the Left’s agenda, but for the Palestinian Arab jihad against Israel. CNN on Saturday published an article entitled “Protests in support of Palestinians expected across the United States,” which was not so much a piece of reporting on those protests, but a free advertisement for them, complete with a case for why you should participate in your local orgy of Jew-hatred.
It doesn’t start out too badly: “Protesters are expected to rally in cities across the United States this weekend in support of Palestinians, as Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire ending days of destruction and bloodshed.” But immediately after that comes the staple of establishment media reporting on Israel and the Palestinians: the casualty count. “Since May 10,” CNN claims, “Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 243 people in Gaza, including 66 children, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health. Twelve people in Israel, including two children, died as a result of militant fire from Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces and Israel’s emergency service.”
Oh, hey, that’s bad: 243 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed versus only twelve Israelis. The clear implication of CNN’s framing of the story here is that Israel responded in a disproportionate manner to the rockets Hamas fired into Israel, and indiscriminately bombed Gaza without regard for the lives of civilians. Reality is quite different. In the latest conflict, Hamas followed its longstanding practice of launching attacks from civilian areas so as to draw retaliatory fire that would harm civilians and be usable for propaganda purposes. This launching of attacks from civilian areas has been abundantly documented, even by the unflaggingly anti-Israel United Nations. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted Thursday: “It’s not easy fighting a terrorist organization that embeds its military infrastructure in civilian areas. We use the latest military technology to precisely strike Hamas targets, while minimizing damage to the surrounding areas.”
Also, casualty figures can be severely misleading. 419,400 Americans were killed in World War II; over five million Germans were killed. Does this mean that Nazi Germany had the moral high ground, and the United States was in the wrong? Of course not. But CNN presents the figures without any information on Hamas’ use of human shields. It mentions that use only as an Israeli accusation, without any mention of the UN’s findings: “Thousands of protesters gathered for rallies last weekend, stretching from New York to California. Protesters showed support for Palestinians and accused the Israeli government of using disproportionate force and bombing densely-populated civilian areas indiscriminately. The Israeli government has accused Hamas of launching rocket attacks from those population centers.”
It gets even worse. Switching briskly into free advertising mode, CNN continues: “Samidoun, an international network of organizers and activists working to support Palestinian political prisoners, has published a growing list of global protests planned for this weekend, which it continues to update. As of Friday, it highlighted more than 40 events on Saturday and more than 15 on Sunday in the US.”
CNN’s description of Samidoun is quintessentially propagandistic. The Daily Caller reported Monday that Samidoun is “designated as a terror organization in Israel,” and that it “helped organize ‘days of resistance’ protests across the U.S. in August 2020 where some participants carried the flags of Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Both groups are designated as Foreign Terror Organizations by the State Department.”
Then come the testimonials: “Nader Mirfiq, 33, participated in a protest in New Orleans, Louisiana, last weekend. Mirfiq told CNN he wanted to help ‘open people’s eyes worldwide on the injustices happening in Gaza and in Palestine.’ ‘This is about being human beings and fighting for what’s right,’ he said. ‘We want justice and we want it now.’”
As if that weren’t enough, we also get “Adil Abbuthalha, who attended a protest in Sacramento, California,” who “said the marches gave him hope for a just and peaceful resolution to the decades-old conflict. ‘The unity we saw, regardless of religion or ethnicity, it speaks volumes for the people in Palestine,’ Abbuthalha, 23, said. ‘They are starting to see their voices being heard, and change is around the corner.’”
That’s it. Not a single pro-Israel voice. Not even a quote from Hamas Political Bureau member Fathi Hammad, who said recently: “People of Jerusalem, we want you to cut off the heads of the Jews with knives. With your hand, cut their artery from here. A knife costs five shekels (about $1.50). Buy a knife, sharpen it, put it there, and just cut off [their heads]. It costs just five shekels. With those five shekels, you will humiliate the Jewish state.” Then he added a quotation from the Qur’an: “‘You shall find the strongest in enmity towards the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists [5:82].’” Hammad declared: “The Jews have spread corruption and acted with arrogance, and their moment of reckoning has come. The moment of destruction at your hands has arrived.”
Instead of this, CNN gives us “This is about being human beings and fighting for what’s right” and “We want justice and we want it now.” Nothing about $1.50 knives to cut off the heads of Jews. That wouldn’t fit CNN’s narrative. And that means it doesn’t exist.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.