(Warning: disturbing picture below the jump)
I want to be clear. The nation of Israel cannot expect God’s blessing and protection while it continues to reject His Son. They are not following the Lord and are not true friends to Christians. The nation is controlled by sinners who will do wrong, and have been doing wrong. I don’t trust them to do the right thing in every situation, and I don’t see any reason to assume they have done right in every situation in this conflict.
That said, they are clearly opposed by a very wicked organisation who loves violence and lies. If Israel intentionally targeted civilians, they could have easily killed 50,000 or more in a matter of days. Every Palestinian child that dies is a propaganda loss for Israel and they know it. Any intelligent person knows that, and the Israeli authorities are not stupid. They don’t want to kill civilians, and especially not children. Every death or injury of a Palestinian child is either inadvertent or the act of a rogue who is violating Israeli policy. It is very possible that Israel is not as careful as it could be, but anyone who tells you they are killing civilians intentionally hasn’t really thought this one through.
But Hamas intentionally targets civilians in the rockets they launch and the raids they’ve made into Israel. The BBC repeatedly reports the disparity between civilian casualties, citing only two Israeli civilian casualties, with the implication that Hamas doesn’t target civilians and Israel does. It is one of their little ways of putting a spin on the facts that simply won’t bear scrutiny, while still claiming that they are merely reporting the facts. And of course, they left out some of the civilian casualties, as the families of three Israeli teens, whose murders triggered the recent hostilities, would attest.
And the “Free Palestine” movement is using lies, which the Western media isn’t reporting. I saw this on Brian Ross’s blog, but verified it myself, and will give the links. If the truth about this should ever be widely reported, the picture will likely disappear, so I’ve taken a screen shot and put it here.
This is a screenshot of something posted four weeks ago on the Free Palestine Facebook page. I won’t give a hyperlink (I don’t want to boost their PageRank), but if you want, you can type http://www.facebook.com into your browser and put the following immediately after the .com (no spaces): /freepalestine.reistance/photos/a.231663833613382.49928.231625700283862/612710602175368/
Obviously, this is a picture of a Palestinian child targeted by Israel in the current conflict, right? It is showing how evil Israel is to be hurting and killing children. Except, it isn’t.
Note the date — 23 July 2012. This picture, being pushed as a dying Palestinian child in the current conflict (“From The Dying We Make Victory”), is two years old, a child injured in Syria. You can click on the picture to read the original article. It isn’t a photo of a Palestinian child injured by Israel in this conflict. “Free Palestine” is blatantly lying.
I grieve for the suffering of people on both sides in the conflict. But one does wonder just how much of the suffering is staged, how much of it is intentionally caused by Hamas (by turning civilian sites into war zones), and how much is completely manufactured, blatant lies like this one. “Free Palestine” put this picture up on their own site. 170 of their followers “liked” it, 69 shared it.
This is not a political blog, but Christians are concerned about what they see in the news. We don’t like to see suffering. But when we see someone is lying, we know they are trying to influence our thinking and our behaviour, and we ask why they find it necessary to lie. If your cause is just, you don’t have to lie, and when you blatantly lie, it causes any reasonable person to doubt your cause.
We’re being fed a stream of propaganda (which the BBC and other British media sometimes just regurgitate without scrutiny). Is Israel doing the same? Perhaps they would if they could get away with it. But if Israel used false photos like this one, does anyone doubt it would be exposed on the front page of the BBC web site? Sadly, this not only illustrates the dishonesty of the “Free Palestine” movement, it also shows that in some ways the BBC has become a wing of the Hamas propaganda arm.
Not all is as it appears. The press, the broadcasters, use visual images to stir our emotions, to elicit a particular response. But those images may be deceptive, and their purpose is not honesty or to motivate us to righteousness. They want to make us angry, but is it righteous anger if it is anger based on deception?
Whether it be over a conflict in the Middle East or something else, we should not trust that what we are seeing is at all reflective of what is really happening. That is especially true when at least one side of a conflict is willing to use all manner of deception, and when those reporting “the news” don’t scrutinise the deceptions, when they allow their biases to impact the way they report, when they portray fictions as fact, report only the facts that bolster their view, and/or represent true facts in a way that gives a false perception.
Note: Rev. Ross gave another even more disturbing example. A picture of an Israeli family, murdered in their home by Islamists, is being portrayed as victims of the Israeli military. The picture is too graphic for me to use, but you can find it on his blog on 27 July 2014, if you wish. (Unlike the one I showed, I have not personally verified that one.)