Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Hamas attacks Israel, gets shock

(Last updated: May 31, 2018)

On Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 80 rockets and mortar shells into Israel from Gaza (arutz sheva).  These rockets and mortar shells were aimed almost exclusively at Jewish civilians in Israel. These rockets didn't land all across Israel. They were concentrated on Jews living in Southern Israel.

In less than one 24-hour period beginning early morning May 29, 2018, the IDF recorded more than 165 air raid siren alerts, mostly in southern Israel (timesofisrael). During that 22 hour period, at least 110 shells fell on Israel (ibid). Most of the other sirens went off because of heavy machine gun fire coming into Israel from Gaza. 

By noon, May 30, 2018, it seemed probable that, once the final tally of shells fired was completed, perhaps as many as 200 projectiles had been fired into Israel from Gaza (timesofisrael). That was a significant, telling number.

This probable 200 rocket total for May 29-30, 2018 is consistent with the highest Hamas rocket days from the 2014 Gaza-Israel war. According to at least one source (jewishvirtuallibrary), Israel hasn't seen this many incoming rockets and mortars on a single two-day period since then.

During that 2014 war, Hamas fired more than 100 rockets and mortars into Israel on 10 of the war's 50 days. This includes more than 412 rockets and mortars fired into Israel on the war's first days, July 8-9-10, 2014 (ibid).

Since that war, the two highest daily rocket totals have been no where near a hundred-rocket day. The single highest daily totals since 2014 were 12 rockets (on November 30, 2017, from Hamas) and 10 (fired into Israel by Syria on June 24, 2017) (ibid). When other rockets have fallen into Israel during the last 45 months, it was usually just one or two per day, for no more than 4-6 days a month (ibid).

A hundred rockets/mortars a day is a war-time number for Hamas. The attack of May 29-30, 2018 was, in other words, a real-life reminder of what war with Hamas feels like. This has been especially true for Jews living close to the Gaza border.

They've taken the brunt of those rocket attacks.  

As of noon, May 30, 2018, the IDF reported it had not simply absorbed these attacks. It had retaliated. It had sent 65 separate airstrikes (jerusalempost) against Hamas  positions in Gaza. It appears from news reports that these 65 airstrikes took place in the exact same 22-28 hour period when Hamas was firing its rockets/mortars into Israel.

It was, to use a famous expression, deja vu all over again: a real war between Gaza and Israel.

Then it was over, as quickly as it had begun: an hour after daylight, May 30, 2014, Egypt appeared to have brokered an uneasy ceasefire (timesofisrael). By 9 pm Israel time that night, that cease-fire seemed to be holding.

This attacks/retaliation cycle, if stopped for now, was both short and intense. Both sides acted aggressively. Both sent a message to the other.

The Hamas  message was pretty simple: it still had the desire to shoot rockets at Jewish civilians. Israel, meanwhile, sent three messages. 

The first message was that it would strike back even harder than it had in 2014, if Hamas started again to fire rockets at Israel. The second message was that any retaliation would be extremely quick--and, it would be precisely targeted. There'd be no twelve hour delay while Israel figured out what to do. Their retaliation would come quickly, even at times, almost instantaneously.The third message was, Israel knows a lot more about the Hamas war infrastructure than Hamas imagined. It knows exactly what to attack.

In addition to these three messages, Hamas also got a shock. It learned that the propaganda value of the six-week Hamas-sponsored fence riot at the Gaza-Israel border, which had just ended May 15, 2018, had almost no shelf life. 

Hamas had used those fence riots to elicit an international round of sharp rebukes and condemnations against Israel. They got what they wanted: as pictures of the rioting spread around the globe, the world condemned Israel.  

It was all part of the 'Hamas tradition': start a fight with Israel, get clobbered, then wait for the world to blame Israel.

This time, however, it didn't work. Hamas gained no positive propaganda advantage here, from this rocket attack against Israel. The anti-Israel condemnations Hamas had harvested at the fence rioting didn't get repeated here.

What happened was unexpected. Just hours after Hamas began firing its rockets at Israel, the most powerful and influential nations in the West didn't rush to Hamas' aid. Those nations didn't blame Israel, as they had so often in the past. 

They didn't condemn Israel this time. They didn't threaten Israel with censure. This time, they condemned Hamas.

In what might well be a first, 10 nations and institutions came to Israel's aid. They expressed outrage at Hamas, not Israel.

It was a startling turn-around. In the context of past attacks against Israel, Hamas had every reason to believe it could provoke another round of Israel-bashing from its (Hamas') rocket-fire. But that didn't happen.

Worse, these condemnations against Hamas didn't come from a group of small or insignificant players on the international stage. They came from some of the biggest players (and from some of the Palestinians' best friends)--the EU, UN, UK, France, Ireland, Germany, US and Italy, each of which supported Israel, not Hamas (timesofisrael, timesofisrael). Austria and Canada joined them (haaretz).

There is no way Hamas could have expected that. The outrage against them must have been a shock.

Is that why Hamas called for a cease-fire--because its gambit to get Israel demonized (something it had done so well in the past) had suddenly here backfired so badly? 

Stay tuned. The Hamas anti-Israel propaganda war isn't over.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Anti-Israel wolves ignore UN condemnation of Hamas rocket attacks

Can a wolf change its habits?  For that matter, can the anti-Israel/pro-Arab mainstream media around the world print an anti-Arab/pro-Israel news story?

The short answer to both questions might be, no.

Take a look at a story that broke this morning in Israel: Gaza terrorists launched multiple rocket barrages into Israel beginning early today, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Almost immediately, the UN condemned that attack.

This specific UN condemnation had to be newsworthy. It wasn't a dog bites man story. Such a story is too commonplace to get printed as news. This UN story was a man bites dog story. It was newsworthy.

The UN typically condemns Israel whenever fighting breaks out between Israel and Hamas. Now, suddenly, the UN was blaming Hamas. 

Didn't matter. The world's anti-Israel mainstream media has a narrative to peddle: Arab is innocent victim--always blameless. Israel is brutal oppressor--always to be blamed. Only stories that pass this narrative requirement get printed. 

This UN condemnation of Hamas didn't pass the test. Israel didn't get blamed. 

No doubt, that's why it didn't appear in most mainstream media headlines. 

Indeed, even as the story appeared here in Israel, Hamas still got a 'kid-gloves' treatment. The rockets didn't come from Hamas, we read. The rockets didn't even come from terrorists. They came from the softer, less aggressive reference, 'Palestinian militants'  (timesofisrael).

Who in the mainstream media outside Israel reported this UN condemnation? By suppertime in Israel, there weren't many news outlets that mentioned it.

In England, the BBC reported that the UN had condemned this attack (here). But the BBC story made a reader wait until the 18th paragraph to find out the UN had made this condemnation--if a reader read that deeply into the story. 

The Daily Mail (UK) reported the UN condemnation (here). But the reader had to get to the 13th paragraph to get that information--if he read that far.

The Telegraph (uk) only went so far. It didn't say anything about any UN condemnation. It reported only that the barrage from Gaza was 'widely condemned' (here)--in the seventh paragraph. 

In Israel, the reader learned in the very first paragraph about the UN condemnation (timesofisrael). The reader then got more details about what the UN said in the fourth paragraph.

That seems to have been it for news about the morning's UN condemnation. No paper in USA--by noon, May 29, 2018--found it important enough to publish anything about it (I couldn't get behind some newspaper paywalls). 

The anti-Israel news industry has set its anti-Israel animus into stone. It's not budging. 

The Jewish Israel will always be wrong. It's a nation that will always be cursed.

That could be a problem. But it won't be a problem for the Jewish Israel.

In nature, wolves can and do change their habits. It's called adaptation. It's how a wolf can survive.

The anti-Israel wolves we see every day in the news world are no different from their real-world counterparts. If they don't change, they won't survive. 

If they don't begin to speak of the existential threat Israel faces, they will begin to lose their audience. If they continue to reject the religious nature of this conflict, they will disappear.

It's a big question: can the anti-Israel wolves change? 

Don't bet on it.

Monday, May 28, 2018

More peaceful protesters killed by IDF; plus update

There have been few international headlines since last week condemning Israel for killing more innocent and peaceful Gazans. That's a curious thing because the killing hasn't ended.

Why is that? More important, why hasn't the world's press continued to cry more of their crocodile tears over the newly killed Gazans?

The world's liberal press cried so loudly over supposedly cruel Israeli behavior for almost seven weeks. Now, they've stopped?

Listen, if you think Israel is done killing 'innocent, peaceful' Gazan protesters, you're wrong. Israel hasn't finished.

The killing hasn't stopped. It's ongoing. Do you know why?

The killings haven't stopped because the attacks haven't stopped. Those Gazans are still coming 'peacefully' to the border fence--only now we all know they're not carrying 'we want peace' signs. They're carrying knives, cutters, incendiary devices and guns (see below). 

They haven't stopped trying to get into Israel. They still want to kill Jews. They haven't given up.

Yesterday, according to at least one source, Israeli soldiers killed three more of those 'innocent, peaceful' Gazans. 

Where are all the humanitarians who spent the better part of last two months demonizing Israel? Where is their outcry?

Perhaps there's no outcry because those so-called humanitarians know that those three Gazans killed yesterday weren't so peaceful after all (here). It appears they had just planted an IED (improvised explosive device) at the Gaza fence (ibid). 

Why, suddenly, do humanitarians fall silent? Why, suddenly, do they see these incidents as different from what they saw over the last 6-7 weeks at the fence? Why stop calling these attackers 'innocent' and 'peaceful'? 

Has it suddenly gotten a little too embarrassing to call these Gazans 'peaceful' and 'innocent' only to have a Gazan official identify them as Hamas operatives (here)?

Do these humanitarians now fall silent because they realize the truth can hurt their reputations if they lie? 

Don't get your hopes up. Israel's war against liars, hypocrites and the morally bankrupt isn't over. It's just begun to heat up.

UPDATE: As I prepare to post this piece, a news report  appears: a rocket alert  has just sounded in the south, near Gaza, and "heavy machine gun fire from Gaza" has hit vehicles and at least one house in an Israeli community near the border with Gaza ("Bullets hit building and vehicles in Sderot", arutzshevanewsbriefMay 28, 2018, 8:26 pm, Israel time).

Will the hypocrites, liars and morally bankrupt who demonize Israel crank up their headlines to urge 'both sides to show restraint' and to 'warn Israel not to  start a new war'? Stay tuned. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The cartoon view of Iran --from Israel

 Political cartoonists often capture a political reality--or a widespread political belief--with a drawing.  Sometimes, those drawings are worth reprinting.

Here are two such worthwhile examples--at least, worthwhile for some of us. Both cartoons below are from Arutz Sheva. Both focus on Iran, an enemy of Israel almost close enough to touch.  Both suggest a political truth---at least for Israel.

Both appear to be by a cartoonist calling himself Dirough (my transliteration of the Hebrew word, דירוג.

The first cartoon is from this week, May 27, 2018.  It suggests what US President Donald Trump has really done to Iran by cancelling US participation in the 2015 Obama-brokered Nuclear Deal. 

Needless to say--given all of Iran's threats to annihilate Israel--many of my neighbors here in Israel agree with the sentiment of this cartoon. They hope the sentiment here
will soon become reality.

This cartoon needs no explanation. It speaks for itself:

The second cartoon for today from Israel is also from Arutz Sheva. If my calculations are correct, it comes from early-mid April, 2018, about a month before Trump announced the US exit from the Nuclear Deal--at a time when speculation was growing over what would happen to Iran's nuclear--and missile--ambitions if Trump did indeed cancel the Deal (here).

Therefore, this cartoon is also about Iran. It's about what some in Israel felt was happening in Iran while many around the world claimed the Deal was fully working to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. This cartoon also does not need an introduction--or explanation. It, too, speaks for itself:

That's one look at today's news from Israel. Have a great week!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Israel's Foreign Ministry: clueless in Jerusalem

A report has appeared in Israel's news marketplace: Israel's Foreign Ministry representatives around the world were on the job during the Gaza fence riots, we have been told (Ralph Ahren, "Israeli diplomats dominated media during Gaza riots, Foreign Ministry says", timesofisrael, May 23, 2018).  During the more than six weeks of Gaza border riots that began March 30, 2018, Israel's Foreign Ministry says, our overseas diplomats didn't stand around just gawking at all the anti-Israel headlines they saw. Those overseas officials got in front of news cameras. They defended Israel. They gave more than 160 press appearances world-wide (ibid).

Certainly, it is good to hear that Israeli Ambassadors, Deputy Ambassadors and spokespeople for overseas Diplomatic Missions were not barricading themselves in their offices while their home country was getting trashed in local (overseas) news accounts. It's good news that our country was defending itself. It's good news that we were telling our side of the 'Gaza fence riot' story.

But when you look at the details surrounding these 160+ press interactions, the news isn't so good. The details suggest that Israel failed to defend itself properly.

The numbers tell the tale. We have no reason to doubt that Israeli officials gave more than 160 news appearances around the world. But those 160+ appearances were spread  across six+ weeks of sometimes daily anti-Israel news reports and condemnations. Were 160+ press appearances enough to blunt all the anti-Israel headlines?

 Dig deeper into the numbers. Here's how often Israel presented its story in one of the most anti-Israel environments--Europe. First, less than half the Missions there reported to Jerusalem that they interacted with the press at all (only 17 of 35 Missions told Jerusalem they'd had press interactions.18 reported no interactions at all) (ibid). That's not good. Second, these 17 Missions held a total of 69 press interactions (ibid).

That's not good, either. It's appalling.

The article above (timesofisrael) seemed to suggest that this (69 press interactions) was a strong showing for Israel. It might have been, especially if in the past the number of overseas Israeli press interactions was, by comparison, much lower. 

 But the nasty truth is, 69 press interactions in Europe wasn't nearly enough to  blunt the flood of anti-Israel headlines. The Gaza riots--and the anti-Israel headlines those riots generated each week-- lasted more than six weeks. For Foreign Missions to defend Israel in a powerful way, you'd expect each Mission to get to the press--in one way or another, through radio, TV, newsprint and online outlets--at least four times a week every week. 

Ask anyone in the public relations business how many times a client facing a hostile public has to beat its drum to sell its side of a controversial story. How many times does a client have to fight back when he's looking at 4-6 days per week of hostile headlines and news reports?

Those 17 Missions in Europe conducted a total of 69 press interactions for the entire six+ week period. That's just about four interactions per week--for the entire 17 Missions. 

That's less than one interaction per week per Mission! The math is stunning: 0.677 interactions per week per Mission times 17 Missions times 6 weeks equals 69 total press interactions. 

To compete against the kind of repeated hostility Israel faced then and still faces in Europe, it should seem obvious that Israel should want to see at least four or five headlines per week per Mission to defend Israel, not less than one-per-week-per-Mission. 

The strategy should be simple: for every day a Mission sees a hostile headline, it should get its own press interface so as to answer that headline, to present Israel's story.  

If each of the 17 Missions in Europe got to the press four times a week, that would add up to a total of 68 press interactions (17x4) each week in Europe. The riots lasted six+weeks. So, 68 weekly press interactions times six+ weeks, adds up to more than 400 pro-Israel press interactions for the full six+ weeks, not the 69 interactions reported.

Given the hostile environment Israel faces in Europe, 69 interactions over six weeks doesn't make the grade. The pro-Israel statements made by our Diplomats would more than likely have been drowned out completely by the number of headlines bashing Israel.

North America is also a hostile/somewhat hostile environment for Israel. How did the Israeli Missions do in North America? 

According to the timesofisrael report, Israel has 13 Missions in North America. Across six+ weeks of those Gaza fence rioting, Israeli Missions in North America held a total of 31 press interactions (ibid). This adds up to app 5 press interactions per week--for all 13 Missions. That adds up to app 0.4 press interactions per week per Mission. 

Do the Math. 0.4 press interactions per week per Mission times 13 total Missions times 6 weeks equals a total of (app) 31 press interactions. As Israel was facing headlines screaming 'bloodbath' and 'massacre', it seems completely unprofessional to average less than 1 press interaction per Mission per week--and expect to win the PR war against North America's anti-Israel zealots. 

Om May 23, 2018, the timesofisrael printed a second story about Israel's PR effort during those six+ weeks (Judah Ari Gross, "Israel lost the PR battle over Gaza. Was it unwinnable or just mismanaged"). I don't know if this PR battle was winnable. But it certainly seems to have been grossly mismanaged by Israel.

No one in Israel should be boasting about such an amateurish effort. Compared to those who demonize us, we are still in a PR kindergarten. Apparently, the Foreign Ministry still doesn't have a clue how defending ourselves works.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The world of lies vs G-d's treasure

(Last update: May 22, 2018)

In the early 1970's, the celebrity journalist Hunter Thompson wrote, "...there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms" (Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing: on the campaign trail '72", Popular Library Edition, 1973, p. 48). That was more than 45 years ago. We no longer speak about journalism with such cynicism.

Today, we are far beyond 'no objective journalism'. With the reporting we have seen regarding the recent May 2018 Hamas-sponsored rioting at the Gaza-Israel fence, we have  even gone beyond last year's favorite journalistic trope--'fake news'. Today, journalism has become --purely and simply--all about lies.

How else do you describe last week's headlines about 60 Palestinians killed during those fence riots on May 14th? What was reported had nothing to do with truth.

The facts told a gruesome story: Hamas officials had sworn to use these riots to kill Jews (see the Daniel Greenfield source, below). Hamas had also said the riots--intended to rip out Jewish hearts--would be 'peaceful'. 

Nobody wondered aloud how 'ripping out hearts of Jews' and 'peaceful' went together. Nobody cared to know.

World headlines--and UN officials--preferred a simpler approach: Israel was killing innocent civilians. Report-after-report repeated that lie. 

Now, just after those 60 had been killed at the fence on the 14th, we got  some truth. A Hamas official said in a TV interview that 85% of those killed that day were Hamas operatives (here).

One inference to be drawn from this claim was that Israel had been right all along--that the riots were 'war against Israel by other means'. The 'peaceful' stuff was a lie.

Did journalists care that Hamas itself had just revealed the truth, that its intentions were to get terrorists through the fence? No. 

The Hamas revelation was simply ignored. The world of news and professional journalism had already made up its collectively anti-Israel mind. To hell with truth. The riots were peaceful. The riots weren't riotous. 

Hamas helped these journalists. The same Hamas official who had revealed that the 50 of those 60 dead on May 14 had been part of Hamas had also said these operatives hadn't been armed (ibid). 

Did any journalist or major news editors ask for any evidence from Hamas to support that claim? No. No one asked. 

Where was the proof these 50 Hamas operatives were not armed? No proof was offered.

No proof was necessary. You see, when it comes to the Arab-Israel war, the accepted journalistic standard these days is, if Hamas says it's true then, by golly, it's true.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights added his own "High" anti-Israel opinion. He condemned the "appalling, deadly violence" in Gaza. But the High Commissioner for Human Rights didn't blame Hamas for those deaths. For the UN, those deaths had nothing to do with Hamas terrorists intermingling with civilians and, using those civilians as human shields, trying to break through a border fence to get into Israel with hand grenades, molotov cocktails, knives, butcher cleavers and hand guns in order to attack and kill Jews. Why in the world would anyone anywhere even suggest such a thing?

Rather, the UN High Commissioner followed the lead of the 'journalists'. He ignored the fact that these 50 Hamas operatives were terrorists. He suggested instead that they were innocents who had been killed by an appallingly evil Israel (Bill Chappell, "With  60 killed in Gaza, UN Rights Commissioner criticizes Israel", npr, May 15, 2018--here).

That's certainly how NPR reported the news that day. NPR, always the eager propaganda shill for Hamas, saw nothing wrong with such a characterization.

Pro-Israel advocates, meanwhile, displayed an unusually sharp outrage at such blindly vicious anti-Israel characterizations. David Weinberg couldn't believe how insane the headlines were. His vocabulary was singular: is, he wrote (here), unmitigatingly maddening to see the West succumb to Hamas' lies. He was infuriated that the West, so supposedly committed to human rights, should be so willing to ignore Hamas' murderous intentions against Israel.

David Collier (here) spoke of how the West has been basically silent in the face a truly genocidal Arab-Arab war in Syria that has so far killed 500,000 people and, at the very same time, appear so loudly on the verge of collectively tearing up because some 50 Hamas terrorists had been killed while cynically using their own citizens as cannon fodder for covering terrorist attacks against Jews.

Daniel Greenfield was, in my estimation, livid as he described, with some sarcasm, how the Gaza fence riots have been treated by the West. Referring to how the West has repeatedly reported the rioters as peacefully demonstrating, he wrote (here):

Hamas supporters in Gaza held the world’s first peaceful protest with hand grenades, pipe bombs, cleavers and guns. Ten explosive devices were peacefully detonated. There were outbursts of peaceful gunfire and over a dozen kites carrying firebombs were sent into Israel where they started 23 peaceful fires. And Israeli soldiers peacefully defended their country leaving multiple Hamas attackers at peace.
"We will tear down the border," Hamas Prime Minister Yahya Sinwar had peacefully vowed. (here) "And we will tear out their hearts from their bodies"...
The Hamas mob chanted, “Allahu Akbar” and the genocidal racist threat of, “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud," a reference to the primal Islamic massacre of the Jews".
The world and the UN couldn't report often enough how the rioters at the Gaza border fence with Israel were really peaceful civilians, completely unarmed. The accepted gospel was, these people were just demonstrating their rights to express their free speech in peace and dignity (see the Richard Kemp reference, below). But that was a lie. 

You can read more about that lie from Stephen Flatow (here), Richard Kemp (here), Jonathan Tobin (here) and Adam Levick (here), among others who have been angered by such reporting. 
On the holiday of Shavuot we have just celebrated, we read of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish nation. As HaShem prepared to give His Torah to us, he declared, " will be to Me the most beloved treasure of all shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation"  (Shemot, 19:5--6).
Hamas rejects this idea. Hamas sees the Jewish nation as filth, not holy. Apparently, the West prefers to stand with Hamas, not Israel.
Clearly, it's not a far stretch to suggest that the West sees nothing holy or treasured about the Jewish nation.
Stay tuned. This Western support for what Hamas believes, does and wants, will not be forgotten. 
If you wonder what that means, do yourself a favor. Read the Jewish Tanach.
It's all there.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Those peaceful Gaza fence demonstrations

Since the end of March, 2018, there has been violent rioting along a fence that separates Gaza from sovereign Israel. The riots occurred, on schedule, each Friday between March 30, 2018-May 11, 2018, inclusive. 

Hamas, which organized the rioting, termed these weekly 'gatherings' a 'March of Return'. Hamas claimed that, by the time the riots ended, Gazans would be walking through the Israeli border fence and 'marching' to Jerusalem.

No 'March of Return' occurred. Only border fence riots occurred.

The riots attracted weekly crowds ranging from 7,000-40,000+ Gazans. These participants were conveniently gathered, organized and bused to the chosen riot sites. The bus rides were free. According to Israeli sources, those who brought their families to the riots were paid for coming. 

The rioting didn't stop with the seventh Friday, May 11th. It kept going, Saturday the 12th through Tuesday, May 15th. 

May 15, 2018 was the rioting high-point. It's a special day, May 15th. It's 'Nakba Day'.

Nakba Day is the 'day of catastrophe'. The first 'day of catastrophe' occurred in Israel's 1948 War of Independence. As you may remember, that war began when Arabs initiated a war of annihilation against the newly reconstituted Jewish Israel. 

The Arabs lost that war, badly. Ever since, they celebrate that catastrophe every year. Each year, they blame that catastrophe on the Jews.

Arabs who call themselves 'Palestinians' might be the only people in history who have created a day each year to rage against a lost war. These Arabs do not rage against the Arab leaders who betrayed them by leading them into this catastrophic war. They rage instead against the victims they failed to kill.

On Nakba Day 2018, 'Palestinians' were raging. The numbers of rioters at the Gaza fence swelled to 40,000+. The number of Arabs dying at the fence skyrocketed. 

During the full seven weeks of rioting before May 15th, a total of some 58-60 Arabs died during the riots (Hamas' numbers). On Nakba Day alone, another 60 died.

 According to Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza with an iron, totalitarian-religious fist, these 'demonstrations' would be 'peaceful and non-violent' (Khaled Abu Toameh, "Hamas calls for peaceful 'March of Return'", timesofisrael, March 29, 2018--here). Mainstream media (msm) around the world picked up on this description. 

Over the course of the  next seven weeks, despite decidedly unpeaceful rioting, msm didn't alter a letter of this description in its news reporting: the rioters were peaceful, these reports suggested, just as Hamas had said. 

The narrative was simple. The protest was peaceful. The Israeli soldiers on the Israel side of the fence, however, were not peaceful. They, that narrative said, were killers.

The world's mainstream media, along with diplomats and national leaders, saw no reason to question such an image. 

Using the Hamas-inspired story-line, human rights organizations denounced the violence at the riots. The violence they denounced wasn't the violence of the rioters. It was "the killings by Israeli forces of dozens of Palestinians and injuries of thousands exercising their right to peaceful demonstration" [emphasis mine] (here).

The killing of Palestinians began with the first riot, on March 30, 2018. That day, 16 Palestinians (of app 30,000 demonstrators) were killed by Israeli soldiers guarding the Israel-side of the fence. These soldiers were indeed vigilant because a Hamas leader had come to the riot that day and declared that those 'besieging' Gaza (the Jews of Israel) needed to be careful because the people of Gaza might be ready to 'eat their (the Jews') livers' (here).

Israelis did not view this metaphor as peaceful. The world, however, did.

The world reacted with 'concern'. The EU expressed 'concern' that Israel was using "lethal force for crowd control" ("EU expresses concern over Israeli use of live fire for crowd control", timesofisrael", April 4, 2018--here). The United Nations admonished Israel that "demonstrations must be allowed to proceed peacefully [emphasis mine]" ("UN expresses concern as Israel, Gaza gird for fresh Friday violence", timesofisrael, April 5, 2018). --here). Others, including the UK, Germany and France followed suit.

But were these 'demonstrations' really peaceful?

In case you might have forgotten what a peaceful demonstration looks like, here are some images of  'peaceful' demonstrations (see more here):

Greeks flood Thessaloniki seafront to protest FYROM bid to be called 'Macedonia'. About 500.000 people protested in front of the statue of Alexander the Great. Thessaloniki, Greece. January 21 2018

Occupy Central protest movement in Hong Kong royalty-free stock photo

Thousands Junior doctors protest in London royalty-free stock photo

Now, take a look at those 'peaceful' Gaza fence demonstrations (the first picture--Israeli soldiers watching fires at the  Gaza fence--is from Getty images; the second is from EPA;  third photo is from reuters. The last picture--showing Palestinian flags with a Swastika flag--is from the IDF:
          Israeli soldiers walk amidst smoke from a fire in a wheat field near the Kibbutz of Nahal Oz, along the border with the Gaza Strip, on May 14, 2018

A Palestinian protester throws stones at Israeli troops during clashes after protests near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza Strip

Palestinians throw rocks during protests in Gaza (credit: Mohammed Salem/ Reuters)
Palestinian flags flank a swastika in the midst of smoke during protests in Gaza

Can you tell which of the above protests are peaceful and which is marked by violence? Is it really that difficult to discern the difference? (Continue  below)

To understand how Hamas defines the 'peaceful' nature of these riots, here is a 'March of Return' compilation of speeches collected by MEMRI, a website that monitors Arabic sources (here). This compilation appeared on the website, powerlineblog. The speech excerpts you see here mostly took place during the seven weeks of rioting. They all refer, either explicitly or implicitly, to the fence riots, and to Hamas intentions. Taken together, these speeches explain how 'peaceful' the Hamas rioting was.