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.

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