This was no mere protest.
(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
Israel has the right to defend itself.
It has every right to protect its people and defend its borders against attacking mobs and armed terrorists trying to target and murder Jewish citizens.
But judging from the media coverage of the clashes along Israel’s border – the border that separates Israel from the terrorist-run Gaza Strip – there seems to be an expectation that Israeli forces simply give up and cede ground to the terrorist organizations seeking to destroy them.
This week was supposed to be a celebration of important milestones in Israel. Its historic capital in Jerusalem was finally recognized, and Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary of nationhood.
Israel was created in the aftermath of the Second World War, after the true horrors of Auschwitz and the Holocaust were uncovered. Never again, the global community promised, and Israel – the world’s only Jewish state – was recognized and protected.
The important events this week, however, were deliberately and maliciously interrupted by Hamas’s criminal stunts. Knowing that the international media would be in Jerusalem to commemorate the historic U.S. recognition of Israel’s capital, Hamas sent in thousands of rioters to steal the show.
Hamas leaders used propaganda and hateful anti-Semitic tropes to whip Palestinians into a frenzy. They paid teenagers and young men to storm the border, create a so-called human shield and do whatever they could to provoke Israel Defense Force (IDF) officers to shoot.
Palestinian rioters rolled burning tires towards the border to destroy the border fence, or at least to disrupt IDF visibility to create cover for more violence.
Contrary to media reports, this was no mere protest.
Just look at the images of masked Palestinian men flying Nazi swastika flags and kites. These rioters wanted to intimidate the Jewish people and reconfirm their own position: Hamas’s charter states its goal as destroying Israel and killing Jews.
Hamas has admitted their intentions were violent. Leader Yahya Sinwar openly told his followers to storm the border, attack Israelis and “tear out their hearts from their bodies.” A Palestinian man told a reporter “we are excited to storm and get inside (to do) whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.”
A reporter with the U.K Telegraph posted photos on Twitter of Palestinian men cashing cheques given to them by Hamas after being shot by the IDF. “The severely injured get $500 and the families of the dead get $3000,” read a Hamas pamphlet.
This was a staged attack by a terrorist militia, but countless media organizations parroted Hamas talking points and characterized it as a “peaceful protest.”
And when IDF officers were pushed to the limit, they protected themselves and their country. There’s no doubt they use disproportionate force against the plain-clothed terrorists. Israel has become a rich and advanced country. They have a world-class military, and they use the most sophisticated equipment to protect themselves.
Sadly, this led to a loss of life – 61 Palestinians have reportedly been killed in the riots. Hamas confirmed on Wednesday that of the dead, 50 were Hamas agents.
There are two sides to every story, but unfortunately, the media in Canada and throughout the West often only present a one-sided account of Palestinian victimhood.
The reality is more complex. And it’s important to remember that Israel has every right to defend itself.