Globe and Mail Paints Hamas as Pragmatic Peaceniks
February 26, 2008
By: Mike FegelmanDear HonestReporting Canada subscriber:
In an attempt to manipulate public opinion by influencing media coverage of the Middle East,Hamas permitted and endorsed a demonstration against Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip yesterday, stirring journalists into a feeding frenzy.
Palestinian protest organizers from the “Popular Committee Against the Siege” hoped for a turnout of 40,000 demonstrators, but only 5,000 Palestinians showed up along the Israel-Gaza border. Notwithstanding, Hamas did achieve one significant success. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s “paper of record,” bought into false notions that Hamas has evolved into pragmatic peaceniks who advocate “non-violent resistance.”
Reporting for the Globe today, Orly Halpern presented the demonstrations as a strategic decision by Hamas to adopt non-violence and engage the international community as a moderate influence and legitimate political player.
Contrary to this belief, it’s factually inaccurate to state that Hamas organized the protest, they instead permitted the gathering for its own advantageous purposes. It’s also been widely reported that Hamas wanted to use the non-violent protest to provoke a violent Israeli Defense Force response and this only fizzled because of the poor turnout.
According to Halpern: “Fewer people showed up than expected, leaving the human chain with a number of gaps, and no one rushed the crossing. But the event marked a watershed, mainly because of the identity of its organizers: Hamas.”
Speaking toEyad Sarraj, a psychiatrist and “peace activist” from Gaza, Halpern quoted Sarraj as stating: “I had a meeting three months ago with top leaders of Hamas and urged them to pursue non-violent tactics.”
In an interview with Arnon Regular, an analyst of the Roadmap Risk Assessment, Halpern quoted Regular as stating that “Hamas’s move towards non-violent resistance is not surprising.”
While Mr. Sarraj and Regular are entitled to their own minority opinions, notwithstanding, Halpern’s report failed to equitably and responsibly quote the overwhelming consensus of most Israelis and the broader international community, which have concluded that Hamas has not changed its ways and still advocates Jihad in its genocidal quest.
What the Globe considers a “watershed” moment is contrary to historical fact and lacks any concrete evidence to support claims that Hamas has evolved into a voice of moderation in Palestinian society. Instead, Hamas terrorism is presented as a historical past, whereas we know very well today, it’s an all too current present.
Hamas continues to call for the annihilation of the Jewish state, both vocally and in its own charter. It’s listed as a terrorist organization by Canada, the U.S., E.U., etc. and as the Toronto Star’s Oakland Ross noted in his report on the demonstration today: “Hamas leaders condone the almost daily firing of rockets or mortars at Israel by Gazan extremists, a campaign of violence they refer to as armed resistance but that Israelis regard as terrorism.”
Furthermore, the Globe failed to make mention that Israeli citizens of Sderot and Ashkelon continue to play “rocket roulette.” In the past seven years alone, over 5,700 rockets have been fired at these cities, killing 13 Israelis and wounding hundreds, prompting the Israeli government to issue the blockade. A fact which this Globe report failed to mention.
CBC Radio’s flagship program “The World at Six” contextualized these attacks in a report on the demonstration yesterday by Mideast correspondent Margaret Evans. According to the report available online by clicking here: “The conflict is no closer to a resolution. Israel says it will not lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip until Hamas militants stop firing rockets at Israel… Palestinian militants in Gaza have shown no sign of changing their own tactics. At least four more rockets fired at Israel today, rarely finding their targets, but increasing public pressure on the Israeli government to do something to stop them.”
Likewise, CBC Online, CTV Online, CBC Around the World, City TV International, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, National Post, Calgary Herald (all not online), Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Toronto Star, and the Ottawa Citizen, all contextualized the threat that these crude, but deadly Qassam rockets possess. The Globe on the other hand failed to make any mention of the rocket attacks. Just yesterday, a 10-year-old Israeli boy was seriously wounded by shrapnel after a Qassam exploded in Sderot.
Yet despite all of this, Halpern falsely claims that “Hamas’s calls for truces, ceasefires and calm with Israel have increased over the past few months.” While it may be true that Hamas has offered a “hudna” or temporary ceasefire, at the same time it was carrying out or was complicit in organizing terror attacks on Israel, though you wouldn’t know this fact by reading this Globe report.
For Hamas “resistance” is a euphemism for attacking Israelis, often civilians, in bus bombings, rocket fire, and restaurant explosions. Until Hamas amends its charter, accepts a two state solution, and dismantles its terror infrastructure and renounces violence, it’s grossly premature, journalistically irresponsible, and factually incorrect for the Globe to claim that the terror organization has turned into pragmatic peaceniks advocating “non-violent resistance.”
How You Can Make a Difference
As there is no tangible and irrefutable evidence to support claims that Hamas has shed a new skin towards non-violence, HonestReporting Canada encourages readers to ask the Globe and Mail to promptly correct these false misconceptions.
Pointers for contacting the Globe: State your position clearly in your own words, remain rational and polite, and contact us at email@example.com to tell us you took action. To be considered for publication, letters should include sender’s name and contact information for verification purposes.