Hill Times Commentator Condemns Israel For Fighting in Gaza Hospital, Ignores Hamas’ Situating Fighters & Weapons At Site

April 10, 2024

There’s an important line separating legitimate opinion that enhances the public discourse, from incendiary rhetoric that interferes with constructive dialogue. In his April 8 opinion column in The Hill Times entitled: “Who can stop Benjamin Netanyahu?” Michael Harris seems intent on plumbing to new depths of disinformation to achieve that end.

Harris makes reference to “Israel’s war of rage and vengeance” over the last six months, repeating Hamas propaganda that “33,000 dead Palestinians, more than half of them innocent women and children” are casualties of the war.

For an “award winning author and journalist” to misrepresent the facts so blatantly is astounding.

Beyond disingenuously sharing unverified and statistically unlikely propaganda from Hamas, all while falsely presenting it as fact, Harris’ description of Israel’s intentions as “rage and vengeance” is profoundly wrong.

Israel has made abundantly clear that it is carrying out a war to defeat Hamas, the genocidal Islamic terrorist organization, so it can no longer pose a threat to the lives of Israelis.

While Harris mentioned and condemned Hamas and its October 7 attacks against Israeli civilians, he evidently thinks that, while the terrorist group’s massacres were terrible, Israel ostensibly has no right to take actions which would protect its citizens.

Rather than taking issue with Hamas’ morally repugnant practice of using its own people as human shields, Harris’ gaze remains firmly fixed on Israel, writing that Israel “thinks it’s ok to bomb civilians in order to kill Hamas fighters.”

While civilians do tragically die in war, Harris says nothing about Hamas’ use of Palestinians as human shields, nor of Israel’s extensive steps in minimizing civilian casualties, and certainly not that the civilian ratio of casualties in Gaza is far lower than virtually all armed conflicts.

Harris wrote that Israel “thinks it’s ok to go into hospitals with guns blazing,” leaving readers with the impression that the Israeli military, or as he calls it, “Netanyahu’s forces,” as if they were the private army of a tin pot dictator and not the armed forces of a liberal democracy, enter Gaza hospitals for no apparent reason.

What Harris chooses to deliberately hide from readers is that Hamas terrorists actively use hospitals as bases for their efforts.

At Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical centre in the territory, hundreds of Hamas terrorists were killed and arrested, and weapons were found throughout the building. Yet Harris keeps tight-lipped about this, and with this silence, presents a grotesquely false picture of what is taking place.

Harris’ column repeatedly shares unverified statements with no context or background whatsoever, including claiming that “more than 500 medical and aid workers have been killed” in Gaza, along with “a staggering 138” journalists. He also falsely claimed that the Mavi Marmara Turkish flotilla ship in 2010 had aid on board when Israeli forces interdicted the vessel, in fact, no humanitarian aid was on board.

What Harris once again censors from readers is that prior to the war, Hamas alone boasted upwards of 40,000 active fighters, which does not include combatants from other terrorist groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Many of these fighters held day jobs, and as investigative journalist David Collier has found in a painstaking report, most of the so-called “journalists” killed in Gaza were Hamas members, and that claims large numbers of journalists have been killed is “unsupportable fiction.”

Israel has taken unprecedented humanitarian steps in Gaza, as John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point, wrote recently, Israel has “taken more care to prevent (civilian deaths) than any other army in human history.”

Michael Harris’ opinion column in The Hill Times is a fallacious misrepresentation of Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against a genocidal terrorist group.

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