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In her October 20 opinion piece, Michelle Goldberg said the proverbial quiet part out loud (and, oddly, each of my attempts to quote it and ask about it in the comments section was never published). She wrote, “Of course, I’d read Israel’s insistence that an errant Islamic Jihad rocket had caused the explosion at the hospital, but I didn’t put much stock in it, because in the past when Israel accidentally killed civilians, it has blamed Palestinians for the deaths.” In a nutshell, this is the newsroom bias that allows for the immediate and unverified publication of “information” from a news source (Hamas) that has a proven track record of providing at best unreliable and often false information and a genocidal agenda of which it boasts openly.

Goldberg then retreats behind a predictable defense of fog of war and uncertainty - yet that in no way answers why the rush to publish a story that, if it turned out to be wrong, would further inflame the region as it has. As with the phony AP photograph, when the truth comes out, it is buried at best. Most often, the media reacts as if its journalistic malpractice never occurred. In the case of the BBC, when one of its correspondent’s concludes “that it is hard to see what else it could be than an Israeli air strike or multiple strikes”, the BBC defended on the grounds that he did not conclude that it actually was an Israeli air strike. Who knew the BBC engaged in such Jesuitical parsing?

The Hamas Hospital Hoax, a story in which (to borrow Mary McCarthy’s put down of Lilian Hellman) every word was a lie including “and” and “the”, should be a wake up call to the media as the utter depravity of Hamas’ October 7 massacres should be. But, given time, the old narratives will reappear and the groundwork is now being laid with the myth of the innocent Gazan who secretly objects to Hamas but cannot do anything about it. Gone from the discussion is the fact that Hamas remains the most popular Palestinian group (its popularity only increased as a result of its barbarity), forgotten is that Abbas has refused to hold elections since 2006 precisely because of Hamas’ popularity. Ignored, as always, is the uncomfortable fact that Hamas and the PA share the same eliminationalist goal of destroying Israel, they only disagree on tactics and timing with the PA adhering to Arafat’s “phased strategy,”

My view: once the Palestinians put forward a Konrad Adenauer who believes in a “two states for two peoples”” resolution, I might consider this myth as worth swallowing. Until then, the Gazans in particular and Palestinians generally need to be held to account in a way post-WWII Germans were not.

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