Sarah Helm, a pro-Palestinian activist who somehow manages to convince editors into believing she’s a professional journalist, penned a column at the Indy today on recent violence between Hamas and Israel.
Here’s the headline:
The headline and accompanying text – of this and other pieces by Helm – suggests she sees herself as a lone voice revealing the malevolent nature of Israeli policy towards Gaza, in a world fooled by crafty and cunning strategists in Jerusalem.
Throughout the article, Helm bemoans Israeli efforts – past and present – to portray Hamas as the instigator of violence and, to make this point, includes misleading or erroneous claims, such as this:
Israeli commandos launched a highly provocative incursion into Gaza aiming to kill or – more likely – to kidnap a commander of al-Qassem, Hamas’s military wing.
Botched or not, however, the timing of such a kidnap or murder attempt, just as the fledgling ceasefire was being finalised, suggests it must have been calculated to shatter any trust there was..
However, the allegation, that the mission in Gaza was designed to kidnap or kill a Hamas commander, was flatly denied by the IDF on the morning of Nov. 12, and all major media outlets we’ve monitored have included this denial when citing these early, and completely unsubstantiated, Hamas claims.
The special operation yesterday was not intended to kill or abduct terrorists, but to strengthen Israeli security. The force waged a heroic and very complex battle and was able to exfiltrate in its entirety. We salute the bravery of Lt. Col. M. and his peers.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 12, 2018
Whilst we’ll likely never know the objectives of the IDF mission, Helm then argues that the broader objective was to scuttle efforts to reach a long-term truce.
Botched or not, however, the timing of such a kidnap or murder attempt, just as the fledgling ceasefire was being finalised, suggests it must have been calculated to shatter any trust there was; Israel knew their mission deep into Gaza would wreck the truce deal, which we can only assume was part of their intention all along.
After all, the truce was in danger of characterising Hamas as possible dealmakers – even as terrorists that are worth talking to perhaps.
However, as even Netanyahu’s critics have conceded, for months he’s been pushing for a long-term truce with Hamas, and holding back more hawkish ministers who’ve been advocating for a strong military response to violent border riots and incendiary kites. In fact, just today, Avigdor Lieberman resigned as Defence Minister over Netanyahu’s decision to agree to yesterday’s ceasefire – which he termed “a capitulation to terror”. If Netanyahu wanted to “shatter the trust” and “wreck…the truce deal”, he could have easily rejected the ceasefire and launched an all-out war, as several of his ministers were reportely advocating.
But for the government of Netanyahu, the idea of Hamas being viewed as in any way reasonable – or at least able to show reason – is anathema. Hamas is the enemy, seeking to destroy Israel and will not change. It is only by maintaining this narrative that Netanyahu can justify the ongoing siege of Gaza…
Today, no matter that the imprisonment of 2 million Palestinians in Gaza – 1.4 million of them refugees or descendants of those refugees who fled their homes in 1948 – is illegal under every paragraph of international law, including the Geneva Conventions
Her accusation is somewhat vague, and doesn’t include hyperlinks to sources, but if, as it seems, she’s claiming the blockade of Gaza is illegal, that’s simply not true, as a UN commission (The Palmer Report) found that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is in fact fully consistent with international law.
The fact that Palestinians voted for Hamas’s style of resistance out of desperation, after years of failed peace initiatives and of Israeli occupation, is written out of the tale, and so is the fact that most of the Gaza Palestinians would vote Hamas out if only they had a chance.
Israel left Gaza in 2005. Palestinians voted for Hamas in 2006. So, contrary to Helm’s bizarre causality, they voted for Hamas after the occupation had ended. Further, the idea that Palestinians in Gaza were frustrated that peace hadn’t been achieved, and therefore voted for a terror group which rejects peace and seeks Israel’s destruction, is self-evidently absurd.
Helm concludes by expressing exasperation at the most “disturbing” part of all of this: how the “outside world has always been to buy into [Israeli] version of events”, showing that Helm inhabits a truly fantastical world – an alternative reality someplace far, far away where Israeli ‘hasbara’ has an iron grip on the world, and is thus subjected to little if any real criticism by the media and international bodies.
The truly “disturbing” part of all of this is that Helm continues to peddle such pro-Palestinian propaganda under the guise of real “journalism” and editors at British media outlets continue to ‘fall for it’.