Analysis: How the Media Serve as an Echo Chamber for Hamas

Friday, June 08, 2018 |  Yochanan Visser

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman this week harshly criticized the international media for being an “echo chamber” for Hamas and other Palestinian organizations in their reporting on the Gaze border riots over the past two months.

“With all the criticism Israel has gotten, nobody has identified the less lethal means by which Israel could have defended itself over the last 4 weeks… If what happened isn’t right – what is right? It seems to me that in this journalistic environment nine out of 10 articles that are written about the Gaza conflict are critical of Israel,” Friedman argued during a conference in Jerusalem organized by The Media Line.

“There’s tension between getting it out fast, and getting it right,” the American diplomat continued, adding that “no one in the media should have to be an echo chamber,” since journalism should be based on accuracy.

While Friedman was speaking, Townhall published a column written by Marina Medvin in which she accused CNN of disseminating ‘fake news’ about Hamas’ violent attempts to infiltrate and terrorize southern Israel.

CNN stories are propagandizing art. A story about months of continuous attacks on Israeli border and infrastructure by terrorists and their recruits becomes a story of a nurse killed due to Israeli overreaction to what CNN described as ’largely unarmed’ ‘protests,’ a regurgitation of Hamas terrorist allegations,” Medvin wrote.

She then gave two examples of how CNN serves as an echo-chamber for Hamas in Gaza.

In the case of the death of a Palestinian baby in May, CNN reported Israel was responsible for the death of the child who Palestinian Arabs claimed died of inhalation of tear gas during one of the violent protests along the Gaza border.

“Turns out, that was a lie,” Medvin wrote, adding that “the baby was removed from the list of Palestinian dead because that baby died of natural causes unrelated to Israel or the Great Return March.”

The baby suffered “from patent ductus arteriosus, a congenital heart disease commonly described as a hole in the heart,” The New York Times reported last month.

The dead body of the child was then taken to the Israeli border by an 11-year-old uncle, while the father of the baby lied to the media about the causes of his child's death to score some points in the cognitive war against Israel.

CNN didn’t correct its reporting about the death of the baby, nor did the organization withdraw the false accusation that IDF soldiers were responsible for its death.

Then there is the case of Razzan al-Najjar a 20-year-old paramedic who Palestinian sources are claiming was shot dead by Israeli snipers during last week’s violent protests.

Virtually all media outlets republished claims by Hamas and the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza that al-Najjar died as a result of Israeli sniper fire while trying to care for wounded people along the border fence.

Israeli blogger Aussi Dave, however, delved into the information Palestinian sources have been disseminating since the alleged incident.

His article on the Israellycool blog opens with the conclusion that the Palestinian “version of events is not consistent and raises serious doubts as to the veracity of their claims.”

Pro-Palestinian media and organizations have been saying Israeli snipers shot the nurse in the back or in the chest, depending on whom you ask.

TRT World even aired a video purportedly showing al-Najjar wearing a bulletproof press vest after being shot. Other caretakers are seen removing the vest while TRT reports: “Israeli forces killed her.”

A bulletproof vest, however, prevents the penetration of bullets, and the TRT video clearly shows that the nurse's clothes, which Electronic Intifada claimed clearly identified her as a medic, were not blood-soaked as one might have expected when one is hit in the chest by a bullet.

Palestinian sources later published pictures showing blood-soaked clothes purportedly belonging to al-Najjar, but as the TRT video clarified, the Palestinian nurse was not wearing these clothes.

Another photograph released by Palestinian sources shows Razan Najjar raising her hands and wearing a red headscarf (Hijab) while approaching the border fence.

Yet, a picture which purportedly was taken after she was shot shows two things contradicting other images.

First, she wore a black and purple headscarf, but in another shot she suddenly appears wearing a snow-white paramedic's jacket free of blood.

On Tuesday, the IDF published the results of its preliminary investigation into the incident and officially announced its forces had not shot at  Razan al-Najjar.

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