An Open Letter to the Media

Dear News Media,

Day after day, we are bombarded with news of the violence taking place on the Israeli border with Gaza. We have some questions for you in light of this:

  • Why are you so obsessed with Israel (front page headlines) and their treatment of Gazans when there is much more violence and bloodshed in the region and many more innocent lives being lost?
  • Why is violence in Gaza more important than the protests and eruption of violence taking place in South Iran at the same time? Or the death toll of Kurds in Afrin at the hands of the Turks? Or Egyptian operations against terrorists in the Sinai?
  • Why are Palestinians who died at the hands of Israelis more important to you than the Palestinians being slaughtered or displaced in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria or in refugee camps in Iraq?
  • Why do you give so much coverage to 60 Palestinian deaths when Hamas has publicly and proudly admitted that 50 of them were part of the terrorist group, and three were members of Palestinians Islamic Jihad?
  • Wouldn’t every other country in the world try to protect its border when people who have declared their genocidal intentions try to breach it?

Surely you know that economic conditions in Gaza can’t possibly be solely a result of Israel’s “blockade” because Gaza shares a border with Egypt that has been hermetically closed for a longer time and because Israel lets in tens of thousands of trucks of medical supplies and food every year. (Should this even be described as a “blockade” then to your readers?)

Surely you know that civilians have been repeatedly warned by Israel, through leaflets, social media, and loudspeakers to stay hundreds of yards back from the border where they can, and have been, protesting peacefully.

Surely you know that decades of millions upon millions of dollars given to Hamas to use for the well-being of the Gazans have been squandered on weapons that are hidden in schools and hospitals or on digging tunnels that have electricity and amenities in them. That electricity and those amenities are denied to their civilian population, who have been brainwashed since childhood to hate Jews.

Surely you know that Hamas’s charter does not endorse a two-state solution or embrace negotiations, but instead calls for the murder of Jews (not Israelis) and the destruction of the entire nation of Israel “from the river to the sea,” to be ultimately replaced by an Islamic caliphate.

Why don’t you take the Palestinians at their own word? If you would listen to what they say they want, you wouldn’t be reporting that the recent protests were in response to the embassy move to Jerusalem or that they were about the economic situation in Gaza or the occupation in the West Bank. You would report that, as the title of the march implies, this is a march to RETURN to Israel, to infiltrate the border, reach adjacent Jewish civilian communities a few hundred yards away and either kill as many as possible, or take soldiers captive.

If you would listen to what they say they want, you would give equal time to the fact that Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar, on Al Jazeera declared, “When we talk about peaceful resistance, we are deceiving the public.”

If you would listen to what they say they want, you would give equal time to Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas, who announced that Hamas longs to “tear out the hearts of Israelis” and eat their livers.

Palestinians have been so clear about this. Why does it get virtually no coverage? Why won’t you show some respect of their real goal by giving them a voice?

Hamas has hijacked these protests and turned them into violent riots. Your coverage of events should always mention the following:

  • The vast majority of deaths were Hamas terrorists breaching the border, NOT unarmed civilians
  • Hamas used civilian human shields, including women and children.
  • Hamas instructed unarmed civilians to infiltrate the border, lying to them that the IDF has retreated.
  • Hamas paid families to approach the border.
  • Hamas made maps available detailing routes from the border to homes, schools, and daycare centers in Israel.
  • Hamas encouraged women and children to approach the border, telling them that the IDF will not shoot at women and children (which is true).
  • Hamas forced bus drivers to bring civilians to the border.
  • Hamas dressed their members as civilians and journalists to elicit sympathy from the international community and to deceive the media.
  • Hamas used Molotov cocktails, kites attached to explosives, stones, IEDS, grenades, hatchets and saws in what you frequently billed as a “peaceful protest.”
  • Hamas burned thousands of tires to create a literal smoke screen so that Israel can’t detect infiltrators and will be forced to fire on more people.
  • Hamas twice set fire to their own gas lines, destroying the conveyor belt that carries humanitarian supplies from Israel into Gaza.

Why are these facts radically minimized, if not ignored?

The western liberal press has always held Israel to a double standard to which you do not hold any other country in the world. Your disproportionate focus on Israel does nothing to advance the cause of peace. Quite the opposite. It encourages terrorists, not only those in Gaza, but all over the world, by giving them and their supporters a constant platform to gloat, to appear to have a just cause in the eyes of your vast readership and to renew their hope that their anti-Semitic and hateful dreams towards Israel and the West will come true.

Karys Rhea is the Senior Associate of the Media Response Team at CAMERA, The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, where she monitors the media and facilitates letter-writing campaigns. Prior to that, Karys was involved with the Gatestone Institute, Legal Grounds, Birthright, Jewish National Fund and David Project, as well as serving as a researcher to best-selling author Irshad Manji. Her op-eds have been published in outlets such as the Times of Israel and the Washington Examiner. In addition to her passion for Middle Eastern affairs, Karys has been active in various music projects and has toured both nationally and internationally.  She is the former drummer of Evan Rachel Wood’s electro-pop band Rebel and a Basketcase, Ben Grubin’s dance-rock band Hockey, Brooklyn psych-rock band Starlight Girls, and folk-pop band Tammy. She is also the founder and front-woman of her own project, a 50s pop outfit called PEP. Karys graduated with an honors double-degree in journalism and religious studies from New York University and recently received her Masters degree from Israel’s IDC Herzliya in counter-terrorism and homeland security with a specialization in cyber-security. 
Born in Alexandria Egypt to a father born in Kiev and a third generation Israeli mother of Sephardi origin, Nina Weiner and her family moved to Israel in 1949 after the declaration of the state of Israel by the UN where she finished High School. She then got her first degree in Psychology in Geneva with Professor Jean Piaget and later went on to earn a Masters in Vocational counseling at Columbia Teacher’s College. She has dedicated much of her life to the issue of educating children of immigrants from disadvantaged background in the US and in Israel towards getting an education. Nina Weiner is a lifetime democrat.

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