A little over thirty years ago a movie came out which starred Martin Sheen and Christopher Walken called The Dead Zone, based on a Steven King Book of the same name. In it, Walken can see a person’s future when he touches that person. Sheen plays a seemingly cool and hip young politician running for Senate.

But when Walken shakes Sheen’s hand he sees that not only will Sheen become President someday, but he will also start a nuclear war without cause. Walken proceeds to try and kill Sheen with a rifle at a campaign rally.

When the bullets start to fly, Sheen quickly grabs a newborn baby from a woman’s arms and holds it up in front of himself as a human shield.

I keep on thinking about that scene whenever I hear the media talk about the poor Palestinians in Gaza suffering under Israeli attacks and how they always get caught in the middle between Hamas and Israel.

Now let’s get something straight, the people in Gaza aren’t innocent bystanders and Israel did not leave Gaza a “big jail” after it withdrew in 2006.

First the Palestinians voted for Hamas to lead them by giving it a majority in their parliament, knowing that it does not want peace and officially stands for Israel’s destruction. In other words, the Palestinians spoke at the ballot box and stated that they do not want Israel to exist.

Then Hamas enacted, in effect, a coup against Abu Mazen’s government, took over Gaza, threw out all of the official Palestinian Authority civil servants and police leaders, arrested a number of them and then proceeded to bring in all sorts of weapons which led Israel to impose the embargo on Gaza. An embargo which, by the way, the UN has said is legal and the Egyptian government supports as it has also closed its crossings from the Sinai into Gaza.

Now in the movie, Christopher Walken obviously stopped shooting at Martin Sheen because of that baby. But Sheen posed no threat to Walken’s life. That is where the analogy ends.

Hamas is using its own people as human shields. I do not usually agree with neo-con pundit Charles Krauthammer, but he hit it right on the head when he wrote that, “Israel uses missiles to protect its citizens and Hamas uses its citizens to protect its missiles.”

Why exactly are we supposed to fight a war with one hand tied behind our backs? We have to be able to do something about the missiles, smuggling tunnels and all the rest that are hidden underneath the homes of civilians.

In World War II the Allies bombed the hell out of German cities killing countless civilians, not just while going after German infrastructure but also in a direct attack on those civilians.

Israel at least limits its attacks to those areas where it believes weapons and the like are located. Hamas is randomly shooting at civilian targets.

But the world media keeps on talking about this situation like it’s a sporting event where all that matters is the score which is based on the total number of civilian deaths on both sides. As a result of that assessment, Israel is clearly the bad guy and is obviously deliberately targeting civilians, right?

Also, let’s not forget how all of this started. When the three Israeli teens were kidnapped last month the Hamas said that it applauded the act and then began to launch rockets at us in response to how Israel enacted a widespread manhunt for the kidnappers around the Hevron area.

It is not clear how exactly the launching of rockets on Israel by Hamas helps all of those poor suffering Gazans that we keep on hearing about. If, as the media constantly points out, Gazans are suffering because of Israel’s embargo, then why is Hamas using its resources to smuggle in bombs and rockets and other weapons?

Will anyone on any of the American networks and international news channels ever say anything against the Hamas? Instead all we get is a bogus attempt at even-handedness that always puts the emphasis on reports of all those poor suffering people in Gaza who Israel is harming.

It’s obviously all Israel’s fault, isn’t it?

Now if all of this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the third time in the last four and a half years that this has happened. Have the powers that be in the world done anything to stop Hamas in that time?

Then there is also the fact that Hamas rejected a cease fire negotiated by the Egyptians. This has been basically ignored by the international media.

Why did Hamas reject the cease fire? Because it demanded that Egypt open the Sinai border crossings with Gaza as a condition for accepting it which Egypt rejected.

Ah, it all makes sense now. Hamas’ beef is with Egypt so it launches rockets at Israel.

A brief cease fire of only a few hours requested by Hamas one day last week to distribute food and relief supplies to its people was granted by Israel. Hamas proceeded to break it.

It should also be remembered that just recently PA leader Abu Mazen decided to form a unity government with Hamas and Israel was criticized for rejecting it.

Another thing that somehow got completely ignored by the foreign media was the Egyptian public’s response to Hamas. While it is not defending Israel, far from it, Egyptian television has been critical of Hamas. On one recent news program the hosts mocked Hamas for demanding that the Sinai border crossings be opened as a condition of accepting the cease fire.

What next, they mused, will Hamas demand the return of deposed Egyptian President Morsi?

Last night on MSNBC they supposedly were being even handed when they had Israeli political commentator Chemi Shalev who writes for the left leaning daily Haaretz as a guest while putting him up against a pro-Palestinian advocate who works for a Palestinian organization in New York.

Shalev took his appearance seriously and engaged in a well thought out commentary on how nations around the world have reacted to the conflict so far and how that might change if more civilians are killed in Gaza.

The Arab guest ignored the content of the questions asked of him and went on anti-Israeli rants. The hosts, of course, made no effort to get him to stick to the questions asked or to challenge him on his comments.

Now an MSNBC reporter has actually had the chutzpah to accuse her own network off being too pro-Israel in its recent coverage.

I don’t know if he read my last piece, but in his show last night Jon Stewart opened by mocking people like me who have criticized him for what he said last week about Israel. As he was about to comment on the current fighting, his entire cast came on stage and shouted at him like a bunch of lunatics all sorts of criticisms that were made against him over the last week.

Apparently he thinks that we all just don’t get it and think that his criticisms of Israel make him pro-Hamas. Once again, he misses the point. The man who has made a career of dishing out criticisms of just about everyone in the world does not seem to be able to handle a dose of his own medicine.

About the author


Gil Tanenbaum made aliyah from New York after he completed college. He Has lived in Israel for over 20 years. He has an MBA from Bar Ilan University and is a contributor for various blogs.


  • Jon Stewart is the same as Tim Whatley character from Seinfeld–he uses his Jewish background to shield his practice of making Jews and Jewish things the butt of all his jokes. I remember when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright revelations broke, Stewart joked that if his rabbi growing up was as flamboyant as Wright he wouldn’t had dreaded going to temple. Rather than focus his humor on Wright’s bigoted views, including his anti-Semitism, Stewart made his Jewish upbringing the butt of his joke. Ha ha, get it?

  • Bravo again, Gil! Once again, you are telling it like it is, which is more than can be said for many members of the American/international press, or Jon Stewart, for that matter!

    I have said this before, and I will say it again: The Palestinians brought this on themselves by choosing Hamas as their voice, by allowing Hamas to use their women and children as human shields, and by laying claim to land that DOES NOT BELONG TO THEM; NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL!

    • And the palestinians will always vote again and again for hamas instead of a gvt that gives more and more concessions.it is a choice and the correct one.after all you jewish never had a land.you are afabricated state that should never have existed.ask the real jewishs themselves and wash your hands from children bllod

  • Dude, come on. Are you seriously saying the media is anti-Israel? Here in Europe all we hear is talk of Palestina being a terrorist state and you guys the poor victims, and I do believe that only recently media outlets and the American people have been starting to question Israel’s motives and means. I do love how you compare the whole situation to WWII but fail to realise your people have taken on the part of the same degenerates that put your people through all those years of hell. Invading a country with the intention of stealing land and clearing it of all culture and religion you deem unworthy or detrimental?. While I do not believe in unnecessary violence, I do believe in a man’s right to defend his home and country from outside forces. Perhaps all these years of support from the west has brainwashed you in to thinking you have the right to be there. Maybe it’s just pure nationalistic greed. I don’t know, but I do know Israelis (As the proud people they claim to be) are not helping the situation by offering their narrow onesided views, as you are not helping by whining about what a COMEDIAN

    co·me·di·an (k-md-n)
    1. A professional entertainer who tells jokes or performs various other comic acts.
    2. An actor in comedy.
    3. A writer of comedy.
    4. A person who amuses or tries to be amusing; a clown.

    That’s right, a COMEDIAN has to say about Israel. Also, he sure as hell is not the only Jew speaking against Zionism or your “state”.

    The call for care packages on this website made me laugh too. Did you know American tax payers are good for more than 8 million dollars a day? That’s EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS coming Israel’s way buddy. Now do some research on how many Palestina gets from Europe and the USA combined.

    Jon Stewart is playing you guys like a fiddle. Cry more.

    Bye and see you in hell from the Netherlands.

    • I have no issue with Jon Stewart, he is indeed a comedian – but you? You need to read a book about the Holocaust before you compare Israel to Nazis. You’re either ignorant or unconcerned by the truth. As for international aid to Gaza – there seems to be plenty of money available for terror tunnels and seaside mansions for Hamas leaders but none for bomb shelters. Whacky right? Have fun in Holland dude.

  • I used to watch Jon Liebowitz (I mean Stewart) but I pretty much stopped after realizing he never has anything positive to say about anything Jewish. I also grew tired of him fawning over extreme leftists such as Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Eqyptian revolutIionary socialist Gigi Ibrahim. The kicker is that a lot of Stewart’s left wing favorites align themselves against Israel. Morales has a history of cozying up to Iran and Ibrahim participates in Nakba protests in front of the Israeli consulate in Egypt.