Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers are seen at a staging area outside the central Gaza Strip

So I have been reading all sorts of Facebook posts and editorials since the fighting in Gaza first began two months ago that have been critical of the international media’s coverage of the conflict. I even wrote a couple myself. (See one here.)

Something finally dawned on me about how we are portrayed which many other people will no doubt react to my declaring by saying, “You just figured that out now.”

It is something that I used to dismiss, but have now accepted.

Before I get to that, let me give you some important facts.

After the last cease fire began, a number of reporters from countries like India and Norway gave television reports showing footage of Hamas setting up positions by a hotel where reporters stayed and the firing of rockets from civilian locations, such as that UN school that we heard so much about where civilians died as a result of a supposed Israeli bombing.

Oh wait, that’s right! It turns out that it was the misfire of Hamas rockets launched from that location and not Israeli bombs that killed those people. But did the major news channels, including Fox, take to the airways to apologize for their mistaken coverage. Of course not!

In a great article in Forbes by Richard Behar about the pathetic excuse for journalism that the Western media engaged in when reporting from Gaza, which I highly recommend to you, it was pointed out that many of the Gaza foreign correspondents were actually local Arabs with pro Hamas and PLO comments and photos posted on their Facebook pages.

Also, many correspondents were intimidated by Hamas into not reporting the truth. When some did tweet things that hurt Hamas’ narrative of the events those tweets were soon deleted.

Well what about the more than 1,000 civilian deaths including many women and children in Gaza, you ask!

Well how does anyone know that the numbers reported were true?

Guess what? The numbers of civilian deaths reported over and over again during the almost two months of fighting came from none other than Hamas itself.

But wait! The media cited U.N. figures, didn’t it, you might ask.

Believe it or not, the U.N. figures of casualties came from the Hamas run Gaza government agencies.

So not only are the numbers clearly exaggerated, but we have no reason to believe that whatever percentage of the dead were really “innocent civilians.” A large number of them were clearly Hamas terrorists.

So why does the media get it so wrong when it comes to Israel, while giving the conflict here such disproportionate coverage when compared to what is going on in Africa and East Asia?

Is it because they see this as a juicier story that the average person in the West is more interested in? Perhaps.

Is it because fear of reprisals against their reporters around the world from terrorist groups like Hezbollah and ISIS leads them to engage in self-censorship? Perhaps.

I think I might know the real reason, however, why the world not only likes to attack us here in Israel while all but ignoring real genocides and atrocities that happen elsewhere.

Would you like to know what it is?

First, let me provide you with the following true anecdote.

In 2009 I was in reserve duty just north of Eilat. My unit was assigned to guard the border with the Sinai for a stretch of about thirty miles. This was before the government decided to build a new fence all along the Negev/Sinai border.

Our mission was not so much to protect against terrorist infiltrations, but to stop all sorts of smuggling. We were also tasked with looking out for African refugees trying to sneak into the country. Our southern border had become like the American/Mexican border.

The refugees were mostly Black Sudanese who were escaping a genocide at the hands of their Arab countrymen. Arab Muslims were slaughtering Black Muslims by the thousands at the time.

And where did the victims try to find refuge? In Jewish Israel.

But there was no condemnation of it from the so called leaders of the Black community in America like Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton, two avowed anti-Semites who never miss an opportunity to condemn Israel and attack Jews.

As usual, the international community seemed more concerned with whatever the Arab complaints were against Israel at the time than with an African genocide.

So there I was, guarding my country’s border, when we intercepted another group of asylum seekers. When we caught about a dozen people one might have thought that they would have been frightened of us. But they were not. In fact, they were quite happy.

This was because they knew that we would send them to a detention center where they would be safe, get fed every day and receive any needed medical treatment. But the international media continued to condemn us for our supposed harsh treatment of the refugees and our refusal to grant them any sort of immigration status.

For the record, International law only requires a nation to grant such refuges temporary asylum once they have crossed its borders and said nation can repatriate them once the crisis in their homeland has ended.

So why was the world more concerned with how we treated the refuges who made it to Israel than the genocide that they were fleeing itself?

It was one of the lieutenants in my company who came up with a novel idea for how the people of Sudan could get the world to actually give a damn about their plight. He said that they should just call themselves Palestinians.

Of course then the world would care about them since it seems to care so much about the Palestinians.

Just recently I heard someone else make the same joke with regards to Ukraine. This person said that if the Ukrainians really want the world to do something about the Russian attempts to annex parts of their territory than they should just change the name of their country to Palestine.

But they were both wrong.

No one really gives a shit about the Palestinians.

They are just a tool that is used to attack Israel. And why is that?

It is because we are the Jewish state. If we were just another Arab country, or the Mormon State, the Amish State or even the Scientologist State, then the media and the world as a whole would ignore the situation here entirely.

That is why no one cares about the Kurds, or the Basques or any other ethnic minority in the world who is demanding and independent state for the geographic area where they are in the majority.

What the Sudanese, Ukrainians and any other group of people in the world who are under threat of genocide or attack by a more powerful foe should really do is say that their enemy is the Jews.

If Ukraine were to say that the Russians are really Jews in disguise then I guarantee you the whole world would rush to their aid.

I’m reminded of the Clinton presidential campaign’s mantra from 1992: It’s the economy stupid.

Well I have come to this inescapable conclusion: It’s because we’re Jews stupid!

There I said it. It is about anti-Semitism.

It’s because we’re Jews!

Yes there are legitimate reasons to criticize Israel and Israelis. I am not saying that there aren’t. Israeli tourists, for example, have a well deserved reputation for being rude jerks in neighboring countries favored by Israelis for cheap vacations, such as Cyprus.

But in general attacks on Israel are the result of people looking for an excuse to attack Jews.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he remarked in response to someone who attacked Israel, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!” And yes he really did say that!

No the world does not hold us up to a higher standard because they have so much respect for us.

No it is not because they see that where once we were the victims, now we are the persecutors.

It is because people around the world will look for any excuse to attack and condemn Israel, the Jewish State. They will even say that the concept of a Jewish state is somehow racist, but not that of a French state, a Russian state or any other nation in the world whose identity is defined by a specific nationality.

Why is that, you might ask.

It’s because we’re Jews!

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.