The Associated Press report Saturday morning on the bombing of its own building in Gaza City reads like a Hamas press release. It begins: “An Israeli airstrike destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets on Saturday, hours after another air raid on a densely populated refugee camp in the city killed at least 10 Palestinians from an extended family, mostly children.” The dastardly Israeli war machine is at it again, eh? Not quite: the building was home not just to AP and Al Jazeera, but to Hamas military intelligence. AP’s report, in keeping with its stylistic guidelines requiring no news to be reported that makes the Palestinian jihadis look bad or Israel look good, doesn’t mention the presence of Hamas.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt moved the media narrative ahead with a statement fulminating against Israel and again omitting any mention of the fact that Hamas shared a building with AP’s reporters, which is altogether fitting – why should Hamas not have its press agency in close proximity? Pruitt stated: “We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza. They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. We received a warning that the building would be hit.”
Self-contradictorily, just a few lines after admitting that the IDF, in accord with its usual practice, had warned the occupants that the building would get hit and had given occupants time to evacuate, Pruitt labored to give the impression that his intrepid “journalists” made it out of the building in the nick of time, just ahead of the Israeli merchants of death: “This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time.”
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Thankfully they were able to heed the IDF’s warning and grace period, which it is unlikely that most other military forces around the world would have given.
Pruitt, a fearless “journalist” himself, vowed to get to the bottom of this: “We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the U.S. State Department to try to learn more.” And he lamented melodramatically: “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.” That is, the world will have slightly less access to Palestinian jihad propaganda because of what happened today.
Pruitt’s words echoed those of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Ramallah), an indefatigable purveyor of Palestinian jihad propaganda herself, in claiming that the strike was meant to conceal Israel’s activities in Gaza: “Israel targeting media sources is so the world can’t see Israel’s war crimes led by the apartheid-in-chief Netanyahu. It’s so the world can’t see the killing of babies, children and their parents. It’s so the world can’t see Palestinians being massacred.”
Amidst this hysterical and incendiary propaganda, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been completely forthcoming about the incident, supplying the crucial information that Pruitt’s “news agency” omitted from its report. The IDF noted that “after providing advance warning to civilians & time to evacuate, IDF fighter jets struck a multi-story building containing Hamas military intelligence assets. The building contained civilian media offices, which Hamas hides behind and deliberately uses as human shields.”
Hamas’ use of human shields has been abundantly documented, even by the relentlessly anti-Israel United Nations. But you would never get that impression from AP’s Saturday morning report. AP’s omissions didn’t end there, either. Omni Ceren, Senator Ted Cruz’s national security adviser, pointed out that AP’s article “says Israel destroyed media building but leaves out it was being used by Hamas. Says electricity in Gaza is off but leaves out that Hamas rockets took out power lines. Says Israel killed a Lebanese protester but leaves out he was Hezbollah.”
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The AP story and press release about the bombing of the building housing its Gaza offices were not unusual. They were typical of the bias of establishment media coverage of Israel going back years. The relentless demonization of Israel in the international media has borne bitter fruit today in the anti-Israel demonstrations across the Western world, the menacing of pro-Israeli students on college and university campuses, and much more.
While the AP and its media colleagues play the victim and use the bombing to excoriate and lie about Israel once again, they’re laying the groundwork for more attacks against civilians in Israel and supporters of Israel worldwide. If they never found new office space in Gaza, the world would be calmer, more peaceful, and perhaps could even enjoy a respite from the relentless assault of the propaganda that inundates the world on a daily basis.