The Hostage Questions

The death of Israeli hostages by so-called “friendly fire” in Gaza sees our mainstream media seize the opportunity to troll Jews reeling from the tragedy, rather than to ask obvious questions.

The hacks at the BBC, Sky, CNN and other broadcasters – along with their print media counterparts – simply don’t ask difficult questions, preferring instead to push a tiring narrative.

That narrative is best summed up by that shrill shill, Sayeeda Warsi, who tweeted: “If this is how the IDF treat hostages imagine what the Palestinians are suffering every day… Trigger happy, pumped with hatred and out of control…” This is, I believe, what many a news editor believes and why they don’t think any further enquiry is necessary.

Now, I am just a blogger. I do not have the resources of the BBC or the New York Times or Reuters or any of the organisations who ought to be doing thorough journalism. I do not know the answers to these questions. But that is precisely the point; no one with the resources to investigate seems to care to even ask them, least of all of Hamas!

So here goes. These are the questions I’d have wanted answered with regards to the tragic shooting of hostages by the IDF if I were a journalist with Sky’s budget or The Guardian’s reach.

(1) How did these hostages find themselves in the middle of a fire-fight between the IDF and Hamas? We know how they got to Gaza – Hamas kidnapped them and took them there. We don’t know where they have been for the last 2 months, but we do know that they were obviously recently brought to the part of Gaza where the fighting was heaviest. Why?

(2) How did they get away from their captors? Occam’s razor suggests that it is at least a possibility that Hamas brought them there and deliberately released them into the battle zone in order to sow confusion and to stage just such a tragedy. This of course would be a serious war crime, but so far no one has explored the very likely probability that this is what happened.

(3) Is it possible they had guns trained on their backs when they walked out? Do we know if they were given the choice to walk towards Israeli lines or be shot by Hamas if they refused?

(4) Were they drugged? Hamas appears to have drugged other hostages. Is it possible they are less situationally aware because they had been medicated?

(5) They were young men and most likely had recent military training, so would they not have been more savvy as to the outcome of walking out as a group? It has been reported that one shouted in Hebrew after they were shot. Could he not have shouted in Hebrew before they came out from cover? (Or perhaps they weren’t given that option by their captors who for unexplained reasons, released them – another question no journalist seems to dwell on.)

(6) Much is made of the IDF’s supposed willingness to shoot at civilians. Has anyone stopped to ask how Hamas presents itself on the battlefield? They are not a uniformed army like the IDF and there is plenty of footage available to these same neglectful an uncurious journalists of Hamas fighters wearing street clothing.

(7) Are there reports of Palestinian terrorists using so-called ‘perfidy’ in conflicts? Perfidy is when combatants pose as civilians, feign surrender, pose as medical personnel, or use civilian human shields for military advantage. You don’t need more than Google and a spare 15 minutes to find out the answer to that.

(8) Is Israel’s army the only one in the world where mistakes in the heat of battle and in the fog of war are made by less experienced young soldiers? Obviously not, but then why is it presented as a moral failing of the entire country when that country is Israel? In both the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres of war there were so-called friendly fire incidents and incidents in which civilians were tragically in the cross fire. Were these reported as if the British or American people themselves had a national or cultural moral failing? Did any mainstream journalist stop and think “Crikey, this must be really hard for all those involved, let’s moderate our tone”? No, on the contrary they threw accusations and pointed fingers and – frankly – crowed.

None of this excuses the hair-trigger reaction by the individual IDF soldiers involved, and one can imagine that their split-second reactions will haunt them for the rest of their lives. But the lack of curiosity by our media-elites is astonishing. In their rush to push their prefab narrative “Trigger-happy IDF doesn’t care about civilians and has been punished by cruel fate by killing its own in error” they have little incentive to unpick and unpack the events surrounding this tragic incident.

At the end of the day, it was Hamas that put them in harms way and set events in motion which led to their deaths. Can we at least acknowledge that!?