The problem with the New York Times’ Gaza coverage

While war raged between Israel and Gaza, the New York Times published a powerful montage of 64 minors said to have been killed in the conflict so far. Under its famous motto ‘All the news that’s fit to print’, and with the headline ‘They Were Just Children’, America’s paper of record informed us that ‘they had wanted to be doctors, artists and leaders’, and invited us to read their stories. It was impossible to look at those innocent faces without feeling deeply distressed. This was the human cost of the Israeli war machine, brought directly to your breakfast table, in a way that the vicious Turkish assault on the Kurds

How London became a hub for Hamas

As the dust settles over Gaza, and Israel’s Iron Dome sensors cool, minds inevitably turn to the lessons that can be learned from the 11-day conflict that cost hundreds of lives. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the American secretary of state Antony Blinken, and other international dignitaries have visited the region and offered their carefully calibrated support for ‘both sides’ delivering high-handed lectures on the ethics of asymmetric warfare in densely populated urban sprawl. Sadly, however, the British government has become part of the problem. It may have deep military and security ties to the Jewish state, but there lurks an elephant in the room. London itself has been allowed to

Inside Hamas’s tunnel complex

In the wake of its ceasefire agreement with Israel, Hamas has again attempted to paint itself as a struggling resistance movement against an occupying force. After 11 days of fighting, which left more than 250 people dead, Hamas’s co-founder, Mahmoud Zahar, claimed a strategic and a symbolic victory.  ‘The new element here is the degree of the resistance movement, in particular in Gaza, to attack the Israeli targets and very important points, including most of the overcrowded areas… the civilian society,’ he told Sky News. ‘So for how long will the Israelis accept that?’ By painting itself as a plucky victim, Hamas is trying to convince the Arab world –

Hamas doesn’t want a Palestinian state

Do Hamas’s supporters in the West know what this organisation really stands for? The reality is that Hamas is no liberation movement in search of a Palestinian nation. Instead, it seeks the destruction of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic empire on its ruins. How do we know? Because senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar has said so: Islamic and traditional views reject the notion of establishing an independent Palestinian state… In the past, there was no independent Palestinian state… This is a holy land. It is not the property of the Palestinians or the Arabs. This land is the property of all Muslims in all parts of the world…

How Israel won the war

Golda Meir, Israel’s first female Prime Minister, once said that when forced to choose between being ‘dead and pitied’ or ‘alive with a bad image’, her country would opt for the latter. Now that Israel and the Gaza militants have agreed a ceasefire after 11 days of fighting, these words ring truer than ever. Both sides will now strive to present a ‘victory picture’ to their peoples and to the world. But while Jerusalem may have lost the propaganda war – anti-Israel feeling and antisemitism is surging both in Europe and the United States – it emerges from this conflict the strongest, its security boosted by a hugely degraded enemy.

What’s the real reason so many people hate Israel?

Did you know that for the past three weeks Turkey has been engaged in a military assault on Iraqi Kurdistan? It’s been brutal. The Turks, who have one of the most powerful military forces on Earth, have used F-16s, F-4 Terminators and other terrifying hi-tech weaponry to pummel Kurdish positions in northern Iraq. Families have fled their homes in terror. Livelihoods have been destroyed.  ‘Every day, every night… we are being bombed. Our lands are being destroyed. We cannot grow our crops’, says a Kurdish farmer.  It’s unclear how many people have died. According to Turkey, dozens of Kurdish people, mostly militants, apparently, have been killed or captured. Have you seen

Bibi is back

Is Benjamin Netanyahu’s time up? A fortnight ago, it seemed so. Netanyahu’s mandate for forming a coalition expired. The opportunity was handed instead to Yair Lapid, leader of Israel’s second largest political party Yesh Atid. Many dissatisfied Israelis started to hope: after four inconclusive elections, there was finally a chance to oust Netanyahu. But then hostilities broke out between Israel and Hamas, and reports of Netanyahu’s political death appear to be greatly exaggerated. In the weeks before this latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there was talk that Israel’s new government would be made up of an eclectic coalition that would include parties on the left, right and centre, as well as an Arab-Israeli party. Rather than relying on a common

Hamas’s rockets are killing Palestinians too

Israel’s military action in Gaza is widely reported daily across the world. Images of hundreds of rockets lighting up the skies over Israeli cities and of the rubble of destroyed buildings in the Gaza Strip are once again part of the daily cycle of print and broadcast news. But most reports are thin on details of Israel’s military activities. What exactly are their aims? How are they pursuing them? And how much success are they having? Often Israel’s military activities seem baffling to the wider world. The country’s reluctance to give a detailed, running-commentary on every strike frustrates journalists and citizens, who then assume the worst of motives for these

Inside Israel’s Iron Dome

A dramatic photo from the Gaza strip taken in the early hours of Friday morning looks like something out of a Marvel film. On the right, rockets fly from Gaza. The gentle trajectory of their parabolic curves shouldn’t fool anyone: these are unguided explosives travelling at hundreds of miles an hour towards an Israeli town. On the left, each one snaking a unique, winding path, interceptors from Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system shoot up to meet the missiles. In 2001, when Hamas started firing rockets from Gaza into Israel (and, at that time, the still-extant Israeli settlements in Gaza), the terrorist organisation introduced a new weapon that would change the strategic picture

Revealed: How Israel tricked Hamas

I received a message from a trusted contact in Israel yesterday telling me that no ground offensive was planned in Gaza. This was despite the fact that heavy armour and infantry reservists were massing on the border. I decided to hold the story and break it in the morning. Within hours, however, the official Israeli army Twitter account had suggested to the world that ground troops had gone into action. ‘IDF (Israel Defence Force) air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip,’ it said. Nobody noted the careful ambiguity. Within minutes, the news had spread across the world. ‘Israel goes in,’ screamed the MailOnline, the world’s biggest