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Ray Hanania
Ray Hanania
17 Jul 2014
Losing the PR War in Gaza, Too

The first thing I learned about the Middle East is a saying that is repeated often even today: "The Arabs … Read More.

10 Jul 2014
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3 Jul 2014
Israelis and Palestinians Lack Leadership to End Cycle of Violence

Israeli soldiers found the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped allegedly by members of Hamas,… Read More.

The Sad Politics of Killing Children


When the United States began condemning Russia for downing the Malaysian Airline and killing 298 civilians on June 17, the first argument they used was to highlight the fact that 80 children were among the dead.

Samantha Powers, the American Ambassador to the United Nations, delivered an emotional denunciation of the apparent rebel downing of Malaysian Flight 17.

Powers' voice broke as she said, "Yesterday, we were all shocked by the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. All 298 people aboard — 283 passengers and 15 crew — were killed. As we stared at the passenger list yesterday, we saw next to three of the passengers names a capital 'I.' As we now know, the letter 'I' stands for infant."

As it turns out, the issue of dead babies is a political one and has nothing to do with humanity, outrage or ethics.

Powers has made no mention of the fact that of more than 125 Palestinian children killed by Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip that at least two dozen were infants, too.

The difference, of course, is that in the case of the battling the Russians, American politicians are carefully documenting the names and backgrounds of each of the deceased airline passengers, but are not wasting their time to document information about the Palestinians Israel has killed.

That personalization and impersonalization of victims of conflicts is what swings public opinion in America. Ambassador Powers knows that if she wants to keep her job, she had better make sure that when she denounces the murder of babies that she doesn't mention Israel in the same breath.

Yet, Israel is murdering babies. And those dead babies are a powerful indictment of Israel's true actions in this replay of several past horrific wars that Israel has started but has used clever public relations spin and media bias to blame all on Hamas.

The images of the dead babies, young children and teenagers are circulating on the Internet and are even making it to the social media of many Americans who are normally sheltered from these gruesome images.

That's not to say Hamas is any better. Hamas fires rockets at Israeli cities and, although they can't control where they land the way Israel can control its sophisticated missiles, Hamas doesn't care if Israeli civilians or soldiers are killed.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. But that's no excuse for Israel, a government, to act like a terrorist organization, too.

And it is.

Although Israel's spokesmen claim it is not targeting Palestinian civilians, the facts show the majority of the nearly 700 Palestinians killed are in fact civilians. And, more than 125 are babies, young children and teenagers.

How does Israel justify it?

By offering excuses that are unchallenged by American officials like U.N. Ambassador Samantha Powers.

When the Russians denied being behind the downing of the Malaysian Airliner, Powers and nearly every American elected official scoffed.

It's so easy when the foreign power committing the war crimes is a foreign country we don't like. But Israel is a foreign country we do like. And Russia's public relations strategy in the United States doesn't even come close to Israel's sophisticated media manipulation.

If the Russians claimed that the enemy was hiding behind civilians, the world would laugh. But that's exactly what Israel has convinced the world to believe in order to justify the outrageous level of civilian casualties taking place in Gaza.

Israel claims Hamas is hiding behind civilians and they have no choice but to fire. But they do have a choice. You don't fire at civilians even when alleged militants are hiding among them. You go in and fight the militants.

But Israel doesn't care about the civilians at all, demonstrated clearly by the increasingly rising civilian death count.

And it is not like Israel is surprised the civilians are in the buildings they are blowing up. More than 5,000 civilians have been made homeless by Israel's shelling and missiles.

In fact, believing it was a defense, Israel announced it was sending text messages and calling cell phones of Palestinian civilians warning them to leave and threatening that they would begin bombing their homes in minutes.

What that means is Israel is bombing homes that it knows has civilians in them. And that's murder. As outrageous and as disgusting as was the killing of the infants on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

There is no difference between the killings of airline passengers or Palestinian civilians, except in the politics of the people making the arguments and the absence of any moral conscience.

Although Israel has once again gotten away with killing Palestinian civilians, the American people are starting to see that Israel is nothing more than a brutal foreign country with no conscience of its own or moral line that it won't cross to achieve its goals.

Those photos of dead babies killed by Israel could be Israel's undoing.

Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist managing editor of The Arab Daily News at Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit



2 Comments | Post Comment
Authors powerful column connect the dots and speak truth and humanity for even most obtuse of deniers of which at one time, I similarly guilty. No more. Agree in spades it all about politics for analogy spot on and you'll convince some. But you'll have hard time convincing the Christian Zionists, the major supporters of Israeli propaganda and major financial contributors to illegal Jewish settlements in Gaza.

Author write: "Although Israel has once again gotten away with killing Palestinian civilians, the American people are starting to see that Israel is nothing more than a brutal foreign country with no conscience of its own or moral line that it won't cross to achieve its goals."
I not so sure.
While I believe 'picture is worth a thousand words' (and most no take time to read), pictures affect emotions and is only temporary. They don't educate minds or change beliefs. It do good in short term, but memories short and propaganda strong:

Is my fervent hope what author say is true and will come to pass but see major obstacle being the Christian Zionist supporters and the agenda of they so called god of 'peace'. They have a very strong lobby group CUFI is much larger than Jewish AIPAC.
They desperate to bring about "the end of days" and Jewish no fool, encourage they tourism and mythical folk tales for make much money and support for own Jewish agenda regarding own beliefs in myths and folk tales. Jew know Zionist Christian expect and working toward Armegeddon and that then expect to convert Jew to Christianity. Would be funny if story from fairytale book, but i think only ones laughing are their mythical gods of war.
I visit website What Really Happened (Israel and Palestine The Maps Tell The True Story), for I not believe in 'holy' places on earth nor 'chosen people' for historical record show man's 'holy' places are saturated with the blood of innocents spilled by those who consider themselves 'chosen' or righteous.

- Benjamin Natenyahu , recently on CNN -
They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use
telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the

Joseph Goebbels, November 16, 1941 Das Reich
....always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One
suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of
little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old
ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls
for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is.

Is sad, each of these 'leaders' would deny anything in common with the other, and yet....

Comment: #1
Posted by: steveM
Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:57 PM
Must quickly comment as I sitting with friends watching tv 10,000 Palestinians marching on West Bank and all say at once No, No violence for quickly we recall civil rights marching in America and how was watching the brutality of police to peaceful marchers that seemed to turn the sympathies of all but the most hardcore toward cause of Civil Rights for Blacks. Palestine has sympathy of world community and they watch, it will be disaster for Palestinian cause and they lives will be less than worthless if this deteriorate into Intifada. Very important keep world opinion with you cause.

Comment: #2
Posted by: steveM
Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:16 PM
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