The UK Guardian opinion section quotes an old editor: “Comment is free, but facts are sacred.”
The British newspaper The Guardian rejected an advertorial piece penned by famed Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, JNS.org has learned. In the ad, Dershowitz refutes statements by many media outlets that all of the Gaza Strip is densely populated, a claim that has been used to justify the use of human shields by Hamas in the terrorist group’s recent conflict with Israel.
“The British media is divided,” Dershowitz said in an interview. “But The Guardian, which holds itself out to be a purveyor of diverse truth, clearly reflects a bias against Israel on its editorial pages, as well as in its presentation of the news. Now that bias has spread to the advertising pages.”
Dershowitz told JNS.org that newspapers “have a right to decide which ads to accept and reject,” but questioned The Guardian’s decision not to run his advertorial.
“My column was factually sound and not a personal attack on anybody. It simply laid out the geographic facts of the Gaza Strip and its implications,” he said.
“Dershowitz was presenting a new point of view in this article,” Harry Wechsler of the Wechsler Family Foundation told JNS.org in an email.
“Hamas was not forced into shooting their rockets from pads located in urban areas, thereby leading to unavoidable civilian deaths,” wrote Wechsler. “They were not shooting from some of the densest population centers anywhere because they had no other choice. No—the choice was there. Though not large, Gaza had ample space that was not densely populated—farm land, empty spaces where rockets could have been stored and shot from. Furthermore, the U.N. could easily have developed temporary quarters in these same spaces for the sheltering of civilian refugees, far away from the sites of battle.”
“The Guardian rarely shows photographs of Hamas fighters firing from densely populated areas. They continue to perpetuate the myth that all of the Gaza is densely populated. They continue to perpetrate the myth that the vast majority of people killed in this was have been children and women, when the fact is the vast majority of people killed have been males of terrorist age,” Dershowitz said.
It is important for Americans and British readers to know that the worst kind of distortion is “distortion by omission, where the media refuses to print the truth or opposing points of view, and the rejection of this ad [by The Guardian] is a manifestation of that,” added Dershowitz.
Exactly. No one in Britain knows anything except what the media report. If the media report an Israeli massacre, that’s what they believe. If the truth is far different, well, that’s someone else’s job.
But I reject even Dershowitz’s point. So what if Hamass were forced by population density to fire from crowded areas? That’s still on them. Nobody’s making them shell, rocket, and mortar Israel continually over the the past nine years. That’s their choice. If Israel doesn’t have the right to put an end to that, even if protecting their citizens from terror might harm Gaza’s citizens, she is the only country I’ve ever heard of so constrained. Nonsense. Israel may kill as many Gazans as necessary to secure Israelis, no more, no fewer. Indeed, it must.