This week, the media was responsible for spreading one of the most damaging blood libels against Israel that we have ever seen.
On Tuesday evening, Palestinian terrorists launched a barrage of rockets against Israel. This was a terrorist group committing a war crime, they were firing from within civilian areas inside Gaza and were aiming their rockets at civilians inside Israel. During the launch, one of the rockets misfired and tragically hit a hospital car park inside of Gaza.
Instantly, Israel was blamed by Hamas and the media believed the terrorist’s propaganda. Headlines that read, “Israel airstrike on hospital kills 500” were spread around the world. They immediately, and willingly, believed the Hamas narrative without any evidence and they ran with the story.
The truth came out very slowly. It took several hours for Israel to work out what had happened and put together a credible argument as to why it wasn’t them. Unfortunately, this was too little, too late. The old adage that the lie has spread halfway around the world before the truth has got its pants was in full effect. The media was spreading lies faster than Israel could respond.
Not only was it the terrorists responsible for the deaths, but also the death toll was not nearly as bad as they had first reported. We were hearing that the hospital had been destroyed, that the victims were doctors, nurses, patients and more. The numbers ranged from 500 dead to over 800. It was described on the BBC and Sky News by various guests as a “massacre”, a “war crime” and a “genocide”. Israel’s reputation was being dragged through the mud based on lies.
As a result of this misreporting, anger rose against Israel. Riots took place in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) against Israel. Protests took place throughout the Arab world. A synagogue in Berlin was firebombed. Security was raised in Jewish communities throughout Europe and embassies were protested against in the Middle East. And some governments even condemned Israel and cancelled meetings with President Joe Biden who was making a trip to the region the next day. All of this happened because Hamas lied and the media willingly spread that lie without doing any research.
It then took until the next day before allies of Israel, including the UK and the USA, started to speak out in defence of Israel and blame the terrorists for the crime. And a few days later the media started to admit that they had been hoodwinked, with the BBC saying it was “wrong” for their presenter to blame Israel for the blast without the facts. It was too late though, they could not put the cat back in the bag as the damage was done and Israel’s reputation was tainted forever.
Why did the media act this way? We can speculate that it was because many in the media hold anti-Israel views and they were just waiting for a chance to blame Israel. For the past week or two, Hamas was to blame for the violence. This grated on people who have the false belief that Israel is evil. Many who hold anti-Israel views had to admit last week that Hamas were indeed evil after what they had done when they murdered 1,400 Israelis and kidnapped over 200. It was a hard pill for many to swallow. It seems some were biding their time to blame Israel and when an opportunity came to blame Israel, they pounced upon it. They believed it to be true, because they wanted it to be true. It was their moment to finally shift the narrative from Israel being the victim of Hamas to Israel being the aggressor. They wanted to Israel to be at fault and they took the opportunity.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a prime example of this. He has refused to condemn Hamas for brutal massacre of Israeli civilians, but as soon as Israel could be blamed, he wrote this:
Israeli air strikes have hit Al Ahli hospital in Gaza. More than 500 people – patients, doctors & those sheltering – have been killed.
What unspeakable horror. We will mourn their loss forever.
Our leaders could have spoken up for peace. They chose to cheer on war instead.…
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 17, 2023
It now has a community note. But it didn’t have that correction until more than 11 million people had read the tweet and after more than 125,000 people had liked it. We at CUFI UK can only dream of such numbers on a post. And Jeremy Corbyn got that by spreading a lie.
He won’t remove the tweet because he still believes Israel is guilty. In fact, even the BBC refuses to say that it was PIJ who carried out this war crim. This is despite the UK and USA governments siding with Israel and even the BBC’s own experts saying it was PIJ. The BBC still claims the evidence is “inconclusive”. But for those like Corbyn and the many anti-Israel activists who already hate Israel, Israel will remain guilty for the crime that PIJ committed. They will refuse to believe the truth no matter what evidence is given.
We understand from the Bible that people will be given over to lies and that in the times we live in, truth will become lies and lies will become truth. Satan is the father of lies, and he unfortunately holds too many captive in this way. As Christians, we must be discerning in these matters. We must defend the truth, knowing that this is a spiritual battle. Too many will be given over to hating Israel because they have been deceived, and we must do all we can to stop the lies from spreading.
This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.