As another supposed ceasefire between the IDF and Hamas brings a period of relative calm to Gaza, one war continues: the information war never stops. Those of us who support unequivocally Israel’s right to exist, but also get on with its neighbours, which includes the establishment of a viable and free Palestinian state, tend to get drowned out by the bellicose and righteous.
Definitely not fair and balanced
And there is no-one more bellicose and righteous than Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips, whose ability to take one side in the conflict, refuse to concede that her side can do any wrong, and screamingly denounce anyone of opposing view, is unparalleled. So is her tendency to selectively reinterpret facts until they support her point of view, and no other.
In this, she starts off merely dishonest, then journeys in short order to jaw-dropping stupidity. The starting point is an innocuous looking item on the BBC website discussing casualty figures from the Gaza conflict. “BBC, NYT now say no indiscriminate Israel fire in Gaza as fighting-age men hugely over-represented in casualty figures” she asserts, somehow missing over 400 children.
One read tells you that Mel’s interpretation is highly subjective, but this does not deter her: “Will world media now inform public it incited them wrongly to hate Israel over Gaza women, children deaths?” Did over 200 women not get killed, then? Ah, but these, she has decided, are deliberate: “Of course Hamas resumed attacks. Aim to procure more Gaza deaths so Obama will press Israel to reopen border to let in weapons to kill Jews”. There is no middle ground with Mel.
Meanwhile, the allegation that the BBC and New York Times have made some kind of admission is hammered home: “Israel vilified, Jews threatened [because] world media claimed Israel targeted Gaza civilians. Now BBC, NYT admit untrue”. There is still no acknowledgement of those 400 dead children.
And, along the way, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) gets gratuitously smeared: “UNHRC [sic] lied when [it] said Israel attacks indiscriminate. UN said deaths mostly civilian. Reason: UN in tank with Hamas”. So that’s rank paranoia, on top of not acknowledging 400 dead children.
But the real brass neck is saved till last: “Israel [a] model for other nations in Gaza conflict; could have decimated Gaza in hours but chose rare humane option”. Yes, she really believes that trashing five billion dollars’ worth of real estate is “humane”. She thinks killing more than 200 women is “humane”. And, worst and least excusable of all, Melanie Phillips says the killing of more than 400 children is “humane”. And some people wonder why folks call her mad.
With friends like Mel, Israel is in no need of any more enemies.