Friday, May 10, 2019

Israel-Gaza Conflict: Is There Hope segment on All Things Considered

The following comments were sent to NPR about the All Things Considered segment "Israel-Gaza Conflict: Is There Hope," broadcast on May 9, 2019. The transcript of the segment may be found at

From: Alan Stein
To: All Things Considered

Re: Israel-Gaza Conflict: Is There Hope (May 9, 2019, 4:07 PM)

I have some comments and questions about this segment.

• You repeatedly refer to "Palestinian militants." Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are terror organizations. Why do you not point that out? Firing 690 missiles into civilian areas constitutes 690 acts of terrorism? Why do you not use that word?

• Ari Shapiro uses the inaccurate term "cycle of violence," as if there is an equivalence between terrorist attacks (but Gaza terrorists) and the defense against terror attacks. It's not a "cycle of violence;" it's a cycle of terror attacks followed by reactions to the terror attacks.

• Daniel Estrin says "Israel considers Hamas to be an enemy out to destroy it." Why the insinuation that this is an opinion rather than an undisputed fact, declared by Hamas itself in its charter? Why did Ari Shapiro not point this out?

• Estrin also says "Hamas fires rockets to pressure Israel to lift its restrictions on Gaza." But Hamas started firing rockets long before there was the so-called "blockade." (Traditionally, blockades do not involve the blockader transferring massive amounts of humanitarian assistance, building materials, fuel and power to the enemy they are blockading.) Hamas also calls its weekly (and often more often) violent riots its "Great March of Return," meaning the "return" of millions of descendants of refugees to a place they've never lived, Israel, in order to destroy it.

Why do you not at least speculate that the reason Hamas wants the various restrictions eased is to make it easier to launch even more rockets at Israel?

• Estrin refers to allegedly banned items and notes "Israel's worried Hamas might use [them] to build military infrastructure." Why is it not pointed out that Hamas has already used those items to build not just military infrastructure like terror tunnels but weapons, like missiles?

• Estrin remarks that with border controls, "people can't go to work in Israel like they used to." There's irony in that remark, given that people in Gaza couldn't go to work in Israel before 1967 and it became hard for people from Gaza to work in Israel only after Gaza was taken over by the Palestinian Authority and terrorism became a massive problem. One wonders why a creative observer doesn't express the obvious inference that things were best in Gaza when it was governed by Israel.

• When will All Things Consider start considering the obvious question: why do so many in the world - sometimes it seems like virtually everyone in the world - expect Israel to provide for an entity from which it's continually attacked, governed by a terror organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel? Can you even find any similar situation in history?