When Israel took action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip last year, the world media did its damndest to try to paint the Jewish state as a human rights violator. One of their chief cards in this effort was a photo of BBC video editor Jehad Misharawi holding his son Omar's body. Supposedly Omar had been killed in an Israeli missile strike.
The picture quickly went viral. The Washington Post ran with the story. The BBC suggested that Israel was responsible for the death. BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar tweeted, "Questioned asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad's son get killed." The story became ubiquitous, a sign of Israeli brutality in an impoverished area of the world.
There's only one problem: the story wasn't true.
A report from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated that Israel was likely not the source of the fire that killed Omar. Instead, they said that Hamas likely fired the rocket that killed Omar.
This is not rare. Civilian casualties in Palestinian-controlled areas are common -- not because Israel is targeting civilians but because Palestinian forces often target civilians as human shields to protect against Israeli strikes. And the media often buys the propaganda efforts of Palestinians attempting to demonstrate the supposed evils of the Jews.
Israel is under assault, as usual, by both a Palestinian population largely interested in its destruction and a media that refuses to believe that uncomfortable fact. Meanwhile, President Obama is heading to Israel where he will likely call for a renewal of the failed "peace process" -- a process that has resulted in thousands of deaths, both Palestinian and Jewish, and has brought Israel no closer to peace.
So what must Israel do to protect herself?
Some on the left have proposed more land concessions by Israel. Nothing could be a greater incentive to terrorism and violence by the Palestinians. Each and every time Israel hands over land, a wave of terror follows from an emboldened anti-Semitic population bound and determined to use any territorial gains and military launching points.
Some on the right have proposed population transfer from the Gaza Strip or West Bank as a solution. This is both inhumane and impractical. Moving millions of Palestinians out of areas they have known for their entire lives will certainly not pave the way to peace. Moreover, these Palestinians will have no place to go, since their brethren across the Arab would prefer to keep them cooped up in dismal poverty than house them in their own lands.
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