Cal Thomas

Some movies are worth watching more than once. The one now playing in the Middle East isn’t one of them.

How many times must we see this plot repeated and not recognize it for what it is: terrorists kill innocent Israelis, including women and children, and after a while much of the world begins to suggest it’s the fault of the victims. If only there were no Jews. If only Israel didn’t exist seems to be their line.

Yes, it’s wonderful that hostages are being slowly released, even though this, too, is a familiar plot as Hamas extracts far more Palestinians from Israeli jails. Who doubts this will just lead to more attacks, more hostages, and more prisoner releases?

The Wall Street Journal, while acknowledging the relief felt by parents and other relatives of the released hostages, editorialized that “… relief shouldn’t blind us to the way the jihadists are manipulating human sentiment to achieve their terrorist aims.”

Exactly. And the aims, even recently expressed in sermons coming from Middle East mosques, are continued incitement for Muslims to kill Jews and eliminate the Jewish state. Forget a “two-state solution,” as the Biden administration and several others before it continue to promote. Israel’s enemies want a one-state solution, meaning one that doesn’t include Jews.

The worldwide media are playing their familiar role. After first expressing shock and outrage over the murder of 1,200 Israelis by the jihadists, news outlets in America, the BBC and elsewhere have mostly pivoted to a more sympathetic treatment of Hamas “fighters,” or “militants,” words many prefer over the more accurate “terrorists.”

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Anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and pro-Palestinian demonstrations continue in America and in other parts of the world. At a Queens, New York, public high school hundreds of students stormed hallways and waved Palestinian flags after they heard a teacher, who is Jewish, had attended a pro-Israel rally. The teacher locked herself in a room for two hours.

The poorly informed teenagers are reportedly being suspended, but first, they should be asked what they know about the history of the Middle East and the declared intentions of those who want to eliminate the Jewish state. As Bob McManus wrote in The New York Post: “Reading scores at Hillcrest (high school) are pretty dismal — 27 percent at or above grade-level — so it would be generous to suggest that last week’s rioters were up on their Mideast history. To say nothing of the Holocaust.”

Back to the media. Notice how many reporters treat these demonstrations as spontaneous and never ask what to me would be obvious questions during my days as a reporter. Let me offer some help.

1. Do you live locally, or are you from somewhere else?

2. (If from somewhere else) how did you get here, who paid your expenses and are you being paid?

3. Where did you get your signs (some are stamped with references to socialism)?

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4. What happened in 1948?

5. (Assuming they don’t know that modern Israel was recognized in 1948, which is likely) Did you know the Palestinians were offered a state adjoining Israel back then, but rejected it and declared war against Israel?

6. Did you know that Arabs were killing each other in many wars long before Israel became a modern state? And did you know there has been a Jewish presence in the land for 3,000 years, long before what are now called Palestinians existed?

7. What are your sources of information? Is it TikTok and other social media? Friends? Do you read newspapers or watch TV news that carry opinions contrary to your own?

8. How have you informed your opinions and have you ever considered you might be wrong?

Real journalists would ask these and other questions. It is a dereliction of duty that they don’t. But then they appear comfortable with reruns.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.


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