Thomas Wictor

A fact-based rebuttal from Opposite World

A fact-based rebuttal from Opposite World

The Political Director(?) of Huffington Post UK is Mehdi Hasan. He lives in Opposite World, from which he wrote his piece “Debunking Israel’s 11 Main Myths About Gaza, Hamas and War Crimes.” Well, all that energy he puts into directing politics has sapped him of the ability to write elegant headlines and cogent articles.In regard to his, well, pathetic attempt to indict Israel for Hamas’s war, Hasan says this.

Let’s be clear: I’m no fan of Hamas, a brutal and anti-Semitic group which has been accused by Amnesty International and other NGOs of human rights abuses against the people of Gaza and of war crimes against the people of Israel. Firing rockets into civilian areas isn’t justified under international law, even if it is framed as part of a (legitimate) struggle against foreign military occupation.

When someone says “Let’s be clear,” that’s a “tell” that he’s now about to do this.


It’s axiomatic. And Hasan has already given away the fact that he actually is a fan of Hamas, since it’s conducting a (legitimate tee-hee) struggle against foreign military occupation. And only terrorist sympathizers use the word “struggle.” In my opinion.

According to the pro-Israel, pro-IDF crowd, Hamas is to blame for everything.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. To quote the late US senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

So, in a Moynihanian spirit, here are fact-filled, evidence-based rebuttals to the 11 main myths, half-truths and self-serving ‘talking points’ that are repeatedly pushed by various Israeli spokespersons, both on the airwaves and on social media.

Now you get to see why the Huffington Post is such a financial catastrophe. The people writing for it are rank amateurs.

Fact-free fact-based rebuttals to “myths”

1. The Gaza Strip isn’t occupied by Israel.

Hasan replies with talk about buffer zones, the IDF control of Palestinian population registries, and the Israeli control of Gaza’s air space and territorial waters. None of these are occupation. Take a wild guess why Israel imposes these restrictions on Gaza.

The Israeli military said it needs the “buffer zone” to make it more difficult for militants to fire rockets and mortars into the Jewish state and set off explosives near the border fence. Some recent attacks on border crossings have led to the killing and wounding of several Israelis.

“What determines our actions are the threats. It’s not right to place the blame on Israel; the [Palestinian] farmers should blame the militants and the terror organisations,” said Maj Avital Leibvich, an Israeli military spokeswoman.

Sniper fire at Israeli soldiers and civilians, threats of infiltration into the Jewish state, and rocket and mortar fire by Palestinian militants were the factors the Israeli military took into consideration when acting in Gaza. Such actions included the creation of de facto “buffer zones” near the border on the Palestinian side, she said.

The control of population registries, air space, and territorial waters have to do with security. Israel’s security is threatened by Palestinian terrorists. Guess what happens to Israeli restrictions if the terrorism stops?



2. Israel wants a ceasefire but Hamas doesn’t.

Don’t even bother with Hasan’s blather. Hamas wanted a ceasefire on terms Israel could never accept.

Hamas has demanded the free flow of cement. To this demand Israel has agreed only under the condition of international control and supervision.

Hamas has further demanded the free flow of “dual use” items. Israel has said no to this. Israel has also responded with an absolute no to Hamas’s demands for a port and airfield. Hamas also is insisting that its members who were arrested in the West Bank be released. Israel has also responded no to that demand.

This wasn’t a serious offer for a ceasefire. Hamas wants perpetual war. Its own charter says so.

3. Israel, unlike Hamas, doesn’t deliberately target civilians.

Here Hasan relies on the ignoramuses of the western press, who thought that an Israeli missile boat killed the four boys on the Gaza beach, July 16, 2014. If the boys had been hit by a 76mm shell from an Oto Melara autocannon, there would’ve been nothing left to bury. And the Israelis wouldn’t have missed. Then Hasan quotes utterly false Palestinian Ministry of Health Casualty figures. Finally, he talks about the “Dahiya Strategy,” named after a Lebanese neighborhood that Israel “flattened.”

Two problems: The “Dahiya strategy” has never been used, and Dahiya wasn’t flattened.

These photos were cleverly chosen to give the impression of total destruction, but that’s a lie. The image on the right was taken at an oblique angle. That, the shadows, and the concrete dust make it look like there’s far more damage than was actually inflicted.


In the image on the left, each red X shows a building that was destroyed. The neighborhood was not “reduced to rubble.”

4. Only Hamas is guilty of war crimes, not Israel.

The “evidence” of Israeli war crimes is a “may have” accusation by an organization that flat-out lied about Israel using weaponized white phosphorus on civilians and whose chief investigator Fred Abrahams has no knowledge of munitions.


The claims by Amnesty International that the Israelis attacked homes chock full of people are pretty much disproved by the Arab media. Again, all these “reports” rely 100 percent on Palestinian fantasies. An accusation is not a fact. Sorry.

5. Hamas uses the civilians of Gaza as “human shields.”

Wow. Hasan’s “fact-based rebuttals” are quotes from journalists who said they saw no evidence of Hamas using human shields. Then Hasan links to a UN report that claims Israelis use children as human shields. Period. And who told the UN that Israelis use human shields? Palestinians. Neutral observers, in other words.

Well, Google “Hamas human shields” and you come up with a lot.


This photo, on the other hand, is said to show Israelis using Palestinians as human shields.


Pure stupidity. The captives are blindfolded and have their hands tied behind their backs. They’d be useless as human shields because they can’t see where they’re going! The Israelis are aiming their rifles to their left, having put the captives out of the line of fire behind walls. The soldier on the left is even using his own body to shield the prisoner from whatever projectiles the Palestinians are hurling.

6. This current Gaza conflict began with Hamas rocket fire on 30 June 2014


As opponents of Israel always do, Hasan strips Israel’s actions of their context. On June 12, 2014, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah were kidnapped in the West Bank. The next day Israel launched Operation Brother’s Keeper (June 13 to September 23, 2023). Hundreds of terrorists were arrested, weapons were confiscated, and the Hamas Dawa network of funding and recruitment masquerading as social welfare was dismantled.

During Operation Brother’s Keeper, Israel carried out air strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza. Several terrorist factions in Gaza launched rockets into Israel, and on June 29, the Israelis killed a Hamas terrorist who was part of a rocket squad. On June 30, Hamas launched at least eighteen rockets into Israel. If you were to believe Hasan, Israel just started bombing for no reason, and poor Hamas finally retaliated.

7. Hamas has never stopped firing rockets into Israel.

Oh, how HORRIBLE that people would think that Hamas fired rockets when it didn’t! In 2012 Palestinian terrorists shot 2221 rockets and 196 mortar shells into Israel; in 2013 the number was 52 rockets and eighteen mortar shells. What an improvement! That’s like normal human beings not firing any rockets or mortars! Here’s what just one rocket can do.


Multiply that by fifty-two and then add in eighteen of the following.

And we’re supposed to think that Israel…what? Overreacted to being rocketed and mortared?

8. Hamas provoked Israel by kidnapping and killing three Israeli teenagers.

Really, really bizarre. Hasan says that the Israeli government knew from the beginning that the boys were dead. This claim is based on Gilad Shaer’s call to a police emergency number, which recorded the sound of gunfire. So does Hasan think the Israelis should’ve just given up? Not even looked for them? What is he saying?

And Hamas admitted that it kidnapped the three boys.

A senior Hamas leader has said the group carried out the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June—the first time anyone from the Islamic militant group has said it was behind an attack that helped spark the current war in the Gaza Strip.

Saleh Arouri told a conference in Turkey on Wednesday that Hamas’s military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, carried out what he described as a “heroic operation” with the broader goal of sparking a new Palestinian uprising.

Which is exactly what those of us with brains figured out right away.

9. Hamas’ rule, not Israel’s blockade, is to blame for the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

What humanitarian crisis? By every possible metric, life in the Gaza Strip has been steadily improving.


But you know who keeps trying to wreck everything for Gazans, according to the United Nations? Why, HAMAS!

UN halts aid into Gaza after ‘Hamas theft’

Agency blames Islamist government for stealing thousands of tonnes of food

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said today it has halted all aid shipments into the Gaza Strip after the Hamas government seized thousands of tonnes of food and other provisions.

The UN Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] said it made the decision after Hamas personnel intercepted an aid shipment for the second time this week.

In a statement, the agency said 10 truckloads of flour and rice delivered into Gaza yesterday were taken away by trucks affiliated with the Hamas-run social affairs ministry. Earlier this week, Hamas police took away thousands of blankets and food parcels meant for needy residents.

And yet UNRWA still sides with Hamas against Israel. How outstandingly moral.

10. The Israeli government, unlike Hamas, wants a two-state solution.

I guess Hasan didn’t read the article to which he linked. It claims that Netanyahu doesn’t want a two state solution. Here’s what it says several paragraphs into the piece.

He wasn’t saying that he doesn’t support a two-state solution. He was saying that it’s impossible.

How can anyone doubt that?



The Palestinians are speaking loudly and clearly. Why shouldn’t I believe them?

11. All serious analysts agree it was Hamas, and not Israel, that started this current conflict.

This is the funniest of Hasan’s mortifyingly lame rebuttals: He claims that the Israelis started the last war to derail the Palestinian unity government formed by Hamas and Fatah. That’s utterly moronic. The Israelis know that the one thing guaranteed to unify Palestinians is another war. But even war doesn’t unify them all that much.

Abbas orders probe into Hamas coup plot revealed by Israel

PA president calls scheme a ‘grave threat’ to Palestinian unity, region; 93 arrests made, Shin Bet says, thwarting Hamas preparations for 3rd intifada

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ordered his security forces to investigate an Israeli revelation Monday that Hamas was planning a coup in the West Bank aimed at toppling him and starting a third intifada.

Abbas indicated the report could severely impact the unity pact signed between Fatah and Hamas in June, saying it represents “a grave threat to the unity of the Palestinian people and its future,” the Palestinian news Agency Wafa reported.

The PA president also said the it could have “extremely dangerous” regional implications.

And there’s this.


Not much of a debunking, Mehdi. Maybe you should become the Catering Director for Huffington Post UK.

Or the janitor.

This article viewed 1007 times.