Many major media outlets continue to vilify Israel’s actions in Gaza, painting it as an aggressive “terror state." Hadassah National President Ellen Hershkin contacted the Washington Post to urge for fair reporting on the situation unfolding in Gaza . Read her submission below:
April 5, 2018
Washington Post Foreign Editor
Dear Mr. Jehl,
As one of the leading national newspapers, you have an obligation to the American people and all who read your publication to report honestly, fairly, and without bias. Your recent “analyses” on the conflict unfolding on the Israel/Gaza border is anything but. Since March 30th, Hamas is waging a violent protest with one clearly stated purpose: to break through the border fence, enter Israeli territory and march all the way to Jerusalem by May 15th, the day Palestinians refer to as “Nakba day.”
As reporters, you are well aware of the definition of a peaceful protest. You have witnessed and reported on many of them in your home city in just the last month alone. Peaceful protests include people holding signs, singing songs and marching together to demand change from their leaders. The “protesters” in Gaza are hurling Molotov cocktails, throwing stones, using women and children as human shields sent right up to the fence. Your April 1 article includes thoughts from a Palestinian Authority representative who believes in the “pay-to-slay” program, which financially rewards terrorists who kill Israeli civilians.
Today, news broke of a plan for this Friday’s “peaceful protest.” Hamas plans to burn 10,000 tires as close to the fence as possible to envelop Israeli soldiers in fire and smoke.
This not only harms the Palestinian people’s legitimate hope for a state of their own, it endangers the very people who will light the fires. Burning tires are carcinogenic and have devastating effects on the environment, as well as detrimental effects on the immune and respiratory systems. Gazans and Israelis alike will suffer from this act of environmental terrorism. Will your headline read that way?
As the National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., I implore you to report more fairly. Your April 2 article by Ishaan Tharoor came from the news desk, not the opinion section, under the headline “For Israel, there’s little political cost to killing Palestinians.” Tharoor failed to mention that of the 17 who have been killed, twelve are known terrorists. Hamas has admitted that at least five of those killed are part of its own military wing. The Hadassah Medical Organization, our signature project, and its two hills of healing on Mt. Scopus and Ein Kerem employ and treat Israelis and Palestinians alike, without differentiating between victim and terrorist. I am saddened to see violence and loss of life on any side. As this conflict unfolds over the coming weeks, I sincerely hope to read headlines that reflect the truth.