Financial Times

Financial Times correspondent John Reed declares Hamas a ‘winner’


“Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which do not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie”

This is a quote by George Orwell about news reports during the Spanish Civil War, but, as former AP correspondent Matt Friedman explained in his masterful Tablet essay (An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth), Orwell’s words are just as apt in characterizing the media’s egregiously misleading coverage of Israel and the war in Gaza. 

The Orwell quote (cited by Friedman in his article) came to mind when we read the following passages in a report in the London-based Financial Times by John Reed titled ‘War in Gaza: Winners and Losers‘, which happened to overlap with Hamas’s own surreal assessment of the war.

Here’s the relevant passage in Reed’s report:

ft

Let’s take it apart:

Reed:

Before Protective Edge, Gaza’s ruling Islamist movement was in a corner. It was politically isolated, bankrupt, unable to pay its civil servants and forced by circumstances to reconcile with arch-rival Fatah.

And, after the war, Hamas is politically isolated, bankrupt, and still unable to pay its civil servants. Further, the current ceasefire deal which Hamas agreed to is almost exactly like the one Egypt proposed (which Israel accepted) but Hamas rejected on July 15, one week into the conflict, before the IDF destroyed their terror tunnels, and killed some of their top leaders.  

Hamas’s decision to reject the July 15th proposal represented a colossal miscalculation, and resulted in more Hamas fighters killed, a much greater depletion of their rocket capacity, and no perceivable military, strategic or political benefit.

Other Hamas ‘demands’ which haven’t been agreed to by Israel in the current ceasefire include opening a sea port and an airport in Gaza, and releasing additional Palestinian prisoners.

Reed:

In this context, the war was a welcome development. Hamas, for the third time in five years, confronted one of the world’s best armies and managed to hold on to power, calculating correctly that Israel would never embark on a longer and bloodier ground war in order to topple it.

How low can you set the bar? The mere fact that they ‘held on to power’ is a victory? Again, he doesn’t explain what concrete achievements they can reasonably boast. Also, it’s interesting that Reed fails to explain how the war was a “welcome development” for Palestinian civilians.

Reed:

Hamas rockets, built painstakingly over years by blockade-busting tactics, sent people across Israel running into shelters, killing six civilians and bringing most flights at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport to a halt for two days in July.

It’s almost as if Reed admires Hamas’s ‘grit’ in diverting humanitarian aid (which could have helped Gaza’s economy) for terror purposes. Plus, it’s interesting how such Jerusalem based correspondents covering the war, such as Reed, who almost universally downplayed the threat posed to Israeli civilians by the thousands of Hamas rockets, can now suggest that these same rockets ‘successfully’ terrorized Israel by killing six civilians, and sending them fleeing for bomb shelters. 

Reed:

Although much of Hamas’s arsenal is now depleted and many of its tunnels destroyed, fighting Israel to another ceasefire plays as a victory for many of its supporters.

Talk about burying the lead!  So, despite the fact that “Hamas’s [rocket] arsenal is now depleted and many [sic] of its tunnels destroyed”, Reed still maintains that a victory was achieved. 

Reed:

As after Operation Pillar of Defence in 2012, Hamas can begin firing again if it chooses. Granted, when the dust settles from this conflict and its spoils and destruction become clearer to Gazans, they could potentially turn on Hamas. There is no sign of this happening yet, however.

Of course, one of the biggest obstacles preventing Gazans from “turning on Hamas” is not any objective assessment of the war’s “achievements’ per se, but, rather, scenes such as these:

One of 22 Palestinians summarily executed by Hamas on Aug. 22

One of 22 Palestinians summarily executed by Hamas on Aug. 22

Finally, here are some facts ignored by Reed in his assessment:

  • IDF attacked 5,263 targets across Gaza during the war, hitting rocket launching sites, arms and munitions factories and warehouses, as well as the offices of Hamas commanders. Several top Hamas commanders and hundreds of Hamas fighters were killed. Over 34 known tunnels were destroyed.
  • Out of the 4,564 rockets and mortars fired at Israel from Gaza, over 475 landed in Gaza, killing an unknown number of Palestinians. 3,641 exploded in Israeli territory, but only 224 actually hit residential areas, while the remaining rockets fell in open areas; The Iron Dome intercepted at least 735. Six Israeli civilians were killed.

To simply state that Reeds’s assessment of Hamas’s achievements ‘does not bear any relation to the facts’ is an understatement of enormous proportions. 

29 replies »

        • “Besides, many foreign correspondents have come to the same conclusion – Hamas gained more than Israel from this war.”

          Would those be the same foreign correspondents who were able to report without any impediment, or threat, from Hamas?

          • Even better, Gerald, they are journalists who considers everything Hamas tells them as authentic information. Like the “fact” that of the 2200 deaths over 50 days, “an overwhelming majority” has been women and children.

            So very factual for our very special Reader.

        • I wish Hamas such victories for every day. May you and Reed visit Gaza and enjoy the victory parades, the public executions of some more Gazans by the resistance heroes who left their ratholes, the beautiful landscape there and the excellent supply of water, electricity not to speak about the local religious freedom and democracy….

      • Interesting. Hamas nearly destroyed Gaza while trying to destroy Israel. I think both you and John Reed are blithering bullshit artists who couldn’t find reality if it came up and slapped your stupid looking faces.

        • ‘Esther’ like you I wonder why The Financial Times employs John Reed.
          But, after reading how often Adam has succeeded in achieving the aims of this site as well as getting retractions and corrections from various newspapers, I have no doubt why CiF Watch employs Adam Levick.

        • Esther/Noam/whatever today Reed works for the FT and Streicher worked for the Sturmer. That you appreciate both is natural.

  1. I wish Hamas such heavenly victories for every day. That some journalists (whose credibility have been completely destroyed beside the Hamas tunnels) support an Arab terror organization is only natural. Al Jazeera, RT and PressTV pay well.

    • Absolutely.

      When they come out of their ratholes and see what their victory has achieved, I hope they will have more than the odd shoe thrown at them by Gazans viewing the destruction.. And if not – may they have many more victories like these.

  2. Well, when the Gazans celebrate already that as a victory, and the FT supports that illusion (pleasing their readership in oily finance countries like Qatar), the assumption has more than a grain of truth, because the Hamas still exists, due to the support of western media makers.
    On the other side, even the NYT, supporter of the Sharialand of Hamas, admits
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-strip-conflict.html?ref=middleeast&_r=1

    The riddle of the turn of western poliitics and medias to consider the Muslim brotherhood, the Hamas etc. as moderate is still to solve, unless we reduce it to a simple (which it is not at all) question of corrupt economics of untamed capitalism (see above, or giving anothr example, the buy in of Arab sheiks into European football).
    Sometimes me wonder why nobody wrote, after 9/11, that the USA had to acknowledge the armistice conditions of Al Quaida.

  3. 50 days of war, 70 dead. I guess it’s a harsh price but what goes behind closed doors journalists may not know.
    Yes, there could have been better ways to utilise those 50 days to inflict higher damage, but did bibi really wanted to topple Hamas?
    Let’s look around our neighbourhood and think for a second what would have arrived in its place?
    PIJ (Shites) would have been slaughtered by the rising tide of IS fighters looking for a foot hold instead the MB in this area.
    Is this a bad thing or a good thing?
    IS do not fancy nationalistic ideas like Hamas or Fatah do.
    And even though the ultimate end goal may be the same Hamas currently believes that Nationalistic ideas are more important and will not allow such fighters to replace it. Did the Israelis gamble on the right horse?
    Judging by Kunetra falling again it might just be the breather Israel needed, just as much as Hamas and the PIJ did.
    The battle is far from over and lose or win are hollowed words in our environment.
    I pity the Gazans who are brought up to hate.
    Such lives where teaching that death is a good thing and a desired event are beyond sickness. They are being deprived of hope to better themselves by the very people they see as their leaders..
    http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4564606,00.html
    And Ahmed Tibi is probably as bad.

    • 1. Hamas was and is financially dependent on diverse Muslim countries like Qatar, Egypt, SAudi-Arabia or Iran, an official pan-Islam approach would end any support, so representing the front line against the devil in a nationalistic cover is evident, even when mixed with Islamist goals.
      2. The anti-Semitic Muslim brotherhood, whose official offshots are f.e. Hamas or Ennahda in Tunis (while the Syrian branch is in a constant, unoffficial underground war with the Assad regime since decades), in some sense Al Quaida too (in a merger with the remnants of the
      Ikhwan ), has a worldwide issue. Nasser drove off the Muslim Brothehood and it took shelter in Saudi-Arabia, later on Sadat readmittted it.
      http://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/502795/London-has-been-primed-for-decades-by-Muslim-Brotherhood-extremists
      There are enough books about the hidden penetration of the West by networks of the Muslim Brotherhood and their success in doing so, f.e.
      Tariq Ramadan.

  4. I don’t think “winners” is the correct term but it’s difficult to argue that Hamas suffered any tangible losses; they will inevitably build/smuggle more rockets and it doesn’t matter if 1, 10 or 100 Hamas fighters die – THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT DEATH. Hamas managed to further delegitimize Israel, especially in the media – I didn’t see reporting this bad/terrible/biased in the past operations, they’ve secured themselves hundreds of millions to “repair Gaza” no doubt and in all likelyhood, the majority of Gazans which seem to be as nutty as Hamas, will probably support the “resistance” more due to the deaths/destruction of the war.

    In this sense, Hamas achieved its strategic goals.

    Next time, Israel needs to accept that it is going to lose many brave souls and topple Hamas once and for all.

    • I feel helpless and a sense of despair witnessing the media and the public embracing at face value everything that Hamas presents them with, be it unverified casualty figures to executing civilians because they ‘committed treason’. The PR war has been won, and Israel lost.

      Listening to the radio today, a caller began to discuss the use of human shields by Hamas but the presenter immediately cut him off, claiming it was ‘unproven’ and was simply ‘propaganda.’ Same response about reports about Hamas rockets launched from schools and hospitals. Jews who attempt to talk about anti-Semitism are silenced; Israel, too, is silenced when she attempts to reveal the truth about Hamas.

  5. In Egypt there is a museum celebrating Egypt’s won 1973 war. The fact that the IDF crossed the Suez Canal and encircled an entire division on the western side is of no interest. The Arab’s have always written their own history, and so they will do this time. Mark Perry, Yassar Arafat confidant, and now tweeting from DC also is sure Hamas won. How that can be, with the restructuring of Aza’s urban landscape by the IDF I do not know?
    Hamas started another war that killed over 2000 of its subjects. The dude’s in Aza must be so happy they voted Islamofascist in their first and only free election. But they won the war.

  6. Why are we not surprised that another Left-leaning liberal jerk writes an article unfavorable to Israel? How do you spell horse’s behind?

  7. Many concede that Palestine is a mess and that Hamas – which Isreal backed and funded to kill the PLO – is irrational and violent. But Hamas is also right on a number of issues, and the international community is slowly tiring of Israel’s land grabs. Isreal would do well to go back to the 1967 borders and obey the UN. Obey international law and then see what Palestine does. There’s a reason Albert Einstein, one of the greatest Jews, was vehemently anti Zionist; morality breeds morality and immorality breeds immorality.

    • Obey international law and then see what Palestine does.
      Obey international law? Which ones? Anyway we know already what the Palestinians would do if they had the power. They told it many times and we believe them.
      There’s a reason Albert Einstein, one of the greatest Jews, was vehemently anti Zionist; …
      Albert Einstein was vehemently anti-Zionist? And there is a reason… fantastic.

  8. “But Hamas is also right on a number of issues,”

    Would you kindly elucidate which issues Hamas is ‘right on’, and why?