Israel’s current bludgeoning of the open-air prison/Gaza Strip has been clouded by misrepresentation and outright lies in the media.

 First, the accusation that Hamas started this all by ordering the senseless murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Israeli police have since determined that no evidence exists showing Hamas gave the order to murder the youths. Yet that lie continues to be passed around as truth.

 Second, the distortion regarding Israeli civilian casualties resulting from rocket fire. While Palestinian civilian deaths now number well past 1,400 and rising, the other figure continuously passed around is three Israeli civilian deaths. Two of those deaths were a Bedouin Arab and an agricultural worker from Thailand.

While they are allegedly offered all the same protections as Jewish Israelis, both Bedouin and migrant communities have complained about a lack of shelters and gaping holes in the Iron Dome system. The Israeli military/governmental response has been, for lack of a better term, “tough luck.” Begs the question: Which side is using human shields?

(The other Israeli civilian death was a man who, for reasons known only to himself, ventured into an active military staging area to give sweets to Israeli soldiers firing shells into Gaza.)

 Finally, the repetition of the term “kidnapped” when describing armed, uniformed, Israeli combatants taken prisoner by the Palestinians. As far as I know, Israel is the only military on earth that enjoys such sympathetic terminology in the media. (Example: Sen. John McCain has never been described as having been “kidnapped” by the North Vietnamese.)

The use of the term “kidnapped” to describe Israeli soldiers and Israeli soldiers alone serves no other purpose than to not-so-subtly perpetuate the old myth of Israeli victimhood.

The world needs honesty about this conflict, not cynical propaganda.

Jeremy Smith

Old Orchard Beach