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Hamas and the Big Lie technique

The "Big Lie" technique of propaganda traces, most agree, back to Nazi Germany. According to Hitler and Goebbels, if one simply and baldly states a big enough lie and repeats it often enough, it'll eventually enter into the collective consciousness and become accepted as fact.

It seems that the Palestinians learned very well the technique of their old allies. Two stunning examples of this came to my attention recently.

First up, the world touted the "Prisoners' Document," a so-called "peace plan" put together by a group of Palestinians being held in Israeli jails for various and sundry terrorism-related charges. This, the media told us, could be a great breakthrough; it was favored by Hamas, and contained a recognition of Israel's right to exist.

But that lasted only as long as it took people with two neurons to rub together to get their hands on the actual text and read it. Then it was downgraded to an "implicit recognition" of Israel. THAT spin held right up until Hamas itself came out and said openly uh-uh, nope, no way, it don't say that.

What the "Prisoners' Document" was, plain and simply, was a proposed peace agreement betweeen Hamas and Fatah. In essence, it said "let's stop killing each other and go back to killing the Jews." The peace-at-any-price crowd saw "peace plan" and stopped reading and thinking right there.

But that was mere abuse of semantics. let's go on to something a bit more substantive.

The ever-worthy Captain Ed noted that Hamas, greatly exercised over Israel's extreme overreaction to being invaded, its soldiers killed, and one corporal kidnapped, is threatening even more violence if Israel doesn't back down. They say that if Israel doesn't comply with their demands and release a whole bunch of prisoners, not only will it kill Corporal Gilad Shalit, but they'll escalate their attacks and go after previously-untargeted places such as schools and hospitals.

This struck me as odd when I read it. As I recall, according to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists, all Israelis are legitimate military targets. The rationale they use is that since Israel has universal military conscription, every single Israeli is a soldier -- either past, present, or future. That's how they justify shooting a pregnant woman and her four children driving on a highway.

And I was right. Not only have schools been hit by Qassam rockets in the past, but there has been a planned attack on an Israeli hospital.

Wafa al-Biss is a Palestinian woman who suffered severe burns on her face and neck in a cooking accident. She was being treated for free at the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba by Israeli doctors. Then, one day barely a year ago, when she was trying to cross the border for more treatments, she provoked the interest of some of the guards. They forced her to remove her outer clothing. Then, when she realized she was not going to get away, she tried to detonate the bomb sewed into her underwear. It failed, and along with it her dream of blowing herself up inside the hospital, killing the sick, the injured, the infirm, the newborn infants, and most of all the medical staff who were trying to repair her scars out of the goodness of their hearts.

Accounts of the Wafa al-Biss story:

So, Hamas is saying they'll go after schools and hospitals? Nothing new there. The real challenge would be to find some atrocity, some obscenity that they haven't tried yet. Sending retarded children as suicide bombers? Check. Surrounding terrorists attack position with children? Check. Brutally murdering a pregnant woman and her children, shooting her in the stomach and the children in the head at point-blank range? Check. Blowing up religious gatherings? Check. Invading and desecrating Christian holy places? Check. Using WMDs (poison gas) in attacks? Unconfirmed, but claimed.

After the Beslan school massacre in Chechnya, I thought long and hard about what would be the next Islamic atrocity. What would they do next to top the obscenity of the school attack, and I came up with "hospitals." Not even a year later, Wafa al-Biss tried to fulfill that one.

Someone else can try to figure out the next obscenity. I've had it.

My sympathy for the Palestinians is, admittedly, very, very low. But if they start deliberately targeting schools and hospitals, and succeeding, that may diminish and vanish entirely.

I've lived through 38 New Hampshire winters. I am quite familiar with the concept of "below zero," and my sympathies just might end up looking like an outdoor thermometer in Colebrook in January.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hamas and the Big Lie technique:

» All Things Beautiful linked with Unmasking The Hamas Code Of Honor

» A Blog For All linked with Consequences

» PartisanTimes.com linked with Shalit's Captors Issue Deadline

Comments (9)

I remember reading <a href=... (Below threshold)

I remember reading Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Michael B. Oren, and Oren described how when the Israelis initially attacked with astounding success (and unbelievable losses for the Arabsin terms of airpower and whatnot), the Arabs immediately began blaming the US for helping the Israelis and even taking part in the attacks. This was their Big Lie, broadcasted incessantly: America and Israel attacked Arabs, blah blah blah.

When it came time that the Arabs wanted the US to intervene and restrain Israel, the US stalled.

Their Big Lies do nothing but harm them. We are not stupid.

B-but-but what about the Pa... (Below threshold)

B-but-but what about the Palestinan children? Have you no conscience?

Unless the milieu the Pales... (Below threshold)

Unless the milieu the Palestinian children grow up in is dramatically changed, a proportion of them will continue to become hateful and violent killers. Their families have been unsuccessful in forming this change, and sadly Israel is forced to make that change.

Unconscionable violent tyrannies do not respond to non-violence. Ghandi or Martin Luther King would never have succeeded in Stalin's USSR or Nazi Germany. Their counterparts were turned into dust and ash. This is the historical truth that escapes the pacifists who apologize for Palestinians, Islamofascists and their ilk.

This is what is not taught in our schools and may be our downfall.

Good point, epador.<p... (Below threshold)

Good point, epador.

For what it is worth, one reason Gandhi was successful was because by that time the British were tired of their imperial adventures and were quite inclined to give up and go home. If the British were truly interested in staying in and ruling India, not Gandhi or Muhammad Ali Jinnah or any other politician would have been able to sway the British government.

The Soviet Union fell because, out of many factors, Gorbachev refused to preserve it. This was an aberration of the normal behavior of states.

In the end, the suffering of the Palestinians is the Palestinians' fault. If they truly wanted improvement, they could have achieved substantial improvement by now. Their incompetance should not be blamed on other states.

epador is right. The fundam... (Below threshold)

epador is right. The fundamental truth that pacifists of all degrees must ignore to support their core beliefs is that if it were all left up to pacifists, soon there would be no pacifists. That is the fatal flaw of pacifism - it only works if your enemies are also pacifists. Pacifism is sustained not by virtue of it's own philosophy in practice, but by the virtue of non-pacififists that are willing to die for the rights of pacifists to be such.

Everyone probably remembers... (Below threshold)

Everyone probably remembers the bomb that Palestinian terrorists detonated on the Israeli school bus in Kfar Darom on November 2000. But you may not remember that the PLO attacked a group of school children on a field trip in Maalot in 1974.

Targeting children is nothing new for the Palestinians. Frankly I'm not sure how much lower they could go.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world strolls by whistling, with their hands in their pockets. But when Israel accidently kills a Palestinian civilian, everyone screams "war crimes." Unbelievable.

The real question is, who <... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

The real question is, who won't they target? Or who haven't they targeted?

I have no sympathy for them. None. Pity, yes. They have had REPEATED opportunities for peace. They choose war and murder every time.

They are choosing their own destruction, and that is tragic.

Hmmmm.The simple f... (Below threshold)


The simple fact is that the Palestinians are engaged in asymmetric warfare using terrorism and every atrocity imaginable while using liberals as a defensive shield to gain the advantages of being victims.

And why does this work?

Well other than the rabid stupidity of liberals it's because we, and the Israelis, are unwilling to apply the same standards to the Palestinians.

This is the essence of asymmetric warfare.

That one side is willing to conduct itself in ways that the other side is unwilling or unable to either for logical, political, economic, social or technological reasons. In the case of Israel it is social and political because doing so would revive the ghosts of the Holocaust.

Curious that the only thing preserving Palestinians from outright slaughter is the one thing that the Palestinians deny had ever happened.

Might I ask why you have an... (Below threshold)

Might I ask why you have any sympathy at all, Jay?






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