NBC Nightly News just aired a short piece on the conflict in Israel and Gaza. It followed stories on immigrants at the Texas border, President Obama, the White House bowling alley, and a Hollywood celebrity coping with slanderous tabloid gossip.
NBC’s story on the renewed Mideast conflict presented a picture of two sides trading blow for blow, on an equal footing, bearing equal responsibility. The implicit message was that both sides are at fault for the carnage. NBC’s view is a canard, and it follows the path of age-old anti-Semitism.
Israel did not start things in 70 CE. It did not start things in 1933. It did not start things in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, or 2012. And it has not started things this time either. In each case, provocations and attacks were made on Jewish people – most recently, three teenagers were kidnapped and murdered. NBC and the rest of the world see Palestinians as David, confronting a Goliath of Israel. But they fail to read Bible. David did not provoke the Philistines. He was a shepherd boy of peace and song, pressed into service by a king with limited options.
Today’s adversaries are not the same; they follow the ways of war and armed violence. They dress for war like Goliath. They invite the fight, the blood, and the gore. They teach their children to hate and to welcome death, even their own.
Somehow, NBC and most of the world are blind to this truth. They cannot see past the military events and explosions to the underlying causes. It is like reporting on the Second World War by blaming both sides, while ignoring Adolf Hitler and the rise of Nazism.
Israel will survive. Its people have not been cowed for 2000 years. They hope for peace, and for a day when all men will beat their swords into plowshares. Israelis will never celebrate death, murder or martyrdom. No, NBC, there is no equivalence.