Falling for Hamas' Split-Screen Fallacy

(New York Times) Matti Friedman - The attempts to breach the Gaza fence with Israel, which Palestinians call the March of Return, began in March and have the stated goal of erasing the border as a step toward erasing Israel. Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar exhorted participants on camera in Arabic to "tear out the hearts" of Israelis. But on Monday the enterprise was rebranded as a protest against the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem, with which it was meticulously timed to coincide. The split screen, and the idea that people were dying in Gaza because of Donald Trump, was what Hamas was looking for. Israeli soldiers facing Gaza have no good choices. They can warn people off with tear gas or rubber bullets, which are often ineffective, and if that doesn't work, they can use live fire. Or they can hold their fire to spare lives and allow thousands of people to surge into Israel, some of whom will be armed fighters. And Hamas' tactic would likely be repeated by Israel's enemies on its borders with Syria and Lebanon.

2018-05-17 00:00:00

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