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An incendiary and manipulative horror show?


Iron Dome in operation over Kiryat Ono; Yoazey Stein, May 2021

A new film is seen to be pulling heartstrings to incite hatred of Israel

An anti-Israel “documentary” has been garnering rave reviews. Eleven Days in May focuses on Arab children in Gaza who were killed during the conflict a year ago, when Israel bombed Hamas targets in response to the rockets it was firing at Israel from Gaza with the intention of killing as many Israeli civilians as possible.

That Israeli military campaign, which I wrote about here, here, here and here, was grossly misrepresented by British and other western media. These claimed that the Israel Defence Forces had killed a huge number of civilians, a high proportion of whom were children.

This was the reverse of the truth. For the fact was that the 11-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza, deploying a volume of munitions so large that in the hands of any other army it would have left an enormous toll of dead civilians, killed hardly any civilians at all. I wrote last July:

With two million civilians — 60 percent of whom are children — packed into densely occupied Gaza, and given the Hamas strategy of using them as cannon fodder for air attacks, any Israeli airstrike would be expected inadvertently to kill thousands.

The Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry says in fact that 256 Gazans were killed.

According to Israel’s Meir Amit Terrorism and Information Centre, which puts the figure at 234, nearly half of those were Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad combatants whom it has identified by name. Of the 95 of those killed who had no terrorist affiliation, 52 were children and 38 were women.

By international standards, this roughly one-to-one ratio of civilian to combatant deaths is amazing. In Afghanistan, Iraq or other theatres of war, British, American and other armies’ airstrikes usually achieve a ratio of about three civilians killed for every one combatant.

Moreover, a number of those Gazan deaths were caused by the Palestinians’ own rockets. Some 4,360 of these were fired at Israel, all aimed at killing civilians.

The Meir Amit centre says 68o of them fell inside Gaza killing at least 21 people; ten men, two women and nine children. In an analysis for Bar Ilan university’s Begin-Sadat Centre, Alex Safian has estimated that 91 Gazans were killed by these Palestinian rockets, some 36 per cent of the claimed Gazan death toll.

So the Israeli strikes were carried out with near-pinpoint accuracy that no other state’s armed forces could match. By any normal standards, this would itself be a story.

Yet the British media, which repeatedly pumped out the incendiary lie that the Israelis were mainly killing Palestinian civilians, mostly children, have ignored it. The lie remains uncorrected. The enormity of it — the way it reversed what actually happened and the implications of that reversal — is staggering.

Now a movie has been made which, ignoring the evidence, apparently builds on that murderous lie. Eleven Days in May, co-directed by Gaza-based film-maker Mohammed Sawwaf and Michael Winterbottom and narrated by Kate Winslet, has been hailed by the same corrupted media as some kind of masterpiece. Here’s the Guardian:


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