Declan Walsh in the NYT, with the Gaza mob assaulting the border with Israel yesterday:
The scenes resembled a sweeping tableau of an old-fashioned battleground. Behind the central protest zone, there were areas for prayer, refreshments, medical care and even entertainment. Protesters chatted or ate lunch as shouting rescuers rushed past, carrying the dead or wounded.
After midday prayers, clerics and leaders of militant factions in Gaza, led by Hamas, urged thousands of worshipers to join the protests. The fence had already been breached, they said falsely, claiming Palestinians were flooding into Israel....
Several speakers reserved their harshest words for President Trump and his decision to move the United States embassy to Jerusalem, which Palestinians want to claim for their capital in their aspirations a future state.
“America is the greatest Satan,” said Sheikh Marwan Abu Rass, a portly cleric who held his index finger in the air as several thousand people did the same. “Now we are heading to Jerusalem with millions of martyrs. We may die, but Palestine will live.”...
At the rear of the protest area, Aseel Nasser, a determined 12-year-old girl, stood her ground. Facing a video camera operated by her brother, she recited a poem that extolled the virtues of jihad against Zionists. She was undeterred by the risks, explained her father, Khalil Nassar, 46, an education ministry official, who had brought her along. “It would be a great honor to be martyred by the occupation,” he said.
The Hamas tactic is to encourage their followers to attack Israel, in the full knowledge - in the full expectation and hope - that many will be killed. If some are women, or children, so much the better. Martyrdom is the goal - the highest achievement that a young Palestinian can hope for. It's what the preachers preach, along with a full-blooded hatred of Jews. They will never recognise Israel, they proclaim. They will fight until all of Palestine, from the Jordan river to the sea, is liberated from the Zionist usurpers. Or they will die trying. They will become martyrs in the holy cause, and live for ever in paradise, while their families are rewarded back on earth.
And, to judge by the press coverage, it seems to work. Trump is the villain here, along with the IDF. Little or nothing about the death cult that Hamas has become.
Liel Leibovitz in Tablet - Palestinians in Gaza Are Dying for a Photo-Op:
“We are excited to storm and get inside,” a 23-year-old Gazan named Mohammed Mansoura, told the Washington Post yesterday. “When asked what he would do inside Israel,” the newspaper reported, “he said, ‘Whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.'”
When Israel withdrew every last soldier and settler from the Gaza Strip in 2005, only the most hardened and bitter cynics predicted that the end of Israel’s occupation of 1.3 million Palestinians would bring even greater misery to Palestinians and Israelis alike. After all, the man who led the withdrawal, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was hardly a naive peacenik. The only way things could possibly get worse in Gaza after an Israeli withdrawal, even sober-minded people reasoned, would be if the Palestinians themselves chose leaders who were determined to sacrifice the welfare of every single person living in Gaza to a hopeless yet continuing campaign of cross-border terror against Israel.
Absurd, right? Sadly, that is exactly what has happened, leading to devastating wars in 2009 and 2014, whose failure led in turn to the recent decision by Hamas to launch a series of human wave attacks against Israel proper. Since there is no state on earth that would allow its borders to be physically overrun by mobs including terrorists with explosives, the outcome of these attacks was clear: Hamas would lose.
To show its strength, Hamas was supposed to turn out several hundred thousand Gazans yesterday to rush the border and kill—or maim—Israeli civilians inside Israel. Instead, they turned out a mere forty thousand people—meaning that the majority of Hamas’ own membership in Gaza opted out of this insanity. By the gruesome calculus that Hamas has imposed on Palestinians and Israelis alike, the tactic of using innocent Gazans as human shields for attacks on Israel’s borders had proven to be a failure.
But Hamas won anyway, by giving the Western media the opportunity to juxtapose pictures of Donald Trump and his family with pictures of dead Palestinians. In exchange for those precious images, the media was more than happy to erase the facts that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, that the attacks on Israel’s borders have been going on for weeks, or that Hamas is an evil, anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic, theocratic cult. The chance to bash Trump and demonize Israel was worth whitewashing any number of crimes —and the more Palestinians Hamas sent to die, the better the photo op.