Why do some people — and some nations — insist on holding to the belief that Israel dropped a bomb or fired a rocket at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital?
You don’t believe the Israeli government? There’s deep skepticism about past lies from the Israeli government regarding a host of incidents where Israel allegedly blamed Hamas for a war crime only to have it revealed later that Israel was responsible. This isn’t necessarily surprising, given that truth is the first casualty in any war. In fact, it’s a constant source of amazement to me that people don’t take all information reported on a war that comes from a government with a grain of salt.
But in the case of the hospital incident, the preponderance of evidence rules out an Israeli attack. Not only does the aftermath of what happened resemble the Israeli explanation — a Hamas grad rocket malfunctioning and landing in the parking lot of the hospital — but the entire rest of the Hamas narrative has completely fallen apart.
A few questions:
- Where are the 500 dead bodies we were told perished in the “blast”? It’s a given that Hamas propagandists would have staged a mass funeral through the streets of Gaza with thousands of mourners.
- If it was an Israeli rocket or bomb, where’s the crater?
- Why is the hospital almost undamaged, not to mention surrounding buildings that are still standing?
- Why is most of the damage to automobiles in the parking lot caused by fire and not blast?
On the other hand, there’s the audio that sounds fake, and the Israelis’ initial video of the Hamas rocket landing short of its target was from last year. And the aforementioned lies told by the Israeli government in the past.
So, you can believe murderous terrorists who kill babies, women, and old people, or you can believe your own two eyes.
The Israelis, with some level of detail, say that their bombs leave much bigger craters than the divot in the parking lot, that video evidence shows a Gaza-fired rocket that exploded and went sideways, that the damage is consistent with how Hamas rockets damage Israeli targets, that there is no physical evidence of Israeli munitions on the scene, that they have no record of firing anything in that time/place, and that they have intercepted Hamas audio from Gaza discussing the misfire in real time.
It goes without saying that Arab governments in the region still refuse to believe Israel. Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi says he’s a skeptic.
“Nobody is buying that narrative in this part of the world,” Safadi told NBC. Safadi’s predecessor, Marwan Muasher, echoed that in an interview with CNN: “The Arab public puts the attack squarely on Israel.”
Of course the Arab street doesn’t believe Israel and never will. In fact, it’s in the vital national interest of Jordan and other Arab states to point the finger at Israel each and every time they can manage it.
To the Arab governments, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. Hatred of Israel is lovingly fostered as a means to control the population. To use Jordan as an example, the government of King Abdullah II is one of the most repressive on earth, being ranked 146th in the Freedom House survey of global freedom.
Despite no evidence, Abdullah placed the blame for the hospital attack on Israel and declared “three days of national mourning” for the victims. Is it any wonder that ordinary Jordanians are hysterically anti-Israel with a government that feeds the hate frenzy of its citizens?
A March-April Washington Institute survey of 1,000 randomly selected Jordanian citizens showed that 84 percent opposed doing business with Israeli companies, 76 percent think Jordan should refuse Israeli humanitarian aid even during a natural catastrophe, and a distressing 60 percent had positive views about Hamas firing rockets into Israel. A June-December 2022 poll by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies put opposition to diplomatic recognition of Israel at an overwhelming 94 percent.
“The only way that people would entertain a different narrative,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Safadi told NBC, “is if there is an independent international inquiry into the tragedy that has happened with impeccable evidence that it was not Israel.”
And Safadi is praying that doesn’t happen.
Israel is a convenient whipping boy for Arab governments. Bad economy? Blame Israel? Bad harvest? Blame Israel. Never mind the leaders robbing the people blind. It’s Israel’s fault you’re dirt poor and have lousy services because — you guessed it — Israel.
As I mentioned in my own article about the hospital, the narrative is now set in stone and has gone from news to myth to legend in a matter of hours. On this plane of existence, truth is of no consequence. What matters is the preconceived notion of guilt that is currently roiling the Arab street and has now been added to the tally as one more black mark against Israel.