Over the weekend, TheBlaze reported on an MSNBC anchor’s contention that rockets aren’t all that dangerous. It seems that opinion is more widely held, as a Sun News television reporter discovered, when she set out to cover a group of demonstrators protesting in support of Hamas in Toronto.
Reporter Paige MacPherson and her crew attended a rally Thursday night where some 300 protested against Israel and in support of Hamas. Though those in the group had strongly-held opinions, those opinions weren’t always backed up by fact, as MacPherson quickly discovered. TheBlaze provides reality checks of the protester's statements in brackets below.
She began by asking protesters: Does Israel have a right to defend itself?
Her first interviewee said: “They’re not defending themselves. They’ve been stealing people’s land since 1946” [Note: the State of Israel was established in 1948, not 1946.]
This was her exchange with a man wearing a Palestinian keffiyah around his neck:
Demonstrator: “These rockets don’t actually have firepower.”
Reporter: “They’re rockets.”
Demonstrator: “They’re rockets, yes, they have flight capability. But they don’t have firepower to the same extent as phosphorous bombs that are being dropped on Gaza every single day.”
[Note: not even the Palestinians are accusing the IDF of using phosphorous bombs during its Operation Pillar of Defense -- the name of the latest military response.]
“Gaza has been under siege for a really, really long time,” said one woman whose head was covered by a hijab. “I feel it is self-defense for them [Hamas] if they fire a few rockets. But Israel has been killing people every day for a longer time than they have been firing back. So I feel that Hamas has the right to defend itself.” [Note: Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense days after Hamas and other terrorist groups began pounding southern Israeli communities.]
Another man incorrectly contended: “Israel has also been blocking essential medicines from entering Palestine. It’s been blocking staples like chocolates.” [Note: On Sunday, the IDF allowed into Gaza truckoads of essential goods including 64 truckloads of food and 16 trucks of medicine, even while Israeli soldiers and civilians were being attacked by Hamas rockets from Gaza].
He added: “When we talk about does Israel have the right to reply to a few firecrackers thrown at it?”
Asked if she believed the Jewish people have a right to a homeland in Israel or in the Middle East, one woman smiled tellingly and said: “I don’t want to answer. Sorry.”
MacPherson could not find one demonstrator who would call Hamas a terrorist group even though its modus operandi is to target civilian men, women and children.
One demonstrator shared his opinion about the terrorist label: “I’m indifferent. I’ll have to admit I don’t like any particular religion at all so I don’t like religious organizations.” [Note: Hamas is a fundamentalist Islamic group.]
Protesters shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and held up signs of slain terrorist Ahmed Jaabari, the former head of the military wing of Hamas who Israeli forces killed last week.
When protest organizers learned MacPherson was with the conservative Sun News, they refused to speak further. She says some in the crowd became aggressive with her and her crew, pushing them while one man bit her microphone.
Watch MacPherson's coverage of the demonstration here:
(H/T: Israelly Cool)