I am a British trained physician. My life has been devoted to creating medicines and improving global health.
I am also a refugee from apartheid in South Africa. My family has witnessed and battled racial oppression and is dedicated to promoting democracy and social justice.
With that background and understanding, I recognize the role of the media and the power of imagery in the important battle for truth. I also understand how manipulating this truth is the work of those fundamentally opposed to peace, and that is the agenda of the government of Gaza, Hamas.
But that is only part one of its agenda. It is the de-legitimization of Israel and the dehumanizing of Jews which is its ultimate agenda.
I don't have a blog or a platform, but many in the US and Europe have asked me for my thoughts on what is unfolding in Israel and Gaza. So I am going to give it a try.
To start, my heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the children and other innocents injured and killed in this conflict. My heart also goes out to the families and loved ones of the IDF soldiers lost in battle.
Everyday, the world witnesses coverage which effectively executes Hamas' media strategy: To cynically place civilians in harm's way, callously allow them to be killed, and then immorally exploit their deaths by promoting the imagery of their deaths. The press is a willing enabler and co-conspirator in this, and the world is insufficiently questioning.
To confirm this, one has only to look at the media in Europe (let alone the Arab world) where there is near hysteria about Israel...which is all in line with the intent of Hamas. There are monstrous distortions permeating the press in Europe and elsewhere in media coverage of what is unfolding. The deeply flawed reporting makes what is going on seem pitiably one-sided; the coverage suggests a desolately abandoned populous left to the murderous attention of an evil state, Israel.
But there is little or nothing from the press detailing how Hamas protects and aids the non-combatant population of Gaza. Why are so few resources devoted to improving Gazan quality of life? The answer is not just that Hamas lacks understanding of, or willfully ignores, the true needs of a state but also that Hamas is executing with horrific logic on its macabre and evil strategy. Media coverage lacks context and proportion.
In the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria, over 175,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, have died in the last 3 years. This is many times the total number of people who have died on all sides in ALL the wars in the 66 years since the founding of Israel. In Iraq and Syria, it is reported that at least 9 million people have been displaced in 3 years. (This is against a total of 600,000 Jews from Arab lands who have been displaced and 600,000 Arabs from Palestine who have been displaced over 70 years.) These Arab on Arab tragedies evoke nothing. No protests in London, no riots in Paris, no calls for reparations to be made. Nothing. Silence.
Is it so acceptable that Arab kill Arab? Is the life of a Syrian child so much less valuable than a child in Gaza or Jerusalem? What is it that so evokes the rage and ire of Turkish leaders to call for Jews to pay reparations, when immediately across its border, mass Arab on Arab slaughter has unfolded? There is not a significant whimper overall from the world press - and compounding this even the images of these massacres have been used cynically and with impunity by Hamas and falsely reported as Israeli atrocities.
Why is it that the UN members constantly condemn Israel? The disproportionate and slanted distortions about Israel permeate so many forums, so much of the world consciousness.
The profound hypocrisy of those who rage against Israel and stand silent in the face of true genocide, murder and rape and destruction on a astonishing scale in the adjoining Arab countries can only be understood, if at their core we see this as a fundamental attack not just on Israel but on Jews as a whole.
This media blitz, fostered and egged on by Hamas (and others) does exactly what is intended: It creates a myth and fosters a narrative. This narrative is a 21st century version of the Protocols of Zion, geared, manipulated and magnified by all the tools of social and established media, wittingly or unwittingly.
And to what end one has to ask? The answer lies in understanding the intent of the authors the original Protocols over a century ago. It is the same intent as that of Hamas and its supporters today.
It is because this narrative has been used before to such evil and horrible effect in the 20th century, all right-minded people must take a stand and, while detesting all aspects of war and simultaneously supporting peaceful states for both Palestinians and Israelis, demand and insure that Hamas and others of its ilk, never be given or allowed the opportunity and capability to attack the people of Israel - Christian, Muslim or Jew.
I listen to friends in Tel Aviv, Iksal, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Sderot and Ramat Gan, Beit Alfa, Sderot and Ramat Hovav and all recognize that this situation will repeat until brave leadership arises to confront and deal with the needs of true fundamental peace.
But in the interim, we must stand against the oppression and tools of terrorist, racists, anti-Semites and their backers, like Hamas. And a critical start would be for us all to understand the cynicism and evil intent behind Hamas' media strategy, and reject it. And then confront it vigorously at all levels.
Dr. Jeremy M. Levin is the former CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.