Los Angeles Times

LA Times editorial on Israel-Hamas war raises concerns over bias and oversights.

By Rinat Harash, Honest Reporting

“U.S. should join the world’s nations in demanding a Gaza cease-fire,” an LA Times editorial declared on December 14. In its attempt to support this one-sided call, which undermines Israel’s right to self-defense, the article exemplifies a complete journalistic and moral collapse.

The newspaper’s main argument is based on a flawed mixture of ethics and realpolitik: While Hamas’ October 7 massacre in southern Israel was undoubtedly evil, the argument goes, Israel cannot continue fighting the terror group. Why? Because the Jewish state has been losing diplomatic support over its “indiscriminate bombings” in Gaza and its refusal for a ceasefire, which is needed to pave the way for peace. But this conclusion effectively validates the very evil of Hamas’ terror strategy and ignores its genocidal ideology.

“Indiscriminate Bombings”

First, the LA Times editorial board chooses to see Israel as solely responsible for the heavy death toll in Gaza, and not Hamas that uses civilians as human shields:

Hamas atrocities, no matter how evil, do not justify Israel’s casual conflation of legitimate militant targets and Palestinian civilians.

In fact, Hamas conflates the two, not Israel which painstakingly tries to avoid civilian harm. By ignoring Hamas’ strategy of embedding itself amid a civilian population, inside hospitals and schools, the article lends immunity to the terrorists. It also fails to mention that according to international law, military activity within civilian areas strips them of their protected status:

Second, the article places the onus solely on Israel by demanding more surgical strikes in Gaza. It’s completely silent on Hamas’ double war crime: Launching indiscriminate rocket fire from civilian areas in Gaza toward Israeli communities.

It also relies on Hamas’ tilted counting of the dead to make its point:

Third, the article relies on the United Nations General Assembly resolution demanding an immediate Gaza ceasefire as a moral compass. Perhaps the LA Times editorial board members should be notified that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh shares their view.

Peace Dreams

After this tacit validation of Hamas’ human shield strategy, the article attempts to historically summarize “two urgent struggles” in the Middle East: one between Israel and Hamas and one between peace and war. Both ignore Hamas’ genocidal ideology, in order to make the case for peace as the only possible solution.

The first struggle paints Hamas and Israel as two moral equals:

The recent history of the Middle East consists of two urgent struggles. The obvious one pits Israel against Hamas, a terrorist organization, as each vows to annihilate the other and refers to its enemy in subhuman terms.

LA Times editors fail to note that while it’s true that Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas after its brutal October 7 rampage, it has never been a founding credo of the Jewish state. Hamas, in contrast, has been forever sworn to Israel’s destruction. A quick look at the terror group’s founding charter makes it abundantly clear.

The second struggle is described in vague terms as an inner ethical battle — presumably of the US and of its Israeli ally, because Hamas does not have any qualms about war:

The second contest is even more existential. It’s between the human aspiration to seek peace, despite real provocations and long-standing grievances, and the baser instinct to exterminate the enemy once and for all, notwithstanding the cost to innocent lives and gross violation of international laws of war.

In this struggle, the United States should choose a path that might make peace in the future still possible. It should reverse its position against a cease-fire.

Any talk of peace, however, ignores the raison d’etre of Hamas. Only two months ago, it showed the world that it cannot be regarded as a legitimate diplomatic actor, but as a monstrous predator that needs to be eradicated. Yet LA Times editors think that a ceasefire now — and not Israel’s removal of an existential threat — would lead to peace:

And the double standard of the entire piece is obvious when at no point do LA Times editors mention the Israeli hostages. Calling for a ceasefire while Hamas still holds Israeli hostages — including women and children — is repugnant. Had they wanted peace, LA Times editors should have demanded a return of all hostages and a dismantling of the terrorist state.

Indeed, any pressure on Israel to lay down its arms, let alone talk peace, before its hostages are released and its goals are achieved, means acceptance of Hamas’ monstrosity and the forfeiting of Jewish blood.

Admittedly, the writers do speculate about a future without Hamas. But they claim that Palestinian grievances would fuel the struggle further. Perhaps they should be reminded that on October 7, Palestinians who breached the Gaza fence didn’t celebrate their long-awaited liberty, but the brutal murder and rape of Jews.

Maybe the LA Times editorial board should also be reminded that only after the Nazis were defeated in 1945, peace became a viable option.

Today, Hamas is committed to fulfilling a Nazi-like ideology. Why not fight it? Why accept evil?

Based on this logic, would the LA Times editorial board also recommend a ceasefire with Hitler?