- - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thank you for Scott Pinsker’s excellent column, “Corpse PR: The Hamas handbook” (Web, July 28). Mr. Pinsker’s charge that the media have blood on their hands because it encourages Hamas‘ violence is absolutely right.

Hamas attacks civilians in Israel from the Gaza Strip’s dense city centers. It stores rockets in Gaza’s schools and hospitals and fires at the Israeli children it targets from behind the Palestinian children it uses as human shields. While Israel goes to great lengths to warn Palestinian civilians to leave areas that Hamas turns into military targets, Hamas persuades the people to stay, happily sacrificing them as involuntary martyrs to its genocidal cause of destroying Israel. As Mosab Hassan Yousef, a fierce critic of the terrorist group his father co-founded, has observed: “Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans.”

Hamas‘ calculated strategy forces the Jewish state to choose between allowing terrorists to attack Israelis with impunity — something no nation on earth would tolerate — and responding in self-defense, inevitably harming Palestinian civilians, which in turn results in Israel being unfairly condemned. Hamas‘ barbaric strategy is obvious, cynical and morally bankrupt — and yet it succeeds.

The media are the engines powering this “cycle of violence.” When the media report on an Israeli airstrike without providing context explaining that Hamas is by design firing at Israelis from civilian areas in order to force Israel to harm civilians when it defends itself, and that the carnage is the intended result of Hamas‘ depraved strategy, they encourage Hamas to persist with this murderous tactic.

If the media were more responsible in explaining how Hamas orchestrates the horror it causes on both sides, as well as how Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are to blame for the failure of peace efforts generally, the world might rise above its reflexive anti-Israel bias and unequivocally condemn Hamas. That wouldn’t stop Hamas from trying to destroy Israel, but it would deprive Hamas of its incentive to use Palestinian civilians as public relations pawns to soil Israel’s good name.

STEPHEN A. SILVER

San Francisco