History is repeating itself, the co-producer of the 2016 film Eyeless in Gaza says.
Made after Operation Protective Edge, the documentary explores the media’s culpability in distorting how that conflict between Hamas and Israel was portrayed on TV and in the press.
“Hamas fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately into Israel, precipitating a war in Gaza,” co-producer Ruth Magid said.
“In spite of the fact that Hamas’s actions were a war crime, the sympathy of the international media was essentially with them and hostile to Israel. Israel was painted as the aggressor while Hamas was a freedom fighting liberation army.
“This despite the brutality of Hamas towards its own population, their well-documented callous use of their own brethren as human shields, their public execution of members of Fatah, gays and any deviants, their diversion of aid to provide materials for the building of terror tunnels and weapons, their antisemitic fanatic founding charter, and more.”
Ruth and Robert Magid decided to make a documentary exposing media bias.
“We called it Eyeless in Gaza, after a phrase in a poem by John Milton, ‘eyeless’ clearly referring to the blindness of wide swathes of the media,” said Ruth.
Now, she said, history is repeating itself.
“Frenzied mobs are marching around the world screaming for the entire destruction of the Jewish state. Information provided by the Hamas terrorists themselves, the perpetrators of the sadistic depraved pogrom of October 7, is automatically accepted by the media as true. Again the media is complicit in stoking the fires of hatred and ignorance.
“Our movie presents the history of the area, the nature of Hamas, the inaccuracies of the media. We interview Hamas leaders, western military spokesmen, Middle eastern politicians, leading journalists.
“The audience will recognise how relevant this documentary is to the current conflict.”
Eyeless in Gaza reveals how Hamas manipulated media coverage in 2014, intimidating and threatening journalists and forcing them to create a false impression of the impact of Israeli shelling by focusing solely on civilian casualties.
Footage shows Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zohri, who is normally guarded when facing Western media. But speaking to the documentary’s Palestinian crew, he admits that when Israel drops leaflets urging civilians to leave their homes ahead of an imminent airstrike, “Hamas asked people to stay in their homes.”
The documentary also includes footage filmed by an Indian camera crew that shows Palestinian terrorists firing rockets towards Israel from the middle of a residential area, as well as an extensive interview with RT TV correspondent Harry Fear, who covered Gaza for three years but was expelled after tweeting that Hamas was launching missiles near his hotel.
Fear says in the documentary that during the conflict it was clear that the side paying the highest price, namely the Palestinians, could have been spared much of the suffering if only Hamas, which claimed to represent them, had accepted the ceasefires that were then offered.
Robert and Ruth Magid are the publishers of The AJN.
Watch Eyeless in Gaza: youtube.com/watch?v=rB57WuCf1xQ&t=2s