‘Gaza Strikes Back’: UPI Hits Rock Bottom

Gaza strikes back at Israel after enduring months of war” was the United Press International headline whose relationship to reality mirrors that of George Lucas’ “The Empire Strikes Back” science fiction favorite.

Though the completely inappropriate language brings to mind the beloved cinematic classic, there is nothing entertaining about this gross distortion of the horrific events of Oct. 7 and its aftermath.
Even in light of Adam Schrader’s ever-growing record of highly problematic reporting regarding Israel, the egregiously misleading headline following Hamas’ May 26 rocket attack on central Israel was particularly galling.

The accompanying article was no better. About the Hamas (and not “Gaza,” per the headline) attack on central Israel, the article opens:

The armed wing of Hamas, the Palestinian militia that rules Gaza, has struck back at Israel after facing months of bombing by the Israeli military.

The problem with the headline and article is that they present the completely false impression that aside from an unspecified something happening in Tel Aviv in January (sirens are noted in the second paragraph), Hamas has done nothing in the last several months but peacefully sit on its hands while it absorbed unprovoked attacks from Israel.

It provides no indication of the fact that in the last seven months, Hamas, a designated terror organization (a fact which Schrader consistently ignores in his ongoing coverage), has fired more than 9300 rockets towards Israel. Indeed, earlier this month Hamas’ rocket attacks killed four soldiers on the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel, one of the sites where Israel facilitates the transfer of aid into the Gaza Strip. Notably, Schrader ignored that deadly attack in his coverage that day. Hamas again fired on Kerem Shalom in recent days ago. Rocket fire from Gaza towards southern Israel is a regular, ongoing occurrence, terrorizing small border area communities along with the city of Sderot and reaching northward to Ashkelon on the coast.

Nor does Schrader even reference Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1200 and orgy of rape, kidnapping, torture and maiming in southern Israel – atrocities which started the war. Indeed, it is Israel which struck back at Hamas after Hamas’ attacks, barbarism which President Biden described as follows: “Hamas committed atrocities that recall the worst ravages of ISIS, unleashing pure unadulterated evil upon the world.”

Schrader also doesn’t report that Hamas continues to hold 125 hostages kidnapped Oct. 7 – mostly civilians, including elderly men, women, injured, a baby and a toddler brutally grabbed from their homes and a music festival. He quotes Hamas placing the blame on Israel for the hostages’ ordeal but omits who they are and how many. Nor does include any Israeli or American response to Hamas’ false charges blaming Israel for the hostages’ captivity.

It’s striking that Schrader devotes five paragraphs to reporting or quoting statements by Hamas. On the other hand, he gives just one paragraph to Israeli officials, at the bottom of the article.

The accompanying photo caption is also drafted in the service of Hamas’ propaganda warfare, stating: “Hamas rockets are seen falling on Bnei Brak on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Hamas/Telegram.” While shrapnel fell near Bnai Brak following the Iron Dome’s successful interceptions, thankfully no rockets fell on the city. 

McClatchy, an American publisher with dozens of local newspapers across the United States, had republished Schrader’s woefully flawed article. In response to communication from CAMERA, McClatchy has commendably removed Schrader’s article from some two dozen of its news sites, including Merced Sun Star, Olympian, and Tacoma News Tribune, marking the fourth time this year it took this step with respect to the UPI reporter’s deeply problematic stories.
In contrast to McClatchy, UPI has not taken any steps as of this writing to rectify the latest Adam Schrader item which benefits Hamas, not news consumers.
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way,” Yoda said in another “Star Wars” film. He was perhaps channeling E.W. Scripps, the founding editor of United Press Association, as UPI was originally known: “Give light and the people will find their own way.” 
Schrader’s ongoing output offers neither light nor knowledge. It sullies the credibility not only of UPI, but that of all of its clients which publish his work. “Do. Or do not,” admonished Yoda. “There is no try.”

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