Just as another “Freedom Flotilla” is sailing to Gaza, veteran filmmaker Pierre Rehov’s latest film War Crimes in Gaza will be shown next week to the European Parliament under the auspices of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Pierre Rehov’s film should also be seen by the International Criminal Court, which has just received files documenting what it claims are “Israeli war crimes.”
This 55-minute film is superb and packed with both visual, factual, and historical information. If everyone on board this flotilla watched this film—and if they were open to reason—they would turn back.
Going undercover into Gaza, Rehov is able to show us some of the wealthy mansions and villas of Gaza, the bustling malls and supermarkets, luxury cars, and well-dressed people at beachfront resorts—so different from the usual visual narratives of disinformation. Rehov shows us those as well: The weeping Palestinian civilians amidst rubble telling tales of IDF atrocities and devastation.
Undercover, Rehov has frightening footage of Hamas training children as young as six how to kill; the torture and public corpse-desecration of anyone whom Hamas suspected was a ‘collaborator’ or anyone whom they viewed as an opponent; Hamas’s omnipresent but hidden “civilian” army in Gaza; the location of Hamas missiles and guns in heavily populated civilian areas; how different Hamas missiles look than IDF missiles once they have hit their target—and much else.
The film teaches us that, since Hamas could not inflict major military damage to Israel, their strategy became one of propaganda—the kind meant to turn the entire world against Israel. It worked. Everyone wanted to believe the worst of the Jewish state. No one wanted to focus on the Muslim-on-Muslim, Arab-on-Arab, and Hamas-on-Palestinian violence.
Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces inAfghanistan, confirms, on camera, that Hamas’s goal is not the liberation of Palestinians but the destruction of Israel. Hamas tries to “present Israel as being war criminals.”
According to journalist and author Matti Friedman, hating Jewish Israel “erases a deep sense of guilt” about the Holocaust. Seeing Jews as victimizers not as victims” does that. Friedman also notes in the film that reporters only cover “Israeli actions,” not the preceding Hamas attack, but also because “it matches the story that they want and [reporters] are not interested in being killed [by Hamas]…Bad Jews, good Arabs. Anything that complicates the story is taken out.”
Rehov’s film confirms that Hamas controls all press coverage and will not allow reporters to either see or report on the three kinds of vast, expensive, underground tunnels that Hamas has built all over Gaza. We see the offensive tunnels, which open out into civilian Israel; the smuggling tunnels and the defensive tunnels, which house weapons and Hamas fighters. We come to understand—we see with our own eyes—how Hamas dresses its fighters as “civilians,” and forces it real civilian population to function as human shields in the ground and propaganda wars begun by Hamas.
War Crimes in Gaza turns every Big Lie right side up. From various on-camera Israeli soldiers and military experts, we quickly understand that the IDF follows strict rules of engagement and is, without doubt, the most ethical army in the world with the least civilian casualties possible.
Rehov also challenges some of the latest Lies being told, namely, the IDF purposely killed four small boys who were running on the Gaza beach. Rehov wonders why “so many cameras were filming the sea at this very moment? Were reporters expecting something to happen? Then, who informed them?”
The film attempts to answer some of these. According to Colonel Kemp, “It would not surprise me if the Hamas deliberately lured the IDF to attack this location, as they have done it many times in this conflict before… it is extremely unlikely that children would be targeted by the IDF.” Israeli Colonel Peter Lerner claims that “The IDF had a Hamas terrorist target. We had intelligence pointing specifically to that location.”
Bassem Eid, the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring group, is perhaps the most eloquent and passionate voice on camera. He holds Hamas responsible for committing war crimes against the Palestinian people. Here is some of what he says:
Israel is using its own rockets and missiles to protect their people. Hamas is doing the opposite. Hamas is gaining power and money while more Palestinians are being victimized in Gaza…there is no doubt that Hamas used people as human shields. IDF sent messages to leave their houses. Hamas prevented them getting out of their houses by saying they are spies of Israel if they do.
Eid insists: “The one [who] committed the genocide is Hamas. The Hamas is offering their innocent people for such a kind of war.”
Rehov has made 12 films, some of which I have previously reviewed. His twelfth film will shortly appear as well. It focuses on the BDS movement. The film’s title is: Beyond Deception Strategy.
Rehov joins Gloria Greenfield as the premier filmmakers spurred by this latest, bloodiest, and long-lasting Al Aqsa Intifada.
Phyllis Chesler is the author of fifteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has published three studies about honor killing and is at work on a fourth. Her latest book is: “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews 2003-2015” (Gefen Publishers). Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com