They say that truth is the first casualty of war and nowhere has this been more apparent than in events in Gaza over the past number of weeks.
The international media has largely rushed to condemn Israel, with grotesque accusations of war crimes and massacres of innocent Palestinians.
But much of this condemnation has been based on that spewed out by the slick propaganda machine of Hamas and we should pause for a moment and remember that we really have seen it all before.
Remember the Jenin massacre of 2002? The world’s media was awash back then with claims of Israel savagely killing thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank. Moral outrage was everywhere. Politicians queued up to castigate Israel.
There was just one problem – it never happened. A Kofi Annan-authored UN report subsequently made it clear that around 25 Palestinian civilians had died along with 23 Israeli soldiers.
It was pure unadulterated Palestinian propaganda aimed at generating sympathetic headlines and burying truth in the heat of the moment. In 2002, the media swallowed the lie and in 2014 the same tendency remains.
Hamas know they cannot defeat the superior military power of Israel but they have more deadly weapons than anything the IDF possess.
They can use the civilians of Gaza as their alternative to the Iron Dome and in doing so generate sympathy from a media that seems almost eager to believe the worst of Israel whilst accepting the best of Hamas.
Hamas have used the basement of Gaza City’s Shifa hospital as their military command and control structure – cynically calculating that when Israel hits back they will win the sympathy of the “international community”.
The same logic drives Hamas to utilise UN schools in Gaza as missile storage locations. When Israel takes these out it then becomes charged as being the aggressor.
In this way, mosques, private houses, schoolyards, they all become perfect locations to launch the terror war against Israel.
In this age of social media, an electronic intifada has also been used to paint Israel as the bad guys. Hundreds of terrible images of women and children have been posted online.
Many of these have turned out to be from nearby Syria, where Muslims kill Muslims with much less moral outrage from the great and the good. The deliberate misattribution of these images can be described as a ‘Pallywood’ production for the gullible.
When one reads the cant trotted out by many governments across the world on this issue, it seems that Israel has a theoretical right to defend itself from Hamas just so long as this does not happen in practice.
Israel vacated Gaza in 2005 with not so much as one Jewish person remaining in it. Over the past 10 years, Hamas have systematically turned this area into one vast base for conducting terror against their Israeli neighbour.
With a charter that explicitly seeks the utter destruction of Israel, Hamas can only preen as victims if the world’s media remain with their eyes wide shut.
l David Vance is a businessman and former TUV candidate