The Onion’s brutal Israel commentary goes beyond satire

But for Israel supporters, The Onion’s Israel coverage seems downright sinister. “Israel’s enemies have used disinformation as a weapon of war,” David Frum, a senior editor at the Atlantic and one of the country’s most prominent never-Trump conservatives, explained. “Forty-eight hours after the May 16 battle, for example, Hamas now acknowledges that 50 of the 62 killed were its own gunmen. But truth is always slower than falsehood, because truth catches the facts.”

The way Frum sees it, in our current social media dystopia that is fueled by half-truths and straight up lies, “We are all vulnerable to weaponized falsehoods that exploit our prejudices.”

“We are all called to be responsible with the amazing communication power that smartphones place in our hands, and calling ourselves ‘comedians’ does not exempt us from that duty,” Frum added. He doesn’t see the assertion that Israel gunned down peaceful protesters as any different from the false stories shared during the 2016 election, like the claim that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease or that the pope endorsed Donald Trump. The Onion’s Israel coverage, Frum told me, doesn’t “become any less false when shared with a smirk or a snicker rather than the talking head’s face of feigned concern.”