BY MOSHE HILL ISRAEL OCTOBER 11 2023
In the days that followed the savage Hamas attack on civilian lives, reactions from world leaders and the media came in droves. Many of these reactions showed support for Israel, yet a disturbingly large number either dismissed the suffering that Israel is bearing or ignored it altogether. Premature calls for restraint from Israel, moral equivalency, or absolute silence on the issue all occurred.
The Biden White House initially struggled to find its bearings in how to react to the Hamas attack. After years of caving to the Leftist anti-Israel flank of the Democratic Party, many of whom are still calling for the destruction of the Jewish state as a war occurs, the administration began its messaging to the American people and the Jewish community on autopilot.
The State Department’s Office of Palestinian Affairs made the first public statement blunder. “We unequivocally condemn the attack of Hamas terrorists and the loss of life that has incurred,” they wrote on X. “We urge all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing.” This post was made while Hamas terrorists were killing concert goers and kidnapping women and children. Senator Ted Cruz reacted strongly to this, saying, “This is disgraceful, and every single person involved in drafting and approving this tweet should be immediately expelled from the US government.” The post was quickly deleted.
Yet the sentiment was not gone. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called for a ceasefire while bodies were still warm. “Turkish Foreign Minister @HakanFidan and I spoke further on Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel,” Blinken wrote on X. “I encouraged Türkiye’s advocacy for a cease-fire and the release of all hostages held by Hamas immediately.” Once again, Ted Cruz led the charge in blasting the Secretary of State. “It was absolutely disgraceful. The US must ensure Israel has all the weapons and the time it needs to utterly destroy Hamas. Calling for premature ceasefires means siding with Hamas and absolving Hamas of murder, rape, torture, and unspeakable war crimes.” That post by Blinken was also deleted.
Then there are the optics of Joe Biden’s Sunday, while America’s greatest ally in the Middle East was under attack and at war, Biden “called a lid” at approximately 11:30 in the morning, which means that he wasn’t accepting questions from the press for that day and hosted a barbecue at the White House. According to the pool report, reporters could hear live music coming from the White House, which drew condemnation from Republicans. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted, “While Hamas holds Americans hostage, Joe Biden is enjoying a picnic with a live band,” to which GOP consultant Steve Guest replied, “As the saying goes, Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”
It took some time for the administration to get its messaging together, but when they did it was in support of Israel. “This morning, I spoke with @IsraeliPM to express my full support for the people of Israel in the face of an unprecedented and appalling assault by Hamas terrorists,” said a post on Biden’s twitter account. “We will remain in close contact over the coming days.” When Netanyahu informed Biden that the IDF will be going into Gaza, reports say that Biden did not urge restraint, essentially giving a tacit blessing from the United States to do what needed to be done.
Former presidents weighed in on the war as well. President Trump reacted quickly in condemning the attacks, and lobbed blame at his 2024 rival Joe Biden. “These Hamas attacks are a disgrace, and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force.” Trump wrote in one statement. “Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden administration,” Trump continued.
Former Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton have all weighed in, in support for Israel, but critics were pointing out that it took Obama and Clinton over 72 hours to make any statement at all.
The corporate media had some trouble shaking off years of bias against Israel to make statements in support of the victims of terror. MSNBC’s coverage was so egregious that it was indistinguishable from Hamas propaganda videos. Even ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who is rightly criticized for his greater loyalty to Leftist causes than Jewish ones, went on the air to blast their coverage.
“Who writes your scripts?” Greenblatt asked as he urged them to “get this story right.” During an appearance on “Morning Joe,” Greenblatt expressed his anger at media outlets for “sanitizing” the brutality of the atrocities against Israelis, emphasizing that Hamas terrorists were responsible for heinous acts such as raping and brutalizing women and killing children in front of their parents. He objected to those defending Hamas’ actions and insisted that this was not a retaliation but a defensive measure against an organization committed to “killing Jews.” Greenblatt called on viewers to watch the footage and rejected the use of terms like “militants,” stating that they are “agents of death with an agenda of savagery.” He concluded by emphasizing the moral clarity of the situation, framing it as a battle of good versus evil.
Forbes deleted a post on X where they said that “Hamas Threatens To Execute Israeli Civilian Hostages For Unprompted Attacks On Gaza.” The Washington Post played the “both sides” game with the headline, “Israel formally declares war against Hamas as hundreds killed on both sides.” The BBC’s headlines highlighted Israeli airstrikes over terrorist attacks.
Academia and activist groups are even worse than the media. They do not bother to hide their support for Hamas’ actions in Israel. More than 30 Harvard University student organizations, including the Ivy League’s affiliate of Amnesty International, the Harvard Islamic Society, and Harvard Jews for Liberation, released a letter condemning Israel for Hamas’ attacks, asserting that the Israeli government is “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” Harvard has not condemned this letter, which prompted former Harvard president and Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, Lawrence Summers, to condemn them.
“The silence from Harvard’s leadership, so far, coupled with a vocal and widely reported student groups’ statement blaming Israel solely, has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish State of Israel,” he said. “I am sickened. I cannot fathom the Administration’s failure to disassociate the University and condemn this statement.”
Black Lives Matter Grassroots issued a statement saying it “stands in solidarity with our Palestinian family who are currently resisting 57 years of settler colonialism and apartheid.” IfNotNow issued a statement saying, “We cannot and will not say today’s actions by Palestinian militants are unprovoked. Every day under Israel’s system of apartheid is a provocation. The strangling siege on Gaza is a provocation.” Jewish Voice for Peace echoed this when they blamed Israel and accused them of war crimes, an accusation they did not lob against Hamas.
Around the world, Europe and the United Nations are working against Israel in support of Hamas. While some leaders like UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are visiting synagogues and showing support for the Jewish people, others are waffling. The EU found itself embroiled in a diplomatic dispute following an announcement of the suspension of payments to Palestinians in response to Hamas attacks on Israel, leading to disagreements with member states like Ireland, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Initially, the European Commission’s Olivér Várhelyi declared a suspension of payments and project reviews, causing confusion and concern among member states about humanitarian aid being halted during the ongoing crisis in Gaza. EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell clarified that humanitarian aid would not be suspended and criticized the move, stating that it would harm EU interests and embolden terrorists. Eventually, the EU backpedaled on Várhelyi’s statement, initiating an urgent review of assistance to ensure it doesn’t indirectly support terrorist organizations while maintaining that ECHO funding would not be reviewed. Since money is fungible, the European Union will essentially be financing terror while it occurs.
The United Nations was, of course, the worst of the worst. The United Nations Human Rights Council observed a moment of silence to remember “innocent lives” lost in the “occupied Palestinian territory and elsewhere,” notably failing to acknowledge the victims of attacks by Hamas in Israel. Israeli victims literally became, “and elsewhere.”
Ambassador Zaman Mehdi, representing IOC member states, expressed deep concern over the loss of innocent lives in Palestinian territory and criticized foreign occupation and violence. However, he did not mention the victims in Israel. US Permanent Representative to the Human Rights Council Michèle Taylor requested a moment of silence to commemorate the hundreds of innocent civilian lives lost in the Hamas attack on Israel.
Even at a time where Israel is the clear recipient and victim of attack, there are those who claim to be unbiased or even supporters of the Jewish state who overtly want its destruction. They make themselves known in times like this, with their statements and their actions. They must be called out every time and shamed for their complicity with atrocities and terror.