Last week, about 250 journalists were invited to an IDF military base near Tel Aviv for a briefing. The purpose was simple: According to IDF spokesman Daniel Agari, “We want people to understand what we are fighting for.” He explained that the journalists would be shown raw footage of Hamas terrorists committing “crimes against humanity.”
And yet, even while describing the horrific offenses, he was careful to separate the evil of Hamas from the wider Palestinian population and to distinguish the inhuman blood lust of Hamas from the religious views of Islam.
The journalists were shown 43 minutes of video recordings of some of Hamas’ most appalling crimes during their Oct. 7 rampage in southern Israel. It was, in the words of one journalist, “a montage of atrocity,” that reflected “the fetishization of death.” According to reports, the journalists were shown unspeakable acts of evil and depravity, as victims were humiliated, tortured, mutilated and violated to the gleeful terrorist screams of “Allahu Akbar!”
By all accounts, the sadism and raw hatred of the Hamas terrorists — who filmed themselves and their compatriots throughout the rampage — is mind-boggling, as was the glee of the murderers who bragged about their blood-soaked accomplishments to supportive family members and friends.
As painful and uncomfortable as it must have been to watch the horrors of human degradation, massacre and mutilation, we understand exactly why the Israeli government felt compelled to share the footage with the press. It is the necessary response to selective skepticism and obfuscation in certain corners of the press, on college campuses and among a disturbingly increasing circle of left-leaning politicians, diplomats and others around the world.
Rather than expressing the gut-wrenching revulsion that should be heard from any person of conscience who learns of the atrocities, the newfound “humanists” seek to justify the work of Hamas “martyrs” as an understandable response to “the occupation,” and advance similar, morally bankrupt drivel in support of unimaginable terror. They want to blame the victims.
That narrative is a lie. And the proponents of that lie are shameless haters. The Hamas atrocities on Oct. 7 had absolutely nothing to do with occupation, had no relationship to a one- or two-state solution and were not driven by any claimed victimization of the Palestinian people over the past 75 years. Hamas terror was driven by one goal — the desire to kill Jews and destroy the state of Israel.
We support Israel’s effort to respond forcefully to crush Hamas and to assure that Hamas hate and terror will never again threaten the Jewish state or the Jewish people. Unfortunately, innocent people will die in the process, both in Gaza and in Israel. But that is entirely on Hamas.
Israel is engaged in an existential war with pure evil. If Hamas wants a cease-fire or any concession from Israel, Hamas should free the hostages it abducted, put down its weapons and face justice for its crimes. The terrorist marauders of Oct. 7, and those who trained and directed them, are marked men. It’s just a question of when they will pay for their depraved brutality.