Israel’s President Isaac Herzog lit up the international media on Thursday, excoriating reporters for their inability over the years to see Hamas as terrorists and constantly criticizing Israel for their “disproportionate” response to Hamas terrorism.
Herzog sounded like a man who was fed up with the constant equivocations, moral posturing, and intellectual blindness of the international media who refused to see the truth right before their eyes.
“Sderot has been attacked time and again for years and years, and suffered thousands and thousands of missiles,” Herzog told a gathering of international journalists at his residence. “And the world kept on repeating the slogan ‘disproportionate Israeli response,’” the president said, referring to criticism of Israeli strikes on Gaza following Hamas rocket attacks.
“Every time this havoc was inflicted on these villages and towns, we were told ‘disproportionate response,’” he added. “I’m asking myself whether the international community and the international media is now understanding what a false interpretation of the reality that was. Do they now believe us that we are faced with one of the most cruel enemies on earth?”
The international press — especially the supposedly “free” Western press — has played a game known in the news business as “bothsiderism,” especially when it comes to Israel’s response to terrorist attacks.
Webster defines the term “bothsiderism” as “media or public figures giving credence to the other side of a cause, action, or idea to seem fair or only for the sake of argument when the credibility of that side may be unmerited. The term is also used to describe public figures equivocating about a seemingly condemnable action saying that people on both sides are equally responsible for that action.
Has Hamas ever merited credibility?
The president also called on media outlets to clearly label Hamas as a terrorist organization. The BBC in particular has faced sharp criticism for not doing so, including from the UK defense secretary.
“The press around the world needs to look at reality,” Herzog said. “They must declare and call Hamas a terrorist organization without ifs and buts, without explanation… these are not freedom fighters. These are terrorists, the worst enemies of humanity that one can imagine.”
To use the excuse of calling Hamas terrorists “militants” or even “freedom fighters” is selective objectivity. Palestinians who refer to Hamas terrorists as “freedom fighters” should ask themselves what kind of “freedom” is Hamas fighting for if they get it by murder, rape, and other atrocities?
Asked by The Times of Israel whether he thought the wave of international support Israel has received in recent days would wane as the conflict stretched on and the death toll in Gaza rises, Herzog said, “This is exactly the moment of truth.”
“Nations must stand up to the truth,” he added, praising German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for expressing “moral clarity as to the situation” in comments earlier Thursday in which he said Berlin has a “perpetual task for us to stand up for the security of the State of Israel.”
Herzog’s harsh words won’t change anything. The international media is full of its own arrogant certainty and, besides being amused by Herzog’s rant, won’t pay it any mind.
Related: The Propaganda Is Off the Charts
Perhaps it’s enough that Herzog went on the record with the truth. And it didn’t hurt that he gave an impassioned, penetrating plea for some sanity in the world.
“We are fighting terror,” Herzog said. “Humanity has to decide: are we accommodating terror or are we fighting terror? We saw the worst atrocities possible. We are seeing the worst atrocities possible by a whole campaign of a movement, which has major support from our neighbors.”
Herzog continued, “I agree, there are many, many innocent Palestinians who do not agree with this [ideology], but unfortunately, in their homes, there are missiles shooting at us, at my children, on the entire nation of Israel. We have to defend ourselves. We have the full right to do so. It’s about time the whole world understands it, this is the tragedy of using terror. There is no mercy to terror.”
How long before Hamas, Hezbollah, or some other terror group obtains a nuclear weapon? The mindset that demonstrated soulless cruelty in killing grandmothers, raping girls, and beheading babies would gladly detonate a nuclear weapon and then praise Allah for their “victory.”