FROM DAY ONE, WE WERE TREATED DIFFERENTLY: THE CELEBRATIONS
Hamas is an internationally-recognized terrorist organization that is explicit in its aim to annihilate Israel and the Jewish people in its very foundational charter. On October 7, 2023, thousands of Hamas terrorists invaded internationally-recognized sovereign Israeli territory and slaughtered 1,200 people in a matter of hours, the majority of them civilians. They went door to door, pulling people from their beds, maiming, mutilating, beheading, raping, and burning entire families alive. About 80 percent of the corpses showed signs of torture. They also took over 200 people hostage, including Holocaust survivors and a 9-month-old. It was the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Israel is a small country; had October 7 happened in the United States, it would be the equivalent of individually slaughtering 50,000 Americans in a matter of hours.
Instead of expressing outrage, there were worldwide celebrations. In the West Bank, Gaza, and elsewhere in the Arab world, candy was handed out on the streets in celebration. In Gaza, thousands gathered to cheer as terrorists paraded mutilated corpses. A group of 3000 United Nations teachers expressed their joy at the murder and mutilation of Israelis, including young children. All over left-wing social media, people celebrated.
On October 8, before any Israeli retaliation whatsoever, crowds of thousands gathered in Times Square to express their support for the murderers, holding signs that declared “decolonization is not a metaphor” and “by any means necessary.”
Fringe extremists exist, but this was hardly the fringe. And we know this is not a normal reaction. We did not see entire protests in Times Square in support of the Russian slaughter of Ukrainians, 9/11, the ISIS genocide of Yazidis, the slaughter of Yemenis, the slaughter of Syrians, or any other atrocity.
FROM DAY ONE, WE WERE TREATED DIFFERENTLY: THE CONTEXTUALIZATION AND QUALIFICATION
Secretary General of the United Nations Anthony Guterres’s initial response to the October 7 massacre was the following: “It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.”
First, let me make one thing clear: there is no context, in international law or anywhere else, that justifies or minimizes the slaughter, torture, and rape of civilians, including women, children, those with disabilities, and the elderly.
But beyond that, there is a glaring double standard when Israel is the victim of a massacre. Let’s take a look at another example of terrorism as a guideline. When ISIS bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, on May 22, 2017, killing 22, Secretary General Guterres immediately “strongly condemned” the attack, and the Security Council released a statement, condemning “in the strongest terms the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack” and extending its solidarity to the United Kingdom. No one said the attack had to be understood “in the context” of the UK’s invasion of Iraq, the war against ISIS, or the UK’s long history of colonialism in the region, and no one said that it did not happen in a vacuum.
Similarly, on October 7, millions of people rushed to social media to provide “context” for the cold-blooded, purposeful, and indiscriminate murder of civilians. Others, before their “condemnation,” felt the need to clarify that they were not supporters of the Israeli government (okay, and?), when they’ve otherwise strongly condemned atrocities perpetrated on others, without feeling the need to qualify their support (or lack thereof) for any other country’s government.
FROM DAY ONE, WE WERE TREATED DIFFERENTLY: THE VICTIM-BLAMING
On October 7, as the massacre was still unfolding, 31 Harvard University organizations released a statement holding Israel “entirely responsible” for the slaughter of its own citizens. I reiterate: as Israelis were still being slaughtered by the hundreds simply for being Jewish — or for being associated with Jews — we were told that our own slaughter was our fault.
They were not the only ones to do so. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Iran and Iraq blamed Israel for the October 7 slaughter. Black Lives Matter Chicago blamed Israel for the October 7 slaughter. Labor unions across the United States blamed Israel for the October 7 slaughter. The list goes on.
After the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an article in which one anonymous police officer said that the police is looking into the possibility that some of the victims of the Nova music festival massacre were killed by fire from an IDF military chopper, antisemites took the statement out of context, distorted it, and disseminated it all the media and the internet.
In response to the Haaretz article, the Israeli police put out a statement that the investigation was only in regard to police activities on October 7, not military activities, and that as such, they do not have “any indication about the harm to civilians due to aerial activity there.”
Regardless, the conspiracy has taken a life of its own, so much so that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of carrying out the massacre. Abbas later retracted his statement. A few other unverified reports have also similarly taken out of context to “prove” that Israel was actually behind its own massacre.
To this day, we are told, in response to released hostage testimony that Israeli women are being raped in the Hamas tunnels, that it’s justified because “they were soldiers.” For what it’s worth, no one’s rape is justified — even when they’re soldiers.
A FEW DAYS LATER CAME THE DENIAL
The 10/7 massacre was live-streamed by the perpetrators on their own social media platforms.
Initially, antisemites celebrated. After more and more heinous, indefensible details started to come out, antisemites started denying it happened at all.
To reiterate: the massacre was live-streamed to social media — by the perpetrators. We all saw it in the early hours of October 7. The perpetrators have gone on to boast about it since. For example, on January 10, the leader of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said, “We should hold on to the victory that took place on October 7 and build upon it.”
The level of denial — just a few days after October 7 — is so pervasive that Israel had to compile a 47-minute film of footage with the most graphic, dehumanizing video evidence to screen for international reporters, government officials, and more.
But no amount of evidence seems to be enough. No independent investigations are enough. No video footage is enough. No survivor or eyewitness testimony is enough. Why are people denying what’s before their very eyes? Why?
THEN THE ONE-SIDED DEMANDS
From October 7, there were already demands on Israel — on Israel, as its civilians were massacred — to ceasefire. These demands came from important voices, including American Congresspeople, groups such as UNICEF, and more. These calls made little, if any, mention of Hamas, the perpetrator of the October 7 massacre.
No other country would be asked, as a slaughter of their people was still unfolding, to lay down their arms.
Since then, the calls for Israel — and only Israel — to ceasefire have been incessant. They have continued even as Hamas vowed, on October 24, that “there will be a second, a third, a fourth” October 7. When asked to clarify, in the same interview, whether they meant the complete annihilation of Israel, the senior Hamas official responded, “Yes, of course.”
The calls for Israel to ceasefire continued as Yahya Sinwar, the architect of the October 7 massacre, promised on November 30 that “October 7 was just a rehearsal.”
The calls for Israel to ceasefire continued as Hamas violated the terms of the temporary ceasefire every single day between November 24 and December 1.
The calls for Israel to ceasefire continued as Hamas has fired over 13,000 missiles at Israeli civilians. Even more infuriating, the calls for a ceasefire are often made hand in hand with calls to “globalize the Intifada.” An Intifada is an armed uprising; it’s incompatible with a ceasefire.
The calls for Israel to ceasefire have continued as Hamas has rejected several ceasefires in the past several weeks. At this point, those calling for a ceasefire should be honest: what they care is that Israel ceases, but they are not particularly bothered (or even support) when Hamas fires.
THE GENOCIDE ACCUSATIONS
There are 152 countries that have signed the Convention of 1948. Before this January, only two had ever been brought to trial before the International Court of Justice. Of the signatories, a number of them have been accused of genocidal acts after signing the Convention, including Azerbaijan, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and more.
Only Israel, however, is put on trial, which is all the more egregious when we consider that the events post-October 7 are in response to a massacre of Israelis that Genocide Watch classified as “an act of genocide.”
What’s even more egregious is that South Africa, which has brought this case before the International Court of Justice, maintains close relationships with genocidal dictators, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir. It is a close ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hamas’s patron, which has been brutally oppressing the people of Iran since 1979. South Africa even hosted Hamas officials for a “solidarity” event in December 2023 — two months after the October 7 massacre.
Per the Hamas Ministry of Health, 23,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza; Israel claims at least 9000 of them are Hamas combatants. While any civilian death is tragic, there are far deadlier wars and atrocities happening around the globe right at this very second. In Yemen, nearly 400,000 have been killed and a million have died in a famine. In Syria, over 600,000 have been killed. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 6 million have been killed. In Ukraine, at least 100,000 have been killed. The list goes on and on. In many of these cases, the perpetrators of the atrocities — some of them South Africa’s close allies — have explicitly expressed genocidal intent. Yet South Africa hasn’t found it necessary to bring them before the International Court of Justice. Only the Jewish state.
FEMINISTS ARE SUDDENLY SILENT — OR WORSE, ACCUSING US OF LYING
Perhaps among the most infuriating responses to the October 7 massacre has been the response of so-called feminists and feminist organizations.
On October 7, and every day since, Hamas weaponized rape as a tool of war, which is not only a war crime, but a crime against humanity. There is a preponderance of evidence, including extensive forensic evidence, eyewitness testimony, perpetrator confessions, and survivor testimony.
Yet the Women’s March has not condemned Hamas’s weaponization of rape as a tool of war; instead, it has only called for a ceasefire. Me Too has not condemned Hamas’s weaponization of rape as a tool of war. UN Women did not condemn Hamas’s massacre until December 2, nearly two months after October 7, after intense public pressure from Israelis and the Jewish community.
Angelina Jolie, perhaps the most vocal global activist against the weaponization of rape as a tool of war, has said absolutely nothing about Hamas’s war crimes; instead, she has asked Israel to ceasefire.
DOUBLE STANDARD: LEGITIMACY
Israel is condemned more than any other nation in the world, but the double standard doesn’t end there. Israel’s real or perceived crimes are blown out of proportion in comparison to other countries’ real or perceived crimes, but the double standard doesn’t end there. Israel’s suffering is minimized, contextualized, denied, or qualified in comparison to the suffering of other countries, but the double standard doesn’t end there. Instead, there is another double standard: everything coming out of Hamas’s mouth is immediately taken as fact, while everything that comes out of Israel is questioned.
This is not merely a matter of “feeling” like there’s a double standard.
On October 17, an explosion went off at the Al Ahli Hospital parking lot. Within minutes, Hamas claimed that an Israeli airstrike had targeted the hospital, killing 471 people. Israel claimed that a Palestinian Islamic Jihad missile misfired and hit the hospital. But the BBC ran with Hamas’s story. This triggered worldwide outrage, inciting anti-Jewish riots in the Arab world and in Russia. Eventually, most international independent investigations corroborated Israel’s version of events. But by the time the media retracted its original claim — that is, what Hamas said — it was too late. Two Jews had already been killed in Tunisia in retaliation for a massacre that Israel never actually committed.
Then there is the issue of the hostage videos. Hostage videos are hostage videos because they are made under duress. The hostage is told what to say; otherwise, their life is in danger. Hamas, of course, has coerced the Israeli hostages into saying that they are being treated well. These statements, made with a gun to the head, have been taken as fact, so much so that prominent figures such as Shaun King have gushed over Hamas’s so-called “humane” treatment of the hostages (that they brutally abducted after murdering their entire families and friends before their eyes).
Yet, now that over a hundred hostages have been released, and they are no longer under threat from Hamas, they are coming out with stories of abuse and torture. Suddenly, no one believes these accounts, claiming that Israel must have told them what to say. It’s absolutely absurd and defies all logic.