The Gaza Blood Libel and Netanyahu’s Test To Come

he Israel Defense Forces’ much-anticipated ground invasion of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has not yet commenced, but the world’s attention has already begun to shift away from the single bloodiest and most catastrophic slaughter of the Jewish people since the defeat of Nazi Germany 78 years ago.

The Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom, which featured the indiscriminate mass murder of babies in their cribs, whole civilian families shot dead execution-style, countless teenage girls raped, and roughly 200 more civilians taken hostage back to Gaza’s subterranean terror tunnels, was so barbaric that U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who previously commanded the war on ISIS, described what he saw while visiting Israel as “worse than ISIS.”

Yet, while Jew-haters, conspiracists, jihad sympathizers and certain libertarians meticulously debated for a week whether the Jewish children slaughtered en masse in southern Israel were decapitated or “merely” tied up and burned alive, ultimately requiring the Israeli government to release grisly corroborative photos, the Western world immediately sided with Hamas propaganda – no questions asked! – when news broke this week of a deadly rocket attack on a hospital in Gaza.

In the eyes of the “enlightened” world, every Jewish death must be closely scrutinized and “journalistic ethics” demands we “just ask questions,” but every claim of Arab death put forth by terrorist-run “health ministries” must be immediately accepted as undisputed truth. Curious, that.

Accordingly, The New York Times and countless other useful idiot jihadist mouthpieces quickly put out defamatory headlines accusing Israel of striking the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, killing 500. (The Gray Lady, for its part, also quickly posted a deceiving accompanying photo, which was apparently not even taken in Gaza). Thus far, very few of these Hamas propagandists have issued meaningful editorial corrections.

On the contrary, as of Wednesday evening, “CBS Evening News” posted on X (formerly known as Twitter): “The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to grow following a hospital explosion that killed hundreds. CBS News spoke to a doctor who says Israel’s army had previously warned the facility to evacuate.” In this case, X’s “Community Notes” feature handily pointed out the facts: “President Joe Biden has confirmed that the explosion was most likely a result of the misfiring of a Hamas missile. Video also shows that the explosion was in a car park and does not appear to have demolished any buildings.”

Indeed, by the time CBS posted this, there was mass-circulated footage clearly showing the fatal rocket in question was misfired from within Gaza itself, either by Hamas or the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Not only had the IDF itself already confirmed that; U.S. intelligence had as well. But why let some stubborn facts get in the way of a convenient narrative?

But the corporate media are not the only shameful actors here. U.S. House of Representatives’ “Hamas Caucus” Chair Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) continues to peddle the abhorrent lie that Israel intentionally bombed the hospital. We now know not only that that is false; we also know it is (thankfully) untrue that the hospital itself was hit, as the “Community Note” above clarified.

Let’s call this what it is: 21st-century blood libel. It is vile and condemnable.

Watching this week’s hospital soap opera unfold, along with the backdrop of President Joe Biden visiting Israel to hector Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet about warfighting and rules of engagement in advance of a Gaza incursion, one must ask: Is Israel really going to be able to do what it needs to do, in Gaza, to finally eradicate the Hamas cancer once and for all?

If Israel is to finish the job in Gaza, it is imperative that this absurd cycle not repeat itself. Today’s Nazis, an Islamist Reich hellbent on global Jewish genocide beyond the massacre it just successfully perpetrated, must be defeated by any means necessary. Furthermore, as the world recently saw when Hamas apparently began bombing its own roadways to prevent Gazans from fleeing toward Egypt, cynically preferring to keep its people trapped in Gaza as cannon fodder, Hamas bears full responsibility for all civilian deaths in Gaza.

More to the point: Did the United States get bogged down in this sort of global public relations fight, following the 1942 Doolittle Raid, the first bombing of the Japanese mainland after Pearl Harbor? Did the Allied powers get dragged into a public relation fight with Hitler, following the 1945 bombing of Dresden?

H.L. Mencken famously said that “democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” In Gaza, Hamas was popularly elected and remains overwhelmingly popular.

War is messy. And when a genocidal death cult strikes a free nation, that free nation can only have one legitimate military goal: the enemy’s unconditional surrender.

No matter how much pressure Biden applies, and no matter how nasty the public relations battle gets, let’s pray Netanyahu and his war cabinet remember that.

To find out more about Josh Hammer and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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About Josh Hammer

Josh Hammer is senior editor-at-large of Newsweek. A popular conservative commentator, he is a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation and a syndicated columnist through Creators. A frequent pundit and essayist on political, legal, and cultural issues, Hammer is a constitutional attorney by training. He is a former John Marshall Fellow with the Claremont Institute and a campus speaker through Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Young America’s Foundation, and the Federalist Society.

Photo: NIR OZ, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 19: Bullet holes are left in the exterior of a house and through a window near children's toys blood after Hamas militants attacked this kibbutz days earlier near the border of Gaza on October 19, 2023 in Nir Oz, Israel. Israel has sealed off Gaza and launched sustained retaliatory air strikes, which have killed at least 1,400 people with more than 400,000 displaced, after a large-scale attack by Hamas. On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza by land, sea, and air, killing over 1,300 people and wounding around 2,800. Israeli soldiers and civilians have also been taken hostage by Hamas and moved into Gaza. The attack prompted a declaration of war by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the announcement of an emergency wartime government. (Photo by Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)