Israel Denounced for ‘Just’ War to Save Hostages, End Hamas


The challenges Israel is facing are increasingly complex in Gaza and on the world stage. Hamas use of civilian neighborhoods and tent encampments to harbor their fighters and missile launchers complicates the ongoing mission to rescue hostages and endangers civilians in Rafah. Despite mounting evidence of their responsibility – including atrocities committed against Americans and Israelis on 10/7 – supporters of Iran-backed Hamas deny the group’s heinous acts, even when confronted with damning footage recorded by the group itself. Revelations of the conditions of hostages and growing evidence of sexual abuse serve as stark reminders of the struggle for the Jewish state’s very existence.

Hamas 10/7 Attack: ‘Also an American story’

On October 7, American Israeli Hersh Goldberg-Polin’s life was shattered when Hamas terrorists tossed several grenades into a bomb shelter Jews were hiding in. The 23-year-old lost his left hand and part of his arm in the attack. Months later, a chilling propaganda video released by Hamas showed Hersh’s grievous injuries – the first glimpse his parents had since his abduction into Gaza. His mother, Rachel, expressed the heart-wrenching pain of recognizing her son: “He looks completely different. People have forgotten that the hostages are actual, real people.”

Hersh’s parents recently met with President Biden and Congressional leaders. His father, Jon: “This is also an American story. On Oct. 7, 45 American citizens were killed and 12 were taken hostage. Eight remain in captivity. And I think a lot of Americans don’t really know that.” The Palestinian terrorists killed 1,137 and kidnapped 252 individuals.

23-year-old American Israeli Hersh Goldberg-Polin appeared in Hamas propaganda video released on April 24, the first time his parents had seen seem since Oct. 7. He was injured when Hamas terrorists tossed grenades into a bomb shelter he was hiding in. An image of Hersh traveling before the attack.

Hamas Terrorists: ‘These are the girls who can get pregnant’

The families of five young Israeli women brutally captured at their base on 10/7 recently released a harrowing three-minute video taken from body cameras used by Hamas terrorists. Despite the clear evidence, Hamas has denied the video’s authenticity. The terrorists massacred 15 young military observers and abducted seven to Gaza. One was murdered in captivity and another was rescued by the Israeli army.

Hamas terrorists in the video taunted the handcuffed Israeli women, some with their faces covered in blood:

  • “Here are the girls who can get pregnant.”
  • “You are so beautiful.”
  • “You dogs, we will step on you.”
  • “We will shoot you all.”

Images from Hamas video footage showing the capture and abduction of Liri Albag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniela Gilboa and Naama Levy at the Nahal Oz base on Oct. 7, 2023 (The Hostages Families Forum)

Shira Elbag, mother of kidnapped Israeli Liri: “You see the girls after their friends were murdered. You see the terrorists who treat them with brutality and severe violence.” Israel’s President Isaac Herzog urged, “The world must look at this cruel atrocity. Those who care about women’s rights must speak out.” Israeli intelligence believes that most of the hostages are being held in Rafah.

The Hostages Families Forum emphasized the urgency of its mission: “Every testimony that comes from the hostages spells out the same sad truth – we have to bring them all home. There is no greater task, no victory more significant and no chance to return hope to Israel without bringing them all home – the living to recovery, and the murdered to be buried.”

Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad recently released a propaganda video of an Israeli hostage and Amazon employee. Israel calls the videos “psychological warfare.” The IDF recovered an additional three bodies of hostages in northern Gaza who were killed on 10/7, including a Mexican French national and a Brazilian Israeli. Four bodies found days earlier were freed from a Hamas tunnel found under a UN shelter built with German government funding.

Images of the young Israeli women abducted by Hamas terrorists on 10/7.

Hamas Father and Son Terrorists: ‘We raped her’

A father and son – both terrorists – confessed to raping Israeli women in a recently released recording and “either killing or kidnapping” Israelis in every house they found people on 10/7. The 18-year-old took take part under pressure by his cousin, who committed other atrocities. The father also admitted to kidnapping many civilians, including five children.

The 47-year-old father, Jamal, recounted his crime: “I took a woman from the living room to another room and had sex with her. She was screaming, she was crying, and I did what I did, I raped her.”

Jamal’s son, Abdallah: “My father raped her, then I did and then my cousin Ahmad did and then we left, but my father killed the woman after we finished raping her. I killed two people, I raped two people and I broke into five houses.”

IDF Rafah Operation: ‘A just response to Hamas massacre’

The Israeli Defense Forces are compelled to operate in the southern Gaza city of Rafah – the key to returning the remaining hostages and defeating Hamas. The International Court of Justice recently ordered Israel to halt operations in Rafah but only those that risk casualties among its civilian population.

Israel’s former defense minister and current coalition member Benny Gantz emphasized: “Israel embarked on a just and necessary campaign after a brutal terrorist organization massacred our citizens. We are obligated to continue.”

Hamas welcomed the ICJ ruling. The ICJ also ordered Israel to open the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. However, Egypt closed the crossing, causing humanitarian aid to rot on its side of the border.

Israel Blamed for Civilian Deaths: ‘An ammunition warehouse exploded’

The international community swiftly condemned Israel for an airstrike that killed two Hamas terrorists in Rafah after an unexpected fire reached a nearby housing complex. The Hamas-run Health Ministry claims that 45 people died. The incident prompted the United Nations Security Council to convene an emergency session.

The Israeli Air Force airstrike targeted two Hamas commanders who were meeting very close to a rocket launcher. A subsequent fire spread to a camp housing relocated Palestinians. The IDF’s spokesman: “We are looking into all possibilities. The jets fired the smallest munitions they can use and could not have ignited a fire of this size, but it doesn’t make this situation any less tragic.”

A preliminary IDF investigation revealed crucial evidence to what may have actually happened: secondary explosions indicating the presence of Hamas weapons. A Palestinian, in a recorded phone call, confirmed the story: “This is an ammunition warehouse. I tell you it exploded. The Jewish bombing wasn’t strong, it was a small missile, because it didn’t create a large hole. And afterward a lot of secondary explosions.”

Hamas terrorists recently fired rockets into central Israel for the first time in four months. The rocket launchers were located close to mosques.

European Countries Recognize Palestine: ‘A reward for terrorism’

Ireland, Norway and Spain formally recognized Palestine as a state. The Palestinian Authority stated that 75% of UN member countries recognize Palestine. Other countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK, believe that recognition should be part of the peace process.

International relations experts view the recognition largely as symbolic, but question the timing. Israel’s prime minister criticized the move as “a reward for terrorism.” Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid warned that “this unilateral approach undermines any chance at peace by telling Hamas and the PA that terrorism pays. They are rewarding terrorism.” A former Hamas leader recently commented: “We are facing a historic opportunity to defeat Israel and dismantle the Zionist project.” An advisor to the Palestinian president: “Oct. 7 can repeat itself 100 times, and perhaps even more seriously.”

1. Iran and the terrorists it supports intentionally kill Americans

On Oct. 7, 45 American citizens were killed and 12 were taken hostage, mostly dual citizens. The Palestinian terrorists killed 1,137 and kidnapped 252 individuals. The Iran-backed Hamas attack on 10/7 was not the first time Iran and its terrorist proxies killed and kidnapped Americans. The largest state-sponsor of terrorism has a long history of killing hundreds of Americans around the world. Another example was the death of U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force in 2016. The family of the murderer received a monthly pension from the Palestinian government. This led to Congress passing the Taylor Force Act to pause American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stopped paying terrorist stipends for murder – its “pay for slay” policy.

2. The evidence of Hamas sex crimes is undeniable

If the forensic evidence and detailed survivor testimony is not enough – Hamas terrorists admitted to raping Israelis and recorded their atrocities. Other rape victims cannot share their stories because they were murdered. Despite irrefutable evidence, Hamas officials and sympathetic groups, including some Americans, deny the brutality perpetrated by Hamas terrorists. The crimes of Hamas cannot be ignored, marginalized or forgotten. Attempts to bring attention to their crimes are met with opposition, with some dismissing the evidence as fabricated or exaggerated. This widespread denial creates a challenging environment for the victims to seek justice or even empathy. It also prevents efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent further abuses – including against remaining hostages.

3. Legal actions against Israel embolden Hamas and prove that terrorism pays

The legal warfare campaign against the Jewish state is intended to brand Israel as a pariah state unworthy of support – harming its right to self-defense and emboldening its adversaries. The recent International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court rulings are seen as an “extremely huge blow” to Israel’s diplomatic standing. Human rights activist and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Irwin Cotler called the recent announcement of possible arrest warrants for Israeli leaders a “weaponization of international law against Israel.” These legal actions encourage terrorists by signaling that their tactics can garner international sympathy and legal support. The ICJ decision also makes it more difficult for Israel to rescue the remaining hostages in Rafah and increases the chances that Hamas will remain in control of Gaza.

4. Hamas is responsible for Palestinian civilian deaths

Palestinian terrorists intentionally target civilians, while the Israeli military intentionally makes every effort to protect civilians. Hamas terrorists do not wear military uniforms, and they build bases and store bombs in the same civilian neighborhoods where they launch rockets. The IDF supported the evacuation of nearly a million Palestinian civilians from Rafah into humanitarian zones. The recent airstrike is yet another example of Hamas placing its terrorists and rockets next to civilians. The loss of civilian lives – Palestinian or Israeli – is tragic. At the same time, the IDF directs its actions at legitimate military targets, and if mistakes are made, allegations are seriously investigated. The current charges against Israel remain unproven. Hamas started the current war with Israel on 10/7 and can end it at any time by releasing the remaining hostages and laying down its arms.

5. Countries and international groups must not legitimize Hamas

The recent recognition of Palestine as a country by Spain, Norway and Ireland absent a peace process is a major win for Hamas. Its terror chiefs can now point to a positive outcome from its unrelenting war against Israel. The move may seem harmless, but Hamas is waging a global public relations war. The Iran-backed terrorists are counting on countries, international courts, humanitarian groups and the news media to create a false narrative painting Israelis as evil and allowing Hamas to literally get away with murder. Israelis must prevent future brutal and barbaric attacks. Rewarding Hamas terrorists increases the likelihood of future attacks and yet more wars.

Kfir Bibas was just an infant when he was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on 10/7. Hamas leaders train Palestinian children to become terrorists and embed their terror infrastructure among civilians.

A.  Watch Screams of Silence 10/7 documentary film

A free 60-minute video on the sexual violence committed by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023, is available at The film includes never-before-heard eyewitness accounts from released hostages, survivors, first responders and medical and forensic experts. As many leaders in politics, academia, the media and human rights groups have attempted to minimize or even deny the Hamas murders and rapes, it is more important than ever to bare witness.

B.  We must be the voice of those silenced and speak up for those who cannot

The Israelis who no longer can speak up, those who were brutally tortured and murdered, those who were left to die – only silence speaks for them. Those who suffered the unspeakable horror of rape followed by mutilation and murder didn’t live to provide testimonies. We must be the voices that now tell their stories and share their pain with the world. They must never be forgotten. Their truth must never be called into question or shrugged off as a myth.

C.  Help educate others about key terms and concepts in this war

Take active steps to educate your friends and family about the Hamas war against Israel, including using our talking points. Also, share relevant news articles and videos to help provide a deeper understanding of the war’s complexities. Conversations with family, friends and colleagues are an opportunity to educate and inform. The more individuals understand, the less inclined they will be to believe false and biased narratives promoted by Iran and its allies. Engage in open and respectful discussions, emphasizing the nuances of the situation and encouraging critical thinking.

10/7 Music Massacre Survivor: ‘Why me?’

Shiran survived the 10/7 Nova festival massacre. Hamas terrorists killed 364 Israelis and tourists and kidnapped 40 more. The slaughter at the music festival was the largest mass killing of Israeli civilians in Israeli history – and the largest since the Holocaust. Recently, Shiran spoke about her survivor’s guilt:

These questions of how is it possible that I survived and others did not? What is my purpose in life now? I got a second chance at life, but they didn’t.

This is what happened to me when I was in shock, I couldn’t even cry. I just kept thinking about all the people I saw along the way. I had a hard time realizing I was there. ‘Why me?’

I lost a very close friend. When I went to his memorial, I looked his father in the eyes and said, ‘I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that I’m alive and he’s not.’ Why do I deserve to be alive?

Memorial Day: Anti-Israel Demonstrators Target U.S. War Memorials and President Biden

Anti-Israel demonstrators desecrated several U.S. war memorials and monuments since the 10/7 Hamas attack:

  • The Los Angeles National Cemetery where 90,000 American soldiers are buried
  • NY’s WWI 107th Infantry Memorial, including burning an American flag
  • DC’s Lincoln Memorial
  • Statues of historical American leaders: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Andrew Jackson and WWI Gen. John Pershing

At a recent anti-Israel event, chants targeted President Biden. The founder of a radical anti-Israel group – who was known for her infamous 2022 commencement speech at the City University of NY Law school – led the crowd in chants calling for violence and even against President Biden: “Biden is the oldest president in our entire history. He is going to die soon!

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib Headlines Conference Endorsed by Palestinian Terrorists

Rep. Tlaib recently spoke at the People’s Conference for Palestine in Detroit. The conference was endorsed by leaders of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine who spoke at the event. Speakers endorsed violence and posters displayed terrorist propaganda. Attendees cheered the displacement of Israeli civilians due to non-stop Iran-backed Hezbollah rocket attacks.

Anti-Israel Activist Classifies Authors: ‘Is your fav author a Zionist?’

Another anti-Israel campaign is echoing historical attacks against Jews. An activist posted on X a link to a color-coded spreadsheet of nearly 200 authors, labeling them on a spectrum from Zionist in red to anti-Zionist in blue.

Neutrality is considered bad: supporters are encouraged to boycott Victoria Aveyard for her “‘neutral’ statement.” The progressive American Jewish author voiced support for occupied Palestinians and opposition of the “murder and kidnapping of Jews.” Holly Black is criticized for working with an Israeli publisher despite past support for Palestinians. Gabrielle Zevin is condemned for speaking at a Hadassah event and including a Zionist character in a book.

Unhinged Anti-Israel Campus Protests Continue: ‘Zionists are bad Jews’

A Nobel Prize laureate recently invoked anti-Jewish conspiracy theories during her Harvard commencement speech. She insinuated that Jewish money and power tried to prevent her from speaking. A Harvard campus rabbi walked off the stage after she refused to clarify her comments. A new study revealed that anti-Israel protests are more prevalent at elite U.S. universities.

Some pro-Palestinian encampments want their schools to cut ties with Hillel and Chabad. Hillel is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. Anti-Israel protesters returned to UCLA’s campus, rebuilt their encampment, blocked access to campus buildings and clashed with police.

An imam gave a sermon recently at a Univ. of California at Irvine encampment: “We tell Jews in the Holy Land: your days are numbered. They follow the traditions of Satan. There are good Jews and bad Jews. The Zionists are bad Jews.”

Israelis studying in America also are under duress. The Univ. of New Mexico paid for a plane ticket home for an Israeli student-athlete who feared for his safety on campus. An Israeli American student at the Univ. of Virginia is suing the university, and its Students for Justice in Palestine and Faculty for Justice in Palestine chapters over anti-Jewish abuse at a rally.

Hamas Birthday for Australian Four-Year-Old; Shots Fired at Toronto Jewish School

An Australian bakery made a custom Hamas birthday cake and cupcakes for a 4-year-old boy. Pictures posted on Instagram show a Hamas terrorist pictured on the cakes and Omar dressed up like a Hamas terrorist. Individuals praised his costume.

Two gunmen opened fire at a Toronto Jewish girls school early on a Shabbat morning. There were no injuries, but the gunfire damaged the building. The city’s mayor called the violent attack “a despicable antisemitic act. Jewish children and families should not be made to fear for their safety.”

A London screening of a 10/7 documentary was marred after the theater was desecrated ahead of the event. Anti-Israel activists spraypainted the English cinema, labeling the event ‘artwashing.’ The theory behind this term is that the film is an attempt by Israel to absolve itself of the malicious lies against it, such as ‘genocide.’ This outrageous claim is an attempt to deny Israelis the ability to show the world the brutal atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Thousands of pro-Israel supporters turned out in response to the desecration, forcing anti-Israel protesters in London to retreat for first time since 10/7. Two men who plotted to kill British Jews will stand trial.

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This content is developed by The Focus Project in partnership with Mercaz USA. The Focus Project distributes weekly news and talking points on timely issues concerning Israel and the Jewish people, including antisemitism, anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of Israel. It represents a consensus view across a spectrum of major American Jewish organizations. Mercaz USA recognizes and respects the diversity of views on these issues among its readers and the community at large.

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