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An Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson recently told me that Israel is not just conducting a ground war in Gaza. Information wars are also being fought on a global scale. Despite carrying out the worst murder of Jews since the Holocaust, Israel’s enemies want to portray the Jews who dared to fight back with military force as the real culprits. They want to isolate Israel, which is a key factor in their potential defeat. Western leaders and institutions must thwart that plot, but to do so they will need to summon far more moral clarity than they have so far.
Isolation is the greatest immediate danger facing Israel. It would destroy Hamas and deprive the country of funds and supplies that are key to fending off attacks from Hezbollah, other Iranian proxies, and perhaps Iran itself. Isolation would also lead to strong and sustained pressure on Israel to reach a ceasefire or otherwise end its military response to the October 7 atrocities. Either way, the terrorists largely agree to win and secure the ability to launch new and possibly even more deadly attacks against mainland Israel.
Isolation has power. The Arab world is engulfed by anti-Israel protests, and even pro-Israel Arab governments are being restricted. Russia and China primarily side with Hamas, feeling that isolating Israel will ultimately harm the United States. And while the United States and European countries have largely sided with Israel, with strong rhetoric and less powerful pledges of aid, internal pressure is rapidly building to limit aid and keep it in Israel’s hands. I feel it.
Casualties, kidnappers and other numbers since Hamas attack on Israel
Where does this pressure come from? An IDF spokesperson told me that Israel is particularly concerned about the widespread anti-Semitic fervor on university campuses. Universities are cultural and media trendsetters, and when thousands of students demonstrate in support of Hamas and the Palestinians, it gives the impression that the West is leaning in the wrong direction. So are the large and often violent protests in the streets of New York, London and other Western cities. In democracies, these protests inevitably influence the way politicians think and act. After all, votes may be at stake.
From the United States to Western Europe, traditional media outlets are mounting pressure. They report all the claims of Hamas and anti-Israel voices as fact, supporting the blatant lie that Israel is the real “oppressor.” Consider the grossly biased world coverage of the October 17 missile attack on a hospital in Gaza. Most news outlets repeated Hamas’ claims that Israel was responsible, but eventually discovered that wayward terrorist rockets were the likely culprit.
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then new york times issued He apologized for giving readers a “wrong impression.” The BBC agreed, saying: “It was a mistake to speculate.” However, the damage was done. Far fewer people were outraged by false reporting about Israel’s ostensible atrocities than were those who read the belated apology. Meanwhile, most media outlets still give the impression that when Israeli airstrikes kill Palestinian civilians, it is no different from Hamas’ killing of Jews on October 7th. The harsh reality that Hamas uses civilians as human shields was not discussed. Without that critical context, opposition to Israel’s justified self-defense will continue to grow and the country will become even more isolated.
Will Western democracies capitulate, abandon Israel and give their brutal enemy what it wants? The answer depends on whether two things happen.
First, Western leaders must become more powerful in defending Israel. We should not sow doubts about Israel’s actions or its ability to defeat Hamas, as President Joe Biden’s administration is currently doing. Nor should we promote a ceasefire that would play into the hands of Hamas. Instead, it should be clear that Israel is good and terrorism is bad, and it will support Israel’s efforts to stamp out terrorism, no matter how long it takes. If Israeli counterattacks inevitably result in civilian deaths, Western leaders should immediately hold Hamas responsible for forcing Israel into this war and endangering innocent Palestinians.
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Second, more media, especially legacy media, should consider explicitly taking Israel’s side. We should recognize Hamas’s history of lies and strongly caution against any claims from Hamas. They should point out that Hamas uses human shields and make clear that there is no moral equivalence between Hamas murder and Israeli self-defense. And when they see anti-Semitism on college campuses or in the streets, journalists should condemn it as clearly as possible. This is not biased reporting that takes sides in the battle between good and evil.
The alternative is to isolate Israel, expose it to even greater danger, and perhaps pave the way for its eventual destruction. No matter who supports it, there is no doubt that Israel will continue to fight for its survival. But if Israel wins the information war first, it has a much better chance of winning this war and preventing further atrocities against Jews.
Click here to read more from Marion Smith