Despite facing well over 3,000 rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza in just nine days, Israel is losing support around the world as we enter a second week of fighting.
In an interview with David Brody, host of The Water Cooler on Real America News, ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel C. Rosenberg explained the challenges Israel is facing in the current Israeli-Gaza conflict.
“There's enormous international pressure building at the U.N. and around the world on Israel to stop defending ourselves,” Rosenberg said. “Yes, a ceasefire would be wonderful, but not a ceasefire that locks in gains for a radical Islamist terrorist movement that has shot more than 3,200 rockets at us so far.”
Rosenberg said that Israel is fighting a two-front war; one against Hamas and the other, against the media.
“Israel's not only fighting radical Islamist terror groups,” he said. “We're also fighting the left wing in the media and in Congress and in parliaments in Europe and around the world that are acting as though we should de-escalate.”
“Can you imagine if Washington or London or Brussels or Paris was being fired at with 3,200 rockets? Nobody would be calling for restraint. And it's anti-Israel. It's bordering on anti-Semitic.”
Rosenberg said that despite enormous criticism over the last few years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have been demonstrating “the best of their leadership.”
He said that Netanyahu gave an excellent interview on CBS News, Face The Nation, particularly when he challenged viewers with the question: “What would you do? What should anyone do if they're being fired at by more than 3,000 rockets and missiles?”
Brody asked Rosenberg what he thinks Hamas hopes to achieve from the current conflicts. Rosenberg offered three main objectives for Hamas’ attacks on Israel, including its relationship with highly-influential Iran, a controversial Palestinian “political elections game,” and an attempt by Hamas to “sow division in the Arab world” and “bust up the Abraham Accords.”
Rosenberg also shared his perspective on the response of The Associated Press which condemned Israel for the destruction of their media building in Gaza earlier this week, demanding proof from Israel that Hamas was operating from AP headquarters. He explained how Israel phoned ahead to the people in the building, including the AP bureau, letting them know they had one hour to evacuate.
“Under international law, if a terrorist organization starts using a building for its terror planning, it becomes a legitimate target,” said Rosenberg.
“What is not really getting reported in the American press...AP reporters were being brutalized and harassed, intimidated by Hamas, which was working in and around their building,” said Rosenberg. “Islamic Jihad and Hamas were harassing and intimidating these journalists. The journalists knew it. The journalists did not report it.”
BRODY: Welcome back to The Water Cooler everybody. I’ve got to tell you, the latest from Israel is not good and we're about to get the latest on it here in a moment. But I must say, over the weekend, with everything that went on with the building in Gaza that was destroyed, that house, the Associated Press, I have a whole commentary to do on that. I mean, I understand the Associated Press was frustrated. They did have a warning to get out. Everybody is okay No. 1.
No. 2, you know what? If Hamas is in the building – here's a little newsflash for the Associated Press – maybe you shouldn't be in there with Hamas. Just a thought. Just a thought. Alright. You know what? See that’s always the whole 8 minutes if I go that way. So let's not do that. Let's bring in Joel Rosenberg, Editor-in-Chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS. Joel, a good friend, is back with us from Jerusalem. Joel, good to see you, sir.
ROSENBERG: Great to see you, David. Thank you.
BRODY: Joel, give us the latest. Boy, I tell you what, it doesn't seem like it's letting up at all. Maybe the opposite.
ROSENBERG: No, this has been one of the most difficult days. I think we're topping now at 3,200 rockets in the last week. We now moved into week 2. There's enormous international pressure building at the U.N. and around the world on Israel to stop defending ourselves. And, you know, yes, a ceasefire would be wonderful, but not a ceasefire that locks in gains for a radical Islamist terrorist movement that has shot more than 3,200 rockets at us so far. But I will tell you that the big headline, I think so far today, at least, and over the course of the week, David, is that Israel is fighting a two-front war. Israel's not only fighting radical Islamist terror groups. We're also fighting the left wing in the media and in Congress and in parliaments in Europe and around the world that are acting as though we should de-escalate, that we should cool it, that we should, you know, take it easy. Can you imagine if Washington or London or Brussels or Paris was being fired out with 3,200 rockets? Nobody would be calling for restraint. And it's anti-Israel. It's bordering on anti-Semitic.
BRODY: Well, 100% agree with you. It has been frustrating me to no end. I mean, you're there living it day to day. What is the backbone here or is there? What kind of backbone do you see from the Knesset, from Netanyahu, from the leaders over there, the IDF? What's your sense about what's going to happen? They've seen this rodeo before play out. There's been a lot of anti-Israel sentiment around the world at the U.N. What are they going to do this time around? Do you see them backing down? I don't see that at all.
ROSENBERG: No, I think Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz are showing the best of their leadership. Both men have been criticized enormously in the last few years. They're both political opponents of each other, but they are working closely together. And day after day, hour after hour, the Israeli military is taking out senior Hamas commanders, senior Islamic Jihad commanders. I thought Netanyahu gave an excellent interview. One of the best I've heard from him in a while on CBS News, Face the Nation. And he raised the question, what would you do? What should anyone do if they're being fired at by more than 3,000 rockets and missiles? And it's insane, frankly, to ask us to de-escalate. Now, there will come a point in which both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gantz and the Security Cabinet decide ‘enough, we've accomplished our objectives. And if Hamas is really ready to stand down, that we are, too.’ But we're not there yet.
BRODY: So, Joel, what's the objective of Hamas here? I mean, what? They know there was the Iron Dome. They know that they're going to get pummeled. They know that they're not going to win that fight with Israel. So what's their objective in all of this?
ROSENBERG: I think there's three objectives that Hamas has. No. 1, given that they are being directed by Iran. Iran is trying to shift their domestic opposition inside Iran from the horrible economic conditions because they're trying to build nuclear weapons and thus have economic sanctions on them. Iran is trying to divert attention inside the country to the destruction of Israel. And that usually plays well historically in Iran. And they've got presidential elections coming up. No. 2, Hamas is playing its own political elections game. Remember, there were supposed to be elections this month in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza. But in the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas canceled those elections. Why? Because he's afraid that Hamas will win in the West Bank, just as they did several years ago in Gaza. So Hamas is actually running a political campaign to boost their own internal support. And the way to do it is not with television ads, but with rockets. And third, Hamas and Iran. Iran really is trying to bust up the Abraham Accords. They wanted to sow division in the Arab world that has been trending towards Israel very beautifully. They're trying to ruin that. And that's really what we're watching right now.
BRODY: Let me ask you about what The Associated Press is complaining about. And I'm sorry, but is it just me or they're whining about this? This is ridiculous. They had time to get out. It's cold war. Israel is going to end it if they have to. And what I am still trying to understand is what the Associated Press' big beef is here. They were in a building that was housing Hamas militant potential components.
ROSENBERG: Yeah. And what's important here, David, is what is not really getting reported in the American press, particularly by the Associated Press, which is: A former Associated Press reporter, Marty Friedman, reported back in 2014 that AP reporters were being brutalized and harassed – intimidated by Hamas – which was working in and around their building. He described in an article in The Atlantic several years ago. The level of… the lack of reporting by the Associated Press and others when they're being intimidated by a mafia, in this case, of Hamas. So Hamas, I'm sorry, Islamic Jihad and Hamas were harassing and intimidating these journalists. The journalists knew it. The journalists did not report it. But to Israel's credit, they phoned every single person in the building, including the AP bureau and they said, ‘You've got one hour to get out now.’ AP has been reporting that they were lucky that they survived. No, they weren't lucky. They were phoned by the Israeli military in order to save their lives. Now, at the same time it saved the lives of those terrorists that were using the building. But under international law, if a terrorist organization starts using a building for its terror planning, it becomes a legitimate target internationally. And that's what we did. We took it out 100%.
BRODY: Alright. Joel Rosenberg, great to see you from Jerusalem. Stay safe over there, sir. Thank you. Appreciate it. Alright. Joel, who's been a good friend for many years and just want him to stay safe and obviously praying for him, the Israelis, the Palestinians – praying for all of them for safety because Hamas is using the Palestinian people as human shields.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.