For an unbiased media representation
Bearing Witness To The Hamas Atrocities

I was among the journalists who were able to view the as yet unreleased footage of the October 7, 2023 massacre of Israelis by the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas, based on authentic footage (“Bearing Witness”). The screening was held at the Israeli Cultural Institute in Budapest. The 43-minute film was compiled from Hamas body cameras, CCTV footage and footage of victims, soldiers and ambulances. We were not allowed to record any of the footage out of respect for the victims. I have written three books on the Holocaust so far, and I thought that, although one can obviously never be completely unemotional about the violence, ‘I have seen it all’. But the video of Hamas atrocities proved to me that I had not seen everything. The video contains disturbing scenes of jihadists indiscriminately shooting civilians as they drive on the highway, hide in their homes or try to escape in an open field. We have seen footage of burnt bodies, bleeding teenagers piled in the back of trucks, lifeless children in their pyjamas (with their faces blurred).

As a father of two, the most disturbing scene for me was when terrorists threw a grenade into an Israeli family’s shelter before the father could close the door. The father was visibly killed. In the next shot, the boys are in the kitchen, screaming for their mother. The younger brother says he can’t see out of one eye. He asks the question, “Why am I alive?” Meanwhile, the attackers raid the family fridge. But we’ve seen footage of terrorists firing at close range at two women hiding under a table, firing at cars until they stop, and dragging bodies out of cars and driving away with them. Just because they were Jews. But they didn’t spare others either. In one shot, the head of an apparently Asian man is cut off with a hoe. We know from other footage (not seen here) that African migrant workers and Israeli Arabs were not spared either.

A few more thoughts. What was shocking about the videos was not only the cruelty (we already knew that Palestinian terrorists are cruel and do not spare children), nor necessarily the scale of the attack (the video shows barely 10% of the victims), but the brazenness and pride with which their atrocities were filmed and broadcast. There is constant competition between terrorist organisations, as they bid against each other to gain the support of the sponsors that unfortunately exist. In this sense, Hamas decided to adopt the methods of the Islamic State. The methods are now indistinguishable, and the Western world can see clearly what it is up against and what kind of people (also) may be hiding in the ranks of the continuous waves of migrants arriving in Europe.

It is another question whether Israel will achieve its – justified and understandable – goal by showing the video to journalists. For a few days after 7 October, Israel had a serious advantage over some of the Western public opinion. However, due to the progressive bias of the international press, it continues to broadcast the Hamas narrative despite the fact that Israel is an ally of America. Consider how a number of reliable Anglo-Saxon newspapers have unthinkingly adopted the Hamas narrative in the wake of the Al-Ahli hospital bombing! Resolutions unilaterally condemning Israel pass through the UN like a knife through butter (with the support of the Arab-Muslim countries that signed the Abrahamic Conventions, I might add). Israel is in a very dire situation and needs all the support it can get from the Western world.