Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted on International Holocaust Day on Saturday that there was nothing more absurd than South Africa’s accusation of “genocide” against Israel at The Hague “in the name of Hamas, in the name of the new Nazis.”
Netanyahu spoke a day after the International Court of Justice declined to order a ceasefire in Gaza — though after a searing opinion whose rhetoric echoed anti-Israel propaganda and barely mentioned the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of the Jewish Sabbath, Netanyahu said that South Africa had clearly learned nothing from the Holocaust — but Israel had, and that the lesson was that the Jewish State had to depend on itself for its own defense.
Netanyahu began his remarks by reading the final letter of a soldier who had fallen in battle this week in Gaza, urging Israel to continue to victory.
He reiterated Israel’s goals: to destroy Hamas, to return the hostages, and to ensure Gaza would never threaten Israel again.
“There is no alternative to complete victory,” Netanyahu said.
He dismissed the claims by those — a small minority, he said — who argued that Israel could not defeat Hamas. He hailed the courage of Israel’s soldiers, notably reservists with separate lives and careers, who were prepared to risk their lives for the safety of their families and the survival of the nation as a whole.
In the question-and-answer session that followed, Netanyahu clashed at times with journalists: “I’m fighting Hamas, and you’re fighting me,” he said.
Israel’s press, which leans to the political left, is known for its bold questioning and disregard for authority.
One journalist, who had just completed over 100 days of reserve service in the war, asked about disagreements between Israelis over the annual budget, in which significant funds were allocated to those in religious communities that do not serve in the army.
Netanyahu countered that even religious Jews who are exempt from military service are volunteering in a variety of capacities.
“We have united our abilities,” Netanyahu said, suggesting that the question was aimed at re-introducing a sense of division.
Another journalist asked about the demonstrations, now several days old, by the families of hostages who are blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid from Israel to Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing. Netanyahu said that Israel would not be able to achieve its military goals unless it delivered the basic minimum of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians, despite the war.
Asked about the next military steps, following the ongoing conquest of the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis, Netanyahu declined to offer details, including about whether the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would proceed south, to the border town of Rafah.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the 2021 e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now updated with a new foreword. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.