Please Stop the Israel ‘Whataboutism’

Andy Ostroy
2 min readOct 14

Israel just suffered its worst, most horrific attack in its 75-year history. The worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Innocent civilians dragged from their homes…beaten, tortured, shot and killed. Seniors and young people slaughtered. Women raped. Civilians burned alive. Babies, children beaten and shot and burned to death. Soldiers beheaded. Corpses dragged through the streets…spit on, desecrated and displayed like trophies…not by “freedom fighters” or “fighters” of any sort…but by pathetic cowards. Terrorists. A bunch of animals. Savages. Barbarians.

And I’m sick and tired of all the equivocating. The whataboutisms. The bothsidesisms. The false equivalencies. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, justifies this inhumanity. This butchery.

And let’s be perfectly fucking clear: there are no moral equivalencies here. None. Not even close. Last time I checked, Israeli soldiers have never shot teens in the back, running for their lives. Or slaughtered grandmas. Or killed people cowering in Port-a-Pottys. They’ve never raped women and paraded them through the streets with bleeding vaginas. No one’s been burned alive or beheaded, especially children. Hamas’ attack was, as Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said, “sheer evil”.

Thousands have already been killed, and many more will surely be as well. And that’s terribly sad and unfortunate. And unnecessary. And that’s mainly because Hamas has cowardly chosen to base its operations in densely-populated Gaza, hiding its weapons in civilian buildings, launching missiles into Israel from hospitals, schools and Palestinian residences; using its own citizens, and Israeli and American hostages, as human shields.

So I say this to my fellow Jews and to non-Jews alike: it’s perfectly ok, and in fact necessary, critical even, to unequivocally condemn Hamas without feeling compelled to bring up whatever warts you believe Israel has. Because, while you may think that makes you appear fair, balanced, compassionate, and empathetic, all it does is serve to normalize and justify one of the most atrociously violent, heinous acts history has ever witnessed.

So just repeat after me: What Hamas did was despicable. Brutal. Barbaric. Unjustified. Period. End…of…fucking…story…

Andy Ostroy

Director, producer, podcaster, writer, resistor, non-profit-supporter of women filmmakers