Haaretz publisher urges Europe to bar entry to ‘Israeli settlers’

Amos Schocken defends writer who equated Israeli self-defense in striking Gaza to the Holocaust and justified Hamas atrocities on October 7.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken defended one of his journalists Tuesday and even doubled down on her statements that Israeli “settlers” should not be allowed into Europe after this caused an uproar online.

Well known for her extremist leftist views, Amira Hass had said in a U.S. forum that Israelis should not be allowed “to enter Europe freely anymore, because Israel does not abide by the international law that we are committed to, or to human rights.”

They should need visas, and in the application for one, she said, prospective tourists should be asked, “Are you a settler? Have you committed war crimes? Have you killed children? Have you killed civilians?”

After angry reactions came fast and furious, including calls to arrest Hass for treason, Schocken responded on X with full-throated support for his writer.

“Amira is not filth, those who are filth come from among the settlers who, under the auspices of a scandalous government, continue to ethnically cleanse territories from Palestinians,” he charged. “Amira is right. Europe should mobilize to save Jewish and democratic Israel both by labeling products from the settlements and by preventing entry into European countries.”

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Schocken also defended Hass after she wrote an article last month in which she justified the Hamas slaughter of 1,200 men, women, children and infants, even burning some alive and beheading them, during its surprise invasion of Gaza envelope communities on October 7. She had described their actions as stemming from “every person’s desire for freedom,” and a “revenge orgy” in reaction to an alleged Israeli history of killing Palestinians.

“What really is the difference between a war on Hamas and the barbaric murder of civilians if Israel does the same thing, as Amira writes? There was no sympathetic article by Amira Hess for the actions of Hamas. She wrote and spoke about killing innocents, just that. Not so different from what President Biden told the Israeli government,” he posted to X.

Referring to calls to terminate her employment, he continued, “Fire Amira Hess? This important journalist who does what no journalist in Israel does like her? Amira is not a terrorist.”

Schocken also defended her claim that “Israeli citizens went through [on October 7] what Palestinians have experienced and are experiencing for decades as a matter of course.”

While saying that “there is a huge gap that cannot be bridged between the ISIS-like barbarism of the Palestinians and the killing of Palestinian women and children by the IDF bombings,” he noted that Hass was writing only two days after the massacre, so he was “not sure she knew the shocking details when she wrote it.”

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Although the exact number of the dead is still being revised, initial reports of the horrors inflicted by Hamas had started circulating almost immediately by survivors and IDF soldiers who had rushed to defend the communities under fire.

The Ramallah-based journalist, who also lived for years in Gaza, has additionally compared the IDF bombardment of Hamas targets in the Strip to the mass murder of Jews in World War II.

During an interview in the United States some ten days into the war, she noted that her parents had been Holocaust survivors and then immediately asked tearfully, “How can the world stand on the side and do nothing to stop this terrible slaughter?” Nothing, she said, “could justify what Israel…is causing right now.”