Naomi Wolf’s Misinformed and Disingenuous Defense of Hamas

The writer and activist accepts all Hamas claims, no matter how outrageous and provably false, at face value

Smoke trails mark the path of Palestinian missiles fired from Gaza City. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke trails mark the path of Palestinian missiles fired from Gaza City. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Recently, Naomi Wolf has stirred up a commotion over my recent column entitled, “Naomi Wolf’s Embrace of Hamas Spells the Fall of a Feminist Icon.” Naomi threatened legal action against The Jerusalem Post claiming that she does not in any way embrace Hamas. And just Wednesday, for the first time on her Facebook page, after being called out in public for her past statements, she finally straightforwardly said that she condemns Hamas. She also insisted that she has done so many times on her Facebook page during the Gaza war.

However, looking at all of her past postings over the last two months paints a very different picture. What emerges from a close analysis is a consistent defense of Hamas as a movement, a minimization of their past crimes, and a push to condemn Israel at every opportunity. Despite her protestations to the contrary, one could easily come to the conclusion that a part of Naomi has high hopes for Hamas and would happily support Hamas’s bid to lead the Palestinian people.

First off, it is a well-established fact that Hamas is a terror organization that to this day calls for the genocide of all Jews wherever they are found. There are countless videos and speeches stating this goal. It is written in their charter and repeated many times that the day will come when even trees will call upon Muslims to slaughter the Jews hiding behind them. This overwhelming evidence has been posted by readers numerous times on Naomi’s Facebook wall and she is well aware of it. Naomi is also aware that thousands of her followers on Facebook are very pro-Hamas as expressed through their plethora of comments.

Yet never once does Naomi mention these aspirations of genocide. Nor does she ever come out and condemn the entire Hamas movement as being murderous and bloodthirsty to the core. She never discusses their violent human rights violations against women. She never voices concern for their persecution and murders of homosexuals. She never mentions the school classes, TV programs, and summer camps indoctrinating children to become shahids, martyrs who die murdering Jews. Strangely she gives Hamas the benefit of the doubt in most cases and chooses to play defense for them.

A look at some of Naomi’s quotes and logic boggles one’s moral sensibilities. To start, she believes Hamas’ demands for a truce are “sensible in terms of building a peaceful civil society.” And she claims that they have no demands to “wipe Israel off the face of the map.” She posits that their conditions “seem kind of reasonable for ten years of peace.” She asks her readers, “What do you think? Are these the terms of madmen? It is hard to even discuss Hamas demands for a ceasefire as we are conditioned to think ‘RED ALERT’ in the west at any speech from this source.”

When she heard Hamas’ terrorist leader Khaled Meshaal’s interview with Charlie Rose she posted, “This interview seems reasonable. But in the US it is being spun as “Hamas leaders says he will never coexist with Israel.” She goes on, “That is not exactly what he said…he said the occupation must end then Palestine can decide as a sovereign nation what its relationship to Israel shall be. Which is as I understand it how the law of nations works?”

Naomi Wolf fails to question any of these statements on the part of terrorist leaders but quotes them as though they were spoken by Honest Abe Lincoln. She continues her optimistic description and defense of Hamas with Meshaal’s quote, “We are not fanatics, we are not fundamentalists. We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews per se.”

Hamas leaders to this day state that God brought all the Jews to Israel for the “great massacre.”

She continues Meshaal’s quote, ” I’m ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs.” This, even though Hamas leaders have made speeches proclaiming that they will one day conquer the world, and force Islam on nations across the globe.

After Israel either killed or severely injured arch-terrorist Mohammed Deif in a targeted strike, Naomi asked in outrage, “Does it not violate international law to assassinate political leaders?” Naomi further questions, “Does not international law call for arrests and trials if charges can be laid? Are people not innocent until proven guilty?” Apparently to Naomi, Hamas’ chief terrorists who have planned and perpetrated suicide bombings of buses, pizzerias, and cafes and arranged the firing of 14,000 rockets at Israeli citizens over the past 14 years are actually “political leaders” who are innocent until proven guilty. One really has to wonder if during World War II Naomi would have objected to Von Stauffenberg’s attempted assassination of Hitler in July, 1944 as an “extra-judicial killing” or whether she feels President Obama should be prosecuted for the killing of Osama bin Laden. Were these men also innocent until proven guilty?

Naomi wrote in outrage how people “repeat the uncritical allegations of the IDF that Hamas is “hiding” among civilians. Where else the f– are they supposed to go NOT to ‘hide”? Gaza is all civilian! There is no battlefield!”

This statement, aside from demonstrating utter ignorance of Gaza topography, would clear Hamas of any charges of using humans shields by placing weapons in or near civilian areas.

A commenter mentioned with regards to the Charlie Rose interview that “the important follow up question is what he (and Hamas) and maybe even you Naomi consider the occupation that needs to end. Hamas has always considered all of Israel to be “occupied” by the Israelis and their struggle has clearly been to get the Israelis to pack up and go back where they came from under threat of death.”

Naomi responded, “I think that is not the right question though because the issue is obeying international law.” It beggars belief that Naomi is not interested in the question of whether Hamas’ sworn intention is the total destruction of Israel.

Naomi goes on to say that “If Palestine is a sovereign nation and they vote for Hamas it is none of our business.” Well, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill certainly believed it was our business that the people of Germany voted in democratic elections to put the Nazis and Hitler in power.

Presumably Naomi would also believe that if a sovereign nation voted Al Qaida or ISIS into power that too be “none of our business.”

Naomi goes on to question, “Which comes first the rocket attacks or the fact that we are occupying them?”

She seems to have forgotten, or maybe even never took the time to learn, that Hamas has been firing thousands of rockets at Israeli cities since 2001. Even while under fire, Israel removed all Israelis living in Gaza in 2005 – over 8000 citizens – and evacuated every community and all military personnel. The degree of her ignorance in not knowing that there is zero occupation of Gaza is staggering.

The Palestinians had the opportunity to develop Gaza into the Singapore of the Middle East. Instead, they elected Hamas, bloodthirsty killers whose hatred of Jews is only exceeded by their own contempt for Palestinian life. Israel was forced to blockade Gaza to stop the importing of weapons sent from Iran and elsewhere. Yet, in Naomi’s twisted logic, when faced with Hamas attempts to murder Israeli citizens, and Israeli attempts to defend their citizens, it is a chicken or the egg type question. She sounds like she is unsure who really is at fault for this war, Hamas or Israel. The terrorists, or the democratic nation state.

She ends by stating without a shred of credible proof, “As you saw above Hamas is no longer saying they want to get rid of Israel qua Israel. We busted that myth on this page several times as of 2006.” And what is Naomi’s proof that even as Hamas shoots alleged Palestinian collaborators – including women – in the head that they have transformed themselves into ‘60’s flower children?

She posts a YouTube video that is not even viewable in the US and writes, “Elias Eskander says that this interview shows Hamas asking for ‘67 borders not to wipe out Israel….Take that Fox news!” Credible reporting indeed.

But her defense of Hamas doesn’t stop there. In the few instances that she does choose to criticize Hamas, she plays cover for them and uses the softest language possible. When faced with Hamas rocket barrages targeting Israeli cities, Naomi writes, “look if Hamas is firing at civilians it is a serious issue and we know that they are.” Really, dropping bombs on children is “serious”? She calls it a war crime when Israel accidentally kills civilians as it strikes at Hamas terrorists embedded in hospitals. But when Hamas tries to intentionally blow up schools it’s “serious.”

Naomi also writes, “I have to say these folks — Hamas — mystify me — how can they not know or why would they not say who fired or if they fired?”

It’s telling when a writer calls terrorists “folks” and, rather then label their murder evil, instead depicts them as mystifying.

She continues, “And if they did why would they at a moment like this? Again not arguing but baffled.”

“Not arguing” because that would be presumably construed as some kind of criticism of Hamas, perhaps? Apparently she is unable consider the possibility that they are a murderous terrorist organization. Therefore, this new information has left her “baffled.”

She continues, “It does not seem like the action of a group that is acting in the interest of people they are representing.”

That’s about the best Naomi can do to criticize Hamas. No mention that they are destroying the lives of the Palestinians by choosing constant terror rather than building Universities, hospitals, and schools.

In another post she writes, “Hamas is hiding rockets inside civilian infrastructure. This is the one confirmation I mentioned; UNRWA investigators refer to this as “first of its kind” finding and note that the school was vacant at the time. It is not that I think this is okay.”

So after learning that Hamas is hiding explosive rockets in a school all Naomi has to say is that it’s not OK. No calls for the ICC to bring up Hamas on war crimes for endangering lives and using civilians as human shields. Nope. Just, it’s not “okay.” And this in no way leads her to ponder the possibility that maybe Hamas really is using human shields throughout Gaza.

Incredibly she asserts, “I am not persuaded that targeting civilians is necessary for anyone.” Really Naomi? You’re not persuaded? So when Israel does all it can to avoid civilians and accidentally hits civilians while trying to stop rockets being fired, that is a genocide, a monstrous libel against the Jewish state. But when it comes to Hamas purposefully trying to kill civilians, you are “not persuaded” that it is necessary. By saying you are not “persuaded” are you implying that you are not persuaded yet, but that you could potentially change your mind?

Finally, when Naomi was told by a reader that Hamas isn’t so bad and mentions that they “only ask women to wear the hijab”, Naomi comments, “interesting….but it is not small to many women to be forced to wear hijab.”

Here we see the bold, outspoken feminist speaking up for women’s rights by proclaiming, “it is not small.” Not that this form of oppression imposed on the women of Gaza must be condemned by the international community in the strongest possible terms. Rather, “it is not small”?

Naomi also has a double standard when it comes to her reporting. If a source or story supporting Israel is being discussed, she will often express skepticism and demand absolute proof. But when it comes to the most off-the-wall conspiracy theories about Israel, she will post them as established fact. Here are but a few examples:

“Iron Dome is the Wizard of Oz… doesn’t exist, costs 335 million”

This even though the entire Israeli public, including me, has seen it work with their own eyes.

In response to a Jerusalem Post article written by Martin Sherman she writes, without a shred of credible proof, “I am shocked that they would actually plan to kill everyone bomb all key aspects of a civil society and deport all that are left to achieve this, yes I am shocked.” Did any of that happen? Did Israel kill everyone in Gaza? Did they deport anyone?”

This is borderline delusional thinking to believe these outrageous conspiracy theories.

“Kay Gardner posted this. OMG. So this is the endgame. It is the gas reserves. They want relocation. They were going after infrastructure to clear everyone out. OMG OMG. Absolute shock.”

Again, an off-the-wall conspiracy theory that never occurred and presented as fact without an iota of proof.

And when quoting the number of casualties what is a source she uses? The trustworthy Hamas Ministry of Health, of course.

After one of her readers claims that a Gaza bakery was hit in an airstrike, Naomi comes to the conclusion–again without in any way having verified the facts–“This also gives the lie to the “human shield” talking point as he does not suggest that Hamas is hiding in the bakeries.”  Once again she is providing cover and deniability for Hamas’ war crimes.

Despite Naomi’s claims that she condemns Hamas her very own words refute the claim. Her eagerness to paint Hamas in the best light possible while protecting the image of Hamas and delicately wording any disagreements she may have with the movement are revealing. Her obstinacy in accepting reports that in any way support Israel stand in stark contrast to her tendency to publicize with delight anything that could aid in her slander of the Jewish state.

In fact, one could sum up Naomi’s position on Israel with a comment that she said she loved. It read in part, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, just as not all Jews are Zionists.” This sums up Naomi’s warped thinking toward Israel. She may try to challenge the title of my column. But after seeing all of her statements and choice of words, it is a logical conclusion that she in many ways defends Hamas as leaders of the Palestinian people.


Rabbi Shmuley and Naomi Wolf will debate the question “Is Israel Guilty of Genocide in Gaza?” on Monday, October 20th in New York City with Observer Editor in Chief Ken Kurson as moderator. Click here for details and tickets.

Shmuley Boteach, whom Newsweek calls ‘the most famous Rabbi in America,’ is the author of 30 books including “Kosher Lust.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley. Naomi Wolf’s Misinformed and Disingenuous Defense of Hamas