Bepi Pezzulli
International counsel & foreign policy adviser

Hostage Rescue Exposes Bias in Global Responses

Unit 669 in Action (IDF Media Center)

In the dramatic aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages—Noa Argamani, Shlomi Ziv, Almog Meir Jan, and Andrey Kozlov—captured during Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack, the international response has confirmed the utterly biased positions of the highly controversial usual suspects.

The hostages were freed by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in a high-stakes operation in Gaza, backed by U.S. logistical and intelligence support. The mission, marked by intense combat, led to the tragic death of Israeli officer Arnon Zamora, who was gravely injured during the rescue.

Criticism from the European Union and the United Nations

Instead of uniting in relief and support, key international figures have chosen to criticize Israel’s actions. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, wrote, “The news from Gaza of another massacre of civilians is terrible. We condemn it in the strongest terms. The bloodshed must stop immediately. The U.S. three-phase plan is the way forward for a lasting ceasefire and to end the killings.” Once again, the EU top diplomat appeared to overlook the complexities and the bravery involved in the hostage rescue.

Likewise, Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories, took to X to express her so-called relief over the hostages’ release. Yet, her message was riddled with inflammatory accusations against Israel, claiming that the operation resulted in the deaths of at least 200 Palestinians, including children, and accusing Israel of using hostages to justify violence.

Albanese’s statements, which insisted on equating Israeli defensive actions with genocidal intent, have been met with severe backlash. Hillel Neuer, President of UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO, condemned her remarks as gross violations of UN conduct and a breach of the rules governing the conduct of special rapporteurs, accusing her of spreading Hamas propaganda and distorting facts.

Official Responses from the U.S.

In stark contrast, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the hostages’ return and reiterated America’s commitment to securing the unconditional release of all hostages, thereby permitting a ceasefire that would allow for humanitarian aid and Gaza’s reconstruction. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan echoed these sentiments, highlighting ongoing efforts to secure a lasting peace and the safe return to Israel of remaining hostages.

EU and UN’s Alignment with Egypt and Turkey

Egypt and Turkey, meanwhile, have seized the moment to intensify their criticism of Israel. Egypt condemned the attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp, where the hostages were kept in captivity, placing full responsibility on Israel for civilian casualties and urging it to fulfill its obligations as an occupying power.

The relations between Egypt and Israel have deteriorated recently, following the identification by Israeli troops of 700 tunnel shafts in Rafah, with 50 allegedly leading to Egypt. Israel has long accused Egypt of complicity in allowing Hamas to arm itself using tunnels from Sinai to Gaza through Rafah. The IDF has now found evidence shedding light on why Egypt opposed an Israeli operation in Rafah.

Turkey went further, accusing Israel of adding to its list of crimes in Gaza and calling on the United Nations Security Council to intervene.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, closely aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood (and hence with Hamas), has long adopted an adversarial stance towards Israel, vehemently condemning its policies towards Palestinians. Erdogan’s rhetoric aims to bolster support among Muslim-majority nations and assert Turkey’s influence against Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

Both countries’ positions, closely echoed by Borrell and Albanese, demonstrate a disturbing concordance with the EU and the UN that undermines the complexity of Israel’s defensive measures and the ongoing threats posed by Hamas.

An Anti-Israel Landscape

The polarized international response to the hostage rescue underscores a troubling alignment of some global actors with narratives that vilify Israel while glossing over the atrocities committed by Hamas. Instead of recognizing the heroism of the Israeli soldiers and the justness of their cause, figures like Borrell and Albanese choose to align with voices that condemn Israel’s right to self-defense.

As the dust settles, it’s clear: those who castigate Israel for defending its citizens and rescuing hostages are, in essence, enabling the very terror they claim to condemn. In a world where the lines between justice and propaganda are increasingly blurred, one thing remains beyond doubt—Israel’s resolve to protect its people must stand unwavering, despite the chorus of misguided criticism.

About the Author
Giuseppe Levi Pezzulli ("Bepi") is a Solicitor specialised in International financial law and a foreign policy scholar. His research interest is economic statecraft. In 2018, he published "An alternative view of Brexit" (Milano Finanza Books), which investigates the economic and geopolitical implications of Brexit. In 2023, "Brave bucks" (Armando Publishing House), which highlights the role of private capital in the industrial policy mix. Formerly an Editor-in-Chief of La Voce Repubblicana; is a columnist for the Italian daily financial newspaper Milano Finanza; a pundit for the financial TV channel CNBC; and a Middle East analyst for Longitude magazine. He received degrees at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome (LLB), New York University (LLM), and Columbia University (JD).
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