There have been some extraordinary interviews with some extraordinary people since the October 7 massacre. But if you’ve not yet caught last night’s Piers Morgan interview with Thomas Hand, father of the - thank God – now released 8 year old Emily, I urge you to watch it, here.
You won’t find a better or more important way to spend 45 minutes.
During an interview with @PiersUncensored, Thomas Hand, father of Emily Hand who was held hostage by Hamas terrorists, finds out two of the Israeli hostages have been killed.— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) January 16, 2024
His daughter and former hostage Emily (9) tries to comfort him by wiping his tears.
On one level it’s beautiful. Seeing Emily on her father’s lap and the obvious love between them, with her wiping away his tears, would be touching in any circumstance. But in the context of the unspeakable horrors she endured as a hostage for nearly two months – and the utter desolation he went through while she was in captivity – it is almost magical.
On another level, however, it’s anything but magical, because for all the joy that Thomas and Emily now feel, it’s impossible not to think of everything they have endured, of the losses so many are now having to cope with, and of the remaining hostages, two more of whom we learned yesterday were murdered by Hamas.
This is, of course, the same Thomas Hand who gave a gut-wrenching interview to Clarissa Ward of CNN when he was mistakenly told Emily was dead, screaming with relief and describing it as a blessing that she would be spared Hamas’ depravity and she would be at peace and at rest. Now that she is home, he told Piers Morgan that he was relieved that she wasn’t raped, as other children have been. Imagine having to be relieved that an eight year old child wasn’t raped. Please God none of us ever have to endure what he has been through.
But what makes the whole interview so compelling is the moral clarity with which Thomas Hand puts in proper perspective the distortions, the lies, the smears and the grotesque propaganda being pushed by Hamas and its allies and useful idiots.
Quite properly, Piers Morgan asks him what he has to say to those who say that the Israel is being disproportionate in its response to October 7. His reply (which is at 36’37” on the video) needs to be shown as widely and as often as possible on social media, the words of – in the best sense – an ordinary man with a message to the ignorant and the malevolent who take over London and other capital cities with their hate marches.
“They don’t know a thing. We are living it. We have been living it every day for 20 years. You have no idea. You have no right to even speak to me. Have you been to Israel, ever? Every one of you saying it’s disproportionate.
“Has any one of you come to see ‘apartheid’ in this country? It doesn’t exist, you idiots. It doesn’t exist. Look at all the road signs. Come and look at all the road signs. It’s in Hebrew , it’s in Arabic and it’s in English. All the buses’ electronic writing have Hebrew, Arabic and English
“Come to any hospital in this country, come to any school in this country, come to any city in this country. You’ll find Arabs, women, female Arabs, professors in hospitals everywhere, doctors. You’re talking out of your bottoms – you have no idea.
“You’re all chanting ‘From the river to the sea’. You don’t know what river, you don’t know your history, you don’t know your geography. If you had any idea of geography you could work out where this little country is. It’s the Mediterranean Sea. But they don’t know that. Educated Harvard students, university students and they don’t even know what river or what sea borders Israel.”
When you hear Thomas Hand, both when he is talking about the days since October 7 and the wider point about the anti-Israel brigade, you see the moral inversion not only of those on the hate marches but of the bien pensant haters like Gary Lineker who signal their virtue on social media but have not the slightest idea of what they are actually saying or doing. Last week, for example, Lineker reposted a demand for Israel to be removed from all sporting contests. (He removed the link a few days later, claiming – presumably with a straight face - that he thought it was simply news that Israel had been suspended.) But while it is tempting to dismiss Lineker and his posts as an irrelevance, they do matter. No sooner had he posted the link than the Hamas mouthpiece the Quds News Network, posted a story with the headline “Renowned English broadcaster calls for Israel to be banned from international [football]”. It does matter when fools like Lineker post their bile. It’s then used as part of the drip, drip, drip by which terrorist organisations seep their hate into the mainstream.
Thomas Hand and those in the front line – Israelis, in other words – see straight through it. They see the decadence of those in free countries who choose to target a land in which the rule of law is paramount, in which freedom is the watchword and in which – the reason, of course, why it is targeted – Jews are safe. But we see them for what they are.