Cheerleaders for Hamas
The woke left’s response to the Islamist assault on Israel has exploded their phoney moral superiority for good.
First, the horror. No sooner had Hamas rolled into Israel on Saturday, murdering and kidnapping those they came across, than images of their depraved exploits were plastered across social media. Innocent people executed on the streets. A pensioner kidnapped and driven into Gaza on a golf buggy. A young woman’s lifeless body, stripped almost naked, paraded on the back of a pick-up truck as men spat on her and chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’. Ordinary people slaughtered and taken for no other crime than being Israeli, than being Jewish. Then, the sewer. Just as social media had confronted us with such unspeakable evil, it then confronted us with those in the West who looked upon these barbaric, blood-thirsty scenes – from the comfort of safe homes 2,000 miles away – and thought to themselves: Good.
We have become accustomed to Hamas apologism from the woke left. They have long responded to the atrocities of this Islamist outfit with a knowing ‘What do you expect?’. Their delusional, bigoted conviction that Israel is the most evil state on Earth, that unlike every other nation under attack it has no right to exist or defend itself, has time and again led them to make excuses for Hamas’ genocidal lunatics – whose founding charter committed them to ‘struggle against the Jews’ and whose leading lights call on Palestinians to ‘cut off the heads of the Jews with knives’. There was plenty of that apologism yesterday. ‘Reap what you sow’, tweeted Jackie Walker, former vice-chair of Momentum, who was expelled from the Labour Party in 2019. But that soon began to look tame by comparison. Apologism gave way to cheerleading. ‘Today should be a day of celebration for supporters of democracy and human rights worldwide’, tweeted Novara Media’s Rivkah Brown, ‘as Gazans break out of their open-air prison and Hamas fighters cross into their colonisers’ territory. The struggle for freedom is rarely bloodless and we shouldn’t apologise for it.’ Yes, Hamas, those theocratic thugs, anti-Semitic killers, oppressors of women and gay people, are apparently champions of freedom and democracy. To call this deranged is too generous. This is psychopathic. But the brain rot wasn’t confined to Brown. ‘All eyes on Palestine in its heroic moment of resistance against the Zionist occupation’, tweeted Pawel Wargan, coordinator of the secretariat of Progressive International. (Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell sit on its council.) Disgraced ex-Labour MP Chris Williamson called Hamas ‘freedom fighters’.
It was shocking, but wholly unsurprising. That the Labour left has lost the plot on the Israel-Palestine conflict is a profound understatement. Corbyn’s Labour flushed out so many examples of alleged left-wingers making excuses for Hamas, or indulging Islamist anti-Semites, that we almost became numb to it all. Indeed, that a man who once referred to Hamas as his ‘friends’; who once invited Raed Salah, a man convicted for repeating the blood libel, to have tea in the House of Commons; who once gave a speech at a demonstration, yards away from an inflatable effigy of an anti-Semitic caricature – complete with horns, hooked nose and claws – is still considered the cuddly, grandfatherly standard-bearer of the left shows how morally and politically bankrupt the left now is. That more of his fellow travellers have gone from making excuses for Hamas to openly cheering it on was perhaps inevitable.
This is not about supporting Palestine. If it were, these people might have more to say about how Hamas, as Daniel Ben-Ami has argued on spiked, has turned a national-liberation movement into a genocidal jihad against Israel. If it were, they might spare a thought or a tweet for the innocent Palestinians who will inevitably pay the price for Hamas’ vicious act of war. No, this is about despising Israel, which has become a perverse source of identity and pride for woke leftists. That they hold this troubled liberal democracy, and the world’s only Jewish State, to a standard they do not apply to any other state the world over – including brutal, theocratic regimes – is more than bizarre. It’s bigoted.
Now, they offer only stony silence to British Jews who are justifiably worried that a carnival of Jew hatred might spill out on to our own streets. Last night, in west London, people were filmed waving Palestine flags and honking horns, celebrating Hamas’ blood-stained incursion into southern Israel. It was a stomach-turning reminder of the men who were spotted driving around heavily Jewish parts of north-west London in 2021, honking horns, flying Palestine flags and shouting from loud hailers: ‘Fuck the Jews… Fuck their mothers… Rape their daughters.’ Today’s ‘anti-racist’ left – who on another day would happily cancel you over a ‘microaggression’ – stared at its shoe laces back then. There were no demonstrations or solidarity marches, facing down the newest expression of the world’s oldest hatred. Whatever tenuous claim the woke left still had to the moral high ground is now – surely – dust. These cheerleaders for Hamas have finally seen to that.
Tom Slater is editor of spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater
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