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All of the Left must condemn Hamas medieval massacre

Oct 16, 2023

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After the Hamas attack on Israel, which killed at least 1,400 Israelis, Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign in Gaza, killing at least 2,800 people. This response has led to anti-Israel sentiments among some on the progressive Left, who have yet to condemn the Hamas attacks.

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman agrees that it is possible to empathize with both the Israelis and the Palestinians at the same time. He adds, however, that a crucial first step for those on the Left is to unequivocally denounce the initial massacre carried out by Hamas on Oct. 7.

We’re talking about beheadings. We’re talking about the killing of just random people at music festivals and kibbutz — all over the place. It is a medieval massacre, and even hearing, never mind seeing the videos, is absolutely terrifying. And also, when you see the videos from Gaza, and you see kids covered in soot pulled out of rubble, that kid is innocent. Okay? In the future, that kid might believe … Okay — that kid is innocent right now.

So, as people on the Left, we have to be able to both say, this was a terrorist attack by Hamas, period, and I condemn it, and Hamas is a terrorist group, and they’re an impediment to peace. Full stop. No ifs, ands and buts. Period. We say that.

And we also say, as people on the Left, how can any of us say we like cutting off electricity, food, water to a Gaza that has this huge child population and tons of people that are innocent, beyond the fact that they nominally support Hamas, because does anyone really have a choice but to support Hamas? That doesn’t mean you’re equivocating, and the equivocation from some of my friends on the Left has been horrifying. 

As is sadly often the case, people on both sides of the political aisle are getting this latest terrorist attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians wrong for different reasons. I think it’s important if we want to have a sensible left or reasonable left, an intelligent left, that we are accurate and precise and constrained in the criticisms that we make. 

 

So first and foremost, I expect to hear crazy things from the right. Anytime something happens within the Israeli Palestinian conflict. And we’re hearing it the talking point that much of the right is seizing upon right now is that this is all Joe Biden’s fault. Because he released $6 billion to Iran, they call it giving 6 billion to Iran. It is true that Iran likes Hamas, it is true that Iran likes seeing Israelis killed, that is all true. But the reality here is that this is a terrorist attack that’s been in the planning for months. This is not money that Biden gave to Iran. It’s Iran’s money that Biden agreed to release in exchange for some prisoners, which made sense for humanitarian reasons. And to think that this entire thing comes down to that money just has not been demonstrated in any factual way. 

 

We also are hearing from many on the right, that Democrats are weak when it comes to supporting Israel. That’s really not what I see, it is true that there are a handful of voices in the House of Representatives in the Democratic Party that aren’t big on funding for Israel. But by and large, the Democratic Party in the United States is supportive of Israel when it comes to aid. And, in fact, has continued to be relatively clear about Hamas being a terrorist group, which some media outlets aren’t even willing to say. So the criticisms from Republicans have been completely bogus. 

 

What I’ve seen from some on the left, most of my audience is not in this camp. But what I’ve seen from some on the left is either What about-ism? When you ask a simple question, Do you condemn the terrorist attack by Hamas? And you get reactions like, condemn? What does it mean to condemn? Israel is in great part responsible for the circumstances in which, okay, we can talk about that. But first and foremost, if we want to be serious people, we say Hamas is a terrorist group, they committed a terrorist attack. Oh, but they have the Democratic support of the people in Gaza. 

 

Do the people of Gaza have any choice? And if you see the videos, I mean, listen, we’re talking about a medieval style massacre. We’re talking about beheadings, we’re talking about the killing of just random people that music festivals and can boots all over the place. It is a medieval massacre. And even hearing nevermind seeing the videos is absolutely terrifying. And also, when you see the videos from Gaza, and you see kids covered in soot pulled out of rubble. That kid is innocent. Okay, now what? In the future that kid might believe, okay, that kid is innocent right now. So as people on the left, we have to be able to both say, this was a terrorist attack by Hamas period. And I condemn it and Hamas is a terrorist group. And they’re an impediment to peace, full stop, no ifs, ands and buts. period we say that. 

 

And we also say as people on the left, how can any of us say we like cutting off electricity, food water to a Gaza that has this huge of chaat child population and tons of people that are innocent beyond the fact that they nominally support Hamas, because does anyone really have a choice but to support Hamas? That doesn’t mean you’re equivocating and the equivocation from some of my friends on the left has been horrifying. 

 

Now. There has been worse than that as well. There have been people celebrating there have been people saying this is what Israel deserves. There have been people joking about the hang gliders in which Hamas terrorists came that’s a that’s another level of disgusting that goes above and beyond even just mild kind of. What about ism or equivocation? I don’t see my brand of leftism, anywhere in there. 

 

My brand of leftism is very simple. terrorist group, autocratic subjugates women subjugates LGBT people try you know, if your values are pluralism and diversity, how you can even in tacitly or implicitly defend Hamas? I don’t know those are my values. My values are, why is it that the democracies are Calling this out as a terrorist attack, and the autocracies like Iran, and others are the ones saying I, we kind of like this. There’s good elements to this. 

 

So we are against authoritarianism. We are against groups like Hamas that subjugate minorities. And by the way, what happens if you go to Hamas and you say I no longer want to be Muslim, right? It’s not just that they are authoritarian and vicious to Jews and others which they are so we can be sensible left wing people and not equivocate and also show empathy for the fact that innocent Gazans are now caught in something that their own leaders decided to do. All of these things are valid all of these things should be on the table.

 

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