Commencing on Saturday morning, specifically on the day of Shabbat and during the Hebrew festival known as Simhat Torá, the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, which has maintained control over the Gaza Strip since 2007, initiated a significant offensive against Israel. This offensive encompassed the launching of over 5000 rockets directed at Israeli cities and the infiltration of Hamas operatives into Israeli municipalities and settlements located in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip.
The ramifications of these attacks, as of the moment of writing, have translated into over a thousand confirmed Israeli casualties and an additional 2,500 individuals sustaining injuries, as reported by authorities. Across various social media platforms, images are circulating depicting instances of Israeli civilians being subjected to indiscriminate gunfire, women and children being taken as hostages, and numerous other scenes that qualify as atrocities and war crimes, as per the stipulations outlined in the Geneva Convention and other relevant regulations governing the conduct of armed conflicts. We shall refrain from disseminating these images, but for those inclined to view them, such visual material can be accessed on platforms such as Twitter or Reddit.
In one of the most shocking testimonials given by the families who have fallen victim to the inhumane practices of Hamas, the parents of a young girl claimed to have been phoned from her number after she was abducted by the militants. The call was purposefully made by the kidnappers, not to negotiate, but in order to let the parents listen in on how they’re daughter was being sexually abused by them.
Three days into the conflict and mountains of such stories (with evidence to support them) are piling up. Western societies are legitimately infuriated, disgusted and terrified. But as it often happens, some groups in the aforementioned societies make an exception.
The radical left, that a few years ago was portrayed as “just a myth” by many pundits, is uniting it’s forces with immigrants in a macabre spectacle of cheering Palestine on in what they perceive is a just conflict to combat discrimination and segregation. And it is happening all over the western world.
In one of the most shocking events that unfolded during the last few days, that could be described as no less than an attempt to intimidate the Jewish population, leftist groups have gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in London. The event witnessed boiling emotions as thousands of demonstrators voiced their solidarity with the Palestinian cause. This gathering had been orchestrated by various UK organizations, including but not limited to Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Muslim Association of Britain, and the Palestinian Forum in Britain.
Just like in London, in front of the Sydney Opera House of Australia, anti-Semitic slurs were chanted, the Israeli flag was burned and “Gas the Jews” could be heard every couple of minutes, in a grotesque display. Attempting to once again establish moral high ground, the leftist organizers claimed that their rally was a peaceful one, but such incidents were the machinations of “a few anti-Semitic elements”. Video footage available on social platforms tells another story.
What is most shocking is that some of these radical left-wingers are the exact same people who, on other days of the week, would preach “justice, equality, racial and religious tolerance”. How can one transition from #MeToo to blindly supporting the barbarism and sadism of masked militants who abduct and rape young women from Israel is baffling, to say the least.
In Berlin, similar rallies were held, beginning from the provocative gestures of leftist activists to offer candy on the street to citizens, in order to celebrate “the victory of Palestine”. Candy-sharing quickly turned to rallies alongside local radical islamists. However, in this case, German authorities were quick to dispatch the police and contain the de facto supporting of terrorist actions and the spread of Jewish hatred that many Germans still perceive as a badge of shame on their history.
Jewish and conservative influencer Ben Shapiro, who made a name for himself by challenging the left, (granted – sometimes in ways that the general public has perceived as being equally biased) has launched online appeals to clarity during his latest podcasts. Shapiro invited both left and right leaning people to coldly analyze the situation, and has dedicated his last two shows to almost-exclusively presenting the atrocities that are being committed by the Hamas militants in the last few days.
Citing from official Israeli sources and displaying the brutal images (some censored, some not), his last two podcasts serve as a very well done synthesis of how vile and inhumane the actions of Hamas have been. Shapiro challenged Americans to “Hate Evil!” no matter their ideological standpoints on other issues.
But tensions on the new continent are still high. In New York reside the Democratic Socialists of America, a renowned (at least among socialists) organization that has collaborated with the Democratic Party on policies and promoted hard-left candidates for congressional office. The DSA actively participated in organizing a pro-Palestine rally in Times Square, where, similar to the ones in Europe, the ugly face of anti-Semitism, extremism and violence, were seen.
“Palestinian return by any means necessary” read one of the banners. “Death to Israel”, “Israel is apartheid and genocide”, and so on. Reports state that Nazi emblems were also displayed by some participants. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, even congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known mainly for her hard-left political stances, denounced the bigotry of such manifestations. The surprise factor stems from the fact that AOC has been endorsed and promoted by the Democratic Socialists of America.
The bigotry and callousness expressed in Times Square on Sunday were unacceptable and harmful in this devastating moment. It also did not speak for the thousands of New Yorkers who are capable of rejecting Hamas’s horrifying attacks against innocent civilians as well as the grave injustices and violence Palestinians face under occupation.
I condemn Hamas’s attack in the strongest possible terms. No child and family should ever endure this kind of violence and fear, and this violence will not solve the ongoing oppression and occupation in the region. An immediate ceasefire and de-escalation is urgently needed to save lives. – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The whole situation displays a deeper problem, with the newer generations mostly. One of empathy and capacity of nuance. Even if some of Israel’s historical actions could be condemned (and they were – when such was the case), nothing can justify the apotheosis of barbarism used by Hamas fighters and collaborators. Manifesting support rather than condemnation during such times displays a solidarity with the actions themselves, not only with the perceived higher purpose – the end that justifies the means (an incredibly dangerous concept when used in such scenario).
Moreover, such situations display a crisis of democracy. Yes, freedom of speech is sacred, and yes, right-wing activists have also been the target of censorship and hate speech laws. For some politicians it would seem hypocritical now to call for measures against people who chanted their thoughts (some of those thoughts being extremely dark). But, and this is a very large “but”, a crystal clear line should be drawn between the place where the concept of speech ends, and where the incitement to continue literal and proven acts of terrorism begins.