Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The Left's Deafening Silence About Hamas' Brutality Toward Israeli Women

I recently wrote that October 7 Taught a Brutal Lesson to the Israeli Left

Hamas's October 7 mass casualty terrorist attack demonstrated the barbarism at the heart of radical Islam, and as more details about the attack are confirmed--including the enthusiastic participation of Gazan civilians in the brutality--the Israeli Left is being forced to learn a painful lesson: a large number, if not a majority, of Israel's Arab neighbors not only don't want peace with Israel but they want to kill as many Jews as possible. This lesson means that all of the hopes of the Israeli Left are doomed to failure: the concept of "land for peace" leading to a "two state solution" is the Israeli Left's dream that has turned into a nightmare of rocket attacks and "pay for slay" terrorist attacks sponsored and encouraged by the Palestinian Authority culminating in the October 7 atrocity that wreaked destruction on the Jewish people not seen in a single day since the Holocaust.

In The Rape of the Israeli Women, Peggy Noonan explains why the Left in general has been silent about Hamas' brutality (I have emphasized certain passages by putting them in bold font):

The rape, torture and mutilation of women looks as if it was part of the battle plan. Hamas used sexual violence as a weapon.

Why has the progressive left in the West, for two months now, been disbelieving, silent or equivocal about what Hamas did to women? One answer is that the progressive left hates Israel and feels whatever is done to Israel is justified. Another is that the sick brutality of Hamas's actions undercuts its position in the world, undercutting too the cause they falsely claim to represent, that of the Palestinian people. Why have women's groups of the progressive left been silent? Because at bottom they aren't for women; they are for the team.

All of this makes more remarkable the exchange between Dana Bash of CNN and Democratic Rep. Pamila Jayapal of Seattle. Ms. Bash pressed Ms. Jayapal on why she wasn't condemning what had been done to women on 10/7. Ms. Jayapal was evasive, tried to redirect, said rape is "horrific" but "happens in war situations." 

"However," she said, "I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians."

Balanced? How do you balance a story like the horrors of Oct. 7? You don't, you just find and tell the truth. Some stories don't have two sides. This is one of them.

Why is it important? Because it happened. Because it reveals something about the essential nature of Hamas and reflects its ultimate political goals. Progressives admiringly quote Maya Angelou's advice that when people show you who they are, believe them. Oct. 7 was Hamas showing you who they are. Believe them.

BLM, MeToo, and the various queer rights groups that openly support Hamas and that promote genocide against Israel specifically and Jews in general have not only showed us who they are by demonstrating their complete lack of moral clarity and moral courage; they have also forfeited their credibility to speak about the issues that are allegedly their raison d'etre: you cannot applaud Hamas' war crimes against Jews in general and Jewish women in particular--two of the smallest and most vulnerable minority groups in the world--and then claim to be a legitimate, authoritative voice speaking on behalf of Black people, women, or queer people. I am not saying that discrimination against Black people, women, or queer people does not exist or should not be confronted--but I am insisting that the prominent groups that openly support Hamas and promote genocide against Israel and the Jewish people have no standing to speak out about anything.

Don't applaud the slaughter of Jewish women and children and then ask me to be an "ally." Universities, corporations, and politicians that use logos/slogans from BLM, MeToo, or queer rights groups that support Hamas should be called out. I support fighting for equality, but that fight cannot be fought under the banners of hate-filled organizations and movements.

American Jews must use this historical turning point moment to take stock. The vast majority of American Jews have reliably voted for the Democrats for decades, but reflexive support of any Democratic Party candidate is just not tenable moving forward in the wake of the Democratic Party's demonstrable embrace of so-called "progressive" ideas that are antisemitic to the core; each candidate must be evaluated on individual merit regardless of party affiliation. As I wrote in May 2022 in Well-Meaning but Misguided Jewish Support for Noble-Sounding Ideas Has Empowered Antisemitism, "Well-meaning but misguided Jewish support for so-called 'progressive' ideas has helped fuel the rise of antisemitic members of Congress who are working hard to destroy Israel." I quoted this prophetic warning from Benjamin Kerstein:

American Jews may be in sympathy with the ideology of "The Squad," but they must understand that these people hate you. And however progressive, compassionate, empathetic and idealistic they may seem, when the chips are down, they will eat you alive.

So, remember their names: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Marie Newman, Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush. They are not finished. They will be back. And you must be ready for them.

The people Kerstein called out by name have been some of the most vocal supporters of Hamas in the wake of 10/7 and some of the harshest critics of Israel's self-defense war in Gaza--and those people have the support of a large segment of the young demographic, which consequentially means that they have significant influence on the Democratic Party. This is not meant in any way to diminish or minimize the danger of antisemitism on the Right--but I have not seen people on the Right publicly cheering 10/7, calling for Israel's destruction, attacking Jews on the street, and turning college campuses into Marxist reeducation camps. In the 1920s, you could argue that antisemitism--particularly in the U.S.--predominantly emanated from the Right; in the 2020s, it is obvious that antisemitism is predominantly emanating from the Left, and is publicly embraced by mainstream people on the Left: even in the 1920s, KKK members wore hoods in public. In the 2020s, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and their fellow travelers are proud to publicly articulate their hatred of Jews and Israel.


  1. The unfortunate part is that it seems the support for these antisemitic groups and politicians will continue. But I do hope people wake up about it eventually. That interview with Jayapal is appalling. It boils down to people and their hatred of Jews. Even if women and children are slaughtered and rape, their hatred of Jews trumps all of that.

    I hope Israel will continue their pursuit to completely eliminate Hamas unless Hamas surrenders which doesn't seem likely they'll surrender. So the end of this war is either Israel pulling out early or they actually eliminate Hamas. The cease-fire pleas are ridiculous. Hamas and other groups will just come back at Israel at a future date if Israel relents. Well, other groups likely will still but they might think twice if Israel actually puts an end to Hamas.

  2. Anonymous: The extent and depth of Jew-hatred does not surprise me, but it is upsetting. Other people seem to be surprised, and it will be interesting to see the responses/actions of the people who are surprised. Will they change their voting patterns? Will they become outspoken defenders of Israel and the Jewish people?

    Hamas will never surrender. Hamas will either be destroyed, or Hamas will win. Avoiding destruction counts as a "win" from their perspective. Individual lives--Arab or Jew--do not matter to the Hamas leaders.

    You make an important point that destroying Hamas matters not only to eliminate the threat that Hamas poses but also to deter other entities from attacking Israel. Israel has sabotaged her own deterrence value over the past three decades by making so many concessions in terms of land and in terms of lopsided deals to obtain the release of hostages.


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