The massive demonstrations of support for Hamas on the streets of European and American cities, with baying mobs calling for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews everywhere while the liberal, educated classes are either silent or are actually supporting barbarism against civilisation, signifies a profound crisis for the free world.
This mass psychopathy moment has a number of causes. For now, let’s just discuss one of them. A principal contributor to this cultural degeneracy is support for the Palestinian cause.
This support is the default narrative for the “progressive” classes throughout the west. There are a number of reasons for this, including the “colonialist” anti-west narrative, antisemitism and the shallow and meretricious liberal article of faith that all actors in every conflict are governed by reason and self-interest, and that as a consequence every cause is negotiable and open to compromise.
This has led to the fixed belief, very much on show in the Biden administration and underlying all liberal discussion about the Hamas pogrom and the war in Gaza, that while there are “bad” Palestinians, called Hamas, there are also “good” Palestinians called “Gazan civilians” and the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Mahmoud Abbas— who after this war is over must be assisted to realise their “legitimate” aspiration for a state of Palestine, which will bring this conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to an end.
This is all based on a fundamental and egregious set of errors.
While there are undoubtedly Palestinians in both Gaza and the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria who desire nothing more than to support their families and live in peace with their Israeli neighbours, the division between “good” and “bad” Palestinians is a liberal fantasy with murderous consequences.
In Gaza, despite the fact that the election there which brought Hamas to power was hardly free and fair, polling persistently reveals that a majority of Gazans support Hamas and that around three quarters of them support the killing of Israelis.
Once the scale of the Hamas pogrom became known, ordinary Gazan civilians were filmed in scenes of exited jubilation, handing out sweets to celebrate the murder of 1400 Israelis and kidnap of more than 230. Ordinary Gazan civilians were filmed spitting on and desecrating the bodies of the Israeli victims who had been dragged into Gaza and paraded around the streets. And ordinary Gazan civilians poured through the shattered boundary fence after Hamas had broken through and joined in the orgy of bloodletting and hostage-taking in the kibbutzim along the border.
Hamas may wear green bandanas and military fatigues while PA officials wear suits, but the PA’s aims and motivation are the same: the eradication of Israel and the waging of Islamic holy war against the Jewish people.
The PA make this plain time and time again. Their officials and preachers incite holy war to “defend” the Al Aqsa mosque against “Jewish destruction” (the utterly false and murderous Muslim casus belli ever since the 1920s); the state of “Palestine” displayed on the PA’s maps and insignia occupies the whole of Israel; and their preachers and educational materials teach their children that their highest calling is to murder Jews and steal all their land.
And these “good” Palestinians have been cheering on Hamas for its depraved atrocities and urging more of the same. As Nadav Shragai records in Israel Hayom, Abdel-Rahman abu Arab, a member of the Fatah in Jenin, described the morning of the massacre as a morning of joy, victory, and pride, and blessed the “heroic martyrs in Gaza”.
Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee who had already admitted that “the goal is the end of Israel,” praised Hamas for the attack and threatened to crush the skulls of all the Jews and Americans in the region. Jamal al-Huwail, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in the PA, promised a “big surprise” in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) and hoped that the carnage in Israel’s border communities would be replicated there as well.
Palestinian Media Watch has been documenting more such reactions among the “good” Palestinians championed by the Biden administration and “liberals” everywhere. Mahmoud Al-Aloul, the deputy to Mahmoud Abbas in the PA’s dominant Fatah movement, exulted:
“The blood of the [Hamas] heroes will turn into a curse that will remove this occupier (i.e., Israel).”
A senior Fatah official, Iyad Jarrad declared:
“We stand alongside our brothers in the Gaza Strip, because truly they are a source of pride, heroism, and honour for the Palestinian people.”
While the Hamas pogrom was still taking place Fatah’s terror wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, rejoiced that the Hamas terrorists, were
“recording spectacular epics of heroism and sacrifice,”
while Fatah member Raafat Alayan lauded
“the heroic operation that the resistance carried out on October 7.”
In Ramallah, Palestinians chanted:
“If you have a rifle … you should either kill a Jew or give it to Hamas.”
One of Fatah’s student factions, the Student Union Council and Fatah Shabiba Student Movement at Palestine Polytechnic University ,issued the following “request” about the Jews:
“Allah, count them and kill them one by one, and do not leave even one of them.”
Palestinian Media Watch reports elsewhere:
“At the beginning of this war, PMW documented that Fatah’s terror wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, called to kill Jews and “strike the sons of apes of pigs… slaughter everyone who is Israeli.” A few days ago, the PA instructed all preachers to teach worshippers in the mosques that extermination of Jews is an Islamic imperative. Abbas’ own adviser on religion has defined the war as a holy war: “Jihad.”
One faction of Fatah’s Student Movement praised Hamas murderers as “Allah’s roaring lions” and called for terror in the West Bank. Other factions have urged Palestinians in the disputed territories to emulate Hamas’ massacre and carry out terror attacks against Israelis.
Moreover, anyone who thinks only Hamas is depraved should think again. In Israel Hayom, Shragai records some of the Israeli Jews slaughtered by “ordinary” Palestinians not from Gaza but from the disputed territories:
“Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a 13.5-year-old girl, was slaughtered in her bed in her home on the outskirts of Kiryat Arba with a knife. Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old, was raped and brutally murdered in Jerusalem, and then her body was mutilated. Her killer gloated in his trial that “raping and murdering a Jewish woman is the most important thing I have ever done”. The Fogel family from Itamar was murdered in their home shortly before Purim in 2011. Yoav, 10, and Elad, 4, were strangled and stabbed, and Ehud and Ruth, their parents, who tried to save their children, were stabbed repeatedly in their neck, throat, and abdomen. The three-month-old baby, Hadas who was found because she was crying, was also killed by the Nazis (now it is acceptable to call them that).
On one Saturday night, a similar massacre took place in the Salomon family’s home in Halamish. Esther Horgen was killed with a rock that crushed her skull. Shalhevet Pas, who was less than a year old, was executed in her stroller by a sniper. Kim Levengrond Yehezkel was tied up in the Barkan industrial zone and was then shot to death.”
Few of these massacres were even fully reported by western media, let alone provoking appropriate reactions of horror and revulsion. That’s because many of these victims were Israelis living in the disputed territories. For western “liberal” supporters of the Palestinian cause and the “two-state solution”, such people are “occupiers” and thus aren’t even to be considered properly human.
Given this brutalised callousness, why should anyone be surprised by the “liberal” west’s current psychopathy moment?
Now people are asking whether Israel’s war in Gaza can be a “just war” if no settlement for post-war Gaza is being proposed. In The Times (£) of London this morning, Phil Collins argues that people like the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, are urging a degree of restraint on the Israelis not on the grounds that their war is wrong in intent but that it cannot hope to succeed. He writes:
“Prudence on this point is not just a problem after the fact. It is part of the moral case for the intervention itself. If an action has no feasible hope of success, the moral case for war is damaged… It is easy to see how the Israelis get into Gaza, but there is a fog shrouding how they get out. What plausible regime can Israel leave behind?”
The precise composition of Gaza’s administration after the war is indeed impossible to see at present. However, this is to seek an answer to the wrong question. The solution to Gaza depends on the solution to the Palestinian issue, and that depends in turn on identifying the problem correctly. This is not, as the west tells itself, a conflict over the division of the land. It is a century-old jihadi and genocidal attempt to drive out the Jews from the ancestral homeland to which they alone are legally, morally and historically entitled.
This terrible conflict has been kept going by the west, which by supporting the Palestinian cause has indulged, funded, sanitised, legitimised and incentivised an agenda of annihilation, ethnic cleansing and murderous antisemitism.
The problem of Gaza will only be solved, like the Palestinian issue itself, if the west stops supporting the Palestinian cause — and start addressing this conflict not as a fight over the division of land but as a genocidal war of extermination against Israel and the Jewish people.
Israel is fighting in Gaza not just against Hamas but against Iran. It is fighting a war for its existence against a genocidal enemy. That’s why this is a just war by Israel — indeed it could hardly be more justified. And the failure by the west to grasp how this has come about is why the west is now being convulsed by the forces of barbarism from within.
For it’s impossible to exaggerate the extent to which support for the Palestinian cause has destroyed the west’s moral compass. It’s not just that it’s been supporting an agenda whose aim, whether people understand this or not, is the annihilation of Israel and the murder of Jews. It is that it has produced a diabolical and deranged inversion of morality, which views genocide against the Jews as resistance and Jewish resistance as genocide.
As a result, the west has the blood of countless Jewish and non-Jewish Israeli innocents on its hands — and unless it purges this poison from its culture, its hands will be stained by yet more.
Melanie Phillips https://substack.com/@melaniephillips
Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, broadcaster and author whose weekly column currently appears in The Times of London.
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