Anti-Zionist Jews Form The Fifth Column for Hamas

A second front against Israel on behalf of Hamas and Iran is opening. Less than 24 hours after Hamas murderers slaughtered thousands of Jews, the press and social media narrative has shifted from sympathy to claims that Israel’s existence is the cause of violence. Demonstrations celebrating the death of Israeli citizens in solidarity with Hama have taken place in several cities and campuses across America. And when the Israel Defense Forces begin ground operations inside Gaza, we can expect the condemnation of the Jewish state to surge to levels never seen before.

Jewish writers and academics, such as Peter Beinart and Dov Waxman, have not just opposed Israel’s existence. For years, they have written, lectured, and argued that Israel is the most potent and successful apartheid state, enriching itself by exporting its weaponry and technological instruments of control to other Western oppressor states. They have portrayed their yearning to eliminate the Jewish state as the highest expression of Jewish values.

In doing so, they acted individually and collectively as Hamas’ Fifth Column in the United States.  And after a moment of silence, they are doing do now.

They and others have argued against defining the denial of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination as anti-Semitic. Beinart wrote, “conflating anti-Zionism with Jew-hatred is a tragic mistake.”  Dov Waxman has said: “Peaceful dismantling” of Israel is a valid proposal, so anti-Zionism is not inherently anti-Semitic. He qualifies this by adding that if you say you do care about those people (Israeli Jews), but you just want the peaceful dismantling of Israel, that isn’t anti-Semitic.[1]

These views supplied the fodder for Hamas’s rewrite of its 1988 charter, which used to say the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says:  ‘’The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.’ (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim).”[2]

The New and Improved Hamas asserts it “does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine.”  So according to Beinart, Waxman, and hundreds of other Jewish intellectuals and leaders, such as Shaul Magid and J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami, who argue that the desire to cut Israel is not antisemitic as long as it is not motivated by Jew-hatred, Hamas is not antisemitic since it says they have nothing against Jews.[3]

The new charter claims Israel perpetuates “unjust, enduring, and unsustainable systems of Jewish supremacy.”  It adds that it is the” only military occupation and settler-colonial regime of its kind.”  Actually, those characterizations are from two letters denouncing Israel’s bombing of Gaza in response to rocket attacks written by hundreds of Jewish academics, including Jewish studies professors. 

Hamas’ assertion that Palestine “was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project that was founded on a false promise (the Balfour Declaration), on recognition of a usurping entity and on imposing a fait accompli by force” is moderate by comparison. Uriel Abulof, Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs, a fellow at Princeton University, said: “…the very existence of a Jewish polity, no matter at what territory, is considered almost an immoral abomination, a form of colonialism.”[4]

Meanwhile, anti-Zionist Jews have not only glossed over the evil impulse guiding Hamas, but they have also justified it. The Hamas charter states: “At the heart of these lies armed resistance, which is regarded as the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Cue Hamas apologist Peter Beinart, who states: “The American revolutionaries used violence. There are many people in Hamas who want their organization, together with Fatah and the other parties, to be part of peace here…The only way to stop oppressed people from responding to the violence of oppression with violence of their own is to end their oppression.”

Beinart enthuses that in 2017, it published a new Charter that claimed “its conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion…Hamas rejects the persecution of any human being or the undermining of his or her rights on nationalist, religious or sectarian grounds.” Asking which one represents Hamas’ “real” views misses the point. Like other movements, Hamas evolves in response to events and …” explain why Hamas shifted from appearing more moderate than Fatah to being more hardline. “[5]

Beinart is joined by Dov Waxman, who wrote, “The organization was moving away from the extreme and a position of confrontation towards one that was more centrist and moderate. Accompanying this shift was a redefinition of the nature of the Palestinian struggle, which was no longer for political or military power per se but for defining new social arrangements and appropriate cultural and institutional models that would meet social needs without resorting to violence.[6]

But Waxman goes out of his way to downplay the lethal, genocidal agenda of Hamas. Waxman has commented to students that “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” messages scribbled profusely on chalkboards in UCLA’s Bunche Hall were not examples of anti-Semitism or acts of intimidation against Jewish Bruins. While an upsurge in anti-Semitic violence took place during the May 2021 Hamas-Israel war, he had also refused to condemn Hamas in any capacity on Twitter after sharing the opinions of accounts that targeted Israel’s legitimate right to defense.” 

These actions and statements are designed to weaken support for Jewish national self-determination, the only trustworthy source of power Jews have to protect themselves from an even greater explosion of hate and violence than we see now.

Indeed, the anti-Zionist Jews see the war against Hamas as another justification for replacing Israel with a majority Palestinian state: Joshua Leifer, a contributing editor at the left-wing magazine Jewish, supports one state ruled by Palestinians. As Michael Walzer notes about Leifer, most anti-Zionist Jewish influential are not bothered to answer any questions about what one state would be like.[7]

Those who do, such as Michael Barnett, the lead author of a Foreign Affairs article entitled, Israel’s One-State Reality It’s Time to Give Up on the Two-State Solution claim that the Jewish state is illegitimate.[8] The essay restates section 18 of the Hamas charter: “The establishment of “Israel” is entirely illegal and contravenes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and goes against their will and the will of the Ummah; it is also in violation of human rights that are guaranteed by international conventions, foremost among them is the right to self-determination.” [9]

Predictably, the two Jewish authors — Barnett and Brown — justify their proposal to dismantle the state of Israel as an extension of their Judaism: “We have each been active members of our local Jewish communities, given our children Jewish educations, lived for periods in Israel, and taught at Israeli universities. We did not want to come to the unwelcome conclusion that Israel, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, is a single state that now includes a majority of non-Jews, many lacking elementary rights, and protections” [10]

Bennett and colleagues define Israel, as does Hamas, as a single state upholding Jewish supremacy that must be replaced by a majority Palestinian state from the river to the sea.  Their position is indistinguishable from that of Article 2 of the Hamas Charter:  “Palestine…extends from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west and from Ras al-Naqurah in the north to Umm al-Rashrash in the south  (That is, “an Islamist Palestinian state that extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Lebanese border to the Israeli city of Eilat—in other words, through the entirety of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.”[11]

Bennett wants to achieve that aim by preventing the normalization of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, singling out Israel as an apartheid state by cutting aid, and leading international efforts to isolate it through BDS and state-imposed sanctions.

It is not a stretch to say that what Bennett and hundreds of anti-Zionist Jews want to achieve through BDS and through the use of American power, Hamas tried to do by raping women and beheading babies. Their failure to mention previous Hamas rocket attacks and provocations is a core feature, not a flaw in their perspective. Doing so exposes their claim a majority Palestinian state would be a utopian oasis of democracy and brotherhood as a fairy tale.

They have been temporarily silent only because Hamas provided a gruesome preview of what a majority Palestinian state, which they, right-wing anti-Semites, and feckless college students are cheering for, has in store for Jews.

But rest assured that most of the individuals and groups mentioned in this article will raise their voices against Israel. They will use social media, media interviews, articles, teach-in lectures, and demonstrations to whip up efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel.

These efforts will be reframed as concern about the loss of Palestinian lives (which distinguishes them from Hamas in one respect) due to Israel’s “genocide” against Gazans. As their words and proposals prove, they look to realize the dream enshrined in the Hamas Charter.

They do so not only to replace Israel. The 5th column of Hamas seeks to obliterate Jewish peoplehood once and for all.   We must ensure that they do not succeed.












About the Author
Robert Goldberg has written extensively about Zionism and Israel for several years. His articles have been featured in prominent publications such as Tablet, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, National Review, Algemeiner, and the American Spectator. Additionally, he is writing a book on lessons from the Haggadah about responding to anti-Zionist Jews. As Vice President of The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, he writes about healthcare issues.