Most western countries’ laws regard acting as an “accessory after the fact” to a crime as a crime in itself. The elements of this crime generally require knowledge of the perpetrator’s crime and assisting the perpetrator to avoid apprehension or punishment. International Criminal Law recognizes the separate crime of ex post facto aiding and abetting which requires the perpetrator’s reliance upon aiding and abetting in planning and executing his crimes.
During the Holocaust, many people and states conveniently sought to avoid legal or moral complicity in the Nazis’ crimes by denying knowledge of those crimes. The information age renders those denials implausible, at best. Likewise, any attempt to deny knowledge of Hamas’ barbaric and unspeakable crimes is simply not credible. The depravity and scope of Hamas’ crimes is irrefutably and indelibly etched in the evidentiary record in the seemingly endless videos available, including many that Hamas terrorists made themselves, which further evidences the perpetrators’ depraved, sadistic and boundless cruelty and barbarism. Hamas’ war crimes are also captured indisputably in the countless videos of thousands of rockets intentionally aimed and fired into heavily populated civilian areas. It is also indisputable that Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as “human shields” with the knowledge that the IDF will take extraordinary steps to avoid harming civilians. In the face of these undeniable facts, no one can plausibly claim ignorance that on October 7 Hamas and its terrorists committed the most heinous crimes with unprecedented brutality and relish beyond anything imaginable in a civilized society.
Given their undeniable knowledge of Hamas’ despicable crimes, every person engaging in protests, petitions, and similar actions designed to prevent the apprehension and punishment of Hamas terrorists that laws require, and that a civilized society demands, may wish to consider whether they are legally and/or morally an accessory after the fact to Hamas’ crimes.
UN Secretary-General Guterres and similarly placed officials have attempted to excuse the crimes of Hamas and instead have tried to persuade nations to vote or otherwise take steps to protect Hamas. Their actions are particularly reprehensible given their indisputable knowledge of the most compelling and overwhelming evidence conclusively establishing the guilt of Hamas and its terrorists.
Those valuing basic human decency and values and the rule of law would be justified in judging, labeling and stigmatizing those who provide aid and comfort to Hamas.