As the Gaza Strip war intensifies, threatening to spill over into Lebanon due to Hezbollah’s naked aggression along the Lebanese border, the Palestinians and their supporters have been scrambling to present plausible arguments that place Hamas and the Palestinian national movement in the best positive light.
Their latest effort to buff up their image in the face of Hamas’ monstrous atrocities in southern Israel is not only grotesque but pernicious.
Astonishingly enough, they equate the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising with the whole notion of Palestinian “resistance,” which translates into Hamas’ mass murder of Israeli “colonial settlers” on October 7.
Their analogy is completely false.
Poorly armed and greatly outnumbered Jewish fighters in the Warsaw ghetto rose up to made a desperate last stand against a bestial Nazi regime intent on exterminating Polish and European Jews during the Holocaust. By that point, the Nazis already had killed several million Jews and were one year away from deporting more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland.
By contrast, Hamas terrorists callously murdered 1,400 Israelis and foreigners and wounded some 3,000 in a surprise attack that left Israel shaken to the core, yet determined to fight back in self-defense in what has evolved into an existential war to eradicate Hamas, destroy its military capabilities, and remove it from power once and for all.
These vital differences mean absolutely nothing to Palestinians who blindly back Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by Western countries.
Recently, pro-Palestinian demonstrators in New York City carried signs equating the Warsaw Ghetto uprising with Hamas’ “heroic” murder spree in Israel, while a Palestinian academic in the Gaza Strip promoted the same distorted and sickening narrative.
More astoundingly, the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, likened Israel’s current military offensive against Hamas to the actions of Nazi Germany.
In a BBC interview, Refaat Alareer, a lecturer at Gaza’s Islamic University, a Hamas stronghold, claimed that the terrorists who invaded Israel had acted in a “legitimate and moral” manner.
“This is exactly like the Warsaw Ghetto uprising,” he said self-assuredly. “This is the Gaza ghetto uprising against 100 years of European and Zionist colonialism and occupation.” And in another fatuous remark, he claimed that “all supporters of Israel” would have “cheered” for the Nazis had they lived during that time.
Alreer, a Hamas hack, was at least ideologically consistent. Five years ago, he lashed out at Jews and Zionists, denigrating them as “evil” and “despicable filth.”
In the face of listeners’ complaints, the BBC acknowledged that the Alreer interview should not have been aired because his comments were “offensive.” The BBC then announced it would ban Alreer from further appearances, but its insistence on describing Hamas terrorists as “attackers” rather than “terrorists” is wrong-headed and disappointing.
Still more disappointing is the morally untenable position adopted by Colombia’s president. A day after Hamas hordes ransacked Israeli communities in a murderous rampage punctuated by rape, Petro, Colombia’s first avowedly left-wing head of state, denounced Israel’s “neo-Nazi efforts to destroy the Palestinian people, freedom and culture.”
The next day, after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant blasted the terrorists as “human animals,” Petro chimed in yet again. “This is what the Nazis said about Jews,” he said. “All this hate speech will do, if it continues, is to lead to a Holocaust.”
Was he suggesting that Jews in Israel and the Diaspora will be murdered en masse in an extensive pogrom? Only Petro knows the answer to this troubling question.
Over the following days, Petro lambasted Israel’s military response. “I’ve been to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and now I see it being copied in Gaza.”
Responding to this stupidity, Israel’s ambassador in Bogota, Gali Dagan, criticized Petro’s absurd comparison and offered to take him on a tour of the kibbutzim ravished by blood thirsty savages.
The Israeli government, having lost its patience with Petro, denounced his “hostile and antisemitic statements,” halted the shipment of weapons Colombia had purchased, and reprimanded Colombia’s ambassador in Israel, Margarita Manjarrez.
Stung by Israel’s understandable rebuke, Petro said, “If foreign relations with Israel must be suspended, let’s suspend them. We do not support genocides.”
Emboldened by Petro’s outburst, Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva Duran scolded Dagan for his “mindless boorishness” toward Petro and hinted he should leave the country. Duran subsequently denied having called for Dagan’s expulsion, but the testy exchange damaged Israel’s heretofore friendly relationship with Colombia.
This unfortunate incident, for which Petro is solely responsible, speaks to his appalling ignorance and his undisguised malice toward Israel.
It seems clear that the war in Gaza has emboldened Palestinians and their supporters to make historical comparisons that hold no water and deflate upon scrutiny.
We should expect much more nonsense of this type as the war expands and exacts a far greater toll on both sides.