Robert David Onley

The Intellectual Suicide of Israel’s Critics

As Israel’s military campaign to destroy the internationally-recognized terrorist organization Hamas reaches its third week in Gaza, global protests against the nation fighting terrorism, Israel, are reaching fevered pitch. Particularly violent anti-Semitic riots in France highlight Israel’s unavoidable lack of perceived legitimacy, in spite of Israel’s irrefutable moral authority to stop terror attacks.

Of course, certain cultural and religious groups across Western societies have banded together in support of the people of Gaza, justifiably upset at the loss of innocent life and decrying Israel’s war machine for its attacks on Palestinians. But as is the uncomfortable norm, these protests do not end there. Included free of charge are “Death to Israel” chants, along with all manner of anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish and fundamentally hate-filled venom spewed from total strangers – the type of bile which, in most civilized societies, would land someone in jail for hate speech – except when Israel’s at war in Gaza, of course, when such language becomes acceptable.

Despite the era of YouTube diplomacy, overflowing high-speed information and rampant citizen journalism, Israel’s harshest critics are perversely more blinded with hate than ever. In light of the widespread scourge of radical Islam presently rampaging the expanse of Arab desert from Algeria all the way through to Iraq – an evil force manifest most viciously in the newly formed ‘Islamic State’ and its dubious “Caliph”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – it is wholly disturbing that consistent moral and public support for Palestine vis-à-vis the violent terrorist movement Hamas continues to stain the news, academic, and online worlds.

Not only are more nations confronting the realities of radicalized citizens joining and fighting in foreign Islamist wars, but these nations have dealt with Islamist terror attacks on their own soil, be they beheadings in London, shootings in Paris, or anti-Semitic killings committed by Syria-hardened jihadists in Belgium. Knowing full well the price of appeasing radical Islamists and the tangible threat of terror attacks, tens of thousands of everyday, normal, educated British, French, South African, and American citizens are openly calling for the destruction of Israel and the end of the Jewish State. Surely they only desire “peace”, though.

It is as if an entire worldwide class of otherwise intelligent individuals have committed intellectual suicide, publicly supporting the global radical Islamist agenda embodied in Hamas’ terrorist organization. In using completely inaccurate terms like “genocide“, “massacre” and “indiscriminate killing“, protesters mimic the leaders of both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, deliberately attempting to tarnish Israel but ultimately betraying their absolute ignorance of reality.

In a war in which Israel has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties – dropping leaflets, calling houses to warn of strikes, using dummy shells to knock on the roofs of Hamas operatives, telegraphing Israel’s strategic plans to the international media – the PA’s use of the loaded terms above is not only dishonest, it also tragically delegitimizes the only political alternative to Hamas for the Palestinian people. Indeed, it is Hamas who uses innocent civilians as human shields, while launching rockets from civilian neighbourhoods; it is Hamas whose very Charter rather chillingly calls for “Islam” to eliminate Israel, as if to proclaim ultimate supremacy over the global Islamist movement; and it is Hamas whose own leaders quietly hide in luxurious hotels in Qatar while preventing Gazans from fleeing their homes (the same homes dutifully forewarned by the Israeli military).

Most supporters of a ‘Free Palestine’ were no doubt mortified by recent reports that ISIS Islamist rebels were perpetrating actual massacres of innocent people in Iraq (Warning: Extremely graphic), and likely were equally overwhelmed by Syrian President Assad’s actually genocidal and unrepentant use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war (a war whose death toll now surpasses an unfathomable 150,000 people). Never mind the fact that governments across the Middle East and North Africa are fighting bloody wars against Islamist movements just like Hamas every single day: as soon as Israel is forced to do the same against Hamas due to Hamas’ actually indiscriminate rocket attacks against innocent Israeli citizens, the world howls in confused, relativist protest brought on by years of elitist equivocation and moralizing.

If there is a saving grace to the farce that is support for Hamas in Gaza, it is that unlike in 2009 and 2012, the war in Gaza in 2014 is noticeably different because the majority of Western government leaders have openly and publicly supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ indiscriminate terrorist rocket attacks. Amid scenes of blaring sirens, Iron Dome defensive missiles flying and Israeli citizens running for cover, the spectre of legitimate self-defense interests dawned on the Western political class.

Why then do supporters of Palestine broadly continue protesting under the deluded notion that somehow Hamas’ tactics are “legitimate” and Israel’s are “illegitimate”? More importantly, why do these same supporters implicitly believe that the people of Palestine deserve to be ruled over by a terrorist organization more interested in death than life? Surely the people of Palestine deserve a government that would rather invest money into building schools, resurrecting industry and the growing the economy, instead of wasting countless tens of millions of foreign donors’ dollars building hundreds of tunnels into Israel solely for the purposes of waging war and shooting missiles as acts of terror. The logical and moral gap on this latter point is truly staggering, even for the most ardent supporter of the Palestinian resistance movement.

They say there is no coming back from suicide. As hopes for a truce rise once again, let us pray it is not too late for Israel’s critics.

About the Author
Robert David Onley is a lawyer and freelance writer from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is the Co-Founder of the Young Diplomats of Canada, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community in the Ottawa Hub.
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