We’re witnessing a new wedge issue, and it’s sizing up to be a doozy. I’ve been debating Israel/Palestine for decades, and I find it helps to start with common ground. Here are some things that anyone would agree with:
- Hamas butchered innocent civilians in a horrible terrorist attack
- Innocent civilians have died in Gaza, which is also horrible
- Hamas also took a lot of hostages
- Israel has a right to defend itself and get their people back
- War has rules, and Israel should follow them
- Hamas is a terrorist organisation that uses civilians as human shields
And this is where things get fuzzier. Some people lean harder on the side of “there is a humanitarian crisis, therefore an immediate cease fire is required.” Others might counter “there are still hostages being held, and getting them back is any country’s highest priority.” Some people argue that Israel is purposely targeting civilians, others counter that Hamas purposely embeds itself to maximise civilian casualties.
Right now, the “hearts and minds” battle is decisively on the side of the Palestinians, and by extension, Hamas. Israel badly misstepped when some idiot in their government said “there are no innocents in Gaza.” Israel has nearly zero goodwill in the global community, even before that ghoulish statement, and Netanyahu is barely even a legitimate president. As a result of this untrustworthy and bloodthirsty government, we’re seeing a massive spike in antisemitic behaviour against normal civilians around the world. This is awful. Being Jewish doesn’t mean you deserve the hate and scorn of the entire world, but that’s what we’re seeing. It’s a nightmare, and it’s sad.
I feel like I have a pretty consistent point of view about civilians:
- What Russia is doing will go down in history as a Hitler-esque, barbaric, immoral, subhuman campaign of rape, torture, and literal genocide.
- What Hamas advocates for is the same. They seek to exterminate Jews from the face of the earth. It’s Hitler-esque, barbaric, immoral, and subhuman. It uses rape, torture, and hopes of extermination.
- When innocent kids in Gaza are killed – for any reason, Hamas using them as shields, or Israel bombing a civilian area – it’s bad. But Israel has been clear about the moves they’re going to make, they often call ahead before attacking an area, and they are taking important steps to reduce civilian deaths. These are not steps that Russians or Hamas are taking. Where Israel warns families to flee, Hamas and Russia are purposely deploying tactics to maximise civilian casualties.
We can all agree that civilian life is sacred. But it’s not hard to distinguish between beheading an infant as part of a terrorist military operation and a bomb that goes awry and causes innocent deaths in a war zone. It’s not hard to distinguish between an innocent Jew and a policy set forth by the president of Israel. It’s not hard to understand that if you care about civilians, you should probably notice how terrified our Jewish friends and neighbours are right now, for good reason. These are not complicated distinctions to make. But too many are failing to make them.
It’s a sad time, and we’re going to see a political realignment as a result. Here’s my point of view: There are people calling for the elimination of Taiwan, Israel, and Ukraine as independent countries. These innocent countries are facing an existential threat from genocidal monsters who have no goals beyond pain and power. They are attempting to manipulate public opinion, but I can tell the difference between a military force on offence versus defence. I stand with the defenders, even as I encourage them to counter-attack in a way consistent with the laws of war.
To my far-left brethren out there: don’t lose the plot. Every call for cease fire, whether in Ukraine or Gaza, is allowing the ghouls to firm up their stolen gains and prepare to attack civilians again. If you genuinely care about civilians, stop appeasing the terrorists attempting to wipe them from the face of the earth. Unless your real issue is hating Jews, in which case, carry on I guess.