Leftists, Hamas, and Nazis

August 25

I’ve been toying with writing a post expressing my disgust that so many self-described “progressives”  have been perfectly content to whitewash, cover up, ignore, and otherwise neglect the genocidal ideology that motivates Hamas.  Ron Rosenbaum, writing in Slate, has saved me the effort.  He says everything I planned to say, and more.  The only exception is that he doesn’t point out that, in the U.S. at least, this particular pathology emanates almost entirely from the far left, excused, as it were, by “anti-Zionism.”  Once almost thinks that if Hitler himself rose from the grave and justified his crimes as “preemptive anti-Zionism,” he’d be hailed on Mondoweiss and the like and be feted by the American Studies Association.

Here’s Rosenbaum, discussing Hamas’s genocidal charter:

It continues to shock me that a group with an overtly genocidal mission written into its covenant for a quarter century now, is somehow treated as a legitimate participant in the world’s diplomatic processes. A potential “partner for peace.” Talk about a flawed moral equivalence… it’s scandalous to me that those who write about the Gaza conflict do not make clear that this is not incidental to Hamas but the entire purpose of its being. Its sacred mission.

You want to talk about Hitler analogies: Even Hitler never became that specific in Mein Kampf. Many scholars believe that Hitler gave the wartime extermination order orally, although in a 1939 pre-war speech, he pledged himself to the “destruction of World Jewry”—a speech that was not taken literally by most of the world. Compared to Hamas, Hitler was cautious, politic. Of course he wanted to exterminate the Jews, but he didn’t write it into the constitution of the Third Reich….

For a quarter century now this genocidal Hamas pledge has been there for the world to see. Genocide, not some metaphor, not some Godwin’s Law–breaking comparison, but genocide—a mission statement. I find the unwillingness of the world to take this into account, to take it seriously, to understand the Israeli response to it, the Israeli rage generated by genocidal threat that dictates what to some—including myself at times—may seem a disproportionate response, is probably the most telling disconnect between the reality and the reporting on the Gaza conflict. Because believe me, the Israeli people are not ignorant of the Hamas Covenant, they are not unaware of its seriousness and the consequences thereof.

Some foreign Hamas supporters try to play down the covenant or—seriously—say it should be of little concern. True it has been there for a quarter century from the very founding of Hamas and no Hamas leader has renounced it. And at its heart is a command from the Prophet with the very day of judgment at stake in the success of the genocidal mission. But one (Jewish) defender of Hamas told me not long ago, the genocidal imperative should just be regarded as if it were boilerplate rhetoric and, besides, he said, Hamas was only really concerned with murdering the 5 million [sic: more like six million] Jews of Israel, not all Jews in the world. I believe he thought I would find this reassuring.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: From a former AP reporter: “A reporter working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel. If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government. Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate. The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.”

David Bernstein is the George Mason University Foundation Professor at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA.
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Eugene Volokh | August 25