Loose Canons

Hamas’s Cheerleaders

From the president on down, a worldwide movement.

By 8.4.14

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Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip are winding down so, as Newtonian physics prescribes, an equal and opposite reaction is on the rise from Hamas’s cheerleaders. They’re taking the media stage with what have become shibboleths of the global left, starting with the idea that Israel is the villain of the latest war.

Some of the cheerleaders are just useful idiots. Others are a significant danger to Israel’s existence. Some are simply the latest incarnation of the sort of anti-Semitism that Jews have faced for thousands of years.

Navi Pillay, head of the UN’s misnamed Human Rights Council, is about to end her term in that post. From 2006 to 2012, the UNHRC has condemned Israel some 47 times. It doesn’t mention Hamas, far less condemn it. Ms. Pillay apparently wanted to end her chairmanship with a bang. She proclaimed that Israel had an obligation to share its anti-rocket and anti-missile Iron Dome system with the “governing body” of Gaza, namely the Hamas terrorists.

Her demand that Israel share the secrets of its Iron Dome rocket and missile defense system with Hamas is as absurd as an American president sharing our missile defense secrets with Putin. Okay, wait a minute: Obama has already promised to do that, and the effort is under way.

Other “useful idiots” are found across the street from the White House, as well as in it, and on cable news. Radical leftist Cornel West headlined a high-profile pro-Hamas demonstration in Lafayette Square the other day. It featured the burning of an Israeli flag and, reportedly, anti-Jewish epithets shouted at a small band of pro-Israel counter-demonstrators. According to one report, the pro-Israeli group had to be evacuated by police. Apparently their First Amendment rights aren’t as important as the pro-Hamas demonstrators’.

Least noticed among the useful idiots, simply because nobody watches MSNBC who isn’t compelled to do so, is the crew of “Morning Joe,” headed by faux-conservative Joe Scarborough. His co-hostess, Mika Brzezinski, interviewed Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and ended the segment with the comment, “Keep it right here on Morning Jew, Joe.” Scarborough, the next day, attacked Israel’s Gaza Strip actions, alleging they are an indiscriminate attack on women and children.

More useful idiots are leading South American countries. Lefty leaders such as Brazil’s Dilma Roussef condemned Israeli operations in Gaza as a “massacre,” Uruguay President Jose Mujica demanded that Israeli forces be withdrawn from Gaza and Bolivia’s neo-communist Evo Morales recently listed Israel as a terrorist state. Presidents of Peru, Chile, El Salvador, and Ecuador have withdrawn their ambassadors from Israel.

The worst emanations of anti-Semitism are becoming common in Europe. As the Economist reports this week:

From Antwerp to Warsaw, demonstrators’ placards have ranged from criticism of Israeli policy (“1,2,3,4, Occupation No More”) to denouncing Israel itself (“5,6,7,8, Israel is a Terror State”) to the most wounding anti-Semitism (“Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas”). In France, which has Europe’s largest Jewish and Arab (mainly north African) populations, trouble may be no surprise. But its extent — attacks on synagogues, raids on Jewish shops — has been shocking nonetheless. Even in Oslo, the Jewish museum closed its doors.

Most of this would be insignificant were it not for the enormous rift between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the White House. Through the unending efforts of President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, Israelis have become entirely isolated. Abandoned by America, Israel is threatened. Its legitimacy as a nation is under threat from the many nations — such as the South American nations that condemn it and from the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Hamas has broken the terms of one planned cease-fire and another with rocket and mortar attacks and suicide bombings. Obama’s statements — that the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier (since found dead) was “barbaric” — and his mumblings about Hamas breaking the cease-fire agreements (“It’s going to be very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can’t feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire agreement”) are enough to give him cover within the mainstream media bubble. But it’s not enough to cover his — and Kerry’s — trying to engineer another cease-fire without Israel’s participation.

Netanyahu’s frustration at Kerry’s efforts to negotiate a cease-fire without Israel or Egypt at the table earned Netanyahu’s comment that Obama should never again second guess Israel on its dealings with Hamas. The Israelis, quite rightly, are refusing to negotiate anything with the Hamas terrorists.

Netanyahu — who, according to the latest polls, has the support of 82 percent of Israelis — will soon end the Israeli military operation in Gaza. The aim of the operation has apparently been achieved. But it will change nothing because Hamas is still the elected government of Gaza. It will rearm, and commence digging more tunnels to be constructed with imported cement that should otherwise be used to build schools, hospitals, and other buildings that might benefit the people of the Gaza Strip.

When this round of fighting is over, there will be more condemnations of Israel from the UN and all the Hamas cheerleaders, the anti-Israel leftists around the world and the White House. Another UN investigation of supposed Israeli war crimes will begin and this time the Israelis will undertake their own media campaign to fight it.

The Israelis will participate in the UN investigation, which they didn’t do after the last big fight in Gaza in 2008-2009. They learned their lesson when that investigation — without Israeli cooperation — determined in the Goldstone report, that Israelis had committed widespread war crimes. When they conducted their own investigation and provided the evidence of their actions to the UN’s chief investigator, South African Judge Richard Goldstone, he recanted much of his reports’ findings, writing in a Washington Post op-ed that Israel didn’t intentionally target civilians though Hamas did, and was clearly guilty of war crimes.

That is all in the future. Yesterday on Meet the Press Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer was interviewed, following an interview with Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative to the UN. Mansour refused to condemn Hamas. That’s to be expected, because the so-called “reconciliation government” of all the Palestinians is a combination of Hamas and the supposedly moderate Fatah Party of Mahmoud Abbas.

Dermer pronounced a simple truth: “The road to peace goes over Hamas. It doesn’t include Hamas.” Its charter says, “The purpose of Hamas is to create an Islamic Palestinian state throughout Israel by eliminating the State of Israel through violent jihad.” Others realize this, but Obama does not.

Several of the Arab nations are quietly cheering Israel on. They understand the danger Hamas poses to them, just as they understand that the Hamas threat is coupled to the threat from ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The outlier — the radical — in this is Obama. The longer he and Kerry continue to blame Israel for every bad thing in the Middle East, and refuse to blame the terrorists such as Hamas, the weaker Israel will seem. It is only because of people such as Netanyahu and his government, including men such as Dermer, that the weakness will be an image unrelated to reality.

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About the Author
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies. He is coauthor (with Herbert London) of the new book The BDS War Against Israel. You can follow him on Twitter@jedbabbin.