You should be angry after reading this post

Forgive me, but this is another day when the process of writing this blog has left me intensely angry, and I suspect reading this post will make you angry, too. Our political scene and national culture are angry enough, and a lot of times we watch our fellow citizens getting angry over stupid, minimally consequential, ephemeral things that will be forgotten in days, if not hours — look at what this ill-informed celebrity said on social media, look at this microaggression, look at this allegedly outrageous campaign ad that is deliberately provocative to get earned media. We waste our anger on a lot of things that don’t deserve it.

As of this writing, at least 900 Israelis are dead; 124 were soldiers and 41 were police, leaving about 735 or so civilians — men, women, children, ordinary young people attending a music festival, senior citizens — all dead because Hamas spent a year planning this, and the Iranians were right there alongside them, providing “military training and logistical help as well as tens of millions of dollars for weapons.” This is worth our anger.

“They’re not anti-war, they’re on the other side.” That was a classic quip from law professor Glenn Reynolds, a.k.a. the Instapundit, back during the height of the War on Terror.

That assessment still applies to certain voices on the left. I intended to begin this post by declaring, “Sure, everyone’s declaring that they’re a friend of Israel now, but let’s see how long that lasts,” but it’s not true that everyone is declaring they’re a friend of Israel right now. A whole lot of people are proudly, loudly announcing for all the world to see that either they see the state of Israel and its people as the moral equivalent of the butchers of Hamas, or they outright are rooting for Hamas.

For starters, who hears about Hamas executing a bloody massacre with brutal executions of women and children and immediately decides, “It’s time to hold a rally in support of the Palestinians”? The Democratic Socialists of America didn’t even pause to denounce Hamas — they went straight to announcing rallies “in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to resist 75 years of occupation and apartheid.”

Who watches those videos of Hamas thugs killing hostages and thinks, “Yes, this is the time to show solidarity with the cause Hamas claims to be fighting for”?

If you chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as those DSA protesters did this weekend, you’re referring to the Jordanian River and the Mediterranean Sea. The Jordanian River begins at Mount Hermon, straddling the border between Lebanon and Syria, runs south through the Sea of Galilee, and empties into the Dead Sea between Israel and Jordan. Whatever border lines you think Israel ought to have, the Jordan River is effectively the eastern border of the state of Israel; the Mediterranean Sea is the western border of the Jewish state. For the past 75 years, the state of Israel has existed in that space “from the river to the sea.” That is not a chant or slogan for coexistence or peace. That is a chant calling for Palestine to displace or replace the state of Israel.

Even a few House Democrats are denouncing their colleagues in “the Squad” of progressive Democrats who put out statements in the aftermath of the Hamas attack that made the Israelis sound like the aggressors.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York called for “an immediate ceasefire” Saturday afternoon, after Hamas massacred the Israelis but before the Israelis could respond.

If you oppose the victims of a massive assault defending themselves and retaliating against a massacre, you’re not really pro-peace. You just want to end the fight after only one side has been attacked. In a clarifying op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell called for Americans to “distinguish between the aggressor and the victim. There can be no calls for ‘both sides’ to de-escalate. Israel deserves the time and space to defend itself.”

Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib’s statement did not mention Hamas at all, but did declare, “I am determined as ever to fight for a just future where everyone can live in peace, without fear and with true freedom, equal rights, and human dignity. The path to that future must include lifting the blockade, ending the occupation and dismantling the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance.” Again, no specific denunciation of Hamas, but a specific denunciation of Israel.

This morning, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota retweeted a statement from Yousef Munayyer, the former executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights: “The international community must immediately sound the alarm to prevent atrocities and war crimes, which an Israel with unhinged leadership can easily carry out again.”

They haven’t even finished counting the dead from the Hamas massacre at that music festival, and Omar is worried about the possibility that Israel‘s supposedly unhinged leaders will commit atrocities.

Watch that video of the young Israel woman begging for her life as she’s kidnapped and taken away on the motorcycle and see how “hinged” you feel.

Keep in mind, Munayyer objects to the White House calling the Hamas attack unprovoked: “To call this ‘unprovoked,’ as the initial WH statement did, is to ignore the daily and constant Israeli violence and war crimes against Palestinians which has only escalated in recent years. It is language that erases Palestinians and enables continued violence against them.”

The Democratic Socialists of America also insist that the Hamas massacres of civilians were “not unprovoked.”

Really? What did those twin six-year-old girls and their four-year-old brother do to provoke their murder? What did those young women do to provoke being raped? What did that Holocaust survivor in a wheelchair who was dragged off to Gaza do to “provoke” Hamas, other than exist in a world where a whole bunch of hateful maniacs wish they could eradicate the Jews?

Other members of “the Squad” believed that the correct American response to these massacres was to declare to Israel, “We will no longer support you in your defense.”

Cori Bush, who represents parts of St. Louis, declared, “As part of achieving a just and lasting peace, we must do our part to stop this violence and trauma by ending U.S. government support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid.” Omar, too, argued, “Instead of continuing unconditional weapons sales and military aid to Israel, I urge the United States at long last to use its diplomatic might to push for peace.”

Israeli president Isaac Herzog declared, “Not since the Holocaust have so many Jews been killed on one day.” The Squad believes we should abandon the Israelis in their most desperate hour.

This is not some right-wing assessment; Politico summarized it, “The most pro-Palestinian Democrats already see the conflict in starkly different terms from Biden and are using language that equates the Hamas attack and the Israeli response.”

Push came to shove, and these groups and these members of the American government couldn’t come out and say, “You should not massacre kids. You should not rape women. You should not parade kidnapped children before cameras.”

This is the most basic moral test imaginable. No one is asking these lawmakers to abandon their desire to see the Palestinians prosperous and free — and let’s be clear, a free Palestine would require a Palestine free from Hamas. The Hamas torture chambers are every bit as effective at ending Palestinian lives as any Israeli bomb dropped from the sky.

From Human Rights Watch:

The PA and Hamas have said that abuses amount to no more than isolated cases that are investigated and for which wrongdoers are held to account, but years of research by Human Rights Watch, including its 147-page 2018 report, “Two Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent,” contradict these claims. Palestinian authorities have consistently failed to hold security forces accountable, as documented in the parallel report.

In 2021, the ICHR received 252 complaints of torture and ill-treatment and 279 of arbitrary arrest against PA authorities in the West Bank and 193 complaints of torture and ill-treatment and 97 of arbitrary arrest against Hamas authorities in Gaza. Hamas authorities have also executed 28 people in Gaza since seizing political control in June 2007, in a context in which due process violations, coercion, and torture are prevalent, and have summarily executed scores of other people without any judicial process, often on accusations of collaboration with Israel.

Calling for “peace” when the Gaza Strip is ruled by Hamas is absurd. The only peace that Hamas wants to see is the peace of the grave for every Israeli they can find.

Then again, maybe the Squad is only a little ahead of the curve, compared to the rest of the modern Democratic Party. In March, Gallup found that self-identified Democrats were more sympathetic to the Palestinians than to the Israelis — and it wasn’t even that close:

After a decade in which Democrats have shown increasing affinity toward the Palestinians, their sympathies in the Middle East now lie more with the Palestinians than the Israelis, 49 percent versus 38 percent.

Today’s attitudes reflect an 11-percentage-point increase over the past year in Democrats’ sympathy with the Palestinians. At the same time, the percentages sympathizing more with the Israelis (38 percent) and those not favoring a side (13 percent) have dipped to new lows.

Sympathy toward the Palestinians is also at a new high among political independents, up six points to 32 percent. However, more independents still lean toward the Israelis (49 percent).

Westerners often look back at the Holocaust and wonder how the world, and in particular the leaders of their countries at that time, could be so slow to react, so oblivious to the Nazis’s Final Solution, so callous in turning away Jewish refugees and sending them back to a land determined to kill them. Everyone likes to believe that if they had been there, they would have stood up against the Nazis.

Well, once again, there are maniacs out to kill as many Jews as possible, on the march. Who’s willing to stand up against them now? Who is staying oddly silent, or making excuses for them?

The good news is that the Jews will always exist. The bad news is that it looks like those who want to kill the Jews will always exist, too. And in these past few days, watching the bloodshed on our screens, a whole bunch of people who insist they’re smarter than us, wiser than us, more morally attuned than us looked at it all and concluded, “Let’s not rush to judgment. It’s complicated. This massacre wasn’t unprovoked. In fact, it’s our fault in some ways because we support Israel.”

They’re not anti-war. They’re anti-retaliation after massacres.

Hey, Joe Biden, you can re-freeze that $6 billion you released to the Iranians any time you want.

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