Israel’s military action was always going to send the pro-faith left into what Nick Cohen calls ‘one of its periodic beserkers’. But I don’t think anyone realised things would get this bad.
The line on the January 3 demo was that the protest was organised by concerned peace activists and that the ‘We are Hamas’ signs were carried by a disruptive minority. That may have been plausible at the time, just about, but last weekend’s demonstrations were addressed by Hamas spokesman Azzam Tamimi, who regaled the crowd with the words ‘Hamas is our leader to liberation’. The rally itself teemed with Nazi iconography and flags of Hamas, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda, and rang with chants advocating the destruction of Israel.
I think it’s reasonable to conclude that anyone attending such a rally is a supporter of clerical fascism.
There have been calls to ban Israeli academics from giving lectures, the SWP union factions have called yet again for academic and journalistic boycotts, there have been calls to shut down Israeli shops, and now an Israeli business has been firebombed. Well, I say, ‘Israeli business’ but actually Starbucks has fuck all to do with Israel. And related or not, there have been racist assaults on British Jews and an arson attack on a synagogue.
Still, no worries. The pro-faith left cheer them on, using the most disgusting antisemitic tropes under the prophylactic of the word ‘Zionist’, and the ecstasy of their own sanctimony. The evil historical resonances don’t bother them.
Lots of people thought they were doing the right thing by marching on those fascist rallies. My question is: how is any of this helping the Palestinians? How does any of this aid the civilians killed, injured, incarcerated and starved by Israel’s forces in Gaza? How does it prevent such atrocities happening again? And how will it contribute to a withdrawal from Gaza, an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a secure and vibrant Palestinian state?
The answer of course is that Hamas’s Western cheerleaders couldn’t care less about the future of the Middle East. They will never have to live under movements that persecute trade unionists, gay people, women, socialists, democrats, writers and anyone who is the wrong kind of Muslim. They are not stupid – they know exactly who they are dealing with. As David T says:
Gaza has become, in effect, a spectator sport for those on the far Left. They stand on the sidelines, cheering their side. Whatever the outcome, it makes no difference to them. This is entertainment, for struggle-junkies.
And what’s next? How long before Allahu Akbar becomes Viva la Muerta?
Fortunately there are still people on the left who are genuinely interested in peace, and the contrast is like night and day. There are still those that know fascism when they see it,and recognise that the fascists are not their friends. People who can tell the difference between a fascist rally and a peace demo. Who know the true meaning of comradeship, resistance and solidarity.
It’s a good thing because – to coin a phrase – what Gaza desperately needs is hope, not hate.
What an actual peace demonstration looks like