Michael Eriksson
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Similarities between the Left and groups like Hamas


The recent (October 2023) Hamas attack on Israel and, in particular, Israeli civilians, and the following reactions, propaganda claims, whatnot, remind me of the parallels in methods and attitudes between the Left and groups like Hamas.


There is also often a parallel in more specific opinions than attitudes, e.g. in that such Hamas-like groups seem to be Left-leaning, often strongly so, disproportionately often. (When we look outside the core issues and core agendas, here, e.g., the wish for the destruction of Israel or death of Israelis. However, I have not analyzed specifically Hamas.)

Vice versa, anti-Israel/-Zionist and, disturbingly often, anti-Jewish/-Semitic opinions are something that I have seen in person on a great many occasions on the Left, beginning with Sweden in the 1980s and the very common Leftist sentiment that “Israel is evil”, and encountered in other sources going back even further. Stalin, e.g., seemed to have much in common with Hitler when it came to Jews (and quite a few other areas)—indeed, in a world with sane classifications, the Nazis would be seen as far Left, thus providing the paramount example.

Indeed, history has shown again and again that both groups like Hamas and almost any part of the political Left (in a reasonably modern sense) must be met with zero tolerance. No, neither of the U.S. Democrats, the German SPD, the British Labour, and the Swedish SAP has launched a deliberate massacre of civilians—but they do much evil, nevertheless, and the world would be far better, had they consistently been met with this zero tolerance. (And the likes of the old Soviet Union and Communist China have murdered many, many more than Hamas, while the murderous and oppressive East-German SED, paradoxically and after some rebranding, is a major political party in today’s Germany.)

In the days after this vile act of terrorism, there have even been a number of Leftists who have spoken out in favor of the terrorists and against Israel, while recent Swedish news includes the mention that Vänsterpartiet has supported one of the attacking groups, DFLP, monetarily...


Vänsterpartiet is a Swedish far Left party, with a long history of parliamentary representation. It was officially Communist until roughly the fall of the USSR, after which it took a “We have never been Communists! Honestly!” position, while continuing to push for far Left, increasingly Gender-Feminist, politics.

DFLPw, going by Wikipedia, was de-listed as terrorist in 1999, but has since committed further acts of unjustified violence, and is given as adhering to farthest Left ideologies, like Maoism, which, in and by itself, should have deterred any sane potential contributor. (And who gives money to an organisation with a known terrorist past, even in light of alleged improvements?!?) With the participation in the attacks, any doubt as to the terrorist status should be gone.

For those who read Swedish, some details can be found at e.g. [1]e.

Below, I will make some comparisons of Hamas-like and Leftist groups. (For more on the evils of the Left, including the likes of the U.S. Democrats, see other texts in this category and many of my older writings.)

Notes on terminology

For reasons of simplicity, I will largely use “Israeli” to speak of the relevant members of the Israeli population. Who are “relevant members”, however, might be unclear and/or vary depending on the circumstances. For instance, there might be situations where relevance is given merely by being a citizen of Israel, while others might be limited to specifically Israeli Jews. Then we have issues like citizens living abroad and non-citizen residents. In the big picture of this text, this will make little difference.

I do note, however, that with the indiscriminate violence of Hamas terrorists, Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims living in or outside Israel have been victims in the past, are very likely to have been hit by the recent terrorism, and are very likely to be hit again in the future, unless an end to Hamas and similar organisations follow. Further, actions by the Hamas have had a considerable negative effect on many in more indirect ways, e.g. through limiting the economic prosperity of the Gaza Strip. Nothing in the term “Israeli” should be seen as diminishing such victims of Hamas.

Further, there might be references where a claim about Israelis can be extended to Jews elsewhere in the world. If I have failed to perform such an extension, it should not be seen as a denial of the extendability.

Similarly, I might on occasion use “Hamas” over-broadly, e.g. with an implication of “Hamas and/or allied groups”, as it is often hard to tell (or would require further research) what specific action was taken by Hamas proper and what by some other anti-Israel group, what group might be a formal subsidiary and what independent-but-following-the-same-goals, whatnot.

More in detail, my first draft largely spoke of “the Hamas”, which, for some reason, seemed more natural. Use by others, however, seem to be clearly dominated by just “Hamas”, and I adapted the text accordingly.

As to “like Hamas” and similar formulations, I stress that the “like” part does not arise from e.g. being a Palestinian or anti-Israel organisation, but from methods used—most notably the deliberate use of violence, even deadly violence, against the innocent, those who belong to the “wrong” group, whatnot. As I repeatedly mention below, evil is as evil does. (Other examples include ISIS, Antifa, Rote Armee Fraktion, and the worst incarnation(s) of the Ku Klux Klan. If “Hamas” is used in a stricter sense, the aforementioned allied groups of the Hamas, e.g. DFLP, are further examples.) In particular, unlike what Hamas might want to be true, “Palestinian” does not automatically imply “anti-Israel”; and it is possible to be anti-Israel without killing civilians—or, for that matter, anyone at all.

Main discussion

  1. A “the end justifies the means” attitude is an ever recurring characteristic of Leftist groups—and a near prerequisite for acts of terrorism against civilians.


    No matter our sympathies in the larger situation, there is a world of difference between attacks directed at the enemy military or government and those deliberately directed at innocent civilians—regardless of the nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, whatnot, of those civilians. A similar difference exists between such deliberate attacks and those that, while directed at e.g. enemy military, accidentally hit civilians.

    (A borderline case is formed by attacks against targets behind “human shields”. However, the worse sinners in such cases are those that abuse innocent civilians for such shields, in the hope that a more enlightened enemy will refrain from counter-attacks when the cowardly users of human shields attack.)

    Note, in particular, the long Leftist history of political violence and how, contrary to Leftist propaganda, political violence usually comes from the Left. However, this attitude extends to a great variety of other cases, including unethical censorship and abusive persecution of non-Leftists with governmental resources.

  2. An inability to differ between someone with opposing goals, opposing opinions, whatnot, and someone morally corrupt, hateful/hate-driven or otherwise evil or “evil”. If we look e.g. at Hamas vs. Israel, there is often a clear depiction of Israel and the Israelis as evil. Ditto, if we look at many constellations of Leftist vs. non-Leftists.

    In both cases, an objective evaluation will often reveal the exact opposite to be true: Evil is as evil does, and the likes of Hamas and e.g. the Antifa have a great list of evil deeds to prove their respective evil.

    In contrast, “evil” does not follow from having the “wrong” opinion or from e.g. being born a Jew, a man, or White. Indeed, the worst Leftist attacks on opinions are often directed at those opinions that are factually correct (but incompatible with the Leftist narratives), e.g. relating to IQ and differences in IQ distributions between groups.


    My own ever-strengthening aversion to the Left has been driven, from very early on, by the methods used by so many Leftists and so much more often than among non-Leftists, including debating ad hominem instead of ad rem, massive lying (even by the standards of politics), attempts to prevent others from speaking merely because of opinions, use of violence, etc. (Similarly, but from a slightly different angle, by e.g. the typical Leftist refusal to revise an opinion in light of new arguments, preference for authority over own thinking, whatnot.)

    The Leftist opinions and approach to forming opinions make me consider them somewhere between “misinformed” and “idiots”, depending on the exact persons and details at hand. The Leftist methods are what make me consider the Left (as an abstract) and many (!) individual Leftists evil. Again: Evil is as evil does.

    Also note that the Left has a long history of claiming the opposite of the truth, be it in general or with regard to variations of “evil”, as with e.g. Joe Biden, his extremely divisive propaganda about evil-Trump, evil-GOP, evil-whatnot, and his attempted, mind-numbingly hypocritical, self-image as a healer of division—never mind the aspect of evil, where he is far worse than e.g Trump.

  3. Hand in hand with the preceding item, we find constant constellations of oppressor–oppressed and “us vs. them” thinking. In the case of Marxism and its off-shots, oppressor–oppressed constellations, and often far-fetched ones, are at the very core, a sine qua non.

    It is particularly noteworthy that the role of “oppressor” resp. “oppressed” and the belonging to “us” or “them” is usually assigned in a blanket manner, based on dubious criteria, and/or in an unreasonable manner. This can, for instance, involve the observation that someone is an Israeli or Palestinian, White or Black, kulak or batrak, without looking at the actual individuals at hand, beyond that mere fact of being an Israeli (or whatnot).

  4. There is often an element of gloating over evil deeds to be found, often in some variation of “That showed the bastards!”. Note e.g. the behavior of Hamas in the aftermath of the terrorist attack or the behavior of many Leftist groups after (usually far lesser) evil deeds, as with e.g. the prevention of a college speech by someone who does not confirm to the fake science of the Left. Indeed, some European far-Left groups or individual members of such groups have been gloating over the Hamas attack.

    A similar gloating is often found after events without a deliberate preceding deed. Note e.g. some of the reactions to the death of Rush Limbaugh or, even, Elizabeth II (apparently, a symbol of evil colonialism and White Supremacy).

  5. There is a strong tendency to put the Cause above the individual and/or, overlapping with the above, the Group above the individual. (In all cases, with the reservation that sufficiently high-ranking individuals might be exempt.) Individuals who are neither members of the Group nor supporters of the Cause are often even worse off, while the choice to be or not be a Group member is often denied. Cf. many older texts for the Left and note, e.g., how a suicide bombing by a low-ranking individual directed at a target of civilian individuals would be far less likely when individuals are prioritized above the Group and Cause.


    While such ideas have a long history, including e.g. the branding of someone as “traitor” for preferring his own ideas of right and wrong over the interests of his country (resp. of the ruler or government of the country), they seem particularly common on the Left, e.g. through extending the use of “traitor” (or the idea, without using the word) to those who fail to bow to the proclaimed-by-the-Left interests of a class-, sex-, race-, whatnot-based group.

    The problem might have found its extreme with the recent Leftist obsession with “intersectionality” and “identity politics” (or similar anti-individualist ideas by some other name): If someone is a Black lesbian woman, that is the sum of her identity and it governs all her rights, interests, how she should vote, what culture she should engage with, whatnot—never mind what she, as an individual, might actually want to do, what she believes in, etc. Ditto, m.m., other constellations of race, sexual orientation, and whatnot.

  6. Strong use of lies, defamation, and propaganda, often while “reversing the accusation” or otherwise hypocritically turning the truth on its head. (TODO import text from Wordpress and link.) This is a near consistent tactic of the Left and one which has been amply used by Hamas. For an immediate example, when a hospital was bombed, Hamas cried to high heaven about an Israeli attack, claiming victims in the hundreds, while the current knowledge points to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as the culprits (if, possibly, by accident) and a far smaller number of victims. (Cf. e.g. NY Timese, but note that further knowledge yet might change the interpretation.)

  7. A deliberate tactic of provoking a reaction and then trying to garner sympathy based on the reaction, and/or trying to paint the provoked party as evil because of the reaction. I have written repeatedly about this and the Left, often using the “Not touching! Can’t get mad!” analogy. For Hamas, note e.g. how the retaliatory strikes by Israel are condemned as evil, even while deliberately attempting not to hurt civilians (much unlike the attacks by Hamas). As early as the late 1980s or very early 1990s, I noted a pattern in the Swedish news, where Day 1 reported of a strike against Israel (back then, likely from within the PLO umbrella organisation), Day 2 of Israeli retaliation, and Day 3 of PLO (or some such) crying bloody murder over an allegedly unprovoked Israeli attack—see how evil the Israelis are. Going by claims by Swedish Leftists, a disturbing number seemed to actually believe these hypocritical accusations—just like they believe similarly styled Leftist propaganda.

    The LGBT-etc.-etc. activists of today often seem to follow this strategy by engaging in misbehaviors and pushing these misbehaviors further and further, until someone reacts negatively—at which point a “Homophobe!!!” (or “Transphobe!!!”, or whatever might apply) follows. Ditto when it comes to acts that fall short of “misbehavior”, but are either intended to deliberately push borders beyond the reasonable or do so through an inability to see the viewpoints/consider the legitimate interests of others. Consider e.g. the obsession with who uses what bathroom, the insistence that men-who-want-to-be-women be allowed to compete at sports against women, and, recently, nonsensical and absurd attempts to have young children interact with “drag queens” on a large scale. (TODO import Wordpress texts and link for bathrooms/sports.) Looking at drag queens, it is hard to imagine any legitimate reason for this (and, in as far as one exists, it is highly likely to apply equally to plumbers), while the idea fits perfectly with a wish to provoke the parents.


    A potential example is the recent Leftist and/or LGBT-etc.-etc. drive to include controversial books in U.S. school libraries, and to counter any criticism with “Censorship!!!”, “Monkey Trial!!!”, whatnot.

    Here it is hard for me to judge the matter, as, in my encounters so far, the one side claims that the books are, e.g., pornographic and the other just shouts “Censorship!!!”, and neither is very specific about the actual contents of the books and what arguments apply.

    However, from what I have seen of the U.S. Left and non-Left, chances are that the former is acting in bad faith, notably to provoke, while the latter might simply want to prevent “age inappropriate” books from reaching the children in school or to keep the school library focused on the right types of books for a school library (e.g. high-quality literature, fiction of historical significance, textbooks, reference works). “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Huckleberry Finn” have a legitimate place (but the Left wants them banned or altered); a great many other works, most with no connection to LGBT-etc.-etc., do not. (Note that LGBT-etc.-etc. seems to be less a matter of a true “treat us fairly” movement and more of a Leftist movement. As with Hamas vs. Palestinians, the LGBT-etc.-etc. movement does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the individuals supposedly represented, does not necessarily work in the best interest of these individuals, and so on.)

    At a minimum, the situation is absurd in as far as it typically is the Left that wishes to prevent access to the “wrong” books and other sources of information (even for adults), who engages in distorting rewrites of classic children’s books, etc.; and as presence/absence of a book in a school library moves on a very different level from presence/absence of a book at all (including e.g. regular libraries, book stores, online services like Amazon, ...).

  8. There is little or no concern for (literal or metaphorical) collateral damage, while attacks on civilians and neutrals are seen as acceptable. Consider, for the Left, e.g. the damage done to science, education, the economy, and various civic rights in order to further this-and-that agenda. (For Hamas, no examples seem necessary.)

  9. Finally, there is often a religious or quasi-religious fanaticism. Hamas likely need no elaboration, while I have written on the Left on a number of prior occasions. (TODO import texts from Wordpress and link.)

On the meta-level, both the Left and organisations like Hamas seem to attract a similar type of weak-minded, poor-at-critical-thinking, thinks-in-black-and-white, whatnot, type of follower.


I have considered several other items for inclusion, but, for now, decided against them, in order not to over-extend. A particularly close call are variations of “we decide for everyone”, e.g. in that most or all Leftist groups have a strong streak of wanting to decide how everyone else, including non-Leftists, should/must live their lives, while e.g. the activities of the Hamas implicitly decides for others. A problem with specifically this item is that the same type of thinking also applies to quite a few non-Leftist governments and individual politicians.

However, I do not rule out that I have erred on the side of being too restrictive.

Excursion on reporting

Reporting on these issues is often biased or misleading to the disadvantage of Israel. For instance, BBC has been in the fire for refusing to call a spade (terrorist) a spade (terrorist). See e.g. a Telegraph articlee on the topic, where we have the notable claim that BBC would be changing its policy slightly—by admitting that others refer to Hamas as terrorists...

This parallels the lenient media treatment of Antifa terrorists and the rioting parts of BLM relative the far more benign behavior and far worse treatment of the J6 victims. Indeed, BBC has also been under fire for having an unusually heavy Leftist bias, even by the standards of e.g. journalists.

From another angle, but possibly off-topic, I have long had the suspicion that Israel is held to a “European” or “Western” standard of behavior, while its enemies are held to a “poor under-developed, not yet democratic country, which has to be given a lot of leeway” standard. (That the Left fails, or pretends to fail, to see the implicit put-down of such countries through such thinking is interesting.)

Excursion on the underlying issue, Israel’s role, etc.

Hamas is evil because of its actions—again, evil is as evil does and the end does not justify the means.

However, what of the underlying issue of who has what right to what territory? This is a potentially far more complex question and I have not done the leg-work in terms of “international law” (nor is such law an area where I am very knowledgable).

I do note, however, that the original plans seemed like a reasonable compromise from an abstract point of view and that a peaceful coexistence might well have been possible, had it not been for the refusal of the Arab neighbors to accept Israel. Recall that Israel was almost immediately attacked by several neighbors, has been the attacked party in most of the subsequent wars, and has been a long-standing victim of various terrorist attacks even in times of alleged peace. Indeed, even as is, many Arabs and whatnots willing to co-exist have led good lives in peace within Israeli borders—and, likely, on average, better lives than if they had lived in the same area without Israel or in one of the neighboring countries.

Moreover, that Israel has risen to a prosperity not matched by neighboring countries (or, depending on who is included, only matched because of oil income). What is in the geographic area today, is there almost entirely because of the Israelis. The Israelis have built an oasis in the desert, and to remove them from there now would be highly unfair, no matter what the situation might have been in the early days of the conflict. Here we also need to consider issues like the value of a claim lessening over time. (By a show a hands, how many of the readers were even alive at the time of the founding of Israel? The Israeli situation is more comparable to the U.S. vs. Indian tribes than to England vs. Ireland.)


The same applies the more so to any legal claims that the Jews might or might not once have had based on their presence in the area in Biblical times—something that I would not give the slightest consideration in the year 2023.

(And as an atheist, I am not moved by claims of a land promised by G-d.)

As to Israel’s role in the conflicts, crimes committed by Israel, and similar, fair criticism should not be suppressed and I would certainly not give Israel an acquittal on all counts. However, in the comparison with Hamas, Israel is a far lesser evil doer—and we must forget neither who (i.e. Hamas et al.) are the source of the problems, nor that self-defense might legitimately call for actions out of the ordinary. Notably, historically, Israel has usually been on the receiving end of aggression, has usually acted to protect its own existence, and has taken a great many measures to ensure the safety of its people from such attacks—not e.g. to “oppress Palestinians”. A fair evaluation might have to ask questions like “How would Israel have behaved, had it been accepted and free from external threats?”. I also note that Israel’s actions and/or attitudes have often been misrepresented or viewed simplistically. For instance, if we look at propaganda, we might have the impression that Israel has continually pushed its borders to build a giant nation at the cost of its neighbors. In reality, Israel is quite small in terms of area, the difference relative the internationally recognized borders of 1949 is comparatively small, some areas are intended as buffer zones (remember those external threats?), while the Sinai peninsula was voluntarily (and repeatedly) returned. A particularly telling difference is that the likes of Hamas often deliberately go for civilians, while the IDF is far more likely to try to minimize civilian deaths.

And here is a thought: In the entire extended area, Arabs and/or Muslims have a long history of fighting each other, be it between countries, within countries through civil wars, through terrorist attacks against members of the “wrong” group, etc. They also have a long history of persecuting or mistreating outsiders, e.g. Kurds and Christians. (Note e.g. the semi-recent rise and fall of ISIS, various Shia–Sunni conflicts, the Syria conflicts, the wars and atrocities of Saddam Hussein, ...)

Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, etc. are all part of this area. Is it, then, reasonable to assume that the conflicts here are mostly, let alone solely, to blame on Israel and/or the Jews, while the Palestinians and similar groups are poor victims of unprovoked violence and oppression—or might it just be that the situation in Israel (etc.) is a part of the larger pattern of Arab and/or Muslim behavior in the extended area?

An interesting twist, however, is that there are similarities between the current Hamas attitudes and methods and those of some Jewish groups under the Seleucid and Roman occupations.

Excursion on variations of anti-X

Above, I mention “anti-Israel/-Zionist and, disturbingly often, anti-Jewish/-Semitic”.

Some remarks:

  1. It is important to keep in mind that opinions commonly held together are not always necessitated by each other. It is, for instance, possible to be anti-Israel without being anti-Semitic, and even, if far more rarely, anti-Semitic without being anti-Israel. (After mentioning Stalin above, I have done some additional reading, and he might have been an example of this through (a) being hostile to Jews, (b) seeing Israel as a potential tool to expand Soviet power and/or to spread Socialism/Communism in the region. We might even have a reasoning like “As long as Israel flowers, Jews will migrate from here to there—good riddance.”.)

    Failing to consider the difference is to repeat one of the most common errors of thought (or most common propaganda tricks) of the Left, e.g. in that someone who speaks critically of Islamism would necessarily “hate Muslims”, that someone who criticizes a particular immigration policy would necessarily be “xenophobic”, or that someone who opposes Feminism would “hate women” or want to “oppress women”. (Feminism, contrary to its self-portrayal, is a one-side women’s rights and privileges movement, incompatible with true equality, and anyone favoring equality is by logical near-necessity anti-Feminist—unlike the above examples.)

  2. Nevertheless, many of the holders of such opinions, especially on the Left, seem unable to see the difference, and the result is that the overlap in opinions is unnecessarily large, e.g. in that an (already highly dubious) opinion of “Israel is evil” is over-generalized into the indisputably incorrect “Jews are evil”. This is likely a partial explanation for the surprising frequency of actual anti-Semitism among Leftists.

    (Another partial explanation is likely that the success of Jews in e.g. the U.S. shits all over the Leftist narrative of oppressed minorities, how Blacks are only held back by “structural racism”, and similar. This, maybe, coupled with a secondary thinking that “if the Jews are successful, they ipso facto cannot be oppressed [suffer discrimination, whatnot]; ergo, they must be oppressors.)

  3. Looking at specifically Israel, a serious observer would differ between at least the policies of any given Israeli government (which could then imply e.g. a pro- or anti-Netanyahu position), the state of Israel as implemented (pro-/anti-Israel), the idea of a Jewish state in approximately the current area (pro-/anti-Zionism), and Jews as such (pro-/anti-Semitism).

    Similarly, I am careful to speak of “Hamas” and not e.g. “Palestinians”, when it comes to the acts of terrorism.


    As Hamas has a very long history of evil, a distinction between e.g. the current Hamas leadership and Hamas more generally is not warranted, unlike with Israel above.

    However, chances are that I would not have put the distinction in writing, even had it been warranted: Such a distinction is typically implied when we look at formulations, e.g. in that a “country X invaded country Y” is taken as approximately equivalent to “the military of country X invaded country Y on orders of the leadership of country X” (a statement that, it self, is an over-simplification). What matters is the thinking, not the words, and the thinking of certain groups all too often fail to make appropriate distinctions.

    (Similar remarks apply to the combination of the over-simplification implied by variations of “Left” and the ever-recurring, by no means isolated or temporary, problems with the Left.)

  4. The inclusion of both “anti-Jewish” and “anti-Semitic” is arguably redundant, and I normally stick to just “anti-Semitic”. However, “anti-Semitic” in its typical meaning is unfortunate, as Jews originated as a subset of the Semitic peoples (Arabs being another subset), as not all Jews are Semitic in descent, as much of the animosity against Jews seems to be more religious or cultural than racial, and as “Semitic” has an alternate meaning in linguistics. Correspondingly, a strong case can be made for “anti-Jewish” being the better word.

Excursion on school-yard analogies

Reading an article on Labour calls for a cease firee, I am moved to make two school-yard analogies.

The first to illustrate provocation and hypocrisy, as discussed above: Imagine two boys, A and B, in the school yard. B walks up to A and punches him in the nose. A is, understandably, angry and punches back. B runs away, finds the nearest teacher, and complains that “A hit me! A hit me!”. Those who know how teachers tend to react can imagine what usually follows.

The second to illustrate some international reactions, including the calls for a cease fire: B punches A, A punches back, and a fight ensues, which A dominates. Teachers rush by, pull the two apart, hold sanctimonious speeches about how “Violence is never the answer!”, and direct them equally at both A and B—or, worse, predominantly at A, because he was the bigger boy and seemed to be winning. (“What were you thinking, hitting a little guy like that! Shame!”) The next day, B walks up to A and punches him again.

As an aside, independent of various issues relating to Israel: Too many, especially among Leftists, women, and adults dealing with (literal) children, fail to find out both sides of the story before passing judgment, fail to consider that there might be more to the story than the superficially obvious of (literally or metaphorically) a bigger boy fighting a smaller boy, and have absurd ideas on the social world, relationships, correct behaviors, whatnot of (literal) children. (TODO import “Adults say the darnedest things” and link.)

Addendum 2024-02-20

I have not followed the events since last October in detail—if in doubt, because wartime reporting tends to be highly unreliable and often more propaganda than truth. (And note the extreme differences in portrayals between Israel and Hamas. I stress, however, that I give the former much more credibility than the latter.)

Looking back at the above, there are two observations that are notable:


These observations are based mostly on British news, but broadly match what I have seen elsewhere. Still, the situation in other countries can be different.

(I find it beneficial to focus on the news of some “foreign” country from time to time, and my focus for the past months has been the U.K. Besides, German online-news is usually paywalled, superficial, and/or carries a strong Leftist bias.)

The first is the strong and continuing mixture of anti-Israel/-Jew/-whatnot sentiment and how much of it is tolerated. As expected, there is a strong Leftist element involved, but the situation is made the worse through the large numbers of Arab and/or Muslim immigrants, who often seem to have quasi-religious feelings about Jews and/or Israel.

While I caution strongly against jumping from “often” to “usually” or “always” (or, had another phrasing been used, from “many” to “most” or “all”), a mere “often” is problematic enough. A loud and violent minority can do a world of damage, even should the majority be more moderate or even take the opposite stance.

An interesting question is to what degree these aspects overlap, through a presumable greater likelihood of Arabs/Muslims being Leftists. (For instance, there has been a very recent controversy around Azhar Ali, a Labour MP-wannabe.)

A specific angle is some variation of “the Israelis are evil genocidal maniacs who indiscriminately slaughter innocent Palestinian civilians”, beginning shortly after evil genocidal maniacs of Hamas slaughtered innocent Israeli civilians. Below, I will quote from a text directed at that narrative.

The second, in the other direction, is how often a blanket assumption of anti-Jew is made when only anti-Israel is clear. (I restrict myself to these two “antis” for the sake of simplicity. See above for more on the nuance needed.) This to the point that some free-speech concerns, similar to those usually caused by rabid Leftists, might be warranted. In addition, we must never forget that there is a world of difference between holding a certain opinion and taking actions based on this opinion.

For more on the actual conflict, I will give some telling quotes from a recently encountered text. (Western appeasement of anti-Israel fanatics threatens to hand victory to axis of evile) While I quote extensively below, I cannot do this long and multi-topic-ed text justice while remaining within reasonable “fair use”, and strongly recommend that the reader visit the original. In particular, I have largely restricted myself to statements against the “evil genocidal maniacs” angle.

(I stress that I do not vouch for the correctness of any given claim. Note that conversion might have caused changes to typography and formatting.)


Until October last year, for example, [the Jewish state’s] total combat deaths over 75 years had risen to 86,000; still far fewer than, say, the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in three years when we joined the invasion of Iraq.

[...] When the RAF, American Air Force and Iraqi and Kurdish forces destroyed Islamic State in Mosul in 2016-17, at least 9,000 Muslim civilians were killed.

Those deaths, partly funded by the British taxpayer, were no less gruesome than the ones in Gaza magnified on our televisions. Add our other battles against Islamic State and the death toll was far higher. Who took to the streets of London then? Where were the flares and placards? Where was the concern?

When Israel suffers the worst terror attack in its history and responds out of necessity amid the flutter of leaflets advising civilians to evacuate, it is dragged in front of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). When Britain and America act similarly, nothing. [...]


Show me a hysteric who accuses Israel of genocide and I’ll show you a leader who has lost touch with the need for self-defence. Show me a leader who has lost touch with the need for self-defence and I’ll show you a nation in peril.


“No military fighting an entrenched enemy in dense urban terrain in an area barely twice the size of Washington DC can avoid all civilian casualties,” [Major John Spencer] wrote in Newsweek. “Reports of over 25,000 Palestinians killed, be they civilians or Hamas, have made headlines. But Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that fought an urban war.”



In my original version, I commented that “Numbers like 25,000 usually go back to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry. Caveat lector.”.

Yesterday, I encountered a further Telegraph articlee that gives several arguments why this number (respectively, a more current 30.000) must be considerably exaggerated.

While I have not made an own investigation of the matter, I must at this juncture recommend that these numbers, and any other claims originating with the Gaza Health Ministry, Hamas, and/or any affiliated organization/person be discounted—unless or until independent, neutral, and competent corroboration has been given. (Or, of course, corroboration by Israel, which is unlikely to distort numbers to its own disadvantage.)

As someone who had served two tours in Iraq and studied urban warfare for over a decade, he went on, he could personally attest that “Israel has taken precautionary measures even the United States did not do during its recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

He concluded: “When it comes to avoiding civilian harm, there is no modern comparison to Israel’s war against Hamas... The sole reason for civilian deaths in Gaza is Hamas. For Israel’s part, it’s taken more care to prevent them than any other army in human history.”


Indeed, Israel has conceded to these demands [for Palestinian self-determination] on several occasions. In 2008, for example, Ehud Olmert offered up 94pc of the West Bank, with 6pc of Israeli land added to make up the difference; sovereignty over East Jerusalem, making it the capital of a Palestinian state; an Israeli withdrawal from the Old City of Jerusalem, which would be under international administration; a tunnel connecting the West Bank and Gaza, ensuring Palestinian territorial contiguity; and a thousand Palestinian refugees accepted annually into Israel for five years, with financial compensation provided for the rest.

It is hard to imagine a more generous plan. It was literally everything the Palestinians had demanded. Yet in a grotesque failure of leadership, Mahmoud Abbas turned it down.

In truth, the main obstacle to a two-state solution is the fact that the Palestinian leadership has never truly accepted the presence of Jews in the land. That is why they have turned away more than once from the brink of peace. As Golda Meir famously remarked: “They say we must be dead. And we say we want to be alive. Between life and death, I don’t know of a compromise.”


Addendum 2024-04-14 (after Iranian attack)

Yesterday, the conflict was extended by a massive Iranian missile attack on Israel. (Fortunately, it appears, with very little success.) In this, the ongoing “proxy war” against Israel was extended with open action.

To what degree this attack was intended to be restricted to military targets, and to what degree it was more indiscriminate, is unclear to me, but reports point to only civilian casualties. (Specifically, one or two little girls or children, depending on the source and with the reservation that numbers might change with more information.) Considering past actions against Israel by various parties and past actions by Iran against civilians, I am not inclined to be optimistic on this point.

A point of potentially considerable importance is the open escalation and the associated risk of a more extensive warfare in the region, especially, if one or more of the countries neighboring Israel decide to take an opportunity to invade based on Iranian support, should the situation escalate further. This could throw us back to the pre-1970 era of the conflicts. (A small blessing is that Iran, it self, does not have a border to Israel, and might be too distant for unsupported ground invasions in either direction.)

Israel, of course, is in a bind, in that any non-trivial retaliation risks exactly a greater war, and a renewed shift in international opinions, while a failure to retaliate opens the doors for further aggression by Iran (or other parties).

Speaking of international opinions, the absurd international reactions towards respectively Israel and Hamas, the original aggressor, might well have increased the risk of this event—and it is the more important that a united stand against Iran, Hamas, and similar evils is finally taken. While I will not go into this topic again, I do note an odd asymmetry with the Russian–Ukrainian war: After the Russian invasion, there seemed to be a major reaction in the “all Russians are evil” direction, including such absurdities as attempts to ban performances of Tchaikovsky. Not only were such reactions (justifiably!) absent after the Hamas attacks, but anyone who had even hinted at e.g. a “Palestinians [Arabs, Muslims] are evil” would have risked an immediate cancellation on a charge of “Islamophobia”.


The point, of course, is not that we should have had an anti-Palestinian (or -whatnot) reaction. The issue is a mixture of the unwarranted anti-Russian (as opposed to e.g. an anti-Putin or, on the outside, anti-Russia) reaction and the difference in treatment. The latter is symptomatic and illustrative of the unduly mild treatment that the likes of Hamas have received, with, in many cases, absurdly, Israel being more harshly criticized.

The same applies with the too lenient treatment of Iran in the intervening years, with support of evil groups outside Iran, internal human rights violations on a truly massive scale, attempts to procure nuclear weapons, and whatnot. By any reasonable standard, Iran has had an evil regime through most of my own life, and has been met with an astonishing amount of tolerance, in light of reactions to lesser evils in many other countries.

With an eye at U.S. politics, to some degree overlapping with international reactions, I note that the approach of the Trump administration had brought the overall conflict to one of the most promising positions that it had ever been in. During Joe Biden’s administration, the situation has deteriorated massively and might now be at its lowest point in my lifetime.

The Iranian attack is a declared retaliation to an earlier, much smaller, and much more targeted Israeli attack that successfully took out Mohammad Reza Zahedi, an Iranian General, and several lesser officers. The legality of that attack is disputed, but it is notable that Zahedi was working within the terrorist organization Quds, which gives considerable supports to Israel’s enemies in the overall conflict and might be vital in e.g. keeping Hezbollah “armed and dangerous”. Further, Quds has been viewed as a legitimate target for similar actions by the U.S., culminating in the 2020 taking-out of Quds’s then-leader in a similar manner.

Addendum 2024-05-05 / reactions and parallels with previous Leftism

As time has gone by, the number of parallels in reactions in public, behavior of college students, behavior of demonstrators, etc., with previous Leftist misbehaviors or, often, outright outrages have grown disturbingly large. In many ways, we now see the problems that I have complained about for years (and others for decades) extended in a manner that very often is anti-Semitic and virtually always detached from reason, driven, as it is and as the Left tends to be, by emotions and propaganda instead of reason and facts.

A particular problem is that there is an insufficient differentiation between e.g. pro-Palestine and anti-Israel, pro-Palestine and pro-Hamas, and, even, anti-Israel and anti-Jew. (Also note portions of the original discussion.) As long as, e.g., various demonstrators cannot see the difference between wanting good things for Palestinians and wanting bad things for Jews (etc.), they cannot be considered legitimate. At an extreme, many seem so obsessed with taking sides (or abusing causes to gain support among others for a side already taken) that they jump automatically from a position like “something should be done against the reported humanitarian crisis in Gaza” to “the Israelis are the bad guys” or, even, “Hamas are the good guys” (while conveniently forgetting what Hamas is and what it is guilty of, who started what, etc.).


However, the above must be seen in light of two confounding factors:

Firstly, as always, it is hard to tell what is honest opinion and what a dishonest claim to achieve a certain effect.

Secondly, it can be hard to tell what is the opinions of any given individual and what a mixture of individual opinions among, e.g., marchers. (In a next step, this opens the door for the common Leftist problem of useful idiots, fellow travelers, and whatnots, where someone with semi-reasonable opinions can inadvertently lend support to those with unreasonable opinions, e.g. when a humanitarian marches next to a Hamas supporter without having considered who else might be present and what purpose the march might serve in a bigger picture.)

We also, to some degree, see yet another case of “first they came” in wake of the likes of J.K. Rowling (who failed to take a stand when the Left “came” until trans-mania and Feminism landed in conflict): Jews have a hard-to-understand history of supporting the Left, despite the Left (a) being irrational, (b) so often disliking or mistreating Jews. Looking at the U.S., the Democrats have favored policies that are worse for everyone (e.g. through harming the economy), worse for Jews (by promoting affirmative action and other measures that on average harm Jews), and worse for Israel (by being too wishy-washy, too tolerant of e.g. Hamas and Iran, etc.) than have the Republicans. A silver-lining on this dark cloud is that the overall opinion might finally be turning towards sanity, as the bar has simply been pushed too far and too many different groups have been “come for”—and, maybe, to the point that sufficiently many are now aware of the problems and willing to take a stand. (If so, it might be twenty years late, but better late than never.)

What we now see is simply the ever-growing intensification of the destructiveness that the Left has been allowed to build in (above all) academia, where intolerance, irrationality, ideology, and idiocy has been increasing allowed to rule over the last fifty or sixty years, often through a failure of the (literal) adults to stand up to crazed students.

Something that has disturbed me particularly are repeated reports of something highly dangerous or, depending on motivation, perfidious: Restricting access for the safety or “safety” of the potential victim, e.g. in that someone “openly Jewish” is told to stay away from some area to avoid hostile demonstrators, or that someone speaking up against Hamas sees an opportunity to speak cancelled, for his own safety. This with variations that might be even worse in form of (a) fear of public disturbances and (b) the claim that someone being seen, heard, whatnot, might act as “provocation”. Superficially, some variations of this might seem reasonable, but the effect, even here, is that evil wins—just like evil has ever again won when the same motivations have been applied against various “Rightwing” college speakers. This comes with the particular problem that every evil victory encourages further attacks of the same type, e.g. in that “We shut down speaker X by threatening a riot! Threats work! Now we do the same to speakers Y and Z!”. The only true solution is to move in with sufficient force that the trouble-makers, hate agitators, whatnot, are the ones that have to back down. (Where force is not necessarily to be seen as physical force. Consider e.g. expulsions of disruptive far-Left and/or anti-Semitic college students. Likewise, force need not be actualized, if the possibility of force is a strong enough deterrent.)