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Biden needs to tell Democrats that Hamas is the bad guy

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 5/14/2021 Washington Examiner
Joe Biden in a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

"Israel has a right to defend itself," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday, as America’s staunchest Middle East ally faced criticism for its retaliations against rocket attacks by Hamas.

It’s an anodyne statement from the Biden administration with two problems. First, it fails to state clearly that Israel is defending itself against a terrorist instigator. Second, too many officials in Joe Biden's own party don't actually believe that Hamas is the bad guy here.

Before its recent attack on Israelis, Blinken and Biden seem to have laid out a somewhat reasonable strategy: Support the more moderate Palestinian Authority and marginalize Hamas. The Palestinian Authority is corrupt, to be sure. But it at least does not view its political purpose through the lens of maximal Jewish blood. Hamas's charter explicitly pursues the day of judgment when Allah gives the stones and trees voice, and they remark, "There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

Leading Democratic lawmakers do not appear to recognize this truth. Instead, "the Squad" elevates Hamas, implying that it is the representative of Palestinians, rather than what it is — a murderous terrorist organization.

"It’s wrong," was how Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez concluded her tweet responding to Blinken’s statement that "Israel has a right to defend itself." Ocasio-Cortez condemned the rocket attacks, but only as part of a both-sides-are-wrong assertion rather than as Hamas being the clear provocateur.

Ocasio-Cortez and Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan cheered on cable news host Mehdi Hasan, who likewise cast Hamas’s rocket attacks as the counterpart to Israel’s military actions. "One side is the occupier. The other side is occupied," even though Israel's occupation of Gaza ended a decade and a half ago. Hasan's ideological pedigree can be judged by the fact that he once referred to non-Muslims as "cattle."

The clear implication of too many on the Left is that Hamas is the representative not only of the Palestinians but also of Arabs in Jerusalem. This is false and dangerous.

Arabs in East Jerusalem have a government, just as Jews there do. It is the Israeli government. The U.S. consul general in Jerusalem, merged into the Palestinian Affairs Unit as part of the U.S. Embassy to Israel by the previous administration, serves as an envoy to the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, and is considered the legitimate representative of the Palestinians. The head of Israel's most influential coalition of Arab parties, the Joint List, had harsh words for Hamas leaders trying to rope Israeli Arabs into Hamas's war against their country: "We were elected by our community, we will protect them."

Abbas isn’t firing rockets at Israel. Hamas is. And Hamas is undoubtedly a terrorist organization. It uses civilians as shields so it can accuse Israel of war crimes when it retaliates. It does not care about Palestinian casualties, except insofar as it cares to create as many as possible. It uses apartment buildings for a number of unconventional purposes, as bunkers, rocket launchpads, and useful places from which to throw its political opponents to their deaths. It seeks not simply to kill Israelis but to purge all the Jews from Israel. In other words, it seeks a second Holocaust.

Its rocket attacks are terrorism. The death tolls are fairly low, thanks to Israel’s "Iron Dome" missile defense, but the disruption and fear imposed by these barrages are immense. Parents have to wake their children in the middle of the night to take them to bomb shelters. Schools are closed again. Hamas is succeeding in ruining the daily life of Jews and Arabs alike in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and across southern Israel.

No democratic civil society can accept existence on these terms, let alone flourish as Israel has since its birth. Proportionality of response is important in any military operation, but Israel has a right and responsibility to defend itself. The Democratic Party's equivocation against that truth is unseemly. As a candidate, Biden pledged that he would stand with allies. It's time for the president to look in the mirror.

Tags: Editorials, Magazine - Editorial, Hamas, Israel, Opinion, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, Gaza, Antony Blinken, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Original Author: Washington Examiner

Original Location: Biden needs to tell Democrats that Hamas is the bad guy

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