A friend in New York told me that on May 18 there was a “pro-Palestine” march in Midtown Manhattan. A few hundred Hamas supporters marched down Third Avenue to prevent traffic from moving uptown.
Needless to say, there were countless signs in support of the Palestinian cause and in opposition to Israel.
But there were three signs in particular that caught his attention.
While intended to show support for their cause de jour, they in fact demonstrated why Israel has the legal and moral obligation to finish what Hamas has started.
Perhaps the most simple, direct and revealing sign was “Fuck the Jews.” And there wasn’t just one rogue sign with this witty and creative salutation; there were dozens. That sign, more than any other, reveals what this whole uproar is about: antisemitism.
It has nothing to do with land disputes or occupations. It is irrelevant to the question of who should rule Jerusalem or whether a two-state solution is the appropriate way forward. It is about the oldest bigotry in world history: a simple hatred of the Jews.
For anyone in doubt, this should be an epiphany for them.
The second sign was “Free Palestine from the River to the Sea.”
While not as pithy, clever and poetic as “Fuck the Jews,” it is no less rooted in Jew hatred.
On Nov. 28, 1941, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, met with Hitler at the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. After assuring Hitler of his and Arab support for the German war effort, he asked Hitler to declare publicly that Germany favored “the elimination of the Jewish national home” in Palestine, and the mufti promised to work with Germany to achieve the goal of “annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space under the protection of British power.”
In other words, not only was the British Mandate of Palestine to be Judenrein (free of Jews), the Jews in Palestine at the time were to be exterminated as they were in Europe.
The mufti’s genocidal desires were later codified in the PLO charter in 1964 and remain the goal of Hamas today.
In 1964, when the Palestine National Charter was drafted, Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and Jordan occupied the West Bank. Those territories were expressly carved out of the charter as territories to “liberate.”
No Palestinian state was granted to the Palestinians by the Egyptians or by the Jordanians. It was only after the Six-Day War in 1967, in which Israel captured those territories, that they were miraculously included in the charter as lands belonging to the Palestinians and in need of liberation.
The third sign that caught his attention was “Justice from Ferguson to Palestine.”
This refers to the doctrine of intersectionality. At its core, intersectionality claims that the struggles of one oppressed group are the struggles of all oppressed groups.
In this case, the slogan makes the tenuous claim that African Americans in the United States who suffer from discrimination and police misconduct share a bond with the Palestinians who are, they claim, being oppressed by Israel.
In other words, if one opposes racism in the United States, then one must also make common cause with the Palestinians.
I suspect there are many white American Jews, Jews of color and white Americans of other faiths who would find such claims of racism, simply because they are pro-Israel, to be deeply offensive.
These signs confirm that this is as much a fight against international antisemitism as it is a war against a genocidal terrorist organization.
If this is the best Hamas supporters can do, it merely confirms the necessity and morality of Israel’s efforts to defeat Hamas and for fair-minded people to ignore the static coming from the sign carriers and their enablers in Congress and the media.