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Why Do Human Rights Advocates Tend to Fail to Condemn the Hamas Atrocities?

In the wake of the harrowing terror attack carried out by Hamas on October 7 the global response has been, for many, perplexing. This atrocity – marked by chilling acts of violence against innocent civilians – should have been universally condemned. However, some factions, particularly within the radical progressive community, have been startlingly reticent to denounce Hamas's brutality. How can groups that champion human rights remain silent, or worse, draw parallels between the actions of Hamas and Israel?


 Several factors contribute to this confounding stance:


1. Antisemitism

While outright antisemitism exists and is evident in some radical circles, it's crucial to note that not all progressives harbor such sentiments. However, there's an alarming tendency among some to unconsciously perpetuate antisemitic discourses, particularly when aligning with dominant progressive ideologies.


Boy standing in front of a eye on a wall

Israel as a Scapegoat: Over the years, Israel has been disproportionately held responsible for the Israel-Palestine conflict's outcomes. Even in the face of undeniable violence from Hamas, there's a persistent inclination to either place blame on both sides or continue accusing Israel alone.

  • Class-based Views: The binary framing of oppressor vs. oppressed prevalent in progressive discussions has adverse ramifications. Jews in the US are framed as white, and this screens on the perception of the Jewish State as white and colonial oppressor, while portraying Hamas as an organization fighting on behalf of marginalized 'brown people'.

  • Pacifism Misplaced: Pacifist views reflected in a call for a ceasefire, are directed solely at Israel, perceived as the stronger entity, ignoring that this would mean that such pogroms can recur.


3. Ignorance about International Law

Claims against Israel often misrepresent its adherence to international standards. Israel is blamed for exercising siege and collective punishment, “War crimes do not justify war crimes”. In reality:

  • Israel makes significant efforts to minimize civilian casualties. It issues a warning to the civilian population before striking Hamas infrastructure, and calls for their evacuation from designated areas in order to save their lives (one should also recall that there has been a mass evacuation in Israel as well from the north and south).

  • Israel is not legally required to supply Hamas-controlled areas with utilities but has done so in the past. Hamas took over Gaza in a coup, and declared that it does not recognize existing agreements with the PLO. With no obligation under international law, Israel continued to supply water and electricity. This is surely not viable following the Hamas pogrom and during a military campaign. Moreover, Hamas steals fuel and water from Gaza-based human rights organizations for its own men.

  • The law allows Israel to ensure essential supplies (like food and medicine) pass through to civilians without benefiting Hamas. Israel does that.

  • A siege, like the one imposed on Gaza, is in accordance with the international 4th Geneva Convention and the Hague Conventions, given its purpose is to counteract Hamas and release the hostages, not to starve the population or punish civilians.

  • Proportionality in international law is often misconstrued. It's essential to comprehend that it refers to the anticipated collateral damage versus the military's objectives. How to weigh the proportionality of the next 40 slaughtered Jewish babies if Hamas infrastructure is not eradicated?  

For further understanding we recommend watching the compelling interview with a International law expert Natasha Hausdorff - link


4. Ignorance About the true nature of Hamas


The alliance between the radical left and organization affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (like Hamas) emerged in Europe. The collaboration of these two streams has accelerated in the past two decades and 'migrated' to the US. Since the Ferguson Riots in 2014, organizations with an anti Israel agenda have become an integral part of the coalition of minorities,  and the phenomenon of intersectionality.


As a result, many within the left including human rights advocates are confused about the true nature of Hamas which they regard as a liberation movement. It's critical to understand the true nature of Hamas:

  • Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the EU, US, Canada, and the UK. It is an Islamist fundamentalist organization that has a clear antisemitic agenda.  Hamas persecutes homosexuals and discriminates against women. 

  • Hamas's objective is NOT the betterment of Palestinian lives but the establishment of an Islamic state in place of Israel. Their actions, particularly their violent takeover of Gaza, have set back Palestinian development considerably. Hamas is NOT fighting for a two-state solution ( For further reading - link).


To put it bluntly: Hamas's recent attacks on Israel can be likened to ISIS's devastation in its prime. As the world rallied to counteract ISIS, understanding that its continued existence would lead to more atrocities, so too should it recognize the threat posed by Hamas. Calls for immediate ceasefire overlook the looming danger – the potential for repeated, intensified violence if Hamas remains unchecked. It's a call for the world to acknowledge reality and act decisively.


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