Friday 5 April 2024

The Simple Question

There is a simple question that I invite everyone to consider:

Do you support Hamas? 

This is not a trap. This is not an implication that anyone does or does not support Hamas. A genuine question. Yes or no. 

If yes, then congratulations, you support genocidal, racist, homophobic, Nazi, rapist terrorists. You are not a serious person and we do not need to listen to you. Your opinion is garbage, worthless and should be ignored. You are excluded from rational debate and the marketplace of ideas. I do not need to engage with you. Goodbye.

If no, then why is the solution to this conflict not a ceasefire and the surrender of Hamas? If you do not support Hamas, why must Israel accept leaving in place a terror organisation whose position is the destruction of Israel and the murder of every Jew worldwide? If you want to save Palestinian and Jewish lives, why is this not the solution? Explain to me why Hamas should be allowed to survive; why do you not call for their complete surrender as well as a ceasefire? 

If you only care for Palestinian lives, then sure. A ceasefire that leaves Hamas in place to carry out an October 7th again and again and again, as it has vowed to do, will achieve the protection of Palestinian lives. It will stop a lot of killing. There is no question about that. But do not pretend your position is pro-peace, pro-life or pro-co-existence. Your position is that Palestinian lives are worth more than Jewish lives. Which is a position, I suppose, but own it. Accept that leaving Hamas in situ is a threat, a demonstrable and real threat to Jews living in Israel and across the world. Accept that these lives do not matter to you, that you are willing to risk more Jews dying if it stops the war. 

I can almost understand that position; war is horrific. Everyone should be against it and broadly in favour of no war. This should not be controversial. But sometimes it is not quite as simple as that. Sometimes wars must be fought. Sometimes wars are just (this may help explain). If your position is war is never justified, I am afraid you do not live in the real world. Ukraine, for example, should not surrender to Russia. Anyone arguing the contrary because 'war is bad' should not be taken seriously. However, while I can understand it, I do not agree with it. A ceasefire that leaves Hamas in place is not a serious option. Or at least, it should not be. A ceasefire that leaves Hamas in place is a ceasefire that says Jewish lives do not matter. They are worth risking. They just matter less. 

And to be honest, we already knew this. Jews have learnt this the hard way throughout history. We have been failed with horrific consequences in virtually every century. Millions and millions of us have been murdered, tortured, raped, exiled, kidnapped, targeted, boycotted, expelled, discriminated against simply because we are Jews. There have been pogroms, Holocausts, forced conversions, ghettoisation, blood libel, racist show trials, and restrictions on our freedoms throughout history. The World writ large has failed the Jews and continues to fail the Jews. Nothing truly changes; we just do not matter. I make no apologies if that seems harsh. You may protest, of course, you will I am sure, that you just want the killing to stop. And I believe you. But forgive me if I do not think you want the killing of Jews to stop. And, for what it is worth, forgive me if I also think you do not care much about Palestinians; Hamas is as much a danger to Gazans as it is to Jews. They murder their opponents, murder homosexuals, murder dissidents, steal aid and much worse beyond. Caring about peace, an end to the bloodshed and prosperity for Palestinians and Jews depends on the destruction of Hamas. 

And it really is as simple (and as complicated) as that.