As an example of what the insightful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book The World Turned Upside Down, Northeastern University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), paralleling the moral incoherence of anti-Israel activists demonstrating elsewhere in American and European cities, sponsored a November 15 Boston rally in support of Gaza and, presumably, its genocidal thugocracy, Hamas.
The members of SJP who attended the demonstration, along with their fellow travelers of anti-Semites, Israel haters, and such psychologically mystifying groups as Jewish Voice for Peace, apparently were not sufficiently concerned when some 12,000 rockets and mortars were launched almost daily into southern Israeli towns from Gaza by Hamas over the past seven years, aimed at civilian targets for no other reason than the intended victims were Jews.
Once Hamas began to deploy more sophisticated, and lethal, Iranian-supplied Fajr-5 rockets, able to reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and Israel finally retaliated, as it had in 2008-2009 during Operation Cast Lead, with targeted strikes against Hamas, the inevitable civilian casualties were immediately elevated by Israel’s worldwide critics to “crimes against humanity,” “genocide,” and “disproportionate” responses to what they evidently believe to a mere inconvenience for Israelis upon whom rockets and mortars have incessantly rained down.
What was particularly revealing, and chilling, about the Boston rally was the virulence of the chants and messages on the placards, much of it seeming to suggest that more sinister hatreds and feelings – over and above concern for the current military operations – were simmering below the surface. Several of the morally self-righteous protestors, for instance, shrieked out, to the accompaniment of drumbeats, “Long live Intifada,” a grotesque and murderous reference to the Second Intifada, during which Arab terrorists murdered some 1,000 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 others.
That pro-Palestinian student activists, those who purport to be motivated by a desire to bring “justice” to the Middle East, could publicly call for the renewed slaughter of Jews in the name of Palestinian self-determination demonstrates quite clearly how ideologically debased the human rights movement has become. Students on U.S. campuses, who never have to face a physical threat more serious than getting jostled while waiting in line at Starbucks, are quick to downplay Israel’s very real existential threats and the necessity of the Jewish state to take counter measures to thwart terrorism. And quick to label the killing of Hamas terrorists by the IDF as “genocide,” these morally blind individuals see no contradiction in their calls for the renewed murder of Jews for their own sanctimonious cause.
Of course, the notion of murdering Jews to extirpate Israel is not a unique one, since words to that effect are regularly uttered by, among others, Iran’s raving president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who dreams of such apocalyptic final solutions. What is unique is the morally-defective logic that would enable otherwise sane people to justify a second Holocaust, the mass murder of Jews, on the basis of Israel having defended itself from years of rocket attacks and having killed murderous terrorists in the process.
Making the Middle East free of Jews is exactly what Hamas, the group of genocidal brutes cheered on by the Boston demonstrators, ardently longs for; in fact, Hamas’s charter expresses as one of its core tenets that Israel should be eliminated and that Jews should be murdered.
Another deadly chorus emanated from protestors during the rally: “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.” This is an oft repeated but disingenuous and false notion – that stateless terrorists have some recognized human right to murder civilians whose government has purportedly occupied their territory. That is clearly not any longer the case in Gaza, where every Jew was removed in 2005 and where there is a blockade in effect to prevent the influx of weapons, but clearly no occupation.
It may be comforting for Israel’s ideological foes to rationalize the murder of Jews by claiming some international right to do it with impunity and a sense of righteousness. But as legal experts have pointed out, the rally participants and their terror-appeasing apologists elsewhere are completely wrong about the legitimacy of murder as part of “resistance” to an occupying force.
Article IV of the Third Geneva Convention, the statute that defines combatants and legitimate targets in warfare, is very specific about who may kill and who may be killed, and it does not allow for the murder of either Israeli civilians or soldiers by Palestinian suicide bombers who wear no identifying military uniforms and do not follow the accepted rules of wars. Nor, certainly, does it recognize the legitimacy of launching more than 12,000 random rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza aimed at Israeli neighborhoods, a violation of the Geneva conventions that require “distinction” in the targeting of opponents and clearly a more salient example of “collective punishment” than, say, the Gaza blockade itself.