Most people that call themselves ‘progressive’ today should have a difficult time supporting Hamas.
It’s hard to hide the fact that Hamas is viciously antisemitic, with goals that are frankly genocidal. It’s hard to hide — Hamas will tell it to you — their position that no Jewish state, within any borders is acceptable in historic Palestine. It’s hard to hide the fact that Hamas is just plain vicious, when they brag about shooting their political opponents — secular Palestinian nationalists — in the hands and legs “to prevent them from helping Israel”. And it’s hard to hide the fact that Hamas is being supported with money and weapons by Iran, which has expressed the desire to put an end to Israel.
Whether one favors a two-state solution or even a single ‘democratic’ state encompassing Jews and Arabs, it goes beyond the pale of ‘progressivism’ to support Hamas, which wants to kill or drive out all the Jews, establish fundamentalist rules for the treatment of women, put homosexuals to death, etc.
It should also be quite clear that if there is a possibility for a rapprochement between Israel and moderate Palestinians — if it’s not too late for this — then the situation in which 40% of the Palestinian population lives under control of Hamas, which is violently opposed to any such agreement, ensures that a peaceful solution will not be found.
Since Hamas has been in control of Gaza, in addition to thousands of missiles fired at Israel, they have been pursuing a parallel propaganda offensive to convince people that the cause of the conflict is not Hamas viciousness but the Israeli ‘siege’ of Gaza and ‘the occupation’. Their goal is to achieve legitimacy, to open the gates for the import of even more explosives and weapons, and ultimately to take over the West Bank as well.
Since the beginning of the present war, the central theme has been the suffering of Gaza civilians. Although this war is probably unique in the history of warfare in respect to the care being taken by one side to avoid hurting noncombatants, nevertheless some segments of the media have been almost frothing at the mouth in their condemnations of Israel (which, needless to say are based on exaggerations and plain lies).
Here are the results of this, this Friday in San Francisco. Some of the violent demonstrators shown are Palestinians, but many are not.
There has been no more consistent source of anti-Israel incitement and one-sided propaganda in our region than Pacifica Radio’s KPFA, and Fresno’s KFCF which rebroadcasts it. Programs such as Democracy Now — which is not only heard daily on KFCF in Fresno but whose TV version appears on the Catholic Diocese-owned channel 49 — go far beyond the bounds of simply slanted reporting, providing a steady diet of falsehoods and demonization of Israel.
In recent days KPFA has pulled out all the stops in its rhetoric, with the goal of turning American opinion against the Israeli operation in Gaza. If the worldwide propaganda campaign succeeds in forcing a premature end to the operation, Hamas will emerge stronger than ever, with enhanced legitimacy and able to re-arm — exactly as happened with Hezbollah in Lebanon. In addition to the direct damage to Israel’s security, any ‘peace process’, such as it is, will be doomed.
KPFA and KFCF are supported by contributions from the progressive community, which possibly doesn’t understand the consequences of its actions. These stations are simply doing Hamas’ work.
If you are happy with the goals of Hamas and Iran, then contribute. Every dollar you give them might as well be used to buy explosives for Ismail Haniyeh.