Israel and the Left: Don’t get into bed with
the fundamentalists

By Thomas Kingston

It’s no great secret that the Left has a history of supporting and revering totalitarian, oppressive, mass murdering regimes, and some groups on the fringes still do, but the new left are different, aren’t they? Rather than the bearded and beret-wearing intellectuals of yore, they’re now suited and booted, latte sipping, Guardian-reading community organisers or social leaders; they’ve ditched the idea of revolution now the toiling working classes have gone from being its backbone to just a concept that’s fallen victim to the pasty and bedroom taxes of the heinous coalition.

The new lefties promote equality, human rights, tolerance and diversity (they don’t just restrict themselves to Michelin-starred restaurants and East London pop ups, I mean there was that one time at Notting Hill Carnival they tried Jerk Chicken and how wonderfully multicultural of them that was!), they clamour to sign up to Avaaz and 38 Degrees petitions decrying oppressive regimes and unfair deportations (once again the fault of the evil coalition), compare UKIP with Nazis, see euroscepticism as small minded Little Englandism and when they go to Glastonbury they normally give some change to the Amnesty International collection.

So if I was to tell you that this new breed of socially conscious, ecologically aware, equality and especially diversity-loving lefties were at this moment clogging up their social media feeds with support for a regime/group that would like to see an entire race wiped off the face of the earth, have minorities playing a subservient role and higher taxes, enforce the teachings of their faith by force and have members of the LGBT community persecuted  and executed simply for their sexual preferences, as well as having all women conform to religious and restrictive dress codes, it would seem slightly at odds with the rest of their ideology, right? Throw into the fact these same people are demonising the only democracy in the region, a democracy that has a multi ethnic and multi religious law making body, promotes gay rights, allows women to do what they want in whatever clothes they want, has pushed for eco-friendly technology and turned the desert into farms and towns, has given special treatment to minorities in order to respect their cultures and it seems that the value they place on equality, and you begin to see that democracy and human rights really has proved to be as flimsy as their links with the working class.

Now unless you live under a rock it should be obvious that what I’ve been describing is the Left’s support of Palestine and the Hamas militants and the demonised democracy is Israel. To me this isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) a black and white situation, where you’re either totally for Israel or Palestine and you either support rampant Zionism and settlement of the West Bank or you want to wipe Israel off the map; I care about people and both Israel and Palestine are made up of people and their inviolable rights as human beings should be respected regardless of their passport.

However it’s the extremists that are ruining the chances of peace and it’s quite obvious that extremists wave the banners of both Palestine and Israel, with a recent Israeli example being MK Shaked who made some vile comments which were well covered by the press (which if you believe some people is Zionist controlled!) but Hamas does that daily – resorting to the antisemitic stereotyping perfected by the Nazis and drumming into the minds of their youth that killing Jews is a sure way to go to heaven and yet this doesn’t get reported on.

When we put things into context the situation seems even more ridiculous – the words of one politician who is 5th on the list for a party that gains only 9% of the vote aren’t really comparable to a party that has the eradication of the Jewish people as part of its constitution and manages to win the elections with 44% of the vote, yet the outrage is about this one woman whilst implicit support for Hamas and its message of hate, violence and antisemitism runs rife. Is that really the Zionist control/Israeli bias that we’re told exists? It was of course right to bring the remarks of Shaked to people’s attention, but why is Hamas’s much more dangerous and much more popular viewpoint normalised?

Now, Israel has a lot of faults, that is true and of course it will take time and hard work to solve them. However, backing a violent and genocidal group that has allowed its hatred of Israel to overwhelm the love for its own people doesn’t seem to be a move that will help either Israel or Palestine to solve their problem. So here’s my plea to all those who lean to the left; if you really are for equality, peace, democracy, tolerance and diversity, why are you backing a side that only shares with you an opposition to Israel? Why not put pressure on Israel, the country that has ticked most of those boxes to work towards peace and rapprochement with the Palestinians rather than boycotting their goods, decrying them as genocidal oppressors and doing all you can to bring down the only democracy in the region?