Why Has the Left Sided With Hamas? Antisemites Are Recasting Themselves as Victims

The 19th century Austrian socialist Ferdinand Kronawetter once remarked, “Antisemitism is the socialism of idiots.” He was not wrong, but I believe even he would have been surprised that most of these idiots are either celebrities or attend the West’s most prestigious educational institutions.

From Greta Thunberg to Harvard yard, you can barely throw a stone without hitting someone holding an anti-Israel rally. Apparently, we also have normalized Jewish students needing to be locked up in university libraries for their own “safety,” or the BBC regularly publishing blood libels, first about a supposed bombardment of a hospital in Gaza by Israeli forces, and a few weeks later with the claim that Israeli Defence Forces are intentionally targeting medical personnel and Arabic speakers.

But even that is, in fact, old news: In January 2009, the French public broadcaster France-2 aired footage of Palestinians killed in an Israeli air raid on New Year’s Day. As it turned out, however, the recording was from 2005 and not 2009, and the victims were not killed by the IDF but an “accident” of Hamas explosives detonating prematurely. And on it goes: Recently, pictures showing the carnage inflicted on the Syrian people by the Assad regime made the rounds claiming to show destruction in Gaza.

Who needs the “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” when you have the mainstream media?

Sometimes it seems as if no ideology evolves as quickly as antisemitism: Before Israel, the Jews where hated for being rootless and without national allegiances. Now that they have a state, they are hated for that. And if the last Jew were to leave the Middle East tomorrow, some other reason would be found to justify Jew-hatred.

In fact, after 1948, Jews had to leave most of the Middle East and North Africa: Once thriving communities from Morocco to Iraq ceased to exist after the regimes of these countries drove out their Jewish populations. Many of them moved to Israel, the only state in the region that actually allows Muslim Arabs and Jews to live side-by-side.

Alas, if you are Jewish, it is never enough: Unless all of the Middle East is “Judenfrei,” the Jews will always be painted as oppressors and everyone else as oppressed.

A large crowd demonstrates near Schuman Roundabout on October 22, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. A demonstrator holds a placard with ‘From the River to the sea Palestinia will be free’ . The organizers Abp Asbl and Attac Bruxelles declared: ‘Subjected for 16 years to an Israeli blockade responsible for a major humanitarian catastrophe, the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are currently facing the deadliest offensive in their history.’
Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

So in some ways, it’s not surprising to see antisemitism thrive in the ranks of the global leftist elite. When global climate celebrity Greta Thunberg blabberers on about “no climate justice on occupied land,” she is only revealing the next iteration of Jew hate. It turns out that for the “environmental movement,” the solution to the “Jewish Question” seems to be more important than addressing climate change.

Similarly, in the famously tolerant Netherlands where government advisors are openly pushing for the normalization of paedophilia, the line needs to be drawn somewhere: Several filmmakers pulled out of the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam after the organizers refused to allow their stage to be used for promoting the eradication of Israel.

Pot, porn, and paedophilia are all a go for the Dutch, but being pro-Israel? One should be careful not to go too far!

Another turn-of-the-century Austrian who would have a lot to say about this would probably be Sigmund Freud: If the West is suffering from the pathologies of historical guilt for all the alleged sins of its past, Israel and the Jews are the favourite object of projection. If the Jews are as bad as the Nazis and European colonialists, then opposing them is like re-running history, but this time those Westerners on college campuses can finally be on the side of the oppressed.

Both Israel and the Palestinians are just extras in an exercise of excessive narcissism that allows one to stand “on the right side of history” and virtue signal at no cost. Of course, this doesn’t apply when Arabs are slaughtering Arabs. There were no protests for the peoples of Syria or Yemen or when ISIS was committing an actual genocide against the Yazidis.

That’s what this all comes down to: a rewriting of history so that the Jews’ oppressors can absolve themselves of guilt and claim to be the oppressed. During the Holocaust, the Jews experienced the worst that men can do to their fellow man, and many in the West are itching for the opportunity to find historic salvation in creating a moral equivalence between the Nazis and the state of Israel.

Neither Greta Thunberg nor her acolytes have any clue about Middle Eastern or Jewish history, because it is not about that—just as her climate activism was never about climate, but the usual Leftist tropes from colonialism to social justice.

In 1968, Eric Hoffer wrote about a premonition that would not leave him: “As it goes with Israel, so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us.” After all we have seen in recent weeks in in Western capitals and college campuses, I am afraid that he was right.

Ralph Schoellhammer is an assistant professor in economics and political science at Webster University Vienna and a visiting fellow at the MCC Budapest.

The views in this article are the writer’s own.