Jumping on the Bandwagon to Support Hamas May Dilute Support for Other Causes

International causes make strange bedfellows, but the speed with which left-wingers adopted Hamas rhetoric will prove to be counterproductive

This piece first appeared in The Epoch Times Canada on November 22, 2023.

There are lots of causes out there that purport to rally support for a grievance or for something that is wrong. Think the environment, or racism, or any other nasty human behaviour. Some people are convinced that these issues need immediate attention and get angry when they don’t believe they are getting the necessary interest. 

An interesting corollary to this occurs when different groups which back their own thing decide to collectivize, or jump on each others’ bandwagons. I am sure that sometimes these alliances make sense, but some do appear odd, to say the least. 

What I want to focus on here is what I call the “green-green” alliance. Some may prefer the phrase “red-green,” where red is seen as the colour of revolution, but as a fan of the 15 seasons of the “Red Green Show” starring Steve Smith, which ran from 1991-2006, I prefer “green-green.”

By “green-green” I am referring to the environmental/leftist part of the political spectrum as well as Islam (green is the colour of Islam). In the aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 and the subsequent Israeli military action in Gaza, a whole host of organizations and activists normally associated with the left have decided to lend their full and unfettered backing to the Palestinians, going so far as to demand a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea” (which would mean the elimination of Israel) and calling Hamas a legitimate “resistance” bunch. 

This joining at the hip is odd on several levels. Firstly, Hamas and other jihadis could care less about the planet. They carry out attacks using missiles and drones that cause all kinds of environmental damage, and I don’t think global warming is at the top of their agenda. All of which makes you wonder why the international wunderkind of the environment, Greta Thunberg, would take the stage during a climate action protest in Amsterdam to talk about the “oppression” of Palestinians. Her decision has caused some dismay within the green lobby. 

Secondly, Islamist terrorists are among the worst misogynists on the planet. ISIS in Iraq and Syria was responsible for mass rapes, sexual slavery, and the execution of women who had “strayed.” Do you think Hamas is a progressive feminist organization? And yet some feminist groups see these terrorists as legitimate resistors. A University of Alberta professor and Sexual Assault Centre director even signed an open letter questioning sexual assault and rape claims against Hamas during the Oct. 7 attack in Israel. (She was fired for doing so.)

We are also seeing a whole slew of lefties come out with some vile things about Israel, calling the nation a “colonial power” and behind the “genocide” of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. This would appear to be part and parcel of an overall conviction that everything “Western” is evil, which has risen of late. 

What, though, are the consequences of these positions? Greta Thunberg’s problems aside, it is highly possible that the issues these individuals and groups are trying to promote—fairness, equality, etc.—will suffer because they have decided to embrace the actions of Hamas, a vile Islamist terrorist organization (and listed as such in Canada). How can any of this be helpful in spreading the messages they want us to understand? Who is advising these people? 

In some ways it appears that the polarization all too evident in many Western nations is worsening. People on either side of the yawning political divide seem to be getting further and further apart and there is no semblance of dialogue, only shouting. Legitimate concerns will be lost in the maelstrom of hate and rejection and, at least here in Canada, the domination of the woke/cancel culture over the last half decade or so is showing signs of ebbing as many are sick and tired of having to admit there’s “systemic racism” and apologize for things they may or may not have done. 

As a result, here is my humble, unsolicited counsel to the green-greens. First, admit that Hamas is a terrorist group and does not deserve any support from within your movement. Second, acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, even if you continue, with good reason, to condemn the policies of the Netanyahu government in the West Bank. Third, stop the anti-Semitic language: Jews are not Israel. 

I am under no illusion that anything I say will be read or adhered to. We all make choices after all. In the end, however, ignorant statements made today will not be forgotten, and all the hard work done to bring important challenges to the fore will be less effective. 

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.