The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

When Hating Israel is Your Priority

The loudest voices bemoaning Palestinian suffering decline to call on Hamas to release the hostages and surrender.


It's kind of horrifying that the loudest voices bemoaning Palestinian civilian suffering in Gaza will harshly criticize everyone and anyone–Israel, the US, the EU, the UN Security Council, American Jews, you name it–except for Hamas (and its allies like Iran), and the one thing they won't do is suggest Hamas surrender, even though that would immediately end the war, and also end Gazans being ruled by an oppressive medieval theocracy that steals aid money to build weapons and villas for its leaders.

In short, no matter how much they purport to care for Palestinians, their biggest priority is that Israel not emerge victorious over Hamas. I won't go so far as to claim that they don't care about the Palestinians. I will claim, strongly, that they hate Israel much more.

A perfectly good (but hardly the only) example is Karen Attiah, who has a sufficiently influential position as world opinion editor at the Washington Post that someone like her deciding that hey, maybe Hamas should just surrender and release the hostages could help move the needle, given that Hamas is counting on world opinion to stop Israel's offensive and keep it in power. Even if Hamas is beyond world opinion, its patrons and allies in Turkey, Qatar, and even Iran are not.

And the folks I'm referring to won't even suggest that they want Hamas to surrender for rhetorical purposes. Like, "Of course my preference would be for Hamas to surrender and release the hostages, but if that can't happen, and it looks like it can't, to end the civilian suffering Israel should cease fire." Nope, they won't even suggest that they would *prefer* Hamas to surrender. How twisted does your mind have to be to think Hamas is the relative good guy here? And that you won't even pretend you think otherwise just to help persuade, because you can't bring yourself to even do that?