On March 30th, Hamas staged a “Border Protest” on the Gaza-Israel border, testing Israel’s enforcement of the border with a mass armed border storming. The premise was they have a right to return to Israel, and Israel can’t stop them. As a result of the armed melee 15 Gazans wound up dead and many more wounded. It doesn’t look like this latest round is over, it’s set to escalate to Israel’s 70th Independence Day next weekend.
Hamas’s demonstrations tend to have a common theme. Test Israel’s laws, and when Israel has to enforce its laws with lethal force, claim it as a human rights violation.
To someone familiar with the tactic it all seems like silliness.
But what’s depressing about all this is the number of people and institutions that go right along with the lie that this sovereign expression is really a human rights abuse. I’ve written before about what I call the Outrage Industrial Complex, a series of NGOs and institutions that manufacture abuses where there are none, and ignore the ones that are happening, as some sort of global protection racket.
Well it seems this industry has claimed a new ally: Bernie Sanders. He tweeted this shortly after the demonstration, calling it a “humanitarian crisis”:
The situation in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis. The United States must play a more aggressive and even-handed role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all. pic.twitter.com/rDleLkcDNc
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 21, 2018
This is a long way from Bernie Sanders three years ago, who still had some rational insight into foreign events. Here he is in a town hall meeting from 2014, defending Israel’s actions. And you see the seeds of today’s Sanders, heckled down by hysterical supporters who are convinced Israel is running around needlessly massacring Arabs. I suppose at some point he gave up and realized he’s just the conduit for their hysterics.
This is a deeply troubling departure on a couple levels. First from the United States’s historic bipartisan support for Israel. But more deeply a bipartisan respect for reality. What happens when one party knuckles under to a deranged interpretation of events and starts going along with such lies?
People support Israel for a variety of reasons – religious, moral, ideological – but as the world’s moral authority, United States policy has to go deeper than that. It must reach to the foundations of liberal society, to understand that liberal democracies have a foundation of law that must be respected and enforced. Without this framework you have anarchy and chaos.
This is the foundation of the United States’s support of Israel, and it’s a support that can be evenly applied to any country with such a liberal framework. It’s a solid foundation of foreign policy. And it’s a policy Hamas and their movement test every waking moment in their PR war against Israel.
If Bernie Sanders and the Democrats have fallen for this bait, they are unfit to represent American foreign policy. They must go.