This is the article that appeared in the October 2023 edition of Catalyst, our monthly journal. The date that prints out reflects the day that it was uploaded to our website. For a more accurate date of when the article was first published, check out the news release, here.
Liberal Protestant denominations tried to draw comparisons between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Others went further. Bishop Patricia Davenport of the Lutheran Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod said, “What we are experiencing is in part because of years of abuse, including mortal killing, perpetrated by the Israeli governmental forces upon the Palestinians….We continue to stand firm with our Palestinian sisters and brothers.” Meanwhile, Churches for Middle East Peace, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ, “is concerned that Israel’s response is disproportionate….”
The United States Council of Muslim Organizations, the nation’s largest American Muslim civil society umbrella organization, reaffirmed its “unwavering support for the Palestinian people and their right to freedom from the Israeli occupation,” and called the IDF’s response “unprovoked.” Notably, the Council on American Islamic Relations joined this statement.
Several extremist Jewish groups also rallied around Hamas’ banner. On October 18, Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow stormed the Cannon House Office Building demanding lawmakers force Israel to accept a ceasefire with the jihadists. Both are George Soros funded. Additionally, Neturei Karta (Jews Against Zionism), an ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization opposed to Israel, said, “The only responsibility for the dead Jews and Muslims is the racist and usurper government of the Zionist state of Israel.”
As journalist Bari Weiss notes, colleges and universities across the country saw students and faculty demonstrate support for Hamas. At Harvard, over 30 student groups rallied to the side of the jihadists, and hundreds of students staged a “die-in” to demand an end to Israel’s defensive actions in Gaza. A Cornell University student threatened to “shoot up” locations on campus that catered to Jewish students and to “slit the throat[s]” of Jewish men, rape Jewish women, and behead Jewish babies. Jewish students were told to be on alert because the threat was deemed credible. The student was arrested before he could act.
Black Lives Matter Chicago shared a meme on Twitter depicting one of the Hamas Jihadists paragliding into Israel before their murderous attack and captioned it with “I stand with Palestine.”
On October 13, Hamas called for a day of rage, and many Western leftists readily joined the frenzy. The Philadelphia rally was particularly vile: one of the speakers told the crowd to “give an applause right now to Hamas for a job well done.” Also in New York, the Democratic Socialists of America held a rally to show “solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to resist,” claiming the Hamas attack was “not unprovoked.”
On October 30, the Southern Poverty Law Center put out a statement claiming that the tragedy of Hamas’ attack on Israel “has only continued as Palestinian civilians in Gaza—many of whom are children—have been targeted with airstrikes and cut off from food, clean water, medical care and lifesaving supplies.” The next day, it changed the word “targeted” to “killed” after public outrage.
A letter signed by more than 2,000 actors, artists, and musicians decried support for Israel saying, “Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them….We demand that our governments end their military and political support for Israel’s actions. We call for an immediate ceasefire….”
Comedian Dave Chappelle criticized the IDF for “war crimes in Gaza.” While he initially condemned Hamas’ attack, when audience members complained about his characterization of the IDF’s military campaign against Hamas, Chappelle denounced Israel for cutting off supplies to Gaza. He further lamented that college students were facing consequences for their vocal support of the Islamic terrorist organization.
By far the worst of the media was the New York Times. On October 10, the newspaper removed reference to “terrorists” in its headline on Hamas’ attack, preferring the word “gunmen.” Similarly, when Hamas falsely claimed that the IDF bombed a hospital in Gaza, the Times ran with the story. It was not until the following week that it noted it had failed to verify the story.
The Spanish edition of the Huffington Post ran an op-ed by Pepe Vera that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and likened the situation of Palestinians to Holocaust victims.
Workers United, the union which represents nearly 9,000 Starbucks baristas, showed its support for Hamas when it tweeted “Solidarity with Palestine!” in the immediate wake of Hamas’ murderous rampage through Israel.
The Squad, long known for its support of leftist causes, was squarely on the side of Palestine. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-D) was the most outspoken of them all. When Hamas falsely claimed that the IDF bombed a hospital in Gaza, Tlaib repeated the story. Even after American intelligence and photographic evidence confirmed that the hospital was hit by a stray rocket launched by a Palestinian group, Tlaib continued to push Hamas’ false narrative.