The Socialist International Turns against Israel

Last month, the Socialist International (SI)—a large and once highly respected coalition of left-wing parties—issued a declaration calling on its members to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. Israel’s Labor party, a long-time member, responded by quitting the SI. Elliott Abrams comments:

Once upon a time, the Socialist International was an extraordinary organization. Founded in 1951 as a successor to various prior socialist groups, it was staunchly democratic and anti-Communist, and played an important role during the cold war. Members included such luminaries as Felipe Gonzalez of Spain and Mario Soares of Portugal, and the SI helped them and their socialist parties re-establish their countries as democracies. The SI included people like [West Germany’s socialist and anti-Communist chancellor] Willy Brandt and Golda Meir. Those were the good old days. . . .

The declaration denounces Israel’s actions on the Israel-Gaza border without one single word of comment, much less condemnation, of Hamas. . . . It [also] “reaffirms its commitment…to bringing a complete end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian state that started in 1967.” Now that’s an interesting formulation, because there was no Palestinian state for Israel to occupy in 1967—just territory governed by Jordan and Egypt.

The SI has a long history and will continue in existence, doing good work and bad. But it is sad to see what was once a staunch defender of democracy and human rights collapsing into allowing non-democratic parties to [join] and into using the usual leftist canards. . . .

I note that while Israel’s Labor party is no longer an SI member, guess which party in that region is? Fatah—Yasir Arafat’s old party, now led by Mahmoud Abbas. Fatah, whose leadership has never been chosen democratically and which rules the West Bank without elections, free speech, or freedom of the press.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Anti-Zionism, Communism, Fatah, Golda Meir, Israel & Zionism, Labor Party, Socialism

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict