‘The left has become Hamas’s useful idiots’

Jake Wallis Simons on the hypocrisy and ignorance of ‘pro-Palestine’ progressives.


Topics Identity Politics UK World

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Ever since Hamas’s 7 October pogrom, Western cities have been overwhelmed by anti-Israel protests on a near-weekly basis. These demos have, without fail, descended into carnivals of anti-Semitism. Yet the self-styled anti-racists on the progressive left have remained silent about this Jew hatred. Many of them have marched side by side with Islamist anti-Semites. Many of them have made openly anti-Semitic comments themselves. How did we get here? Can the left ever recover from this staggering moral lapse?

Jake Wallis Simons – editor of the Jewish Chronicle – returned to The Brendan O’Neill Show to discuss the new anti-Semitism and much more. What follows is an edited extract from their conversation. Listen to the full episode here.

Brendan O’Neill: What do you think the so-called pro-Palestine marches tell us about people’s views after the 7 October pogrom?

Jake Wallis Simons: It tells us a lot about what we should be afraid of in Britain. The skeleton of the marches, in particular, was very interesting. In October, we published a story in the Jewish Chronicle where we exposed the fact that four out of the six groups heading the marches had leaders with strong and explicit connections to Hamas. These people had gone to Gaza and met with Hamas leadership. They were fairly open about it, too.

Up and down the country you have also had radical preachers in mosques openly arguing from the pulpit in support of Hamas. It is a crime in Britain to support Hamas, which is a proscribed terrorist organisation. Yet these preachers were openly flouting the law, filming their preachings and putting them up on X. And the police are still doing the square root of bugger all about it. In fact, Scotland Yard has instead been investigating Israeli war crimes in Gaza. They’ve been putting up signs asking any witnesses to please come forward so that the police can investigate said crimes. This is the same police force that has for decades failed to enforce the law by arresting jihadists.

This has been particularly clear during the marches, where many of the protesters have been incredibly intimidating. Early on, there was an attack on a brave Iranian activist who was flying an Israeli flag at one of the marches. He was pursued and threatened with beheading. The police managed to protect him, but one of his aggressors was found to be carrying a knife. These are the kinds of people attending the marches.

And then there’s the outer-corona of useful idiots, almost exclusively from the political left. These are people who probably know very little about the particulars of the conflict. Various videos have exposed that. Students in the US, for example, were asked which sea was being referred to in the chant, ‘From the river to the sea’. Answers varied from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

In another example, protesters were asked on video about how they felt when Hamas launched their attack on 7 October. And their response was: ‘When Hamas did what?’ These are people who see heartbreaking images of Palestinian suffering on TV and think that the Jews must be to blame.

O’Neill: Why has apologism for Hamas been so common on the political left?

Wallis Simons: When it comes to the bigger picture, it’s all part of a movement that’s undermining Britain from within. The Palestinian protesters don’t just protest about Palestine, after all. The hardcore among them also protest in favour of Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil. They belong to a ‘progressive’ worldview that’s antithetical towards the values of liberalism, tolerance and free speech that most people in Britain share, and on which our society is built. Fundamentally, this isn’t just about Jews – they are simply the first in the firing line. The trajectory is to take down Western liberal society. And that’s what the pro-Palestine movement has functioned as recently. It’s acted as the tip of the spear for a movement that’s coming for us from within.

The much bigger problem is that British society does not believe in itself. We’ve been telling ourselves for years that we’re endemically racist and that we have an awful, violent history. We’ve lost confidence in our own values. As a result, we’re allowing ourselves to be overrun – ideologically speaking – by people who have no such hesitation about what they think. In the future, this will make us extremely vulnerable to attacks by jihadis and authoritarian regimes that can easily exploit our social malaise. That’s where I fear this may be heading.

Jake Wallis Simons was talking to Brendan O’Neill on The Brendan O’Neill Show. Listen to the full conversation here:

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Topics Identity Politics UK World


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