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Editorial | Defending the indefensible: No room for ‘bothsides-ism’ in Hamas attack on Israel

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Israel finds itself amid war once again following the sudden and dastardly attack by the terrorist group Hamas near the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Israelis have been killed, and dozens more have been taken hostage in the surprise assault.

The scenes coming out of the region are absolutely horrific. Death and destruction are everywhere, but the most troubling images are those of terrified Israelis being held hostage in the hands of often jubilant captors.

Nothing can possibly justify this behavior.

Here in New York, the condemnation for Hamas’ attack on Israel has been near-universal. Democrats and Republicans are rightly outraged “in the strongest possible terms” over the assault, and have pledged their support to Israel in their hour of need. 

Yet there remains an influential group in New York politics, the Democratic Socialists of America, that either don’t seem to understand — or are willfully ignoring — the reality of the situation.

The New York City chapter of the DSA reposted on X (the platform known as Twitter) on Saturday night, the same day that Hamas’ assault on Israel began, their support for a pro-Palestine protest in Manhattan on Sunday.

“In solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to resist 75 years of occupation and apartheid,” the NYC DSA posted on X. They were quickly “ratioed” — a term used to describe posts which garner more negative replies than positive likes or reposts, and for good reason.

The post alone from the NYC DSA was anti-Israel. To suggest that Israel’s existence amounts to “75 years of occupation and apartheid,” hours after it was deliberately attacked, also smacks of serious antisemitism and utter ignorance of world history. Whoever made that post should be held accountable, and fired.

The NYC DSA boasts such members as Congress Members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, and numerous other local City Council members, Assembly members and state Senators.

Following Hamas’ attack, AOC, Bowman and other DSA-affiliated lawmakers have individually condemned the violence, which is good. It’s important that they, along with other public officials, take such a stand in this time of trial.

But they must also publicly condemn the DSA for continuing to push an anti-Israel narrative based on hatred and discrimination, not an understanding of facts. If they won’t do that, they should be held accountable by the voters next election.

Hamas’ actions have set back the cause of peace years, perhaps decades — killing Israelis and prolonging the suffering of the Palestinians whom the DSA pledges to support. 

Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing, or when they find a way to defend the indefensible.

The DSA should know better, and they should join their mainstream colleagues in defending Israel, rather than continuing to prop up an anti-Israel narrative.

We close with the wise words of Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel in his 1986 acceptance speech, words that ring true today: “Human rights are being violated on every continent. More people are oppressed than free. And then, too, there are the Palestinians to whose plight I am sensitive but whose methods I deplore. Violence and terrorism are not the answer. Something must be done about their suffering, and soon. I trust Israel, for I have faith in the Jewish people. Let Israel be given a chance, let hatred and danger be removed from her horizons, and there will be peace in and around the Holy Land.” 

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