It used to be said that one could judge a man by the company he kept. If that is so then the Prime Minister of Israel is possibly delusional for there is no doubt that the extreme religious parties who support his government are definitely delusional.
But no matter how much of a fruitcake he may be, there is one thing for certain, life under his government would be infinitely preferable to life under the religious fundamentalists who are the current cause celebre for the so-called progressives who now go around in marches chanting such slogans as, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.’
Were I an Israeli Jew, I would feel a justifiable sense of alarm at the current situation. Undeniably, Netanyahu’s government has been guilty of crimes against the Palestinian population and has repeatedly contravened the conventions governing the waging of war, but would anyone who walks in the marches really wish to live in a state controlled by Hamas?
Perhaps analogous to the pro-Palestine/anti-Israel marches were the marches against the Vietnam war in the 1960s. The sort of ‘progressives’ who now chant slogans for Jews to be driven into the sea would have found their parallel in the people who chanted in support of Ho Chi Minh in former times. One need know little about Twentieth Century history to know what calamity befell Vietnam, the image of people trying to board a helicopter on the last flight from Saigon remains a warning that people should be careful about that for which they wish.
The usual participants attended the march in Dublin today, Trotskyites, populists, social democrats wanting to be seen as part of the latest fashionable cause. Undoubtedly, there would also have been people from the extreme right who deny the holocaust and repeat the ancient slurs against the Jews.
There is an irony in the fact that those who march in support of Hamas would be allowed no such freedom of thought if they were living under the rule of Hamas. Look at Hamas’ record on human rights, look at their record of tolerance, it is a vile regime.
Netanyahu can be removed. A new and better government is possible. Elections can bring change and progress. Democracy, however flawed, allows the hope of something different.
The last election the Palestinians of Gaza were allowed was in 2006. They have had seventeen years of rule by a regime that has no wish for peace.