Thursday, May 23, 2024

Brendan O'Neill: Rewarding fascism

Today’s recognition of the State of Palestine is virtue-signalling at its most dangerous and dumb.

So now we know what it takes to become a state: the murder of Jews. Rape, kill and kidnap Jews and seven months later, the leaders of Ireland, Spain and Norway will recognise your statehood. That’s the lesson of today’s coordinated spectacle of virtue-signalling in Dublin, Madrid and Oslo: pogroms work. The butchery of civilians gets results. Fascism has its rewards. This is ‘diplomacy’ at its most dangerous.

Of course, Irish taoiseach Simon Harris, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez and Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Støre are presenting their pious recognition of Palestine as a stab for peace. This is about helping to ‘create a peaceful future’, said Harris. They’re either delusional or they’re engaging in doublespeak. For the true impact of their imperious intervention will be to exacerbate hostilities. Hamas will feel emboldened. It now knows that a wonderful gift awaits it if it keeps battering Israel: a state of its own. In dangling this dream before Hamas, the three PMs have all but green-lighted its terrorism.

Rarely has virtue-signalling felt so reckless. The PMs are so keen to broadcast their correct-think to the world that they appear not to have given one thought to what the consequences might be of three European nations butting in to a bloody war. Their blindness to everything but their own righteousness was best summed up in the figure of Simon Harris. There he was on the steps of Government Buildings in Dublin sermonising about how this is ‘the right thing to do’ – translation: ‘aren’t I wonderful?’ – without so much as a flicker of concern for the global impact of rewarding an act of apocalyptic violence.

That really is what is happening here. Harris and the others were careful to condemn Hamas’s 7 October pogrom, of course. Harris called it a ‘barbaric massacre’. And yet the fact is that today’s announcements, this vain granting of legitimacy to a Palestinian state, would not be happening had it not been for 7 October. Indeed, Harris expressly linked his recognition of Palestine with the ‘appalling’ and ‘unconscionable’ war in Gaza. Yes, a war started by Hamas. On 7 October. With its carnival of anti-Semitic barbarism, the likes of which the world had not seen since the Holocaust. And there you have it. Want a state? Start a war. Kill some Jews. Job done.

Whatever subjective spin the three PMs put on their heedless act of global virtue-signalling, the objective consequence is the legitimation of Hamas. Indeed, Hamas has warmly welcomed their recognition of Palestine, describing it as ‘an important step towards affirming our right to our land’. I’m not into guilt by association, but seriously – when an army of anti-Semites starts singing your praises, you’ve messed up. Badly.

It was completely predictable that Hamas would interpret the recognition of Palestine as a recognition of Hamas itself. What exactly is this ‘State of Palestine’ that Ireland, Spain and Norway are welcoming into the international fold? There’s the West Bank, semi-governed by the corrupt, collapsing bureaucracy of Fatah. And there’s the Gaza Strip, dominated by the frothing extremists of Hamas. Palestine, sadly, is not a functioning state. And right now it shows no meaningful capacity to become a functioning state. That Hamas and its suicidal cheerleaders among the Western influencer set view today’s support for Palestine as support for Hamas and its war on Israel is the least surprising thing I’ve heard in a long time.

The historical illiteracy of the preening PMs really is something. Taoiseach Harris compared his recognition of Palestine with Ireland’s plea for recognition in 1919. That was when the revolutionary Irish Republic issued a ‘Message to the Free Nations of the World’ asking them to acknowledge its independence from Britain. This is mad. There is no comparison between the historic movement for Irish independence and what’s currently happening in Palestine, with exhausted oligarchs on one side and radical Islamists on the other. Ireland sought to create a free republic – Hamas wants to turn Palestine into an outpost of an unforgiving caliphate in which freedom would be notable by its absence. That Harris cannot distinguish between national liberation and Islamist depravity is chilling. He should listen to Salman Rushdie, who wisely counsels that Hamas-ruled Palestine would be a ‘Taliban-like state’.

Perhaps we should not be surprised by the infantile posturing of the three PMs and their dearth of consideration for what might happen if we further isolate Israel and embolden Hamas. Because in a way, such self-involved moral blindness sums up the entirety of ‘Palestinian solidarity’. So much of the supposedly pro-Palestinian sentiment – in politics, on campuses, on the streets – is fundamentally a displacement activity. Politicians and activists bereft of ideas for how to improve their own societies instead seek sanctuary in the moral glow of Palestinianism. Hence you have a figure like Harris, unpopular, unelected, directionless, devoid of ideas for how to fix Ireland’s housing crisis or its migrant crisis, who can nonetheless feel briefly important and even statesmanlike by standing before the cameras to say: ‘I recognise Palestine.’

This is what ‘Palestine’ has become for the cultural elites of the West: a moral balm, a source of fleeting meaning, a soapbox from which they can grandstand on faraway affairs, having zero vision for closer-to-home affairs. That’s what’s most unforgivable about today’s reckless act of unwitting Hamas emboldenment – that these three leaders seem to value their own 15 minutes of virtue more than the pressing task of bringing peace to the Middle East by bringing to an end the racist army that started the current war.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and blogs regularly on Spiked where this article was sourced.


Anonymous said...

More gaslighting from the wilfully blind who clumsily, but deliberately sidestep the obvious hypocrisy in both their post titles and commentary.

If Brendan wants to talk about moral balm then let’s talk about how the British wanted to sacrifice the Palestinians so they could win WW1.

Let’s talk about how the West sacrificed the Palestinians to absolve their guilt over the Nazis.

Let’s talk about how Germany has and still stands by and watches the Israelis’ genocide of the Palestinian people because of what the horrors they inflicted on the Jewish people in the 1930s and 1940s

I.C. Clairly said...

"So now we know what it takes to become a state: the murder of Jews. Rape, kill and kidnap Jews and seven months later, the leaders of Ireland, Spain and Norway will recognise your statehood. That’s the lesson of today’s coordinated spectacle of virtue-signalling in Dublin, Madrid and Oslo: pogroms work. The butchery of civilians gets results. Fascism has its rewards. This is ‘diplomacy’ at its most dangerous."

Does Brendan realise that Israel was itself founded on murder, terrorism and a progrom of the areas Arab inhabitants?

The nascent Israel invented the kind of modern terrorism that many today designate as an "Islamist" phenomenon. The Arabs have adopted it as their own, mostly because Israel has less need for non-state-actor terrorism: now that it has statehood, Israel can terrorise populations that displease them with a regular state army.

Look up Jewish terror groups such as the Irgun and Lehi, for instance, the bombing of the King David Hotel, the Lavon Affair and many other acts of Jewish terrorism and or subversion and deception. They even assassinated British Minister of State Baron Moyne in 1944.

If Palestine is a state founded in bloodshed, then it's no different than Israel in this regard. The Israelis are just as barbaric, if not more so since they have the technological advantage, as the Arabs are, but they expect to be held to a different standard than the latter because they are Jewish supremacists with a non-universalist, particularist morality.

Anonymous said...

Extremely well written.

Ray S said...

!00% accurate summary of how some of the world respond to atrocities such as those committed in pursuit of genocide by Hamas in Israel.
As you say, Hamas will be emboldened by what is acceptance by some in the west.
Suddenly their actions against Israel have become legitimate.

Like many other similar events around the world, the MSM plays a significant part in how people respond to similar events. Show death and destruction with a suitable narrative and the response you want is almost guaranteed.

In the case of Israel, we have seen almost nothing of events there, not even images of rocket attacks from neighboring countries.

Those who have stated acceptance of a state of Palestine and by default, acceptance of Hamas, will denounce their view when emigration from Palestine and the associated problems arrive at their doorstep.

Rob Beechey said...

My goodness Brendan, you run the risk of alienating yourself from our very own virtue signaller, Chloe Swarbrick, representing the watermelon party. This party attracts misfits and criminals, holds no sway in parliament but chants the provocative Palestinian call “From the River to the Sea” erasing the State of Israel and its people and obviously feels that the “Carnival anti-Semitic barbarism” was justified on the 7th Oct.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

The label 'fascist' is being used very sloppily here (as it often is in these annals). This writer appears to equate it with savagery and 'butchery'. Fascism is actually a system of governance based on nationalism (hence national socialism) and a strict rule of law which has little tolerance for dissent. With regard to the latter, Western societies under the thumb of the woke elite qualify for the label more than the Palestinian quasi-state. That's why I call the PC mob 'marxofascists'.

Anonymous said...

Complex situation, so my thoughts are simple here.
Hamas attacks Israel.
Hamas hides amongst Palestinian people.
Palestinian people must understand that Israel are going to retaliate .
Surely it's in the Palestinian community interests to out Hamas especially as they are using Palestinians as human shields.
So both sides should work together to rid terrorists..... oh wait that's where my theory falls together.

Tom Logan said...

Recently Iran fired 320 missiles into Israel which were intended to cause the the worst massacre of civilians in a single day in history.

So all those who see so clearly will just ignore that. Better luck next time eh? Why the total disinterest that Iran intended the death of possibly hundreds of thousands of Israeli's?

And why the disinterest when it's muslims killing muslims ?

Remember the Halabja masacre. Those with silly little Chloe singing the Hamas war chant haven't even heard of it. Sadam Hussein killed 5500 Kurds with poison gas in Halabja in one afternoon.

Riots in Albert Park, not likely. That's reserved for really important things, like Posy Parker.

Or Bashar al-Assad who massacred between 550,000 and 750,000 of his own citizens in Syria recently.

Singalongs with Chloe at the top of Queen Street, riots in Albert Park. Nope not a peep out of any of them.

So when it's muslim versus muslim it's not our business, not our concern.

And when it's muslims in Central Africa massacring non muslim that doesn't seem to concern us too much either.

So if it's muslims killing anybody that's ok, it's none of our business. But if it's Israel defending itself, that's not ok.

And we haven't heard Hamas renounce their genocidal intent. We haven't heard one Arabic state demand that.

So as far as those who see so clearly believe the Israelis just have to sit there and wait for the next Hamas hordes to come over the border, or wait for the next 320 Iranian missiles .

What will those who see so clearly do then, party time at Albert Park, and a sing along with Chloe ? What will the Greenies and the Maori Party wear to Parliament the next time ? A full bhurka to hide their shame ?

Barend Vlaardingerbroek said...

Tom, the civil war in Syria involves many domestic and external actors including charmers like the al-Nusra Front, ISIS and al-Qaeda. There is no way Bashar al-Asad can be blamed for the many deaths (official estimate is around 620,000) as most have not been at the hands of the Syrian armed forces, and where the Syrian armed forces have taken lives, those have mostly been insurgent lives. What I can say with a high level of certainty is that the death toll would be much greater had the West done a Khaddafi on al-Asad, thereby seeing Syria become another Libya, only much worse, with far greater knock-on effects in neighbouring countries.