Are You Ready For 'By Any Means Necessary'?

Mark Birbeck writes that there is a dangerous consequence to handing the moral compass to Hamas; it provides a conduit for justifying terrorism on the streets of Europe.

Are You Ready For 'By Any Means Necessary'?

In the two months since 7.10, we've seen many approaches to justifying the pogrom.

Some, like Piers Corbyn simply deny it ever happened.

Others accept that some things happened, but we can't be sure that everything happened. Into this camp falls chief #shitweasle himself, Owen Jones (see I Watched the Hamas Massacre Film. Here Are My Thoughts.), plus the myriad Sky and BBC journalists who chip away at the veracity of pretty much everything. (Step forward Jeremy Bowen for example, with his infamous 'flattened hospital' incident, or the BBC assertion that the IDF were about to target Arabic speakers and medics.)

But whilst the crackpots and the national media are concerning, the biggest problem comes from those who think that 7.10 probably did happen, but that it's only to be expected, given the Gazan experience.

This is a deeply dangerous view, since it manifests a collapse of moral judgement.

By Any Means Necessary?

The assertion goes something like this: since Gazans are living in a concentration camp, or under apartheid, or are experiencing genocide, then anything they do in response is justified. They can fight in whatever way they want, using 'any means necessary'; rape, torture, murder, kidnap--whether soldiers or civilians... everything is justified.

This is an abdication of morality because it means Hamas now sets the moral compass of the West, determining how we judge actions in the Middle East. Whether Hamas kidnaps pensioners or babies, or rapes and murders young women, or kills families in their beds–anything, no matter how barbarous, can be justified when the actor says it is to 'free Palestine'. And by abdicating the right to judge, we have no choice but to accept it.

Intifada in Europe

But for those who think they are safely distanced from the battles in the Middle East, there is a far more dangerous consequence to being morally indifferent. Handing the moral compass to Hamas provides a conduit for justifying terrorism on the streets of Europe.

When Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab shouted "Allahu Akbar" next to the Eiffel Tower on Saturday, after killing one tourist and injuring two more, he explained his actions as a result of 'anguish' at deaths in Gaza.

And no-one who supports 'by any means necessary' can disagree.

If Hamas is the arbiter of what is right, then those who are marching and protesting and boycotting and ripping down posters in capitals across the globe are in no position to oppose Armand. In the moral vacuum, his claim to be avenging Gazan deaths on the streets of Paris is just another example of a justified means.

Key to challenging anti-Semitism is to force our young, our radicals, our progressives to confront the fact that nothing justifies the pogrom of 7.10. To recalibrate their moral compasses we must continually draw attention to the barbarity of 7.10. We must explain that without moral certainty, this ground zero, they will be in no position to judge anything, least of all when more like Armand show their 'anguish' on the streets of Europe. And next time it could be their friends or family who are the victims.