Barbaric attacks by Hamas undermine sparse support for Palestinians

 The Washington Times  Monday, October 9, 2023

The savage attacks and atrocities by Hamas against Israelis have drastically weakened any support in the U.S. for the Palestinian cause, analysts and lawmakers said.

The parading of victims’ corpses and slaughter of unarmed Israeli families, much of the carnage shown on social media, make it virtually impossible for the U.S. to provide further support for Palestinians, who are governed by Hamas in Gaza. Even before the attacks, the State Department labeled Hamas as a terrorist group.

Hamas has “sorely miscalculated” the impact of its attacks, said Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

“Few will pay any more attention to the Squads of the world, or the radical Jew-haters of the Western Left, or the Democratic-Socialists of America who cheered on the killing,” Mr. Hanson wrote in an op-ed online. “They are now revealed on the side of death for death’s sake and cannot be reasoned with.”

Nikki Haley, a Republican presidential candidate and former ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. must immediately “end American taxpayer support for all Palestinian entities or United Nations-backed entities that side with Hamas or fail to denounce antisemitic activity,” among other steps.

Israel needs our help in this battle of good vs. evil,” she posted on social media.

In April 2021, the Biden administration approved $235 million in aid to Palestinians, including $150 million in humanitarian assistance for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and $75 million in economic and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza. It was a reversal from the Trump administration, which cut nearly all aid to Palestinians.

Mr. Hanson said the Biden administration renewed the aid despite the commitments of Palestinians and Hamas “to the destruction of Israel and the mass killing of Jews — and regardless of the warnings of its own State Department.”

“That too will change, as there will soon be zero American support for giving one more cent to any Palestinian ‘organization,’” he wrote.

Danielle Pletka, a defense and foreign policy specialist at the American Enterprise Institute, said the killings and other violence carried out by Hamas will almost certainly impact U.S. policy.

“It’s almost inconceivable to me that there wouldn’t at least be a pause in the shipment of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinians,” she told The Washington Times. “Then again, this is the Biden administration, so who the hell knows.”

As for dampening the support in the U.S. for the Palestinian “cause” — generally for creating a Palestinian state — Ms. Pletka was less optimistic.

“I suspect there is nothing that will dampen the ardor of the American left for it. Nothing,” she said.

As if to underscore her point, more than 30 Harvard University student organizations released a joint statement saying that the “Israeli regime [is] entirely responsible” for the surprise attack by Hamas that killed hundreds of Israelis.

The letter, titled “Joint Statement by Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups on the Situation in Palestine,” was signed by 31 university clubs, including the school’s Amnesty International affiliate, Harvard Jews for Liberation and the Harvard Islamic Society.

“We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” the letter read. “Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum. For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison.”

The student organization’s letter said the “apartheid regime is the only one to blame.”

“Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years. From systematized land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden,” the letter continued.

They wrote, “Today, Palestinian ordeal enters into uncharted territory,” and they called on the Harvard community to “take action to stop the ongoing annihilation of Palestinians.”

The letter and Harvard’s silence about it was quickly met with sharp criticism, including from Harvard alumni.

Economist Lawrence H. Summers, who served as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and National Economic Council director in the Obama administration, wrote on X: “The silence from Harvard’s leadership, so far, coupled with a vocal and widely reported student groups’ statement blaming Israel solely, has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel.

“Instead, Harvard is being defined by the morally unconscionable statement apparently coming from two dozen student groups blaming all the violence on Israel,” said Mr. Summers, a past president of Harvard. “I am sickened. I cannot fathom the Administration’s failure to disassociate the University and condemn this statement.”

Advocates for the Palestinians in Congress, including Democrats in the far-left “Squad,” were vocal minorities before the war began this weekend. Those lawmakers, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, will likely find themselves increasingly sidelined in light of the horrific violence carried out by Hamas.

“To the Squad, shut the hell up,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said Monday on Fox News. “You’re emboldening the enemy. You’re a disgrace to the United States Congress. You’re siding with terrorists over a democracy called Israel. You have lost your perspective here. I’m confident most Democrats do not agree with the Squad.”

The rhetoric from some Democrats is taking on an almost apocalyptic tone toward Hamas.

Rep. Dan Goldman, a New York Democrat who was with his family in Tel Aviv when the attacks began, said Congress and the U.S. must “stand with Israel against this barbaric terrorism.”

“That is what it was. It is as bad or worse than ISIS, al Qaeda,” he said.

Germany and Austria said they would suspend bilateral development aid to Palestinians. The European Union denied a report that it, too, was suspending aid.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at

• Mallory Wilson can be reached at

October 10, 2023 | Comments »

Leave a Reply