April 10, 2024
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J’Accuse: An Open Letter to Hamas Apologists

Those of you who know me recognize that my recent post about my experiences in Israel at the outbreak of the war (https://tinyurl.com/5xyc24f6) was my first ever on any social media. As we are taught by Ecclesiastes 3:7, “There is a time to keep silent, and a time to speak.” Now is a time to scream.

The blood was not yet dry from the wholesale slaughter of 1,400 Israelis, and the chorus of condemnation of Israel, the victim, began from all corners of the globe. I suspect that this reflects the discomfort that Jews suddenly dare respond to the cold-blooded killing of our people. Through so much of history—the Crusades, the Inquisition, the pogroms, the Holocaust—Jews were expected to just take it. Pack our bags, hang our heads, and move on to the next temporary home.

But now, suddenly those same Jews are responding—we have a voice and we have force. The brave soldiers of the IDF will deliver the military response. But each of us have to raise our voices in response to the rank antisemitism exposed by this war.

Until now, cowards excused their hate by telling us that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism, a macabre twist on the “Zionism is racism” resolution from the moral midgets at the United Nations. That jig is up. You only have to look at the photographs of a Norwegian medical student and a New York City public school student proudly holding up a sign saying “Please Keep the World Clean” calling for the extermination of Jews or the crowds chanting “Gas the Jews” outside the Sydney Opera House to expose the lie.

For those not familiar with the allusion in the title of this post, it refers to the famous open letter published in 1898 by Emile Zola on the front page of the newspaper L’Aurore in the wake of the Dreyfus affair. It was addressed to the French president, accusing his government and army of antisemitism for the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer, on false charges of espionage. With all due respect to Zola, I borrow his catchphrase and style to publicly challenge the moral bankruptcy of the full panoply of Hamas apologists:

I ACCUSE the administrations of many of the nation’s leading academic institutions, including Harvard, Columbia, Penn, NYU, Cornell and Cooper Union, among many others, unwilling to condemn the massacre without equivocation or to loudly condemn the multitude of campus displays of antisemitism of abject cowardice, having surrendered their moral compass and carving a place for themselves in the pantheon of dishonorable academic leaders alongside those of the University of Heidelberg (circa 1930) and the University of Alabama (circa 1963).

I ACCUSE those college personnel and government officials who tell frightened Jews to lock themselves in their homes or college libraries while standing by as pro-Hamas protesters violently riot and threaten the safety of those Jews of having a twisted notion of their obligations to protect free speech, and exhibiting an immoral inability to distinguish between their duties to victims and to perpetrators.

I ACCUSE those claiming that their free speech is being infringed when the odd university or employer actually seeks to limit antisemitic comments or chants to kill Jews of hypocrisy because they had no issue forcing universities to cancel, or otherwise violently disrupting, speakers who had the audacity to be a Republican or a capitalist.

I ACCUSE those complaining about “cancel culture” coming for the likes of a professor “exhilarated” by the Hamas massacre of forgetting that they had no issue inventing the practice of canceling academics for failing to pledge allegiance to their list of preferred orthodoxies.

I ACCUSE those complaining about the doxing of students and employees celebrating the slaughter of 1,400 Israelis of forgetting that freedom of speech means only that—freedom to say what you want—but not freedom from the consequences of your speech.

I ACCUSE those leaders—academic, business or otherwise—who refuse to condemn the Hamas massacre by claiming that it is not their place to comment on external affairs of forgetting their full-throated and justified condemnation of the George Floyd murder, anti-Asian violence and the invasion of Ukraine.

I ACCUSE the now-proliferating “both siders,” including the Secretary General of the United Nations, who insist that any condemnation of the Hamas slaughter has to be tempered by understanding the “context,” of making common cause with their archvillain Donald Trump and his seeing “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville protest.

I ACCUSE the world media, who could barely constrain their joy in publishing the blood libel of Israeli airstrikes killing 500-plus civilians at the Gazan hospital, only to be disproved by inconvenient facts, of malpractice of the highest order, relying for their “facts” on the Hamas Ministry of Health.

I ACCUSE the “Squad” and other politicians calling for a cease-fire practically before the Hamas terrorists had finished spiriting their hostages into Gaza of actually being the simple antisemites they risibly claim not to be each time they tweet some antisemitic trope that they later attribute to their having misunderstood the canard. (Remember their tweets like “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” and “Israel has hypnotized the world”?)

I ACCUSE those criticizing Israel because its response is not “proportionate” of failing to explain what would be proportionate to the rape of women, decapitation of babies in front of their parents, seizing of elderly and toddler hostages, burning alive of families, and parading naked victims through the streets of Gaza while throbbing crowds of civilians cheer and sexually assault the corpse.

I ACCUSE all those screaming at Israel that it must immediately agree to a cease-fire who never once mention Hamas freeing over 200 hostages of having a deeply perverted sense of justice that aligns well with Abraham Lincoln’s definition of a hypocrite as “the man who murdered his parents, and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan.”

I ACCUSE those charging Israel of war crimes for withholding fuel from Gaza and thereby causing its health system to collapse of failing to wonder where Hamas gets the fuel to still fire daily volleys of rockets on Israeli cities.

I ACCUSE those charging that Israel not supplying water to Gaza is a war crime of failing to watch the Hamas terrorists’ own propaganda videos trumpeting their ingenuity of sabotaging the Gazan water system by cannibalizing pipes to manufacture missiles.

I ACCUSE those who justify Hamas’ massacre based on the displacement of Palestinians upon the creation of the State of Israel of eliding the subsequent culture of dependency and victimhood fostered by their Arab neighbors and the United Nations and of willfully ignoring the expulsion of roughly one million Jews from Arab countries in the aftermath of 1948.

I ACCUSE the LGBTQ+ activists marching under the “Queers for Palestine” banner of a decided lack of self-interest and self-preservation—they side with Hamas, which prescribes capital punishment for gays and opposes Israel, a mecca of gay tolerance.

I ACCUSE the self-styled feminists siding with Hamas of being phonies—they support Hamas fighters seen on video selecting which Israeli female hostages should be set aside for rape as opposed to mere imprisonment or execution and a Gazan society where honor killings of daughters are rampant, and oppose Israelm where an all-female battalion helped repel the Hamas terrorists and where a woman served as prime minister more than 50 years ago.

I ACCUSE the abortion supporters marching under the “Reproductive Justice for Gaza” banners of perhaps misunderstanding that the Hamas terrorist who cut a fetus out of a pregnant woman’s body and shot the fetus was not expressing his support for late-term abortion but was simply murdering another Jew, and forgetting that abortion is illegal in Gaza (and every other Muslim country) while being legal in Israel, even having recently been loosened in direct response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

I ACCUSE the Black Lives Matter leaders publishing celebratory posters of Hamas paragliders of losing themselves in their own slogan and forgetting that Jewish lives matter, too.

I ACCUSE Greta Thunberg and her band of climate warriors holding signs supporting Hamas of being insufficiently understanding that Israel was forced to temporarily use non-recyclable plastic body bags for the dozens of babies murdered and decapitated by Hamas because not enough properly-sized coffins were available.

I ACCUSE those gleefully chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” as if it is a harmless protest rhyme of conveniently ignoring that it skips over the two-state solution and seeks to complete Hitler’s Final Solution as a hardly-concealed code for eliminating Jews from Israel.

While the scale of antisemitism and moral bankruptcy on display in the aftermath of the massacre has been breathtaking, I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight support and moral rectitude from various quarters. Not to exclude any others, we need to recognize and offer deep thanks for the unwavering support and leadership of President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, Defense Secretary Austin and many others in the administration and congress; Prime Minister Sunak, President Macron, Chancellor Scholz, Mayor Eric Adams, college leaders ranging from Ben Sasse (University of Florida) to Rochelle Ford (Dillard University, a Louisiana HBCU), and corporate leaders like Pfizer, Google and Hewlett-Packard.

To conclude, I will come back to the words of Ecclesiastes (and a Byrds song). King Solomon tells us that while there is a time for love and a time for peace, equally there is a time for hate and a time for war. The time now is to hate Hamas for their barbaric crimes and to wage war to eliminate them. And while we deeply mourn the unfathomable loss of life in Gaza, we lay blame where it belongs—in the immortal words of Golda Meir, “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”


Daniel Wolf is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he focuses on mergers and acquisitions, representing public and private companies, as well as private equity firms, in a variety of domestic and international transactions. In 2021, he was recognized by International Financial Law Review as the U.S. Lawyer of the Year for M&A. He was named “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer in 2020 and by the annual Deal Awards in 2019.

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