by PAUL COLLITS – THE frightening trajectory of events in the Middle East has confirmed an initial suspicion that Hamas has triggered a conflagration that might very well end up in World War III.
If deliberate on the part of Hamas – and how could they not realise what was going to happen next, after the October 7 terrorist mayhem? – then the characterisation of Hamas as a modern-day cult rings even more true now.
Just like Charles Manson – only more measured, strategic and successful.
An even better comparator might be James Earl Ray, the convicted Martin Luther King Jr assassin, who perhaps had the very same intention as Manson – and Hamas. Commit murder to ignite a war.
Hamas has committed murder. And they have ignited a war.
Global emotions right now are sky high. Old and new ideological divisions are emerging. Not even the anti-COVID State partisans have been spared.
Don’t call them “conservatives”, for at least some of those who formed the core of the COVID resistance were by no means conservative – nor Right wing in any sense of this term.
They were simply truth tellers, libertarians, anti-corporatists and haters of totalitarianism who left their ideological dispositions at the door and joined hands in solidarity with others who hated what was being done in the name of public health.
There were many conservatives, both in office and not, who did not join hands and enter that room.
Many of these were in London this week, joining the conservative great and good in another room. A room where COVID barely rated a mention.
A room where COVID thugs like Michael Gove were given a platform. Where Scott Morrison and his NSW mate, Dominic Perrottet (remember him?) were networking among friends.
This was the same ex-NSW Premier who, in late 2021, stopped many of us from entering shopping centres.
Who acquiesced in lockdowns and army supervision of citizens. Who buddied up with minister-colleagues driving the digital surveillance society.
No, many previous fellow liberal travellers either held fire from 2020-22 or simply joined the pandemic scaremongers.
Tony Abbott spoke recently of the climate cult. As well he might. It is a cult, and dangerous to boot.
Very sadly, though, he’s still to call out the even bigger and far more deadly cult of the invented virus and its globalist drivers.
In doing so, pro-vaccine “conservatives” became instant enemies of those of us who, unlike them, recognised exactly what was going on. And what it meant.
Rule by the unelected. Executive overreach. The trashing of liberal democracy. Memory-holing serious crimes. Buddying up to thugs like Daniel Andrews.
Just like with every single battle against creeping socialism since the 1970s, they squibbed.
Every new battlement taken by the progressive class over two generations has, meekly, been left unattended by those who now, bravely, call for a new jihad against the Left.
On the other hand, some old-time Leftists joined the freedom movement. Four well-known exemplars will suffice – Naomi Wolf, CJ Hopkins, Robin Monotti and Mark Crispin Miller.
These unexpected paragons of freedom, our new allies, trod where many conservatives would not and did not.
Other conservatives, like James Delingpole and (of late) Mark Steyn, haven’t just noticed the COVID timidity on the Right, but have gone full throttle against their former ideological soul-mates.
In Delingpole’s case, think Toby Young. In Steyn’s, think GB News management and former journalist colleagues.
Delingpole described the good people at the London conference of the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) as not just establishment insiders but as “controlled opposition”.
No doubt, many at the conference would label Delingpole (and possibly me) as cookers. Of course, one of the stars in London was Sir Paul Marshall, a shareholder in GB News.
Moreover, the anti-totalitarians have taken on new enemies, like facial recognition technology, online “safety” legislation (the 1984 bills), the World Health Organisation and, above all, digital ID laws.
These dissidents, more than establishment conservatives ever did, have grasped the core messages of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. These outsiders have seen the connections, have seen the way the world is run, they’ve joined the dots and have chosen active resistance.
Their theorists, like Tucker Carlson – yes, he is a scholar journalist – Sohrab Ahmari and Patrick Deneen have recognised liberalism’s inner totalitarian demons and have seen, above all, that private institutions as well as the State can be totalitarian too. And the two of them can work together to screw you over.
Some establishment conservatives actually drive some of the above-mentioned agenda.
What has all of this to do with Hamas and the coming Middle East conflagration?
Well, the new war in the Holy Land has caused substantial rifts in the outsider class. There has been a reversion among the anti-COVID Leftists, for example.
Old Leftists are traditionally pro-Palestinian, for whatever reason. Scratch one and, mostly, you will find an anti-Zionist, perhaps an anti-Semite. They believe, without evidence but with much conviction, that Israel is a colonial power.
And we know what Leftists think of colonialism. The mildest version of this is the “faults on both sides” brigade, of whom The Australian newspaper’s Janet Albrechtsen might now be taken to be one.
There are also those who might well be pro-Israeli, but who fear military escalation and who believe an all-out attack on Hamas might not, ultimately, be in Israel’s interests – let alone anyone else’s.
The anti-war, anti-globalist types highlight the endless cheering for wars by the military industrial complex – not just the neocon policymakers – and fear the consequences of another war on terror, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Gaza in danger of repeating the strategic errors of Bush 43. Or of Johnson, Nixon and Kissinger in Vietnam.
Some elements of the freedom movement go much further than non-aligned pacificism and “faults on all sides”. They are blatantly anti-Israel.
Hence, in the shadow of the latest war, Norman Fenton and Karen Harradine at the UK’s The Conservative Woman (TWC), have called out elements of the freedom movement (aka COVID dissidents) for their anti-Semitism.
Those at the conspiracy theory end of the freedom movement spectrum, like UK author David Icke, come in for particular mention.
There is certainly some crossover between the extreme anti-globalist elements of the freedom movement and anti-Semitism. Barely concealed. Jewish bankers and all that. This can also be witnessed, at times, in Australia (see cairnsnews.org).
There is little doubt that Hamas has not just sewn ideological confusion by its terrorist attacks, but has caused outright philosophical mayhem on the Right.
Philosophical confusion and an internal war of ideas in the West cannot but help the cause of the other sides. Whether they be Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia or China.
Talk about igniting a war.
A war that reveals the West to be running at speed in contradictory directions, controlled by clueless non-leaders and warmongers.
We have confused and bickering conservatives at odds with terror-supporting Leftist who don’t see saving Israel as any kind of priority.
We also have the genuinely fearful who see coming, if not the End Times of the Christian Bible, then certainly something approximating them.
After all, the Armageddon of Revelation does take place on the northern plains of Israel and the town of Megiddo. A real place as well as apocalyptic.
Two things are clear, in view of the West’s current ideological uncertainty and contradictions.
First, both the insiders of the ARC and their sympathisers, on the one hand, and the outsiders, on the other, need in pretty short order to recognise that the other side’s defined battle is significant.
Second, there is a task much harder for those on the side of “civilisation” and against “barbarism”.
That is, we have to decide whether we fear a major war more or less than we fear the annihilation of Israel. And whether we should simply abhor all wars.
Many might cast this as our Neville Chamberlain moment (younger readers – look it up). It is the never-ending dilemma of those whose cherished friend has been attacked or bullied.
The difficulty is, there are good, if not compelling arguments for both positions here. You can easily be pulled in either direction.
The objectives of Hamas are confined to Israel, it would seem. They are evil but limited in their reach. Hamas isn’t Hitler or Stalin. This is not to diminish the evil involved.
Likewise, while Israel wishes to destroy Hamas once and for all time, it also desires friendly relations with Arab countries generally.
It has them with Eqypt already. It wants them with Saudi Arabia and various Emirates. Its only fight is with those that threaten its existence – Hamas and, by extension, Hezbollah and their backers.
So, letting Israel and Hamas sort it out on their own has appeal.
But we must also recognize – given that terrorism will not be eliminated any time soon, and that Iran won’t stop supporting terrorists, and that Russia and maybe China will support Iran – if we in the West sit this war out, we still have all of the instability and threats when the missiles cease this time around. We are simply kicking the problem down the road.
In rugby league, it is always the “third man in” who is sent off. International relations are far more complicated.
What to make, then, of the offer by the Pope’s man in Jerusalem, the delightfully named Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, to exchange himself for Israeli hostages held by Hamas?
This good and heroic man is replicating in the twenty-first century the astonishing witness to Christ of St Maximilian Kolbe, who did the same thing at Auschwitz.
He arrived in Auschwitz on May 28, 1941, and became prisoner number 16670. Following the escape of a prisoner, he offered up his life in late July to save a stranger, Franciszek Gajowniczek, who had been sentenced to death by starvation.
Maximilian paid the big price. The Cardinal’s offer has, so far, not been taken up. His witness, though, is a timely reminder that there is still, in this greatest of geopolitical messes, goodness in the hearts of men.
As he said: “The Lord wants me to bring His grace to this place.”
And he was only appointed at the end of September.
Such green shoots are few and far between, and at a time and in a place of embedded hatred, mutual blame and total war, unlikely to make much difference to Middle Eastern tribes determined, it would seem, to recreate hell on earth. The Cardinal will have his work cut out.
In the meantime, it requires those good people marching for a ceasefire this weekend in London and elsewhere to ponder and spell out what such a “peace” might look like.
When one side is no more and no less than a terror outfit that itself doesn’t want peace, and, given this, where the other side cannot really adopt any other position than the one it has.
For terrorists, “peace” is merely a pause before the next terror strike. And in the case of Hamas, the terrorists are the Government of Gaza, supported by those under them and now in the line of fire, and they are on Israel’s doorstep.
As one Israeli supporter said recently, their nation is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t. A participant in “a war it didn’t want”.
There is, forever, a thin line through the hearts of men, with evil on one side and good on the other.
The good is winning in the heart of Cardinal Pizzaballa, and we can only admire his offer, as well as the desires of the Londoners out there marching for peace. I don’t envy their missions.PC