The Walrus Magazine Commentators Make False Equivalence Between Hamas & Israel

In their October 26 column in Walrus Magazine entitled: “Trauma Is Shaping Our Reactions to the Violence in Palestine and Israel,” Raja Khoury and Jeffrey Wilkinson exhorted readers to “demonstrate grief for the other” side.

As in any conflict, when innocent people are harmed, such a goal is laudable, but Khoury and Wilkinson took a step far beyond simply showing empathy for suffering civilians – they force-fed readers a fatally false comparison between Israel and Hamas, a genocidal Islamist terrorist organization dedicated to the total destruction of Israel as a Jewish State.

In their column, Khoury and Wilkinson falsely equated Hamas’ murderous terrorist attacks with Israel’s attempts to protect its citizens from those very attacks, writing that “There are student groups that have blamed Israel for Hamas’s attacks, while many politicians—including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—and other public figures have declared that they stand by Israel and support its right to defend itself.”

This false balance, also called both-sides-ism, presents readers with a tremendously misleading picture, namely that Hamas and Israel are somehow equal partners in war. There is no moral comparison between a group that intentionally targets innocent civilians for murder, joyfully recording their heinous crimes against humanity, including raping and sadistically mutilating dead bodies, and taking hundreds of innocent civilians hostage, with a liberal democratic state governed by the rule of law.

Khoury and Wilkinson later wrote that some Jewish peers of theirs have “have reduced their collective pain to a simple choice that is reminiscent of George W. Bush’s declaration after 9/11: ‘Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,’” bemoaning the fact that “many perceive Palestinian resistance as terrorism driven by antisemitism, seeking only to destroy Israel.”

What the writers chose not to disclose to readers of The Walrus is that “antisemitism, seeking only to destroy Israel” is literally Hamas’ goal, and a matter of unassailable fact.

Hamas’ founding charter is unambiguous in its goal: the complete destruction of Israel, and the establishment of a fanatical Islamic State-style totalitarian regime in its stead. This is hardly a disputable point: Hamas purposely targets innocent Israeli targets, whether in suicide bombings, rocket attacks, or more recently, in its October 7 terrorist attack, when its members chased down and murdered innocent people, whose only crime was being Jewish.

Khoury and Wilkinson, not content to immorally compare Hamas and Israel, also used their column to peddle false anti-Israel disinformation, referring to “what many describe as its settler-colonial and apartheid practices,” giving column inches to nonsensical accusations that the Jewish People, with its 3,000 years of nonstop presence in the land of Israel, somehow represents a colonial state.

Perhaps most disturbingly, the pair write that “many Palestinians we have spoken to also feel pressured by Western societies to unequivocally condemn Hamas or be deemed supporters of terrorism.” There should be no doubt that the inability of anyone, Palestinian or not, to unequivocally condemn Hamas represents an indefensible moral failure, and a tacit justification of terrorism. Failing to condemn Hamas’ inhumane terrorism on anyone’s part should elicit only condemnation and scorn, and Khoury and Wilkinson’s choice not to make this profoundly simple point renders their entire column an exercise in moral depravity.

This is not the first time that Khoury and Wilkinson have attempted to use their public platform to misinform and mislead; the pair were the subject of a recent HonestReporting Canada alert which highlighted their repeated use of anti-Israel tropes in an October 15 interview with CBC Radio.

Whatever grievances Palestinians may have against Israel – regardless of their legitimacy – there is no justification whatsoever for Hamas terrorism against Israeli civilians, and if any individual, columnists included, cannot understand this fundamental difference, they have no business writing for The Walrus, or anywhere else.

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