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Are you a “Fascifist”?

Nov 14, 2023 | Oved Lobel

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“Pacifism,” wrote George Orwell in 1942, “is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other.” British pacifist groups, because they were enabling and assisting the rise and expansion of fascism, were occasionally called the “Fascifist gang” in Orwell’s day.

“Fascifists” have been out in force calling for ceasefires ever since Russia failed in its initial genocidal goal of conquering Ukraine and erasing Ukrainian as both a nationality and ethnicity on Feb. 24, 2022. Interestingly, calls for a ceasefire are almost always directed only against the victim of aggression rather than the aggressor.

Self-defence is a fundamental tenet of international relations. Calls for a ceasefire directed at the victims of existential aggression are tantamount to rejecting their inherent right and duty to defend themselves. However moral it may feel to oppose all war and its concomitant horrors, negating self-defence and ignoring any distinction between aggressor and victim is an inherently immoral and unjust position that only encourages and assists aggression, as Orwell noted. It invariably leads to more war and suffering, not less, as by definition such aggressors do not want peace and will not stop until stopped by force.

Now the fascifists are at it again. Israel was also invaded with genocidal intent by an imperialist entity, this one Islamic rather than Russian, on October 7. To call what happened a “terrorist attack” is to drastically understate what occurred. Hamas invaded Israeli territory from land, sea and air with the intention of seizing vast swaths of Israeli territory; barbarically massacred about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, after raping and torturing many of them; wounded thousands more; and kidnapped hundreds, including dozens of children and infants.

Simultaneously – something often left out of media reports – Hamas unleashed one of the largest, and perhaps the largest, single-day bombardment of Israeli population centres in the country’s history, indiscriminately firing more than 3,000 rockets – Hamas claims 5,000 – on October 7. Those rockets have continued every day since, and now number more than 9,500. A full-scale invasion, massacre and widespread bombardment of major population centres is as profound a casus belli as has ever existed.

Hamas, however, is merely one element of the Islamic imperial scourge that took over Iran in 1979 and has since subjugated and colonised much of the Middle East, including Iran itself. This integrated jihad, run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has conquered a broad swath of the region – including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Gaza – and absorbed it into an Islamic empire ruled from Iran. One of its ultimate goals is destroying Israel and bringing all of former Mandatory Palestine under the control of Iran’s Supreme Leader. Gaza is only one front in this long-standing multifront imperialist jihad against Israel’s existence, and Hamas only one of the IRGC’s “external armies” in the region.

I wrote in the Australian in January:

[The IRGC] is a supranational force meant to protect and export the Islamic revolution of 1979… Its indoctrination materials refer to members as transnational mujaheddin, warriors of God, waging a violent jihad to expand the borderless realm and divine mandate of the al-wali al-faqih, Iran’s supreme leader. The IRGC does not think in terms of ethnicity, nationality or borders. In fact, it virulently rejects such concepts and is driven solely by Islamic manifest destiny.

This is vital to understand: both Israel and Ukraine are fighting existential battles against contemporary and ideologically implacable forms of fascist imperialism, the former Islamic, the latter Russian. The only just and moral position would be to support victory for both Israel and Ukraine as victims of this aggression, both for their own sakes as well as for the sake of preserving the broader international order.

Currently, Israel’s defensive war against the IRGC’s jihad is thankfully mostly contained to just the Gaza front, although attacks continue from Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Israel’s goals in this war are clear; namely, to remove Hamas from power and degrade its military capabilities sufficiently so that it can never launch an October 7-style attack again. This is not only Israel’s right under the UN Charter, but an essential obligation for Israel’s democratic government to its own citizens, as it would be for any other democratic government whose citizens came under mass armed attack.

Tragically, this war has necessitated and will continue to result in horrifying and heartbreaking Palestinian civilian suffering and death due to Hamas’ choice not only to launch the war, but to conduct it in such a way as to ensure as many Palestinian civilian casualties as possible.

You are not a humanitarian, however, if your response to this horrendous carnage is to call for a ceasefire rather than an Israeli victory and the destruction of Hamas’ military capabilities; you are a fascifist, no matter how well-intentioned.

A ceasefire is simply a call to preserve the Hamas regime that conducted the October 7 massacre and launched this war and numerous others before it, a regime whose officials and spokesmen openly say they will continue to launch attacks like October 7 “again and again” to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

There was a ceasefire in effect for years before October 7. Hamas used it to plan and prepare for the massacre. There is nothing humanitarian or moral about advocating for a ceasefire so that this can happen again, or for the general preservation of Hamas, the cause of all the suffering in the first place. Only once Hamas is sufficiently degraded and removed from power is there any hope not only for peace, but for a real future for the Palestinians of Gaza.

Those who genuinely care about Palestinian lives and welfare should support an Israeli victory against the murderous and oppressive dictatorship of Hamas, even while understandably feeling and expressing horror at the destruction and death.

But the current war is only one battle in a much larger, existential war against the relentless, inexorable jihadist empire headquartered in Iran.

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