In the wake of the distressing attacks on Israel by Hamas, the West responded swiftly and unequivocally. We denounced such acts for the sheer brutality of their intent and execution. To this day, we maintain that condemnation, regardless of any attempts to obscure the situation.
We criticise them because the distinction is evident. On one hand, there are those endeavouring to end civilian lives, and on the other, those striving to preserve them. The line between democracy and autocracy is clear, as is the difference between tyranny and the rule of law.
Hamas attackers in Israel are now part of an expanding international nexus of malevolence – a group that opposes democratic values, disregards human rights, and seeks to exploit any perceived Western vulnerability.
It’s therefore concerning to hear certain individuals, particularly among US politicians, suggest that aiding Israel might mean withdrawing support from Ukraine. This perspective is deeply flawed. The Ukrainians are not only defending their homeland but also championing the cause of global freedom. The recent strife in Israel mirrors the decade-long conflict in Ukraine.
The suggestion of a binary choice – between supporting Ukraine against Putin and backing Israel against Hamas – is a misconception. The adversaries in both conflicts are merely different manifestations of the same threat.
Russia’s reluctance to condemn Hamas and the comparisons drawn by Russian media between the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the WWII Nazi siege of Leningrad are telling. Russia’s affiliations with Hamas supporters in Iran and Syria further underscore their shared disdain for international wartime conventions.
The similarities between Putin’s forces in Ukraine and Hamas militants are stark. Both groups blur the line between civilian and military objectives, driven by a shared ambition to dismantle liberal democracy. The tragedies unfolding in both Mariupol and Kfar Aza bear witness to this shared barbarism.
Now is not the time to prioritise one group of victims over another. Both conflicts demand the West’s protection, as we combat the same threats to democracy and peace on two different fronts.
To our allies in America, we urge you to support Israel and protect Ukraine. Favouring one over the other would be a betrayal.
Both Ukraine and Israel face remarkably similar challenges. Authoritarian entities and extremist factions in both nations target civilians with no regard for human rights or international law. The indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian cities by Russia are reminiscent of Hamas’ assaults on Israeli settlements.
Western democracies must stand united in their defence of human rights and liberal principles. Any concession or inaction in one region only emboldens adversaries elsewhere. Supporting one cause doesn’t preclude the support of another. A resolute stance in Eastern Europe might indeed deter threats in the Middle East.
The essence of democracy is universal. Threats to this order anywhere endanger it everywhere. Thus, confronting these dual challenges demands unwavering principles and determination.
Both the people of Ukraine and Israel are at the forefront of the tussle between democracy and authoritarianism. They’ve shown commendable courage against unprovoked aggression. Abandoning either nation would be a grave moral failing, implying that our commitment to freedom is conditional and our promises hollow.
Upholding our values can be challenging, but it’s feasible to support multiple causes, especially when they emanate from identical threats to human dignity.
While some may argue that resource constraints exist, Western democracies possess significant economic and military strength. What’s essential is unity and a clear moral vision.
With solidarity and determination, democracy can triumph over autocracy, as history has shown. But this victory isn’t guaranteed; freedom demands continuous defence.
This is a defining moment for democracy, an opportunity to reaffirm foundational values. We must demonstrate that power doesn’t equate to righteousness, that sovereignty belongs to the people, and that every individual’s rights are universal.
Supporting Ukraine and Israel is our historical duty. By meeting this challenge head-on, we can ensure that centuries-old democratic ideals can counter modern-day authoritarianism. The world is watching, and our choices today will shape the future. Let’s choose wisely.
James Mitchell, an advocate for global peace and democracy, delves into geopolitical affairs with a focus on human rights and the challenges faced by modern democracies.