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Letter from Athens: The Terrorists in the Room Varoufakis Invited But Can’t See

They’re not militants.

They’re not guerrillas.

They’re not warriors.

They are terrorists.

Any group which murders children – beheading babies who don’t know politics from a pacifier – has forfeited all legitimate rights and complaints against a state that has besieged, confined, and killed.

Why not try the conference table?

And that’s the dilemma in the war between Israel and Hamas, although in the dewy eyes of minor Greek politician Yanis Varoufakis, it’s only the Israelis who are killers – they have a lot of blood on their hands – and not his darlings Hamas.

In his classroom world and wine and brie parties, this is so much fun because no one he knows has been killed, had his wife or daughter raped, family kidnapped and held hostage. It’s a video game to him and his ilk.

Alone among Greek politicians – some of whom had nothing to say, weighing the benefits of silence – Varoufakis would not condemn Hamas firing thousands of rockets into Israel, killing hundreds of people, invading and kidnapping women, children, babies – those they didn’t butcher – and a grandmother in a golf cart.

“Those who try very hard to extract from people like me and DiEM25 a condemnation of the attack by the Hamas guerrillas will never get it,” he said in an interview shown on X – which is allowing Hamas to air videos.

DiEM25 is what’s left of his tiny, irrelevant party that’s not worth spit, a little band of the hipper-than-thou self-righteous who’d faint at the sound of a car backfiring but don’t mind rockets blowing up people in Israel.

“And they will never get it for a very simple reason. Those who care about humans without any discrimination, those who care equally about a Jew and an Arab, must ask themselves a very simple question: what exactly is their idea of the cessation of hostilities? That Palestinians are going to lay down their arms and go back into the largest open-air prison in the world where they are constantly suffocated by the apartheid state?” he asked with good reason.

But his narrative falls apart with false and rigged premises and a cruel deception in not really caring equally about humans without any discrimination, only caring about the terrorists he called guerrillas – who want an end to Israel, not their apartheid.

Varoufakis compared Hamas to the African National Congress’ armed wing uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) which was founded by Nelson Mandela and which also “killed innocent civilians.”

He said, “any human being living under apartheid at some point will either die a terrible silent death or rebel and take some innocent people with them … the criminals … are not Hamas … the criminals are Europeans,” Varoufakis charged, “for keeping our mouths shut” while Palestinians were being killed.

He fooled formerly famed Greek-French director Costa Gavras into making a film – ‘Adults in the Room’ – glorifying Varoufakis’ stand as the Finance Minister for the former ruling Looney Left SYRIZA against European Union counterparts demanding Greece accept harsh austerity for a bailout.

Varoufakis was right that Israel created conditions for rebellion by penning Palestinians into the Gaza Strip, uprooting them, and creating Jewish settlements, as he was that Greece was being bullied into submission by creditors.

But not denouncing men hiding behind scarves and cutting up babies, and threatening to execute innocent civilian hostages while complaining that it’s wrong for Israel to kill innocent civilians puts him in league and bed with Hamas, with no excuse.

He doesn’t see that of course, blinded by the blood-colored sunglasses that make him look so cool on his motorcycle – nor have you seen him arm-in-arm with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians lost a just cause for decades by killing 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and any hope – there wasn’t any really – of a peace settlement was lost with the first Hamas rocket and the killing of ravers at a music festival.

What Varoufakis doesn’t mention is that even if Israel agreed to a separate Palestinian state – or provided aid for rebuilding – that it’s not the end game of Hamas, which wants only the extinction of Israel.

The U.S. – as did Greece – stood with Israel, but has long ignored Israel building settlements and putting Palestinians in such miserable conditions that Hamas was seen as a way to end it.

The U.S. looked the other way when American activist Rachel Corrie, a member of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, was crushed to death by an Israeli armored bulldozer in 2003.

Israel immediately said it was an accident – witnesses said it wasn’t – and the U.S. stood with Israel, not her family, and did it again after the Israeli military shot and killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022.

Greece is in a tough spot because support for Israel could bring a risk of terrorism at home, or terrorists hiding among Palestinian refugees, Greek governments having long shown sympathy with the Palestinians but recently becoming very close to Israel.

In 2014, six months before being elected Premier, the then-leader of SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras, put on the Palestinian keffiyeh scarf at a rally in Syntagma Square to denounce Israel after soldiers killed more than 50 people at a demonstration.

What protests will we see now? Will Varoufakis put on a keffiyeh and join hands with pro-Palestinians, if even for a photo opportunity? There’s no winning arguments on either side here and no moral high ground.

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