Cynthia M. Allen: Far left, right spread similar hate on Israel. We in the middle must speak out

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FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s been said that war makes for strange bedfellows.

Since the attacks on Israel by Hamas, the words and actions of groups as ideologically disparate as neo-Nazis in North Texas and progressive student organizations on elite college campuses suddenly sound and appear surprisingly alike.

Finding common ground in politics can be a remarkable feat, but today’s development isn’t something to be celebrated.

It’s a marriage of viewpoints borne out of unadulterated hatred.

Just a day after Hamas terrorists claimed more than 1,500 innocent lives in Israel, a swastika-clad neo-Nazi group made several appearances around Fort Worth.

It was like something out of the history books.

They boldly dined at a local taco joint; their presence caught on camera by a fellow diner.

They dropped anti-semitic fliers around the cultural district, perhaps emboldened by the events unfolding across the world.

While their appearance was “quiet” — there were no reports that the group marched or protested — their intent was clear.

They sought to spread a message of hate, one that deserved the condemnation it received from local leaders.

Many on the political left like to point to such incidents as evidence that all the ideological extremism is concentrated on the far right.

But the viewpoints this group espoused are far from isolated. What’s more is that they are hardly limited to the people who share their political affiliation.

In the days after the Hamas attacks, college campuses all over the nation were flooded with protests and demonstrations by progressive student groups gathering in shocking numbers in support of the terrorists.

Through marches and issued statements, they have justified and even championed the attacks, claiming that those who callously slaughtered Israeli civilians in their homes, killed and kidnapped children and elderly, and committed atrocities so brutal they defy imagination, were freedom fighters pursuing “decolonization.”

These students may not wear swastikas, but they have adopted the symbol of a paraglider, representative of Hamas attackers who entered Israel to kill civilians at a concert via air assault. And their message is not any different than their khaki-clad, arm-band wearing, white nationalist peers.

They blame the Jewish people for the conflict in Israel and advocate for their destruction.

Indeed, a letter signed by more than 30 campus groups at Harvard University declared that Israel is “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence” happening in the region.

At the University of Virginia, which infamously became a flash point between white nationalist and antifa protests only six years ago, the group Students for Justice in Palestine unequivocally declared its support for Palestinian resistance “by whatever means they deem necessary.”

What might that mean other than unqualified support for the slaughter of civilians?

How does this differ from the message of a neo-nazi group?

It doesn’t.

The horseshoe theory asserts that the political spectrum is not linear, but wraps around. The far-left and far-right, rather than being on opposing sides, are actually quite similar.

Recent events suggest this is theory no more, but our political reality.

Right and left are united in hate.

For those of us in the “middle,” it’s time to call out and push back on both extremes with equal fervor.

Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may send her email at

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