No, they don’t come right out and say they support Hamas, but that’s the effective message of the petition these historians signed, which condemns Israel for “war crimes,” and asks the US to withdraw military aid from the country. And Hamas? It’s never even mentioned. It’s as though it doesn’t exist.

Many of the original signers are members of the hard left. Even I recognized that fact from some of the names, and Ron Radosh—who was once a prominent leftist himself—recognized many more:

As a historian who has studied the American far Left for many years, and decades ago was part of, I immediately noticed that many on the initial list of signers are veterans of the already old New Left and either supporters of or fellow-travelers of the defunct Soviet Union and the Communist movement. Indeed, I know many of them personally, and are aware of their old affiliations and political allegiances.

I looked up the first eight or so people on the list, and it was an interesting exercise.

As expected, there’s a heavy representation from the various special interest “studies” departments that first caught on in universities as a result of Sixties leftist activism, especially the field of women’s studies.

For those who might wonder what all those feminists are doing on this list, considering Hamas’ treatment of women, the answer is that for the true believer, two and two makes five, or even six or seven or eight, if the left so wills it.

Others on the list are specialists in the Middle East, or in esoteric disciplines like that of Paul Buhle, whose field seems to be the history of radicalism (and, as an activist leftist from the 60s on, he certainly knows that terrain).

Lately Hamas has gotten a better press than ISIS, in no small part because of the propaganda efforts of leftists like so many of those on the list.

But, as Alan Dershowitz points out: “Everything we rightly fear and despise from ISIS we should fear and despise from Hamas. Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.”

Of course, there are some differences. Unlike ISIS, Hamas is not striving to employ the most flamboyantly savage forms of death and dismemberment in order to outrage the sensibilities of the west—although, like ISIS, Hamas seeks to inspire other jihadis to join its ranks through its passionate devotion to violence.

Actually, Hamas probably would prefer that its killing sprees against its own not get all that much publicity in the west; its main aim is to dissuade any of its own people who might even think of acting against Hamas from doing so.

And unlike ISIS, Hamas would prefer that the west think it only has designs on Israel. But HAMAS is every bit as much a terrorist group as ISIS.