As i write this there is a reoccurring situation happening in the Middle East. Israel is currently engaged in a land, air and sea offensive against Gaza, and they have been on this offensive “defensive” for approximately three weeks now. Current statistics reveal that the death toll in Gaza is over 1200 human beings, 81.5% of which are citizens. Yes, non combatant men, women and children who have been killed inside one of the most densely populated places on earth.
The media here in the west has presented this disastrous situation in such a way that indicates this Israeli offensive is indeed a necessary, just and “equal” war. When the facts reveal that this war is a one sided onslaught against a mostly civilian population. Israel and the United States has staunchly defended this war on Gaza, claiming that Israel and the Jewish state has every right to protect itself- particularly from stray rockets being fired from Hamas.This has been titled “Operation Protective Edge”.
There have been many excuses given by Israeli politicians and their American friends and as such i have seen these excuses reflected upon the general public who apparently “stand” with Israels actions. I have investigated all of these excuses thoroughly with an open mind and heart because rest be assured, i am not Anti-Semitic. I have nothing against people of the Jewish faith nor even of the idea in the fact that the every day people of the land called Israel deserve to live in general peace. Let me give you a list of the most common excuses behind Israels “defense” and rationally decide if indeed you have been fed the right information.
“This all started with the kidnapping and murder of the 3 teenage Israelis”.
The mainstream media and its followers have led many to believe that this whole war escalated due to the unfortunate kidnap and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers. People who buy this must be extremely short sighted because prior to the murder of these 3 Israeli young men, who were, mind you captured in the contested West Bank and one of which was a sniper- we see that earlier on Palestinian youth were killed in Gaza by Israeli soldiers. This retaliatory tit for that style of attacks did not start with the 3 young Israeli men but it continued with them because prior to that event we have evidence of young Palestinian men being killed WITHIN their own land PRIOR to the abduction and murder of the three Israeli men.
The kidnapping led to warnings from Israeli President Netanyahu who immediately blamed Hamas and said “they will pay“. Hamas immediately denied they were responsible but Israeli and American officials played along with this narrative, further pushing this war. Yet in the latest rounds of updates, as of 25th of July experts and Israeli police have figured that indeed this was a lone cell attack that had nothing to do with Hamas. On the 29th of July a playground was hit inside Gaza killing 9 children with Israel blaming Hamas. (Could they be any more predictable.?) The next day on the 30th of July a UN based school was attacked killing 20 people. A UN spokesman said Israelis were warned 17 times that the school was a refuge sight and not to target it, but they blew it up anyway. A UN spokesperson called it an International War Crime.
Israel in this instance couldn’t blame Hamas due to UN based witnesses AND victims. This wouldn’t be the first time Israel has jumped to inconclusive “conclusions” in the blame game, so how can we rely on them this time around when it appears they are blaming Hamas for everything. It’s also sad to believe that the Israeli officials knew the three young men were killed but decided to play up their disappearance and use them as a bait for their escalating hostilities that were to come.
“Israel has every right to defend itself!”
Any nation around the world has every right to defend itself indeed, yet many people tend to be confused with what the term “self defense” actually means. The Palestinians and in fact most of the civilized world and government bodies agree that Palestine is a place that has undergone many human right atrocities against it, mainly by Israel. Israel has continually built illegal settlements in contested Palestinian territories. Israel has often launched collective punishment upon the people of Palestine, often killing hundreds- if not thousands for the actions of minorities within it. The people of Palestine have undergone many injustices from their Israeli neighbours such as being punished when they applied for recognition by the United Nations and also suffering from severe food,water, electricity and medicine restrictions. The Palestinians, particularly the Gazans have been forced to live in third world conditions including living in streets flooded by Israeli sewerage and having their homes and farms destroyed by settlers.
In saying that, I still do not agree with the methodology that Hamas uses in its fight against Israel’s occupation. Hamas tend to be enablers in further endangering the lives of the Palestinian people and making them more susceptible to bloodshed. Israels “response” (not defense) is always going to be brutal, ruthless and destructive. In essence Hamas is seen as the only means of defense that the Palestinians have, mind you- Hamas is a terrorist organization to a handful of nations worldwide. By most other international bodies Hamas is recognized as a democratically elected government and official for the Palestinian people.
The bottom line is, according to Palestinians and in fact much of the world Israel is seen as an occupier and an oppressor. Yet according to the mainstream western media the term “retaliation” is used 80% of the time only in support of Israeli attacks upon Gaza, yet when Hamas fire weapons upon Israel it is blatant terrorism committed by a terror organization and barely, if ever is it retaliation from a people who are sick of being oppressed, killed and displaced for the last 60+ years. So in essence, yes Israel DOES have a right to defend itself if it were not the aggressor, people need to realize that the Israeli government continues to build illegal settlements and intimidate the people of Palestine. If the case of the matter is true and if in fact Israel does build illegal settlements and mishandle the people of Palestine, when do the people of Palestine get to act in self defense? At what point can they defend themselves?
“Hamas uses Palestinians as Human Shields”
Most Pro-Israeli supporters and Israeli officials, including the President of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu claim that Hamas use their own people as human shields.This position is often repeated and in fact is the “strongest” non point i have heard in regards to this conflict. The Israeli president blames Hamas for hiding within a civilian population and in such structures like hospitals, schools and mosques. In saying such a blanket statement he green-lights his army to attack such populated structures and if there are civilian casualties- “oh well, it is the fault of Hamas“.
First of all there is no compelling evidence of Hamas actually using people as human shields besides them convincing their people that their own homes are no less safe than the streets or the shelters or the beach. The fact remains that every time a mass civilian population is killed in Gaza we hear Israel claim that essentially it is the fault of Hamas. The latest bombing inside a UN run school that killed 15 and injured 200 has of course, been blamed on Hamas. When asked for international investigations to the possibility of a war crime Israeli officials back peddle and claim its a task fruitless to investigate. What about the 4 children playing on the beach surrounded by western journalists? They were blown until their twisted bodies remained limp on the beach, did Hamas use western backed hotels as “launch sites”? How about the men killed in the cafe watching the world cup during Israeli Airstrikes? Oh well, we can just repeat the word Hamas and “human shields” and suddenly the tables are turned and Israel is excused for their atrocities and onslaught against Gazan non combatants.
There is no compelling evidence that supports this strong notion that Hamas uses its people as “human shields”. Not to mention where does the world expect Hamas to strike from? Would Israel actually allow Hamas to build a military base? Most definitely not! It is one of the most densely populated places on earth and as their landmass shrinks by the year we see that in situations like this the Palestinians have nowhere to escape to, they are land locked inside of a caged island and pretty much act as sitting ducks for Israeli tanks, missiles, fighter jets and warships. Can anyone suggest where Palestinians are expected to retaliate, yes, RETALIATE besides their centres of population?
“Hamas is rejecting all ceasefire efforts”
A ceasefire usually entails two parties coming to a common agreement to restore peace. So far the media has been making it abundantly clear that it is indeed Hamas that has been rejecting all ceasefire proposals by Israel and other agencies. Yet when we look at the facts we come to see some strong discrepancies. The first ceasefire proposal from Israel was not even proposed to Hamas but to Egypt. This short lived “Ceasefire” never continued because Israel didn’t even approach Hamas and instead spoke to other parties to come to a pact. Shortly thereafter Hamas made a list of 10 reasonable propositions to Israel for a 10 year peace treaty.
IMAGINE THAT, ten whole years in the region of calm and serenity, i think no decent Palestinian or Israeli would hate the idea. Yet of course in these ceasefire efforts Israel does not believe in compromise or even coming to an agreement, instead the ceasefire must be ONLY within Israeli terms. Seeming Israel rejected the proposed ceasefire by Hamas (Who actually intended it directly TO their opposition) we see that this ceasefire effort failed. On the 26th of July US secretary of state John Kerry proposed a 7 day ceasefire which was unanimously rejected by Israel for being too Pro-Palestinian. Finally on the 27th of July Hamas and Israel agreed to a 12 hour ceasefire.
Hamas made a condition that in order for the ceasefire to be extended Israel would have to remove their deadly tanks from the Gaza strip. Israel rejected this proposal as a result of this Hamas fired rockets at the end of the ceasefire, yet the media claimed that Hamas rejected the ceasefire extension for no valid reason- yet their reasoning behind the rejection was perfectly reasonable. Israel did not agree to remove their deadly tanks from the Gaza strip which has already been responsible for much death and destruction. Now the attacks continue with Israel launching devastating night raids that have reduced parts of Gaza to rubble. Their electricity is completely blown out and over 90% of their drinking water is contaminated. What you’ll notice is that Israel does not want to work WITH Hamas to restore peace, they want Hamas to bow down only to their terms for peace and what the Palestinians want does not matter. We all know there is no way a ceasefire can be made between two parties if both parties do not interact and at this stage all proposals by Israel have been indirect or completely aimed towards parties BESIDES the party they are at war with.
“I will not apologize for Israel”
A Rabbi recently wrote a blog article titled “I will not apologize for Israel” and in this article he claims that he is sick of “apologizing” for Israel. He claims the same old rhetoric that Israel must and will defend itself and the Jewish people. He claims that whilst the Palestinians are “cheering” at the capture of Israeli settlers or soldiers that the Israeli officials are apologizing and sit solemnly. He must have missed the footage shot by western media outlets where Israelis in huge groups are sitting at the Gaza border with popcorn and drinks cheering as their military blow up Gaza like they are at some baseball match, full knowing that 80% of the people killed in these attacks will be innocent men, women and children. It’s bizarre that a Rabbi instantly puts himself into the card of victim-hood and cries foul to the world about the injustice of anti-antisemitism.
The fact is we do not expect anyone to apologize FOR Israel. I do not ask any Jew to speak ill of Jews or Judaism. I do not even ask any Israeli to speak bad of Israel or Israelis. Yet as fellow human beings with a conscience i DO expect my fellow human beings to at least sympathize and empathize with the innocent people of Gaza having their lives snatched away in such a brutal and violent way. You do not have to stand up against Israel per say, yet i do hope you would have the conscience to stand up FOR the innocent people of Gaza. The death toll will reach 1,300 within a few days at the current rate and the world is too busy focusing on other tragedies.
“Israel provides Palestinians with Hospital care”
People often try to point out that some injured Palestinians are transferred to Israeli hospitals or are under Israeli care during such warfare situations. Oh the mercy! Imagine any other nation saying such things? “Oh because of a few extremists we blew up this whole complex, apartment, playground, mosque and hospital- but we will take them to hospital, aren’t we so kind?“. Western doctors in Gaza have called this a “war on children” who make up a third of all victims, so far approximately 400. Perhaps the Gazans would use their own hospitals, if you know, they weren’t being blown up. But of course, Hamas made them do it! Sorry, go right ahead.!
Images also show papers floating in the air covering huge areas of Gaza. These are flyers telling people to evacuate. Some might claim this is a humane way of saving lives from Israel but who are they kidding? The Palestinians have nowhere to go. If they evacuate to a beach they are bombed. If they hide in a hospital they are bombed. If they seek refuge in a UN backed school they are bombed. If they stay at home they are bombed. There is NO designated safe area in Gaza- period.
“As an American, i stand with my Ally- Israel”
You will find that a majority of Americans tend to support Israel in these conflicts against Gaza. Yet sometimes the reasoning is far from sound, especially if you look at the current man in office, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. First of all Americans needs to realize that this current Israel cannot possibly be Americas Ally. When previously in office the current Israeli president Netanyahu said about America that “America is a thing you can move very easily“. In saying that he is claiming the United States is an entity he could easily manipulate, and he is sure right! The feeling is also mutual when French President (at the time) Nicholas Sarkozy said ““I cannot bear Netanyahu. He’s a liar”- to current US president Obama. In response- Israels supposed “Ally” President Obama replied “What about me? I have to deal with him every day!”
So in saying that, people need to realize that this alliance is a fabrication, nothing short of a strategic false friendship that every day people take way too seriously. Next we have American Evangelical Christians that blindly support Israel and all that they do because it supports a biblical narrative/prophecy for the rapture to occur. First of all such claims are a big gamble, you’d hate to be wrong whilst simultaneously supporting the deaths of many innocent people, yet i guess that’s the idea of faith. Yet we find that even Orthodox Jews themselves stand in protest against these brutal attacks by Israel. Orthadox Jews believe they are to be in exile, according to the Torah until their Messiah comes and that any established “Jewish state” is not religiously legal, which is why they dismiss Zionism.
Either way the Media is definitely not assisting when it comes to the opinions from Americans in this current conflict. When we have mainstream Newspaper articles calling Israeli casualties in the war “Israeli” whilst the Palestinians are literally labelled as “others” we see we have a problem.
“You are a Pro Hamas Terror Supporter”
Again, this is not about batting for a certain team. My team is humanity and any injustices i will stand up against, regardless of who commits them. People may think i am swayed for being of a Part Arab and part Muslim heritage. Yet i call a spade a spade, regardless who it is. From the ills of fellow “Muslims” committing huge wrongs like ISIS expelling and threatening Christians in Mosul, Iraq. To fellow Muslims that think its okay to start pimping out Hitler and promoting him as some hero, wishing he’d wipe out all the Jews. (Hello, aren’t Palestinians fighting AGAINST collective punishment anyone?) I tell you this, i stand for what is right and the way the Palestinians are currently being collectively punished is not right. I am not “Pro-Hamas” nor am i Anti Jew. I am just a human with a conscience, which is why i invite you to stand in solidarity with the innocent victims of Gaza. Peace.Salam.