Why In The World Does The American Left Give Hamas A Free Pass?

Image courtesy of gazettenet.com

Image courtesy of gazettenet.com

Since the outbreak of the newest episode of violence between Israel and Hamas, I’ve been getting a lot of grief from some people who somehow expect me to take the side against Israel that a lot of the left has as well. I’m sorry, but I obviously didn’t get the memo that just because my beliefs tend to be more on the left side of the spectrum, that automatically means I have to jump on the “Israel is a monster” wagon.

Let’s get this straight right off the bat: I support the right of both Israel and a Palestinian state to exist – and it would be possible if both sides could stop being stubborn and realize a couple of hard facts.

1. Israel is not going to go anywhere, plain and simple. Ever since the Israeli government announced the formation of the State of Israel in 1948, they’ve been under attack from a number of terrorist organizations and Islamic states – and they’re still there. I know a lot of people say that there would be peace if Israel was dissolved, but that’s ridiculous both from a political and a logistical perspective.

2. The Palestinian people aren’t going anywhere either. As much as some rabidly anti-Palestinian individuals in Israel and elsewhere have expressed their support for wiping Gaza and everyone who lives there off the map, that would be a suicidal move by Israel – even if that’s what they actually wanted to do.

While what is happening in Gaza is tragic, would anyone in their right mind really stand by and allow daily rocket fire aimed at civilians to continue? Sure, the Iron Dome stops quite a few of these rockets, but it doesn’t stop all of them. A lot of people say that firing these rockets is an act of defiance against occupation, or a way of protesting the living conditions in Gaza. That’s complete rubbish. Throwing rocks at soldiers or burning tires is protesting, firing rockets at civilian population centers is trying to kill people, regardless of whether they’re shot down or not.

The response by Israel is excessive, that I can agree on. However, if you were dealing with a government (yes, Hamas is the elected government in Gaza) which insists on provoking attacks, wouldn’t you every once in awhile respond in a similar manner? On top of that, Hamas has zero regard for the lives of their own civilians, let alone civilians in Israel. If Hamas actually cared about the people it is supposed to represent, they would be busy using the limited concrete it receives to build infrastructure instead of using tunnels into Israel for launching attacks. If Hamas wanted to make Gaza a better place, they would concentrate on attracting tourism, finance and other investments instead of attacking Israel.

Here’s the thing: Hamas is a fundamentalist Islamic organization, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood with the destruction of Israel written into their charter. Seriously, how many organizations are founded with the destruction and murder of another group of human beings blatantly outlined in their founding document? Hamas and other fundamentalists like them know that with prosperity and education comes a more secular society, a society in which women have freedoms and groups like Hamas or the Taliban no longer have power. The only way to stay in control is to keep the people poor, uneducated, desperate and willing to die for the promise of a better situation in the afterlife. This is why I have such a hard time understanding why the same people on the left who condemn Christian fundamentalists here in the United States, turn right around and show sympathy for Hamas (which makes Westboro Baptist look like a bunch of tolerant hippies by comparison).

Israel’s mistake is to respond to the provocations but they see no other choice as the residents of Gaza are unable or unwilling to overthrow Hamas which has no interest in peace with their neighbor. Israel may be treating the Palestinian people poorly, and the people cheering the bombing of Gaza are despicable, but let’s stop calling it genocide. If the IDF was actually trying to wipe the people of Gaza off the face of the map, don’t you think they would have done it years ago?

Out of all of this, I feel sorry for the people caught in the crossfire. Sure, the people in both Gaza and in Israel elected the two governments that are now busy blowing each other’s civilians to bits, but the kids don’t deserve it.

Why can’t the side we take be the one of civilians, regardless of the religious or ethnic makeup of the civilian group in question? Why can’t we decide as a people to help only humanitarian ways, when both sides agree to and carry out their half of, a ceasefire? Sometimes the mess is already too great for any one group to clean up, and clearly the mess in Gaza has reached that level. It just makes no sense to me to pick a side when both sides are obviously totally okay with murdering the civilian populaces of their adversary. – James Schlarmann


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