BBC, CNN, and New York Times are either silent or skew truth with misleading headlines.
It shocks me how Hamas gets a pass, even by Jews.
From Jacob Binyanin:
In the last 24 hours, militants in Gaza have fired over 150 rockets into Israeli civilian communities. On July 14, over 200 rockets rained down on Israel – also in the span of just 24 hours. In response, Israel has now been pounding Hamas military infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip, and we know their response will be heavy-handed. War is afoot and lives are at stake.
Right now, it’s looking like we are about to see a repeat of 2014. The Israeli military is mobilizing and there are talks of a ground operation into Gaza to root out Hamas once and for all. In other words, a big fucking mess and a scary scenario for Gazans and Israelis.
In the coming days, I suspect my newsfeed will be filled with righteous outrage accompanied with “Why is Israel attacking Gaza? All because of a few Arabs throwing stones and molotov cocktails?”
Everyone needs to first understand that the war we are talking about here is not based around petty stone-throwing. Gaza receives an estimated $100 million in Iranian military funding every year ($70 million to Hamas, $30 million to Islamic Jihad – in addition to Iran’s $800 million in funding to the Hezbollah army on Israel’s northern border); possesses stockpiles of rockets, bombs, and weapons; and contains a massive network of underground military tunnels running directly beneath Gazan elementary schools and hospitals and beneath Israeli communities on the other side of the fence. This is also not to mention the more than 6,000 acres of land that have been set ablaze in Israel by incendiary devices sent from Gaza over the last 5 months, and the numerous IED’s planted on Israel’s border – much of this all happening under the cover of the massive demonstrations on the border back in May.
My intention here is not to engage in a competition of victimhood. There is no doubt in my mind that the Arab civilians of Gaza are the ones suffering most right now. Anyone can see that, and we should all be able to sympathize with that. They are living under the rule of a theocratic Islamist militant group, Hamas, who has not held elections since they were elected in 2006. In addition, they have been living under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt ever since Hamas seized control, in order to prevent them from receiving further weapon shipments. It’s a tragedy that the millions Hamas annually funnels into military spending aren’t instead being used to provide a better standard of living for its desperate population. If they were to put down their arms and end their futile war, there would be no need for a blockade to begin with. Despite this, there have been talks in recent months of Israel and Egypt finally helping Gaza build its own sea port if a long term ceasefire deal is reached – potentially ending the 11 year blockade. However, it appears that this proposal is probably now in tatters.
Honestly, I don’t know what the solution is. Analyzing this whole mess and everything that’s taken place since Israel removed its Jewish residents and withdrew from Gaza back in 2005, I have no confidence that Hamas leadership is capable of sustainably providing for its own people, and it’s certainly not capable of living in coexistence with Israelis or Jews. At this point, I’m personally more in favor of removing Hamas leadership with Egypt and Israel ending the blockade, taking over, offering immediate humanitarian need, and beginning a process to gradually integrate Gazan residents into both countries. I don’t see many other viable solutions at this point, although I’m open to other ideas.
The fighting in Gaza has flared up roughly once every 3 years over the past decade, and the situation is not sustainable. For my friends here in America or elsewhere watching from a distance, I encourage you to ask more questions and understand that there are greater power dynamics at play here beyond just the 30 second news clips shared on social media. It has taken me years to hear the multiple narratives and educate myself on all the history. This post only covered a fraction.
Just as importantly, I encourage everyone reading this (especially those who have personal stakes in this conflict) to always seek the humanity on the other side. We must not conflate the individual with their political leadership; nor conflate an entire population with the most hateful elements among them. No people is a monolith. With the dramatic changes in global politics we are experiencing these last couple years, things seem grim. However, I believe these changes also offer new opportunities to engage in new dialogues with our adversaries. This an opportunity to find what things we are willing and unwilling to compromise on, to seek out common ground, and to explore new solutions. Both empathy and education will help us find these answers.