What’s happening in Gaza has considerable global ramifications and should not be reduced to “its Hamas’ fault!”
Posted 22 Jul 2014 by Walaa Idris
First, because it’s too complex to simplify into a ‘them and us’ scenario, and secondly, regardless of what anyone might think, it touches all of us equally. And by “touches us” I don’t mean in the humanitarian sense, of course there is that, but what I’m referring to here, is its consequences in the larger political sense.
But before I go any further, I would like to make it absolutely clear that Israel has every right to defend itself and protect her people. However, that defence needs to be proportional. It also needs to remember that many in Gaza don’t want Hamas.
Heavily shelling and killing innocent women and children daily, regardless of whether Hamas is using them as human shields or not, is very inflaming. To daily see innocent Palestinians, sometimes whole families killed in this way, conjures images of cleansing and mass executions.
Now I know Israeli propaganda is doing a good job promoting and explaining their reasons “we’re shelling missiles’ hideaways – Hamas weapons are hidden in residential area and hospitals – Hamas is using women and children as human shields, these victims’ blood is on Hamas’ hands alone.” Whether all of this it’s true or not, what’s observed and witnessed by the world, is Israel has lost a couple of dozen soldiers (people who enlisted to fight and die for their country) while the Palestinians lost upwards of 500 men, women and children (innocent civilians, whom when the bombing starts have nowhere to run to, and no place to hid in).
That picture alone to many is enough to wrong Israel and label it a tyrant and an aggressor. To be perfectly honest, I too was shocked when the headcount reached 342 Palestinians versus 2 Israelis, yet Israel continued to bomb!
Because regardless of the reasons and the rhetoric coming from Hamas (they want to wipe-out all Jews – which we all know logically is impossible.) Israel is still the bigger and stronger of the two; they are better equipped and much readier for this fight than Hamas will ever be. And because of that, they should have exercised some restraint and showed Hamas and the world that Israel is a compassionate and tolerant occupier – I know to some that might sound like madness. But think about it, now after the slaughter of innocent civilians have passed the 500 mark, nobody including Israel’s allies sees Israel as the victim – because the headcount tips the balance for the other side.
In addition to that, if we look at the region and what’s happening in Syria, and the latest trend of home-grown jihadists, the last thing the West needs now is innocent Palestinians killed by Israeli bullets. Because it will only act as a catalyst, to entice further grooming of young vexed and impressionable men and women.
To quash any support for Hamas Israel should seriously consider lifting the blockade in Gaza and allow her citizens the freedom to lead some sort of normal lives – and gain their regard. We saw throughout history those who were oppressed gained their strength from being subjugated, Slavery, the Holocaust and more recently the Apartheid all ended despite their conquerors’ powerful control over their subjects, all stopped when the oppressed had enough and channelled that oppression to free themselves.
One thing every occupier, invader and suppressor needs to remember, untroubled, plump and prosperous people are less inclined to rise and fight. But hungry oppressed citizens have lots to fight for and very little to lose.