A little while ago, The Spectrum published a piece on the Hamas-Israeli conflict that began on October 7th. It was titled “Free Palestine” and was filled with information about how Israel was an Apartheid State oppressing the people of Gaza. It even went so far as to say that Gaza was a “Concentration Camp of 2.2 Million”.
Now, I don’t know about you, but the last time that I read about the Holocaust and the Concentration Camps that were used, I didn’t read about how the Germans allowed the people within the camp the ability to elect their governments over the area and provided them with water and electricity. I also don’t remember the population size of the concentration camps growing since they supposedly began, disregarding any people that were imported there. I also don’t remember the Germans only putting Jews of the lands that they occupied into these concentration camps and not German Jews.
I find it interesting that out of all the information provided within the article about the conflict, very little was said about the day that started the war. Even more so about the group that started the conflict, Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist group that, since its founding, has wanted the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.
The Worst Attack on the Jewish People Since the Holocaust
On October 7th, 2023 around 6:30 a.m., 2,200-5,000 rockets were launched into central Israel from The Gaza Strip. This attack was launched by Hamas, the de facto government of Gaza since 2006. Hamas was founded in 1987 as a rebellion against the state of Israel. Their covenant states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” As well as saying: “The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” In case you didn’t know, Jihad is an Arabic word that means “striving” or “struggling”, and usually ends up with physical violence towards their opponents.
Along with the help of the Iranian government, Hamas was able to launch a coordinated attack on Jewish people that we haven’t seen the likes of since the Holocaust. Along with the rocket barrage, Hamas invaded the country by sending people in from the ground and sky.
Many civilians were murdered in their homes. Women and children were murdered, raped, and kidnapped to be taken back to Gaza. Videos have emerged from Hamas terrorists of them shooting families in their homes; humiliating and mutilating bodies. In Kfar Aza, a town 3km away from the Gaza border, 40 babies and young children were murdered and multiple were decapitated and burned. There are even claims by a first responder in Israel that there was a baby found in an oven.
As of the writing of this article, reports say that in the attack 1,400+ civilians were murdered, 4,500+ were injured and 200+ were taken as hostages, including multiple American Citizens. Around 3,400 have been killed and 12,000+ have been wounded in Gaza.
These numbers of how many Palestinians are killed are from Hamas, the terrorist group governing Gaza. Not a very trustworthy source one might say. Hamas also claimed that Israel fired upon a hospital on Tuesday killing 500 people. However, it turns out that the explosion in the hospital was caused by an Islamic Jihad rocket that misfired and didn’t even land in the hospital. It landed in the parking lot next to it. There is a voice recording between members of Hamas saying that they know that they accidentally caused the explosion. They immediately claimed that Israel bombed the hospital and that 500, a very round number, had died as a consequence.
If you notice, the reporters who are reporting on the ground are all within Israel and not within Gaza. Because they have the freedom to go where they wish within Israel and not within Gaza. Hamas controls the press within Gaza to craft a media that makes Israel look bad so the West will support them.
Israel is a democracy, with opposing parties within side it and a free press that would be able to, and has, disputed false claims that Israel has made. Hamas was elected in 2006 and has not held an election since. They planned to hold an election in 2021, 15 years after their first election, but canceled it and claimed that Israel was influencing the election. They have not attempted to hold an election since.
We also have no idea how many of those who are dead in Gaza are members of Hamas. There are 35-40 thousand members of Hamas within Gaza. Israel does specific target striking. They drop knock bombs on buildings telling people to get civilians and children out so they can bomb and destroy Hamas infrastructure. When they told civilians to get out of Gaza, they did so to reduce civilian casualties, not increase them. If they wanted to carry out their so-called “genocide”, they would fire upon them however they wanted. They have also provided paths that citizens can follow to get out of the range of the bombings. Hamas, however, has been seen blocking these routes with trucks.
Civilians have died in these Israeli bombings, and every civilian life lost is a tragedy and should be mourned as such. But, Hamas has placed their headquarters under a hospital and has many, many times put civilians in harm’s way to keep Israel from destroying them and their weapons. I also find it very interesting that there is so much pressure on Israel to keep civilian casualties low. It’s not on Hamas to move their civilians to safer places, to help facilitate their safety, or on any of the 50 Muslim-majority countries to accept refugees. It is Israel’s responsibility to let a terrorist group kill 1400+, injure many more, take 200+ hostages, and then not retaliate to let it all happen again in the future.
Hamas is the one committing the human rights violations. Not Israel. Israel does not use its citizens and its children as a shield from attacks. Hamas does. Israel did not use a ground invasion to kill innocent civilians gunning down anyone and everyone they ran into. Hamas did. And they should be destroyed. And anyone who wants the best for the people of Palestine should want the same.
What Do We Do Now?
War has begun and neither side seems to be backing down anytime soon. Israel is pulling its punches, however. Not only because they have their Iron Dome to protect them from most rocket fire, but because of the threat of Hezbollah to the north invading. Israel had delayed their ground assault planned in Gaza to keep troupes available to defend the country if an attack occurred from another position.
But what should be done to end this conflict? A prevalent position by Hamas supporters and the people who flooded the US Capitol on October 18th is that a ceasefire should be called between both sides. But what do we do then? Hamas still has 200+ hostages under their care. Israel calls a cease-fire, Hamas may give back the hostages, most likely not without a few concessions, and then repeat this same atrocity a few years later because they see that they can get away with it if they hide behind civilians until the West steps in and saves them?
They do not think like us. Hamas has torn up water pipes to then use as rockets and launch into Israel. They have TV shows for children telling them to kill Jews and showing them how to do it.
Israel, for all its faults, is not an apartheid state. They have Arabian members in their government. Arabs are allowed the same rights as Jews. 21% of their population is Arab, and their Declaration of Independence says: “We appeal… to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State based on full and equal citizenship and due representation”. Does that sound like a state that has the idea of genocide and ethnic cleansing as its goal?
And if we want to talk about which side is committing war crimes. Hamas is the culprit. The Geneva Convention was created to keep military fighting between soldiers. Hamas hides their weapons and tunnels under hospitals, mosques, and schools. They tell people to not leave buildings that Israel says will be bombed. They want their civilians to be killed, or to be put in harm’s way, to dissuade Israel from attacking them. As one of Hamas’ leaders stated: “We, on the other hand, sacrifice ourselves. We consider our dead to be Martyrs.” You don’t get to kill over a thousand people, hide behind your citizens, and then when they get killed in the crossfire, claim that your enemy is trying to kill civilians.
Hamas Does Not Care For It’s Citizens
Israel left Gaza militarily in 2005, letting them elect their government and represent themselves. Since then, Hamas was elected and has been trying to tear down Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Not because Israel has made Gaza a “Concentration Camp”. But because they are Jewish.
The reason why Israel, and Egypt, have a blockade around Gaza is to keep other terrorist organizations and governments like Iran, from importing weapons that Hamas would then use to kill Jews in Israel, which is exactly what happened on October 7th. They do not keep money or goods from flowing into Gaza. From 2014 to 2020, U.N. agencies spent nearly $4.5 billion in Gaza, none of which seems to have been used to help the civilians.
In 2015, Hamas restricted the building of water wells in Gaza. Why? One reason might be, to make money. It costed 3,000 USD to get a license to drill a well in Gaza at the time of this new restriction. Instead of being able to get water from a municipal center, people were forced to get water from private companies. This made water 35 times more expensive.
Hamas, reported by the New York Times, has enough fuel to continue attacks on Israel for a while without needing a resupply. They have hundreds of thousands of gallons of gas and other supplies, while their civilians seem to be struggling for anything they can get. Hostages that were released reported that there were “medicine, shampoo and feminine hygiene products” in the tunnels, many of which are extremely hard to acquire within Gaza.
So no, this is not a complex issue. I agree with the “Free Palestine” article on that. But for a very different reason. Israel’s creation was on the basis that they needed to defend themselves because, as history shows, no one else was willing to die for them. They had to protect themselves. They were given back their homeland that they first inhabited over 3,000 years ago and since then, have been fighting off those who wish to bring them down. So, next time you go to post something in support of a terrorist organization, like Hamas, or you see someone you may know trying to justify their actions. Have a dialogue with them. Try to find out why the murder and rape of innocent civilians may be justified because an “oppressive” government that provided them water and electricity won’t allow imported weapons to be used against innocent civilians. We have a terrible mindset in The West that everyone thinks like we do. We wouldn’t dare do something this horrendous unless something equally terrible happened to us. This mindset may have been what let terrible events like 9/11 and this most recent attack on Israel occur. I pray we do not repeat them in the future.