I used to be a fervent defender of the Palestinian people – mostly due to my family being of the same political persuasion when it comes to Palestine. Which was that Israel were almost genocidal aggressors who lacked any moral compasses and had zero respect for Palestinians, whilst Yasser Arafat was a liberating hero and Hamas were worthy of praise.
Oh, how wrong I was. Like it or not Hamas are nothing more than opportunistic terrorists, whom are anti-Semitic to their very core. Indeed in Article 32 of the Hamas Charter they reference the Protocols of Zion. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Jewish history or conspiracy theories knows this book to be nothing more than a massive, anti-Semitic hoax. Hamas use it anyway. And as much as Hamas like to paint Israel to be an ironic mirror image of Nazi Germany, they engage in authoritarian tactics that would make Hitler himself proud – warping education, enforcing an image that the Jews are a lesser race and keeping a sharia-law inspired police state. Certainly, this leaves us with a problem, as these Palestinian refugees are, much like the populace of Nazi Germany, heavily indoctrinated – Nazism still infested Germany after it was liberated in 1945, and I expect Palestine would have a lingering base of hard-line anti-Semitism if nothing is done about Hamas.
As well as this, Hamas also are undeserving of national sympathy when they say “we are only defending ourselves!” They defend themselves by chucking unguided rockets into generally civilian areas – Israel in contrast uses generally advanced military technology to keep civilian causalities to a minimum. Nor does Israel use suicide bombers, I.E.Ds and other such terror tactics – whereas Hamas and other Jihadists in areas like Gaza do, rather commonly.
Israel however cannot be treated as a saint either. The claim “a people without a land need a land without a people” – a slogan used by many Zionists to justify getting Palestinian land prior to Israel’s establishment – is unfactual nonsense. The Jewish people may have not had a land, but the land had a people – Palestinians. Israel also lost much of my respect when it used white phosphorous in Operation Cast Lead in 2008. Now, unlike missiles and other contraptions that can be guided, white phosphorous however cannot – this weapon reminds me of napalm and is declared illegal by the United Nations. The usage of this, as well as a heavy bombing campaign in the same operation saw over 50,000 residents of Gaza displaced and led to the death of over 900 civilians. How many civilians died in Israel? 3. Clearly Israel, on this occasion, threw its rule of not killing civilians out of the window – and whoever was responsible should be tried for war crimes.
I feel it is hard to connect to either side – I cannot bring myself to wave the flag for Palestine as proudly as I did only a few months ago. I think Sharia-Law is abominable, and the Palestinian government mirror the government of Nazi Germany is almost everything except religion. In contrast, Israel, a secular democracy – should be gaining my support – but the stupidity of some hard-core Zionists disturbs me, such as when they justify building homes further into Palestinian territory – because, wait for it, the Torah says it. And their campaign in 2008 saw causalities that were simply too high, and weapons that didn’t differentiate between terrorist and non-combatant. Ultimately though, I believer Israel have the slightly higher moral high ground – they constantly, and I mean constantly, offer Palestine a state, leading to the implementation of the two-state solution. Palestine always refuse, as for Palestinians it isn’t about creating peace with Israel, it’s more about destroying Israel. I’m not Jewish, nor am I a Zionist – but I wouldn’t wish for Israel’s destruction, and I can see Hamas and their loyal followers for what they are, racist, violent and anti-Semitic.
Bringing peace to the Middle East, judging by what both sides are doing, is going to be a hard task.
By Rory Claydon