The Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas was founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the militant Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Since 2007 it has controlled Gaza. The 1988 Hamas Charter made it clear that the complete removal of the Israelis and the establishment of a totalist Islamic state must occur.
For years now it has been involved in firing rockets into Israeli civilian centres. Moreover, it launches these rockets from civilian centres in Gaza. If any Israeli retaliation takes place, there may in fact be collateral damage. Thus civilians are being killed in both areas due to the deliberate actions of Hamas.
The latest crisis is simply more of the same. Israel is under relentless attack, with hundreds of rockets raining down upon it. It has no choice but to defend itself. As Hamas insists on planting its rocket launchers in, on, or near mosques, schools and hospitals, the mainstream media will often focus on any civilian casualties, no matter how hard Israel seeks to prevent them.
Indeed, the embattled nation goes to unprecedented lengths to avoid such casualties, including leaflet drops to warn of approaching strikes; phone calls and text messenger also warning of such actions; and the use of pinpoint strikes to minimise as much as possible any civilian casualties.
I am not aware of any other nation which goes to such great lengths to protect civilians in enemy territory. Yet for all this the MSM tends to paint Israel as the aggressor, and Hamas as the victim. But on occasion truth gets out – even if in unexpected places. A piece yesterday in the leftist UK Guardian was one such example.
In it Danny Ayalon argues that “Hamas leaves Israel no choice”. He writes, “Hamas’s charter includes the aspiration that ‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)’. While many concentrate on its death-cult worship, its bloodthirsty killing of adversaries, or its contempt for women, Christians and homosexuals, it is this aspiration for genocide that is at the root of Hamas activities. This is the primary reason why Hamas, the governing regime in Gaza, will never recognise or accept a peace accord with Israel in any form.
“Since Israel left Gaza in 2005, thousands of rockets have rained down on Israeli cities and towns in deliberate contravention not just of international law, but all humanity and morality. While some might suggest the so-called blockade is the cause of the attacks, it is actually a consequence. The restrictions were only implemented two years after Israel left Gaza, when it was clear that instead of building a ‘Singapore of the Middle East’, Hamas was interested in importing stockpiles of weapons from places like Iran. Instead of building a future for its people, Hamas built an open-air prison for the million and a half inhabitants who fell into its grasp.
“However, Gaza was never enough for an organisation whose raison d’etre is the annihilation of Israel, and whose charter begins with the ominous warning that ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it’.
“Every rocket from Gaza is a double war crime. First, the rockets are aimed at civilians; second, they are fired from built-up civilian areas, often close to schools, mosques and hospitals. And about 10% of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza don’t reach Israel, exploding in Gaza. Mohammed Sadallah – a four-year-old killed on Saturday, his body displayed in a press conference with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader – was, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, most likely killed by an errant Hamas rocket.”
Richard Cohen has also just written a piece on “The Callousness of Hamas”. He begins, “Of all the points of disagreement between Israel and Hamas, maybe the most profound is this one: Israel cares more about sparing innocent lives – including those of Palestinians – than does Hamas. Not only have Hamas and other militant groups this year sent more than 700 rockets crashing haphazardly into southern Israel, but Hamas instigated yet another war where the chief loser will certainly be its own people. If hell has a beach, it’s located in Gaza.
“The Gaza Strip is a congested, fetid place. It is densely populated and in the slums and housing blocks, Hamas has hidden its weapons, explosives and rocket launchers. Israel has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. Its air force has used new, highly accurate ammunition aiming for rocket-launching sites and government installations. For the most part, it has succeeded.
“For Hamas, civilian casualties are an asset. Palestinians love and grieve as do other people, but Hamas leadership knows that the world has gotten impatient with Israel. Increasingly, many people now see Israel as the aggressor, as Gaza’s occupying power (never mind the 2005 pullout), and they overlook such trifles as the Hamas charter, which is repellently anti-Semitic and cites the discredited forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’ In the Hamas cosmology, Jews are so evil that somehow ‘they also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials.’ This, you would have to concede, is a wholly original take on the Holocaust.”
He continues, “Hamas is not the passive party in this struggle. It rules Gaza by force. The other day it murdered – please don’t say ‘executed’ – an alleged collaborator without the inconvenience of a trial, shooting the man on a crowded street. It chose to make war by allowing more militant groups to use Gaza as a launching pad for rockets and firing off the occasional rocket itself. No nation is going to put up with this sort of terror. The rockets do some, not a lot of damage, but that’s not the point. The point instead is that people who have the wherewithal will not continue to live in a place where even the occasional rocket can come down on your kids’ school. This is not a mere border problem. For Israel, this is an existential threat.
“What various editorial writers and others seem not to understand is that the very peace agreement they accuse Israel of forestalling is, in fact, impeded by Hamas’ use of violence. Who wants to make peace with extremists? Who wants to give up land for the promises of peace offered by zealots who read Hitler for inspiration?”
Finally, if there remains any doubt as to why Israel is fighting a life and death battle for the preservation of civilisation from the inroads of the barbarians, simply consider this example of Hamas “justice”. The link below features the sickening pictures of a supposed Israeli collaborator who was dragged through the main streets of Gaza City behind a motorcycle. He was one of six men killed, without a trial, without witnesses, without anything.
That is Hamas justice pure and simple. No wonder Israel is fighting for its life. Despite its many faults and weaknesses, it is the only nation in the region which is a thriving democracy, with human rights, freedoms of all kinds, and the rule of law.
How many of its surrounding neighbours can claim this much? Indeed, the militants want to destroy all that, and establish their own Islamic “paradise” there instead. No thanks – Israel does not want it and the rest of the civilised world should not want it either.