Gil Lewinsky

Biden and the World Have Forgotten about Hamas

Watching the news come in yesterday I thought for a few minutes as if was awoken in a different universe. It was a universe where Israel had lost any moral compass and was after only one goal: to kill as many civilians as possible and especially aid workers. Picked off one by one, it reaked an aura that they were targetted deliberately as the international community continued an uproar. Israel had killed 33 000 people in Gaza. It raided a hospital and destroyed it. Now its last ally, the United States has given it an ultimatum to stop the war or they will end their support. While all these events are playing out, the Israeli channel puts everyone in a high state of alert for an Iranian rocket strike. Ten to fifteen minutes if launched from their home turf. On foreign media, little or any mention as the United States continues to hammer Israel for killing civilians. Additionally, the United States demands Israel agree to a deal to release the hostages as if Israel is the party holding up the negotiations.

Where is Hamas?

The narrative, now playing out worldwide forgets how the war started with a brutal attack on October 07. Even more so, it forgets that in the conflict there are two sides. Hamas is rarely mentioned on any foreign media. The media narrative worldwide sounds as if Israel has gone on a rampage for its own ends.

Let us bring the conflict back to present reality.
The one issue that has consumed Israeli society since the war began has been the hostages. Their photos are everywhere as are rallies in support of their release. Israel has sent its top Mossad man David Barnea on many trips to Doha and Cairo to negotiate with Hamas. The Hamas terms, a long list, which include the return of civilians to North Gaza, a major release of convicted murderers, a complete withdrawal of Israel from Gaza and an end to the war amount to an Israeli surrender. At present agreeing to the release of hostages amounts to a Hamas surrender. However, who in the world sees this but us?

Posterboard of the Israeli hostages in Gaza. Their photos are everywhere and their return is central in the Israeli mindset. (Gil Lewinsky)

The war began when Hamas, a group on our border dedicated to the annihilation of Israel in its founding charter, crossed the border on October 07th. In addition to launching thousands of rockets at non military targets across Israel, their army raided towns and military bases. Whatever they touched was either massacred, taken hostage, or raped. When the war began, Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israeli cities for months on end. When Israel retaliated, destroying huge swaths of Gaza, their aim was to attack Hamas targets. However Hamas went into the war taking human hostages, which is a violation of international law, and using its civilians as one big cover for its actions, another violation of international law. The battle of Shifa Hospital was one where hundreds of Hamas militia were killed and 500 taken in for questioning. What were they all doing in the hospital? The elusive battle of Rafah is another case in point. The world speaks of the 1.3 million Palestinians who are sheltering there, but noone is talking about why Hamas is sheltering amongst them. The world narrative is complicit to Hamas’s war crime of using the people of Gaza as a human shield. 33 000 have died, many of them militia, they were not all women and children. What is Hamas’s role in all the conflict? Doesn’t each conflict have two sides?

Let us recap:

  • Hamas started the war by attacking civilians and soldiers and taking hostages on October 07th.
  • Hamas is only prepared to release the hostages if Israel unconditionally surrenders to it. As Hamas plans to annihilate Israel a surrender may mean a knock to its viability to survive as an independent state.
  • Hamas is a proxy of Iran, another ignored party to this conflict.
  • Iran, allied with Russia and China are an anti Western axis that wish to harm Western interests.
  • Hamas uses its people as human shields as a strategy of war, a war crime, which noone covers in their reporting.
Memorial to the 364 victims (and dozens of hostages) victims at the Nova Musical Festival massacred by Hamas on October 07th. (Credit: Gil Lewinsky)

To be sure, Israel has what to explain for us as well. Few on the Israeli side know what are the objectives of the Israeli army in Gaza. Release the hostages? In six months, we have rescued three and killed a further three that soldiers found surprisingly in a suburb of Gaza City. Around 2% of the total hostages for an army that is considered one of the most competent for rescuing hostages. Ending Hamas rule? Why has it taken six months for Israel to conquour a territory the size of a Canadian, American, or Australian city, and still Hamas can easily return to areas where the army has cleared? Why is the Israeli army invading and then retreating over and over again and in a point that is echoed by the Americans, what is the game after plan for Gaza? Are we to be at war in Gaza forever? Noone in Israel knows and it is time our war cabinet pulls a Zelensky and tells us what our objectives are. Complete victory? Hostages? Sorry doesnt look it. We in ISrael also need explanations over what is happening.

“There is no right wing or left wing”. Israeli society remains largely united especially around the soldiers even though few support Netanyahu. Israeli society cohesion has been strong and many do not understand why the world reacts the way they have. (Credit: Gil Lewinsky)

Israel has lost the Public Relations war. However, when Biden begins issuing ultimatums to Israel, it seems to have forgotten about the second party to the war, Hamas. If after sending us weapons and diplomatically backing us he intends us to surrender to Hamas tell us to our face. We here in Israel love our country and our soldiers with a remarkable cohesion even if we have issues with the commanders and the war strategy. Most do not understand why the world community has turned on us the way they have.

Tell us to our face if you are our friend Joe, so we can decide what to do next.

About the Author
Born in Israel but raised in Canada, Gil Lewinsky worked as a journalist in Jewish newspapers including the Jerusalem Post after completing a Masters degree at the Munk School of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto. He also has a LLM in International Law from Lancaster University in the UK. His past topics include a book written about the Status of Gaza under International Law soon after its conquest by Hamas in 2007. He is perhaps best known as one of two people that brought a flock of Jacob Sheep from Canada to Israel in 2016, making history. He currently works as a teacher and English public relations professional in Israel.
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