I am disgusted…

I get it…. Yes the images of Gaza civilians in the rubble of what were their houses, the stretchers with wounded and dead civilians….. It is awful. We should all be concerned.

The same for the some 70,000 civilians that were killed in Afghanistan, the 200,000 in Iraq, 150,000 in Lebanon, the 300,000 in Syria, the 20,000 in Libya, the 150,000 in Yemen etc etc

Protesters in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London…. Everywhere…. are right to demonstrate against the misery of the Gaza civilians. However, I should wonder why they only demonstrate when they (mistakenly) can blame Israel, but remain entirely silent when other civilians are killed in conflicts around the world.

I said “I should wonder”, but of course I know the why, and while we remember the Kristallnacht, we know that antisemitism is still very much alive. No demonstrations against the Russians in Ukraine, nothing against how Hezbollah destroys Lebanon, the murders by Assad of his own citizens in Syria, the crimes perpetrated and organized by Iran. Nothing…… but blaming Israel brings thousands on the streets. No mention that Hamas started the war and can finish the war immediately by releasing all the hostages and surrender. Nothing like that, just blaming Israel for defending itself with determination to rid Gaza of Hamas, trying hard to avoid civilians deaths by warning them to move out. No recognition of the protesters that Hamas hides behind and below civilians, in schools, hospitals and in Unwra buildings. No mention anywhere of the duplicitous role played by Unwra in Gaza and by the UN in general.

I also read so many comments that Hamas committed these acts because of Netanyahu’s right wing government. Usually I stay out of Israel’s domestic politics because that is the role of the Israelis themselves. But for sure Netanyahu must be held accountable for the intelligence and military failures of October 7. As they say, the buck stops with Bibi.

However Hamas is not more against Bibi’s government than it is against any Israeli government. It is against the existence of Israel. Left wing Israeli Prime Ministers offered major concessions to Arafat and then the intifadas broke out. A right wing Israeli Prime Minister, Arik Sharon, took all Israelis (military and civilians) out of Gaza in 2005 and gave it the chance to become a showcase of a peaceful Palestinian entity. But then Hamas took control and destroyed any hope for Gazans. Now in the 2020’s Hamas saw the emergence of a new more peaceful Middle East with the Abraham Accords and, inspired by Iran, decided to destroy that new Middle East. I am hopeful that this new Middle East will still come about, but for sure Hamas succeeded in putting a major dent.

I don’t know, and it worries me, what will happen in Gaza when this war ends. PA’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh is not wrong when he says that Israel can kill  Hamas in Gaza but it can not kill the idea behind Hamas. Israel can not, but Mohammad Shtayyeh and all Arab leaders can. They must change the religious and cultural education of their children, from hate to co-existence. It is their responsibility, not Israel’s.

I am disgusted by the opposition to Israel and the enormous antisemitism, manifesting itself all over the world. Some world leaders remain strong in their support of Israel but others count that they have more Muslim and radical left voters than Jewish, and slowly but surely they shift their stand already. As an American Jew, I am deeply grateful for the US support of Israel, even if Biden/Blinken are weakening already, but the lesson learned is that right now it may not be all that safe in Israel, but at the end there is no safer place for Jews than in Israel.

About the Author
Born in the Netherlands, graduated from the Universite de Geneve and the Graduate Institute of International Studies, also in Geneva. Fluent in Dutch, French, English and Spanish, with some knowledge of German, as well as a bit of Ivrit. Spent my working career working in finance in Amsterdam, Paris, London, Geneva, Panama, Mexico and Miami. I am now semi-retired.
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