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Paul Gross

If you’re ‘pro-Palestinian’, why aren’t you anti-Hamas?

Dear “Pro-Palestinian” protestors,

If you actually are “pro-Palestinian”, why are you calling a ceasefire which will leave Hamas running Gaza? Let’s leave aside for now the horrors Hamas inflicted on October 7th (most of you don’t seem too exercised anyway about the rape, torture, mutilation and mass murder of Jewish men, women and children.)

Hamas runs Gaza as an oppressive theocracy. Its complete disregard for the lives of the people it rules is evident from its repeated use of them as human shields; its attempts to prevent Gazans from fleeing areas of imminent Israeli bombardment after Israel warned residents of northern Gaza to do so; its theft of humanitarian aid intended for ordinary Palestinians; and its stockpiling of food and fuel for its own fighters even while it wails to the international community that its people are starving.

If you really were genuinely interested in the welfare of the 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza, you wouldn’t be calling for a ceasefire, you’d be out in your thousands calling for the unconditional surrender of Hamas, and the return of the 200+ Israeli hostages. Many of you have made it quite clear that you don’t care about Israeli lives, but the return of the hostages along with Hamas’s capitulation would end Israel’s military campaign. and it would free Gaza from Hamas.

But what about nasty old Israel, the occupying power? Well, here a decent book on recent Middle East history might be helpful. Israel left Gaza in 2005. From August of that year, the territory of the Gaza Strip was entirely free of Israeli soldiers and civilians.

“Yeah, but Israel imposed a siege on Gaza, that’s why Hamas launched the rockets!”

No, sorry. Go back to learning the facts again. The rockets started long before Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, though certainly the rocket fire massively increased in intensity and frequency once the IDF was no longer there to prevent it. The siege was imposed by Israel and Egypt (you never mention Egypt, oddly…) after Hamas took control of Gaza and attacked Israel and kidnapped one of its soldiers.

A government in Gaza (whether Palestinian or some kind of international arrangement, perhaps involving Egypt, Saudia Arabia and the UAE) that doesn’t threaten Israel could actually be a model for a Palestinian state. This was the original idea of Israel’s withdrawal back in 2005, to give the Palestinians an opportunity to prove they could run an independent territory, with no Israeli presence, that would not continue to terrorize Israeli citizens. They failed that test quite spectacularly. Well, here’s the second chance… A demilitarized Gaza Strip, run by a responsible government, with an education system that no longer teaches children to become Jew-murdering “martyrs”, that would be open to international investment and could form part of the alliance of Western-allied Arab states.

“If you will it, it is no dream” said a man that you should really read (apart from anything else, you’d learn some facts about Zionism, instead of the antisemitic propaganda many of you seem to have imbibed). And you, self-defined “pro-Palestinian” activists, you can play your part. Put away the anti-Israel placards, abandon the moronic and offensive slogans about “Israeli Genocide” etc. Be “Pro-Palestinian and anti-Hamas”.

In the streets and on social media; call for the unconditional surrender of Hamas and the return of Israel’s hostages. For the sake of the “Free Palestine” that you claim to want.

About the Author
Before moving to Israel from the UK, Paul worked at the Embassy of Israel to the UK in the Public Affairs department, and as the Ambassador's speechwriter. He has a Masters degree in Middle East Politics from the University of London. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem - though he writes this blog in a personal capacity. He has lectured to a variety of groups on Israeli history and politics and his articles have been published in a variety of media outlets in Israel, the UK, the US and Canada.
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