Palestinians in Gaza require protection, not from Israel, but from Hamas.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently proposed establishing an armed military presence in Gaza to protect Palestinians from Israel.  While the Palestinians do require protection, the Secretary General erred as it is not from Israel, but rather from Hamas. Looking below the veneer of the latter’s cleverly orchestrated anti-Israel campaign, it becomes abundantly clear that their end game lies less with improving the welfare of its Palestinian population, and more with eliminating Israel and its Jews from the Middle East map. To keep them out of the spotlight, Hamas continuously reinforces the impressions of Israel as humanity’s evil empire. This is accomplished with hate based street theater and contrived news stories readily adaptable to social media, television and hard press. Along the way, Palestinian lives appear the currency that catches the attention of an ever-present sympathetic press; which never fails to capitalize on the “if it bleeds, it leads” moments. All of which is calculated to offend Western sensibilities, as well as to intentionally chip away at Israel’s endurance, ultimately to fulfill Hamas’ promise of acquiring its land and wealth through violence and sacrifice.

A subtle victimization lies hidden within the Palestinian children’s educational system. Funds managed by the United Nation’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine-Refugees (UNRWA), have come under scrutiny, alleging the textbooks supplied, demonize Israel and Jews, and imply that Palestinian statehood is achievable through violent confrontation. This is disturbing as UNRWA exerts influence on roughly 340 schools within Palestinian controlled territories, including an estimated student population of 250,000, within Gaza and the disputed West Bank.  It remains unclear as to how many young, impressionable children may yield to martyrdom, simply by being repetitively taught, year after year, grade after grade, class lessons that blame Palestinian woes entirely on Israel and Jews.

In an effort to defuse provocations, the U.S. Congress is asking the State Department to investigate and make known if U.S. foreign aid is being directed in any manner to foment hate through educational materials or intimidation.  European lawmakers are also jumping on this band wagon; concerned about the effects of incitement and the impediment towards tolerance it poses.

UNRWA’s responsibility was and is to assist with food aid, raising the level of healthcare and providing social services to better the lot of the millions of dependent Palestinians across the Middle East, certainly not to politicize hate within academics.  The United States is tapering financial assistance, until recognized reforms are forthcoming. This comes not that long after Congress passed the Taylor Force Act mandating cuts of U.S. dollars to the Palestinian Authority, until it stops paying financial tributes to convicted or killed Palestinian terrorist’s families.

Hamas similarly, is alleged to have similarly awarded its Palestinians who sustain wounds ($500), and if killed ($3000), while in their efforts to breach Israel’s Southern Gaza security fence with the intent of spreading mayhem, murder and terror.  Old tires are placed near the fence and burned, creating dense, frightening clouds of smoke, masking breach attempts. This combined with the launching of numerous kites and balloons, each toting incendiary chemicals that set Israeli fields ablaze, destroying homes and harming farm animals; and the firing of rockets and mortar shells emanating from Gaza, clearly defeats disingenuous impressions of Palestinian “peaceful” demonstrations. Add to this, Hamas allegedly setting aside $200+ million dollars for tunnel construction and repair, the stock piling of offensive weapons, and the camouflaging of rocket launch sites located proximate to populated areas; shows a lack of regard for the safety of its vulnerable Palestinian civilians. Having benefited from multi-millions, if not billions of charitable dollar grants over the years, geared to improve the daily health and welfare needs of Gaza residents, where is verifiable proof that anything positive and lasting has been accomplished? If not, the U.N. Secretary General should ask himself why not, and where the well-meaning money has gone.

Although Israel is conveniently labeled the root cause of all problems in the Middle East, yet, it never ordered bombs strapped to its citizens’ bodies to murder its enemies. If fact, just the opposite, as it actively seeks ways to minimize its enemies’ casualties, even at the risk of its own citizen-soldier’ lives. Prior to expected attacks targeting its southern defensive fence positions, Israel dropped thousands of leaflets into Gaza alerting Palestinians of the dangerous consequences with their attempts to gain access into Israel.  Even with the harsh realities of consequential death and property damage, still the moral dilemma of firing upon Palestinian civilians prompted the Israel Defense Forces to request a Supreme Court decision regarding the justification of deadly force under the above circumstances. This, plus Israel’s continuous efforts to medically treat wounded Syrian refuges puts to question why U.N. Secretary-General, Guterres ignores Israel’s reality, while turning a blind eye to the actual purveyors of hate?

In any case, Secretary General Guterres, before implementing any plan to put an armed United Nations presence in Gaza or elsewhere within the territories, please weigh the above and reconsider, who needs protection from whom?

About the Author
Bruce Portnoy, is a published op-ed contributor to the "Miami Herald," "Washington Examiner," and "The American Thinker"; as well as the author of the Geo-political thriller, "First, the 'Saturday People', and then the..."
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