In 2003, Ariel Sharon said he wanted to end the occupation. Sharon told the Likud in May of that year “it is not possible to continue holding 3-1/2 million people under occupation” and that “you may not like the word, but what’s happening is occupation. This is a terrible thing for Israel, for the Palestinians, and for the Israeli economy.”
Sharon was right. What happened?
Sharon unilaterally left Gaza in August, 2005, deciding that parts of the Occupied Territories were also a security liability. In September, 2005, which included the immensely difficult task of evicting 9,000 Israeli citizens from 25 settlements, the handover was completed.
Hamas’ first actions were to destroy any infrastructure left by Israel. Though the IDF had destroyed Israeli homes and related structures, successful greenhouses growing vegetables and other resources left by Israel were arbitrarily destroyed by Hamas — because they were Israeli.
Imagine if Hamas and Fatah had instead prioritized building a self sustaining economy in Gaza and the West Bank which could have included these resources. The Palestinians might have an independent state by now.
Instead, Hamas took unilateral command of Gaza after a bloody civil war with Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, which went from 2006 into 2007. At least 600 Palestinians died in that fight which led to continued internecine warfare, and brutality, with full disregard for Palestinian citizens by the two warring Palestinian dictatorships.
Neither Fatah nor, especially, Hamas has ever prioritized Palestinian Rights, Palestinian citizens or Palestinian independence. The construct of Palestinian independence is an anathema to Hamas and the PA alike in that it threatens their power and wealth.
Hamas has never had the remotest interest in Palestinian Rights or Independence. And those who continue unable to acknowledge this and differentiate between the two, to include the Palestinian American I just saw interviewed, condemn Gazan and all Palestinian citizens by their dishonesty and self indulgence.
I also watched an interview with a young Gazan woman earlier who was in Gaza under Israeli siege and bombs. I grieve for her and hope she survives. Absolutely.
But when asked if she knew why Gaza was under this Israeli assault with one reference being made to Hamas’ slaughter of babies, she immediately dismissed it all out of hand as all lies. It isn’t lies. We have first hand accounts and video.
I’ve also seen so many of the illegitimate, failed Left on social media dismiss every report about Hamas savagery on 10/7 to be lies. They aren’t. We have all the evidence and gather more, sadly, daily. These people also shame me as an old progressive, a Jew and an ardent supporter of Israel who also supports Palestinian Rights.
With friends like these of the illegitimate Left, Palestinians — as they say — don’t need any more enemies. It is the Palestinian leadership who have for years posed as the main enemy to Palestinian citizens and Palestinian aspirations.
Since Hamas’s ISIS like savagery of 10/7, which shouldn’t have left any doubt who they are and what they intend, I have yet to hear any among the America’s ‘progressive’ members of Congress, others from the Left, Palestinians Rights advocates and Arab nations to Corporate CEOs and University Presidents to directly question or challenge Hamas’ actions.
Rashida Tlaib; Cori Bush; Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders and many others, to include reports from the region around Israel, all sell out Palestinian citizens (and themselves) by refusing to make any reference to or overtly reject Hamas savagery while immediately transposing themselves into Hamas apologists.
Hamas is not for Palestinian Rights or Independence and those who continue abjectly unable to differentiate this reality immediately become opponents of Palestinian Rights. I support Palestinian Right though I am much less certain about independence as a direct result of 10/7. I’m still open…but maybe not today.
Not one Arab state contorting itself to swallow and justify Hamas while dishonestly preaching Palestinian Rights has offered asylum to even one Gazan citizen. Palestinians are only supported by the Arab world when Arab nations can use them for regional and/or international political ends.
Gazan residents who out of hand deny Hamas’ barbarism of 10/7 as nothing but lies despite the documented; videoed evidence of Hamas’ slaughter of babies, at a music festival, of children, the rape and murder of mothers, the elderly, and so many others to include those brutally kidnapped in so many locations sell out their cause and can make more empathetic responses difficult.
But it is critical to be aware that Hamas is not a state actor.
Hamas is not a government. And, yes, I know Hamas won a single election in Gaza after the Hamas — Fatah Civil War, but I’d also argue that citizens didn’t have a hell of a lot of alternative.
Hamas does not represent a representative body.
Hamas does not have any stable constituency.
Hamas is not supported by a large percentage of Gazan citizens.
Hamas is a sadistic terrorist organization whose only goal is the eradication of the State of Israel and every Jew from ‘river to the sea.’ And it’s not going to happen. Senior IDF officers are coming out of retirement and the IDF edge, after perhaps having become a bit dull, is resharpening quickly.
Hamas and its enablers will lose but a question is how many more Israelis and how many more citizens of Gaza will they kill first.
Hamas has absolutely no interest in Palestinian Rights or Independence and is not a ‘pro-Palestinian’ organization. Their sole focus is Jewish genocide. Hamas doesn’t kill to be free of or resist the occupation but to be free of every Jew. Do people understand? Jews do. And after 10/7, the world should as well.
‘From the river to the sea’ is a chant for ethnic cleansing which has, again, been repeated by members of the American Left. Even as Israel has made its own brutal contributions to this still evolving crisis, it was Hamas who locked Gazan citizens into the ‘largest open air jail in the world’ causing chaos and Death in Israel when given too much access or leeway.
It sickened me to watch Palestinian Americans in Chicago holding a demonstration chanting ‘from river to the sea.’ That is to Jewish genocide. And that’s all Hamas offers. The Democratic Socialists of America’s anti Israel protests in New York highlighted self identified Nazis among its participants. Like Hamas, Neo-Nazis are also not interested in Palestinian Right but attracted to ‘pro-Palestinian’ demonstrations for their, and for Hamas’, focus on Jewish genocide.
Anything but openly unconditional expressed revulsion at the conduct and actions of Hamas is the only acceptable human response. Absolutely anyone or any organization unable to do so delegitimizes itself — Palestinian citizens and the Palestinian cause.
So many, whether individually or as part of groups, who claim to be pushing ‘Palestinian Rights, in fact, don’t give much of a damn about Palestinian citizens but want to move with Hamas still closer to Jewish genocide and the elimination of Israel.
But Israel is not going anywhere because we have nowhere else left to go.