Think before you join the FreePalestine Campaign.

I recently found myself sucked into yet another one of those back-and-forth Facebook arguments regarding the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. You know the type I’m talking about – one of those never ending bouts where each side presents soundbites of information, a video here, and recorded date of a tragedy there. One of those stalemates of stupidity where each valid point made on the one side is met with a barrage of bullocks meant to blur the truth coming from the other side.

It has become increasingly clear to me over the past month or so that no matter the degree to which any person may become educated within the scope of academia, it can no longer be a reliable measurement of how willing a person is to make a genuine effort to find – or better yet come up with his/her own – unbiased opinion of what is happening now and the history that has led up to this point.

I do believe, and hope, that many of my friends who support this FreeGaza/FreePalestine campaign do so for honorable reasons. I mentioned that this is about presenting unbiased information as a matter of will; this is definitely not a matter of ability, as many of these “activists” clearly know how to synthesize an argument based on some level of research. Unfortunately, they have yet to come to terms with the reality that is at the center of this ongoing conflict.

Maybe it’s something that they refuse to believe? Maybe they believe it is something that was fabricated by the West in order to paint a group of people as something they are not? Maybe they force themselves to be blind to the hatred that is indoctrinated and instilled in little children from the day they are born on the one side? Or the opposite – maybe they force themselves to be blind to the great contributions to science, technology, humanitarianism, etc. that comes from the other side?

In any case, what has become the greatest problem in my eyes is that there are a vast amount of people in the West who are anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian or pro-Gaza, and they don’t mind that they are placing themselves side-by-side with people who consistently demonstrate their hatred for the Jewish people. They seem to willfully ignore the way Palestinians and their supporters abroad continue to call for the complete annihilation of Israel and every Jew on ‘Arab’ land.

These so-called “civil libertarians” are saying that those who have called Hitler a hero, and named streets and parks after suicide bombers, are only looking to find peace and fundamental human rights. They seem to forget that Palestinians cheered, sang, danced, and threw candy in the streets when they heard 3,000 Americans had died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. How can you justify that?

How can someone “educated” not see that anti-semitism is live and well in Europe? These people who go to the streets and cry out “Free Gaza from Isra-Hell” (yes, that’s what many of them call Israel) are also chanting “Jews your end is near”. How do you call yourself a humanitarian when you try to justify why these people feel that way, or how they’ve come to this point of hating an entire group of people based on their religious ties? There is no justifying that!

If their argument is that a group which has been oppressed has the right to shoot rockets at civilian populations as a form of winning their freedom, then how can you point the finger at Jews and claim that they’re doing the same thing but that it isn’t okay? First of all, I would hardly call the Palestinians oppressed when they have historically instigated war after war and still are offered a sovereign state. Secondly, Jews have been chased out of every place they have ever called “home” on this Earth of ours. They were systematically murdered … 6 million of them. So considering the fact that Jews actually faced genocide less than a century ago, what is the reason that they shouldn’t be allowed to defend themselves from aggression?

Why is it okay for Hamas to execute the civilians they are claiming to protect when those people speak out against Hamas? But it’s not okay for Israel to attack legitimate military targets recognized by international law?

Did any one of these human rights activists ever take a second to do some research on the Geneva Conventions? If you claim that you care about the “fairness” of this conflict, and you have made it this far into my article, I urge you to look up Article 28 of the Geneva Conventions. Then you can Google search the videos of the Indian Reporter and the French Reporter (two separate incidents) giving firsthand accounts of rockets being fired from densely populated civilian areas in Gaza. In fact, the French report showed a rocket launcher right next to a UN building.

And what about the 3 reported accounts of rockets being found in UNWRA schools? Those are only three times that they happened upon weapons during “routine” searches. These findings were condemned by the UN, yet the rockets were given over to Palestinian Police, known to be under direct control of Hamas.

And what about the estimated $10 million USD and 800,000 tons of cement in aide that was put towards the construction of a vast tunnel system which infiltrated Israel? These were resources that could have been used to build infrastructure, schools, hospitals. Or maybe bunkers to protect their civilians, the way Israel does, since they are well aware of the threats they face.

And the syringes, chloroform, weapons, fake Israeli military uniforms, and even motorcycles that were all stored in these tunnels, with the ultimate plan of attacking various civilian areas in Israel during the most holy holiday? Not mentioned by any one of these FreeGaza goonies. That might be one of those points they’d rather stay away from, as it would force them to admit that they might be supporting the wrong side.

I guess some of the biggest questions are: what if Israel didn’t have the Iron Dome defense system? Would Israel’s actions be justified if the civilian death tolls were more equal? Must there be more Israeli blood spilled in order for the world to once again turn a blind eye? Should Israel allow its citizens to get pummeled with thousands of rockets just so the world can say it’s alright for Israel to retaliate? How, after only a few weeks, do people who are so far removed suddenly know more about how to approach a situation that has been going on for generations?

Sure, you can call me biased because my father is from Israel. But I will never – NEVER – apologize for defending my people’s right to defend themselves. If Israel had not existed in 1948, I would not be here today. My grandmother would have been killed back in Iraq because she would not have had a country to which she could flee. For 64 years my people have struggled against those who seek to erase Judaism from the Levant, and chase the Jews into the Sea. Today, the fight to eliminate the State of Israel continues under the guise of political correctness, and has been rename their struggle to “liberate the land of Palestine, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea” from the “Zionist enemy”. I urge people to think before they side with pro-Palestinians. I urge people to see this hatred and demonization for what it is. I urge those who have no knowledge of this conflict to either educate themselves or stay out of it completely.

Because the bottom line is, while Israel would defend and protect your child’s right to live in peace, Hamas would defend themselves with pieces of your child. THAT is the truth.

About the Author
Benjamin Shabat will shortly be graduating from Rutgers University, double majoring in Anthropology and Sociology. He is a proud Zionist, looking to help people learn about Israel and its contribution to the greater global community.
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