David Shayne

Think Hamas Is Heroic? Ask The People Who Should Know

There is group of people of, despite their unrelenting hatred for Jews and Israelis, are openly acknowledging that this horrible conflagration that has racked Israel and Gaza was started and perpetuated by the Hamas-led terror coalition (or as I prefer to call it, the Palestine Terror Army, or  PTA).

Who are these people who are now having second thoughts or reexamining their presumptions?  The radical professors and their students whose anti-Israel (and sometimes overtly pro PTA and antisemitic) agitation have roiled university campuses across North America and Europe?  Oh no.

The Israel-hating members of the chattering classes like Briahna Gray Joy, Cenk Uygur, several BBC reporters and other British journalists like Belle Donati who literally called an Israeli official a Nazi?  Of course not!

Various politicians, government and NGO officials like Karim Khan, Francesca Albanese, UN Chief Antonio Guterres, Jamal Bowman, the entire South African Government,  or Irish Parliament Member Thomas Gould who called for Israelis to burn in Hell? Don’t be ridiculous!

So who then?  The Gazans themselves! For months, Israeli media and some NGOs have been putting out stories supported by recordings, interviews, etc. that a significant percentage of the population in Gaza understands fully well the PTA recklessly started this war and keeps it going particularly by continuing to hold over 120 of the Israeli hostages it kidnapped on October 7.

To be sure, the endemic hatred for Israel, which forms the root cause not just for this war but all previous conflicts between Israel and Gaza, has not gone away. Don’t expect to see Israeli flags flying from windows or Israeli soldiers showered with rice or flowers.

But many Gazans understand that Hamas is the immediate and direct cause of their suffering.

For example, Yediot Ahronot published an article on April 29, 2024 describing the despair in Gaza and quoting one of the few Gazans who escaped to Egypt:

“There’s a lot of anger toward Israel and Hamas. I couldn’t even say who people are angrier with . . on second thoughts (sic) they are angrier with Hamas . . .”

Up until recently, these stories have been ignored or at least downplayed in the mainstream Western media.  However, in the last few days both NBC and BBC have run stories highlighting the rage many Gazans are now expressing openly against the PTA.  Both articles are noteworthy for their detailed descriptions of the suffering the war has caused without the usual finger pointing at Israel, and both emphasize the outrage Gazans are more and more openly expressing against Hamas.

Interestingly, the two articles differ in one respect:  The BBC claims recent polling shows 2/3 of Gazans still support Hamas while the NBC article-citing a different polling source-claims only 1/5 of Gazans still support Hamas.  Given the obvious difficulties in polling in a war zone, these discrepancies are understandable.  But even the BBC acknowledges in the thrust of its article, as the war drags on, Hamas continues to hemorrhage the support of the populace.

All of this underscores a weird irony alluded to at the beginning of this article-millions of Westerners, most of who are aligned with the extreme Left, loudly accuse Israel of committing genocide while it wages a defensive war against the PTA, (who did attempt to commit a real genocide against Israel), while many of the supposed victims of Israel’s genocidal acts blame the PTA over Israel or at least equally.

Yes, it’s a horrible war and too many children have been killed, wounded or orphaned on both sides (more than zero is too many, of course) but it seems many or most of the Palestinians in Gaza understand much better than useful idiots like Greta Thunberg or Susan Sarandon who bears most of the guilt for massive destruction wrought upon Gaza.  They seem to understand this destruction is a direct, foreseeable and perhaps even understandable consequence of not just the brutal mass murder, rape and destruction the PTA perpetrated on October 7 but of the PTA’s intentional efforts to imbed itself so deeply within Gaza’s civilian population as to render it impossible for the Israel Defense Forces to completely isolate the PTA operatives from the “uninvolveds“ , not to mention that they understand Israel will leave no stone unturned-literally-to free the remaining living hostages and retrieve the bodies of the murdered.

And its not just Gaza, in many places in the Arab world, people understand better than the ICC and the ICJ who the real war criminals are in this conflict.  Suzan Quitaz, herself an Iraqi Kurd, has written and spoken extensively on Arab media outlets and Arab reaction in general to the conflict.   In an interview she gave on April 12, 2024 she discussed how some Arab media outlets-in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, for example have provided more balanced reporting and, while no fans of Israel, do not hesitate to lay the primary blame for the suffering of Gaza on Hamas.  Moreover, these outlets place a much greater emphasis on Iran’s culpability for this disaster than does most Western media. Ms. Quitaz also monitors social networks and noticed that numerous Arabs question the accuracy of the pro-PTA narrative they are getting from unabashedly pro-Hamas outlets like Al Jazeera.  She adds further even some Arabs who are generally pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel condemn Hamas atrocities as contrary to Islamic values and inimical to the “cause” of “liberating” Palestine.

The Western Media is Working for Hamas

None of this is to suggest that any sort of general rapprochement between Israel and its Islamic enemies—both Arab and non-Arab-is in the offing.  Unfortunately, it seems this conflict in some form will continue even beyond this war. But those in the West who have been so quick to jump on the Israel-hating bandwagon and continue to spread lies about Israel committing genocide, intentionally starving the Gazan population, etc., might do well to start paying closer attention to what Gazans and other Arabs are actually saying about who is the real culprit.

About the Author
David Shayne is a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, he received his BA from Tel Aviv University in Political Science and his JD from the University of Oregon. He served as an attorney for the US government for 21 years, until his retirement in 2022, following which he relocated to Tel Aviv. He currently works as a senior attorney for a private company in Jerusalem, Israel.
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