Jonathan Segall

What I Don’t Hear….

You know, over the last few weeks the blogosphere has been on fire with arguments and counter arguments regarding Gaza, and Hamas, and Israel, and civilian casualties, “terror tunnels”, and rocket attacks. There is a great deal of analysis and certainly no shortage of opinions (mostly completely uniformed) regarding what happened and what didn’t happen.

But in all the coverage of the blogoshere and in all the opinion pieces I have read there really is a major thing  that simply never gets discussed.

Here is a typical conversation that happens on a left leaning website (this one by the way proudly allows Neo-Nazi  commentators and supporters to continue their time at the site). Usually the conversation goes from some pro-Israel commentor: “Hamas uses human shields and therefore while civilian casualties are horrible and saddening , what are the Israelis supposed to do? How should they defend themselves”. To which the Pro-Palestinian commentator states: “There is no room in Gaza, where are they supposed to “resist” from. Here is one such example:

Devil’s Advocate.

What are the people of Gaza supposed to do when Israel is bombing U.N. Shelters repeatedly, enough so that they’ve drawn the ire of U.S. officials for doing so?


What are the people of Gaza supposed to do when Israel is trying to control their diet to try to coerce political change within Gaza?


And more importantly, what are the people of Gaza and the West Bank supposed to do when Israel is torturing children in the West Bank?

A pretty standard response follows regarding how the Palestinians should not be using human shields or how Hamas wants to destroy Israel, or any other number of valid responses. BUT rarely if ever do I see a Pro-Israel commentor actually say the following:

“What should the Gazans do regarding their situation?.. They should not be shooting rockets at civilian targets. Period.”


“How does shooting thousands of rockets into civilian areas equal resistance. In what way does targeting cities, towns, and villages at random equal any kind of legitimate resistance”:

And even when a similar question gets asked we tend to let the “activist off the hook”. But why do we do this? Why doesn’t anyone insist on answers to these questions?

We need to get “full stop” answers or at least have people on record as saying “Well, yeah… shooting Israeli civilians is cool with me”. At least that is an honest response for many pro-Hamas, anti-Semitic commentators. Unlike their other responses which are parsed when these folks start saying things like “Well I don’t support Hamas and I don’t really have answers to what Israel should do but, they need to stop killing civilians.’

So then what does that mean? They seem to be supporting the fact that Hamas can shoot thousands of rockets into Israel but that Israel should not defend itself? How is that not the ultimate expression of support FOR Hamas. How are they not supporting Hamas when they are asking for a cease fire in terms that Hamas sets?

I actually don’t mind having that argument with Hamas supporters, what I don’t understand is how we can simply allow people in these conversations to get away with being less than honest or deceptively presenting themselves as something they are not.

Now… do I support the killing of civilians? No… I don’t. HOWEVER, I support the right of the Israeli people and Nation to defend themselves as fully as they need to in order to remove threats to their own population.

So I would say this to Hamas and it’s supporters… IF you don’t like what’s happening then don’t start up and if you do start up… don’t be surprised.

What should they (the Palestinians) do one might ask? Well, they should use construction materials to build up infrastructure like schools, housing, sewage treatment facilities, power plants etc. Instead of spending money on mass rallies where crowds scream for “Martyrdom” and the “blood of Jewis”, or on propaganda teaching children to slaughter the Jews, they should be directing those funds towards building a stronger business community and educating their children in a peaceful manner. That is what they should be doing. Trying to figure out how to live peacefully in a region that is prone to violence, rather than perpetuating that violence.

So next time you are in an argument with someone on line who claims to be a “Human Rights” Activist… ask them and keep asking them just what is it that they support. The answers are the interesting thing and in the end you may not change their hearts and minds but you will illustrate to those looking at the discussion from the outside and who can be informed by it… just what is REALLY being argued.



About the Author
Jon Segall is creator of the blog The Progressive Zionist. Jon has lived in Israel and studied Israeli and American Policy in the region. Currently Jon, is re-learning Hebrew, and is an active practitioner of the Israel Self Defense Martial Art Krav Maga.
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