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article imageOp-Ed: Hamas is no underdog

By Paul Iddon     Nov 16, 2012 in Politics
Excusing the actions of Hamas in this latest flare up of violence between the militia and Israel is no way to express solidarity with innocent Palestinians in Gaza.
Developments on the Israel/Gaza front over the past couple of days have been depressing to say the least. Especially with regard to the innocents affected and being killed on both sides. When a sympathetic onlooker sees such developments the moral inclination is to express solidarity with the underdog, hence the innocent civilians of the war who are caught in the fighting, and sometimes tragically wounded or even killed. Nevertheless, there are onlookers with strong political pretensions who take this view and extend it and apply it to the Hamas militants engaged in the fighting. The ridiculous idea being, if one sympathizes with the innocents caught in the midst of war, then one must also sympathize with Hamas, solely because that organization isn't as strong as the Israeli military.
Since Israel has in its military arsenal sophisticated fighter-bombers and attack helicopters, Hamas is therefore exculpated for various attacks of terrorism and blatant war crimes. Such crimes and attacks on urban centers is excused as a nothing more than a method or a form of 'resistance'. Whilst Israel is, typically, painted as a bloodthirsty aggressor who derives pleasure from the suffering of innocent Palestinians Hamas is painted as the embodiment of Palestinian defiance to such an aggressor. Israel can also never claim to be defending itself, because the barrages of rockets intentionally targeting their civilians are of a lower standard tech-wise than the precision munitions that Israel uses against militants in combat. Even when Israel's military intercepts hundreds of rockets purposely targeting its urban centers and in turn utilizes as much precision as possible to take out the launchers and prevent the launch of more rockets that is propagated as being the case.
Propagators of this flawed logic completely ignore the fact that Hamas has no desire to actually establish a national Palestinian state if they reign supreme and destroy the State of Israel. Instead their energy is focused on attempting time and again to incriminating the Israeli public for the accidental killings of innocent Gazans who are caught in the crossfire. The fact that Israel has strove time and again to avoid any form of collateral damage is dismissed and ignored, as it clearly contradicts these deeply flawed and baseless perceptions. Continually ignored – or in some cases pettily and sickeningly justified – on the other hand are these Islamist militants advertised and intentional attempts to terrorize and to kill as many Israelis as possible, regardless of whether or not they are civilians or combatants.
Israelis recognize that there are innocents in the war zone. Hamas doesn't, and its apologists in the west actively indict all of the Palestinians in Gaza by associating all of Hamas actions with Palestinian grievances (both real and imaginary). Hamas is not only associated by the propagators of the ridiculous aforementioned view with the average Palestinians civilians of the territory, instead they are one, no attempt is made on their part to separate Gazan citizenry with the militia that rules over the strip. Slogans like, 'We are all Hezbollah now' are the kind of ridiculous mantras used time and again by those alleging to support the innocents in Gaza. Not only does this viewpoint and mentality not disassociate combatants and non-combatants, but it essentially paints the incredibly racist picture that dubs the average Palestinian as someone who strives to be elevated to the status of a mass-murdering Jihadist terrorist, or, in the euphemistic term used in such circles, a 'heroic martyr'. Such a status is usually achieved by murdering as many Israelis -- or 'infidels' in general -- as possible whilst taking your own life -- whether or not they are soldiers seldom enters the equation. Ponder for a moment how most people who claim to be and call themselves 'liberal' would react if they saw right-wing Israeli propaganda try to paint the homicidal murderers of Hamas and the rest of Gazan citizenry as one. Even Israelis who are forced to flee for their lives to the safety of bomb shelters in under a minute recognize that this is clearly not the case. Also one highly doubts that most Palestinians would like to see indiscriminate shelling of what they consider to be a holy city – hence Jerusalem. Even Saddam Hussein, when he vowed to destroy Israel back in 1991, ensured that his largely inaccurate Scud missiles went over and not onto Jerusalem and instead onto the urban populaces of Tel Aviv and Haifa.
The developments of these past few days constitute a war, and also quite aptly constitute the first war Israel has ever fought with Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm. Netanyahu has for several years been asserting that Hamas and Hezbollah are direct proxies of the obscurantist Islamist regime ruling Iran at present. In accordance with this stated contention Netanyahu believes that wars between Israel and Hamas and Hezbollah respectively are basically in their essences dress rehearsals for an eventual showdown between Israel and Iran. The destruction of the Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles over the course of these latest clashes and the recent bombing of a suspicious factory in Khartoum by, what appears to have been Israeli military jets, in the past few days and weeks are important developments in this tense cold war between Iran and Israel.
In conclusion, racist nonsense and thinly veiled anti-Semitism aside there is a lot to solely lament about this latest flare-up. The widespread destruction of infrastructure across Gaza being one. The killings of scores of innocents in the line of fire on both sides another. But repudiating war is a pretty standard reaction most decent, ordinary, upstanding people have when they see such things unfold in front of their eyes. However purporting to be morally giving your support to the underdog whilst in fact excusing the actions of the obscurantist Islamist terrorists wrecking havoc is morally repugnant and reprehensible. Such apologists for intentional murder and terrorism will be lucky if they will be seen in the future as having been merely ahistorical.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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