Conflict in Gaza

As if an anti-humanitarian siege wasn’t enough, our peaceful neighbors have done it again, this time with a full-fledged war against the (people?) of the Gaza strip.

Israel – as any sovereign entity – has the right to exist, granted. Israel – as any other nation – has the right to defend itself, again: granted. But these two statements cannot justify an entire military operation with the magnitude of what is going on now, because they are irrelevant.

Is Hamas’s decision to fire al-Qassam rockets at southern Israel wrong? Sure it is. Does Israel have the right to defend itself from ‘attacks’? Yes it does. But: how can THIS be seen as a self-defense act?

From the ‘hundreds’ of Qassam rockets fired at Israel, only 3 Israeli civilians died. My deepest condolences to their families, really. But how can the death of 3 prompt a massacre being launched against Gaza? How can the death of 3 citizens justify the death of 915 from Gaza? Why is Palestinian blood being considered that cheap? Its normal for a government to value the lives of its citizens, but when 3 civilian lives are valued more than nine-hundred-something (and still rising) lives on the other side, something is unjust.

Israel isn’t attacking Hamas, its attacking the people of Gaza. Maybe it doesn’t mean to attack them – but the bottom line is: the people of Gaza are the ones suffering, so what is the point really?

Israel is breaking the Fourth Geneva Convention, which it ratified, because its military actions and hostilities are collective measures that fail to distinguish between civilians and militias (the “hostile entities”).

The head of the UNRWA in Gaza made an emotional televised appeal yesterday, I recommend you search for it.

And here’s a nice statistic: for every Israeli that dies (that is, including members of the Army), 71 Palestinians are killed by the Israeli forces in the Gaza conflict. When taking the entire Arab-Israeli conflict into consideration, Ehud Olmert states that – in 2008 – for every Israeli killed by Palestinians, 25 Palestinians were killed by Israel. TAKE THAT, Human Rights!

  • Suhaib

    Eyas has done it again! I must say I am impressed with the way he blends his unshaken beliefs with unbiased clear facts. In this post, he managed to portray the most complicated conspiracy against Palestinians in simple and rational words. I will come to the parts which I found needed more depth and discussion later on. Despite those parts, I take my hat off for Eyas Sharaiha for such a professionally built post.

    Enough with complementing a man who spends too much time talking about his achievements (Just kidding). Now I want to discuss the first part of the post that I did not really appreciate. It is when Eyas mentioned Israel’s right to exist….I just think it doesn’t and I don’t mind saying that again loud and clear. Let’s keep the facts simple, in 1917 Arthur Balfour declared the land of Palestine as the land of the Jews. Okay, what?! He basically took away a land which he doesn’t own from people who never wanted to leave it (who owned it, btw). As a result of that, I am obliged to say that just because its been more than 90 years since the Balfour Declaration took place we cannot have the right to forget about the rights of the Palestinians and we should not pretend like the Arab-Jewish conflict only came to existence a few years ago.

    Okay. let’s go to my other point. Eyas has clearly stated that what Hamas did by firing rockets at Israel is wrong. Well, it is but did we ever study why they did it? There is a misconception that Hamas did what it did just because they hate the Jews (well they kinda do, but that’s not why they fired rockets at them). Hamas represents an anger that was for long suppressed and forgotten by the international community. In addition, Hamas is the only access the Palestinians have to tell the world about their existence. Before Hamas the Palestinians were somehow thrown into the dark area of media coverage thus making their voices unheard and they needed Hamas to get the attention back towards Palestine and the story of its people.

    In conclusion, Eyas’s goal was to point out the radical measures being taken against Hamas which only violate basic human rights and freedoms. Yet, I just don’t believe that in this conflict there is a victim other than the Palestinians. All their actions are reactions to the way this nation has been treated for long.

  • Suhaib

    Eyas has done it again! I must say I am impressed with the way he blends his unshaken beliefs with unbiased clear facts. In this post, he managed to portray the most complicated conspiracy against Palestinians in simple and rational words. I will come to the parts which I found needed more depth and discussion later on. Despite those parts, I take my hat off for Eyas Sharaiha for such a professionally built post.

    Enough with complementing a man who spends too much time talking about his achievements (Just kidding). Now I want to discuss the first part of the post that I did not really appreciate. It is when Eyas mentioned Israel’s right to exist….I just think it doesn’t and I don’t mind saying that again loud and clear. Let’s keep the facts simple, in 1917 Arthur Balfour declared the land of Palestine as the land of the Jews. Okay, what?! He basically took away a land which he doesn’t own from people who never wanted to leave it (who owned it, btw). As a result of that, I am obliged to say that just because its been more than 90 years since the Balfour Declaration took place we cannot have the right to forget about the rights of the Palestinians and we should not pretend like the Arab-Jewish conflict only came to existence a few years ago.

    Okay. let’s go to my other point. Eyas has clearly stated that what Hamas did by firing rockets at Israel is wrong. Well, it is but did we ever study why they did it? There is a misconception that Hamas did what it did just because they hate the Jews (well they kinda do, but that’s not why they fired rockets at them). Hamas represents an anger that was for long suppressed and forgotten by the international community. In addition, Hamas is the only access the Palestinians have to tell the world about their existence. Before Hamas the Palestinians were somehow thrown into the dark area of media coverage thus making their voices unheard and they needed Hamas to get the attention back towards Palestine and the story of its people.

    In conclusion, Eyas’s goal was to point out the radical measures being taken against Hamas which only violate basic human rights and freedoms. Yet, I just don’t believe that in this conflict there is a victim other than the Palestinians. All their actions are reactions to the way this nation has been treated for long.

  • Thanks for the comment, Suhaib.

    Let me make my opinion a bit clearer, which I think will be helpful here. For _me_, I separate between two things that people might find similar:

    1. Israel’s right to HAVE existed (i.e. Israel’s initial right to have been created)
    2. Israel’s right to continue to exist right now

    In my opinion, regardless of how unfair it was for Israel to have been founded to begin with, the undeniable fact is, they exist right now. But for those who exist right now, 60 years after the conflict, regardless of the ‘mistakes’ of their ancestors, I feel like – for those people – it is more important discussing their actions rather than their right to exist.

    As for Hamas, I agree with your main point. My post did not intend to condemn gazans for voting for Hamas, and I did not follow the international fad that Hamas is a “terrorist organizaton”. The whole idea of ‘resistance of occupation’ is completely understandable for those living under the harsh situations of the occupation, and I think in later posts you’ll see that I agree with you in that respect 😉

  • Thanks for the comment, Suhaib.

    Let me make my opinion a bit clearer, which I think will be helpful here. For _me_, I separate between two things that people might find similar:

    1. Israel’s right to HAVE existed (i.e. Israel’s initial right to have been created)
    2. Israel’s right to continue to exist right now

    In my opinion, regardless of how unfair it was for Israel to have been founded to begin with, the undeniable fact is, they exist right now. But for those who exist right now, 60 years after the conflict, regardless of the ‘mistakes’ of their ancestors, I feel like – for those people – it is more important discussing their actions rather than their right to exist.

    As for Hamas, I agree with your main point. My post did not intend to condemn gazans for voting for Hamas, and I did not follow the international fad that Hamas is a “terrorist organizaton”. The whole idea of ‘resistance of occupation’ is completely understandable for those living under the harsh situations of the occupation, and I think in later posts you’ll see that I agree with you in that respect 😉

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