Two weeks ago, I got very angry. I got angry because I saw video of a gang of thugs in Calgary beating up a group of people who were holding an Israeli flag. The people who attacked them were Palestinian supporters.
Now, I want to be clear – I do not believe all Palestinians are violent thugs. I actually believe most, if not the vast majority of Palestinians are pretty much like everyone else – want to get up in the morning, go to work, do their job, make some money to support their family, come home, watch the news, have supper, play with their kids, and go to bed.
Sadly, because HAMAS (which is an acronym of Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah, and translates to the word, “enthusiasm” in English) exists solely for the purpose of wiping the country of Israel off the face of the earth, some form of peace, however fragile, is going to be extremely difficult to create for as long as HAMAS is in power as the governing body in the Gaza Strip.
I also want to be clear – Israel has a right to exist, and a right to defend itself and its citizenry. This means Israel has a right to take steps to limit the ability of HAMAS to endanger Israelis. If HAMAS is building secret tunnels into Israel, then Israel has a right to destroy them. If HAMAS is stockpiling weapons and launching rockets into Israel, then Israel has a right to destroy them. If HAMAS has operatives hiding out in Gaza, operatives who have been involved in crimes against Israel, then Israel has a right to hunt them down and deal with them.
I also believe that Palestine – as a nation and as a people – has a right to exist. Both groups need to acknowledge and recognize that the other exists, and has a right to exist. They have a responsibility, for the good of all, to co-exist. They don’t have to agree with each other; nor do they have to like the beliefs of the other. They simply have to put up with, or tolerate each other.
I cannot imagine the pain parents suffer when they lose a child. I don’t want to experience it either. Every child killed in Israel and/or Gaza and/or The West Bank and/or anywhere else is a tragic occurrence. It’s also completely avoidable.
But, because HAMAS is a terrorist group, and therefore uses fear as their primary weapon, they know full well that the best way to achieve their goal is to keep people frightened, usually, that means frightened of dying. Frightened people act irrationally. They will do and say things that they wouldn’t otherwise do. If my child were inside a burning building, there would be nothing that would keep me from going inside it to get my child out, whereas usually, going into a burning building is the last thing I would think about doing.
The terrified citizens of Gaza, and their loved ones living in Calgary are no exception.
So, HAMAS operatives hide out in UN shelters and schools packed with innocent children.
HAMAS. Not Palestinians.
Terrorists. Not innocent people. Terrorists. Who use innocent children shamelessly and indiscriminately as pawns in their war of hatred.
And it’s disgusting.
People say Israel should use restraint against HAMAS.
If you want to embolden HAMAS, backing down is the best way to do it. Sometimes, you have no other option, and all the options you do have are terrible. Back down, HAMAS wins. Keep going, HAMAS wins. So you take the lesser of all the evils.
Last Monday (July 28, 2014) an explosion at the Al Shati refugee camp in Gaza killed ten children. Naturally, Israel got blamed for it. After all, Israel has been shelling HAMAS locations, and this was no exception…
Except for a pesky little thing called “the truth.”
An Italian reporter was there, and confirmed that, in actual fact, the explosion was a misfired HAMAS rocket, not Israeli shelling. He couldn’t say anything until he was safely outside of Gaza, out of fear of reprisals, of course.
So I got to thinking, and I was, partly, inspired along these lines by the violence in Calgary two weeks ago. You see, screaming and yelling, beating each other up in Calgary really doesn’t accomplish much, other than to make one look like a thug.
So what, then, is the solution?
Then it hit me.
Gaza residents need to take matters into their own hands. Gaza is not HAMAS. Gaza residents are not HAMAS. As I said above, most, if not the vast majority, just want to live their lives in relative peace and safety. All the time HAMAS is firing rockets into Israel, all the time that HAMAS is sneaking through tunnels and blowing things up, all the time that HAMAS is hiding out in schools and camps packed with children, this isn’t going to happen.
Not only is what HAMAS doing repugnant, but it’s also something else.
Because that, really, is what HAMAS are. Cowards. They’re like the bully on the school bus who hides within the crowd of kids and kicks you as you walk by, hoping that you’ll never figure out who they are. Or the schoolyard bully who wants to look big and powerful to all his friends. Until someone stands up to him, he succeeds.
HAMAS are bullies and cowards. And their victims are the innocent children of Gaza.
Residents of Gaza need to call HAMAS out. Whenever someone sees a HAMAS operative, they need to point them out to everyone else. Identify them. Photograph them. Expose them. And isolate them. Once HAMAS operatives are isolated, they then have nowhere to hide.
Once they’re exposed and isolated, then the people of Gaza themselves, en masse, need to take them out. Stop them from launching their rockets. Stop them from using their tunnels to sneak into Israel and plant bombs.
The people of Gaza can’t rely on the police and other authorities to do this for them. After all, HAMAS runs the government. The only way for the people of Gaza to end the cycle of violence is to stop it themselves.
Any way they can.
And until the people of Gaza do this, the body count will continue to rise.