Speaking for Gaza

Sep 29, 2014 by

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Two of three recent articles on Israel lack Gaza’s viewpoint. I must speak for them. Thousands are permanently disabled by Israeli shells. Palestinians lack Israel’s press clout. Remember: Old Testament prophecies were about Ezra and Nehemiah, not modern Israel. The tragedy of this summer’s war is human: The U.N. reports 2,104 killed, including 1,462 civilians (including 495 children and 253 women), totaling 69.5 percent civilians. Even the Israeli Defense Force identifies only 619 of the dead as “terrorists.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu propagandizes 1,000 terrorists and claims Hamas is as barbaric as Islamic State — an immoral attempt to justify Israel’s Gaza slaughter. Most articles condemn the 4,500 missiles fired by Hamas but never count the shells fired by Israel. Mark Perry reports in Al-Jazeera that 11 Israeli artillery battalions fired 7,000 missiles on Shejaiyah in one day. All told, Israel destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes. Such vengeance-seeking is against Christ’s command to love enemies. People ask how to help the people of Gaza. We can’t ease their grief, but we can write President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Congress, urging them to demand Israel lift the siege of Gaza. Palestinians urge us to intensify the movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions, bringing Israel to its senses as South Africa was. See bdsmovement.net. Act now!

June Forsyth Kenagy
Albany, Ore.


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  • Dale Welty

    I gladly speak for Israel. Let’s review a few things about
    events between Israel and Gaza: The Palestinians elected Hamas in a
    democratic
    election. The cornerstone of their platform was not security, not peace
    with
    Israel, but the destruction of Israel. Nevertheless, voices around the
    world say
    that the Hamas-led government on the Gaza Strip should be welcomed into
    the
    family of nations. We have to conclude that the Palestinians knew the
    way Hamas
    operates. Store your weapons in civilian locations that are
    likely to draw the most sympathy from the world when they are destroyed.
    Fire
    your weapons from the same places. Scream foul when the Israeli who were
    fired
    upon destroy those locations. Photograph people in misery whose children
    have
    died because they live in those arsenals. (Isn’t that the term for
    places where
    weapons are stored?) Make sure the world sees only those pictures. I
    believe it was the IDF that dropped leaflets on Gaza residences warning
    them that IDF rockets would be directed to those Gaza rocket locations
    which were located in civilian locations.

    At the
    same time, continue to fire rockets and mortars into Israel. (Where are
    the
    letters to the editor and the front-page headlines pulling at our heart
    strings
    and our tear ducts for the poor children of Israel?) It’s ironic that
    both parties spend time digging underground. Hamas digs tunnels from
    Gaza to Israel for future aggression against Israel which are now being
    destroyed. Israel digs a full playground underground so their children
    can
    experience some degree of normalcy while rockets and mortars from Gaza
    are being launched against their
    homes and schools.

    Why is it that Hamas can smuggle in all kinds of
    weapons through other tunnels for the battle they intend to start, but they can’t figure out how to
    bring in and stockpile food, water, and medicine? How would they be able to
    scream, “Humanitarian crisis!” if they had seen to their own people’s most basic
    needs?
    Dale Welty

    • Berry Friesen

      Dale, like all governments I know, Hamas seeks to deter aggression. So they arm themselves with whatever they can get their hands on, including tunnels (an ancient form of war-fighting) and fertilizer-fueled rockets, to keep Israel at bay. It’s not the way of Jesus, but certainly unexceptional among the nations of this world.

      Like the Churchill-led government of WW2 that refused to leave London under attack by the German Luftwaffe, Hamas leads from the population centers of Gaza and suffers what the people suffer. Again, nothing exceptional about that. What’s exceptional is that Israel’s propaganda turns that into a reason to attack Hamas’ leadership. Imagine trying that on Churchill!

      International law has long acknowledged that an embargo is an act of war, every bit as much as a rocket attack is an act of war. This means, dear friend, that Israel has never for a minute stopped making war on Gaza since Hamas was elected (nor before it was elected, for that matter). Imagine any government of the world under continual and relentless attack by a nation much stronger, yet attempting to lead a people and economy while negotiating with one’s attackers. That is what Hamas is doing. I find myself respecting their efforts.

      Last spring, as part of its historic agreement with the Palestinian Authority, Hamas agreed to recognize Israel according to the terms of the Oslo Agreement (1993). Apparently, that was a big mistake because Netanyahu instigated an escalation of the Israeli war on Gaza soon after.

      So, to correct your point, Hamas refuses to accept the existence of Israel as a racist nation that treats Palestinians as second class. But it already has agreed to accept the existence of Israel as a state so long as it lives according to the non-sectarian rules of most other nations.

      Yes, Dale, I know. Saudi Arabia and other close U.S. allies in Arab Gulf also follow sectarian rules and discriminate on the basis of ethnicity and religion. Seems such nations are very popular with the US government (Republicans and Democrats). But that is a topic for another day.

      • Dale Welty

        Berry, I am stunned by your comment that “Hamas seeks to deter aggression. So
        they arm themselves with whatever they can get their hands on, including
        tunnels (an ancient form of war-fighting) and fertilizer-fueled
        rockets, to keep Israel at bay”.

        Where did the many invasive tunnels go to that were discovered
        recently? Where did those resources come from to build those tunnels?
        What was the purpose of building those tunnels?

        Further, Gaza, had been previously occupied by Israel, but under intense
        International pressure, Israel granted the right of self government to
        Gaza through the Palestinian Authority in 1994. What a huge mistake by
        Israel because in January 2006, the Islamic party Hamas, a terrorist
        organization, gained majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative
        Council. Thereafter the conflict between Israel and Gaza intensified.
        Israel’s good intention was rewarded by violence against Israel from
        Hamas in Gaza.

        To protect it’s citizens, Israel sealed the borders which sharply
        restricted the flow of people and goods into and out of Gaza resulting
        in a large percentage of Gaza’s workforce becoming unemployed greatly
        increasing the poverty level of Gaza residents. Conclusion, Hamas
        brought suffering to both Israel and Gaza residents.

        Dale Welty

        • Berry Friesen

          Dale, perhaps your shock is due to the fact that you have always considered the people of Gaza to be inmates in a prison. Certainly neither of us would say inmates in local prisons are conducting themselves morally if they arm themselves with shivs to use against the guards, right? So you say, neither should the people of Gaza have the capacity to direct violence against Israel. If they have such capacity, you and the empire (sorry Herb) say they are “terrorists.”

          But the people of Gaza think of themselves as a nation, and indeed most of the world has agreed, which means they have the right to defend themselves without thereby earning the label “terrorist”. Like other nations, they want Israel to know that if it uses its power to maim, kill and destroy, it will pay a price, thus making it less likely (Hamas hopes) that Israel will maim, kill and destroy.

          I know, it’s not working for Gaza. But is that Hamas’ fault? You and I can help the entire situation move toward honesty and away from deceitfulness by telling the truth about how unjust and unrighteous Israel’s continual war-making (the embargo) against Gaza is. Once support for Israel’s propaganda dries up, it will make peace with Hamas and Gaza. But not before.

          • Herbert Reed

            Berry, you don’t have to apologize to me every time you hammer down another nail but I appreciate that it now appears that you are giving it a modicum of thought before the reflexive response so I suppose that is progress.

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