by A. Altieri D’Angelo
Anti-Israeli protesters (the Protesters) claim that Israel is committing war crimes, and some U.S. political leaders are threatening not to vote for Joe Biden in 2024. People worldwide are protesting Israel’s invasion and tactics. If you did not know it, you would think it was Israel that attacked Hamas on October 7th. But it was attacked, yet it is also most criticized. Why?
I need help understanding what they are trying to accomplish. Their logic is concealed.
I have believed for some years now that Israel’s policy towards all Palestinians is unacceptable and certainly not conduct worthy of a democratic country. The current Israeli government has made a bad situation worse by endorsing the far-right’s efforts to dislodge Palestinians from their homes and allowing Jewish settlers to attack Arabs in the West Bank. Its Palestinian policy was undoubtedly going to cause a significant problem with the residents in Gaza and the West Bank. But what happened on October 7th did not have much to do with current Israeli policy. It was more about Iran seeking to upset the emerging relationship between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.
No one can forget that Hamas committed crimes against humanity by killing men, women, and children without provocation; they acted like ISIS on steroids. They reminded all Jews and their allies that they had one purpose: the elimination of the Jewish people “From the River to the Sea”.
Yet Hamas’s brutal and vicious attack seems to have been forgotten by the Protesters.
My lack of understanding of the Protesters’ motivations starts with the principle that no country could accept such a loss of life or existential threat and not seek to eliminate the source. But, almost from the beginning, the anti-Israeli movement either ignored or sought to justify Hamas’s actions.
It is as if the Protesters were suggesting that there is a moral equivalence between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and the gruesome murder of 1,200 people and the wounding of over 4,000 Israelis. Could it be they believe there is a justification for killing so many people? It seems to be the only logical answer, given that Hamas attacked without provocation and wounded, raped, and killed innocent people and some soldiers. Could it be?
The anti-Israel movement also finds Israel’s tactics to be war crimes. But the logic of their position escapes me. They seem to forget that every country has a right to defend itself. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are historic examples of the U.S. protecting itself. It dropped two atomic bombs to eliminate the threat posed by Japan. It, working with local Iraqi forces, invaded Mosul to stop ISIS. The Allied forces nearly destroyed the city and killed at least 9,000 civilians.
These actions were not considered war crimes. Israel’s actions are no worse than what has occurred throughout history; this is what happens in war. There is no easy and clean way to eliminate an enemy, particularly one that has spent years preparing for war. This is what Israel is facing in Gaza. Its tactics are the result of the war it must fight if Hamas is to be destroyed.
Hamas is using Gaza residents as human shields; it has its primary facilities under hospitals. Hospitals are protected under international law so long as they are not used for military purposes. Hamas has transformed hospitals into war zones. What do Protesters expect of the Israeli military? Do they want Israel to pack up and go home? Call for a ceasefire that will allow Hamas to live to fight another war? Would any country agree to allow its greatest enemy to survive after committing such atrocities?
Hamas is also sitting on supplies, which include fuel and food. They are not releasing any of it. Israel is being blamed for preventing supplies from being shipped into Gaza. It is common knowledge that Hamas will confiscate such supplies. Does the anti-Israel movement expect Israel to provide supplies to its most deadly enemy, knowing it will not share it with the people?
Lastly, U.S. Protesters threaten President Biden’s bid for a second term; they suggest that people should not vote for him in 2024. This position is the most confusing to me. It is public knowledge that Trump is no friend of the Palestinians. Trump has said that he would, at a minimum, close the U.S. border to Palestinian refugees and revoke Palestinian student visas. Biden has never suggested anything like that. Gaza is safer with Biden as President. Why would Protesters seek to put such a man in power who would mistreat the very people they are trying to protect?
I have no issue with the Protesters, but they must provide valid explanations as to why Israel is at fault.
Protesters would be better off focusing on building support for a two-state solution. If Hamas were destroyed, such a plan would be possible.