A Turning Point in the Oppression of the Palestinians

The World Reaches Out in Support of the Gazans

Surprising revelation at a picnic. Talking with a person I met; rambling on about his interest in history, he suddenly exclaimed, “Look at what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians, and getting away with it for years.” At neighborhood social events I have attended, if anybody talked about foreign policy, it was usually about helping the suffering Israelis defend themselves from terror attacks; nobody contradicted the erroneous  statements. Hearing an average Joe American speak honestly about the genocide indicated a shift in American thinking. The next day at a Bridge game (I’m a good bridge player), a political consultant who had worked with Al Gore’s campaign mentioned that Joe Biden could not win the election. I concurred and added that it was due to Biden assisting Israel in attacks against the Palestinians. No rebuttal to my remark from a group that is normally pro-Israel. Never seen that before.

Originally perceived as a tragic mistake that might prove costly to Gaza’s existence, Hamas’ attack revealed the calculated and brutal manner in which Israel uses injury to its citizens as an excuse to destroy Palestinian life in the occupied territories. Netanyahu’s genocidal response to Hamas’ October 7, 2023 attack has shocked the world. This revelation signals a turning point in the battle to save the Palestinians from Israel’s destructive tactics; international forces are emerging from the shadows and are willing to engage Israel’s vociferous warriors

Israel’s propaganda machinery used its access to Western media and convinced the world its military is fighting an entrenched terrorist force that it must destroy before that force destroys Israel and world Jewry. Whoever thinks otherwise is an anti-Semite, so don’t bother thinking about it. Those wanting veracity and justice seek to provide the public with a valid perspective of the happenings in Gaza and enable an intelligent and rational solution to a situation that is causing death and destruction. The contradictions and obvious mendacities exhibited by Israel’s legions go unnoticed by conventional media and  government officials. The public clamors for truths that converge to peace. Finally, paths for reaching the public are now available.

Start with Hamas

Hamas firmly established itself in 1987, with an association to  Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, 38 years after a newly formed Israeli military seized territory awarded to the Palestinians in the Partition Plan 181, 37 years after Prime Minister David Ben Gurion approved the theft of lands from families that Hamas represents, and 36 years after the Israel government terrorized Palestinians to leave their ancestral homes. Israel’s military loaded Palestinians into trucks and transported them to Gaza with insufficient food, water, and shelter and ethnically cleansed the southwest zone of the British Mandate of Palestinians who just wanted to till their lands and showed no resistance to the Zionist intrusion. Hamas established itself long after the Zionists started the destruction of the Palestinians.

The nightmares for the residents from the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages of  Al-Majdahl, Beit Daras, Falujah, Isdud, Qastina, Hamameh, and other villages did not end with their arduous trips to Gaza; ethnic cleansing was an initial step before wholesale theft of property and valuables. Two hundred thousand Palestinians were pushed into Gaza to live in tents, sleep on bare ground, and exist from aid by Quaker organizations and wages from subservient labor. Internment in refugee camps, brutal occupation, military raids, destruction of facilities, destruction of crops and arable lands, prevention of fishing rights, denial of livelihood, and denial of access to the outside world continued to punish the Gazans without an end.

After the 1993-1995 Oslo accords, Israel constructed a 60-kilometer fence around the Gaza Strip and destroyed Gaza’s only airport. Removing illegal Israeli settlers from Gaza, who were mainly there to give Israel an excuse for its military presence, did not stop infiltration by Israeli forces into Gaza. Several wars caused thousands of Palestinian casualties and immense infrastructure destruction. The lives of the displaced Palestinians and their descendants evolved from being wards of the United Nations to virtual imprisonment in an overly crowded environment.

By responding to 38 decades of terrorism committed against the people they represent, Hamas cannot be considered a terrorist organization. They may have, on occasions, used terrorist methods, which is the primary method they have, but fighting a terrorist nation by existing means is resistance to terrorism and not terrorism. Israel is a democratic nation, whose population determines the nation’s leaders and activities; those citizens are involved in the terrorism and, by not changing their nation’s terrorist activities, they are open to aggressive actions toward them. The descendants of the European Jews, who forced the antecedents of the present-day Gazans out of the land they now occupy, should recognize their obligation to those who live only a few kilometers away and whose oppression they can observe; the Gazan s also observe and are taunted by the prosperity they see from those who reside in their stolen lands, chase through their cherished fields and deny them the right to a peaceful and decent existence.

Hamas has not harmed anyone outside of Israel and there is no reason for the United States and the European Union (EU) to label Hamas as a terrorist organization. Israel’s Mossad has murdered and injured scores of innocent people globally and is not labelled a terrorist organization. Don’t these anomalies need correction?

The October 7 attack was a coda to the counter terrorism that the militant Gaza organization has waged against Israel. It was unusually vicious and may have included atrocities that deserve condemnation. Not resolved is the identification of the culprits in the atrocities; were they operating in accord with Hamas orders or were they isolated individuals expressing rage and taking revenge for the atrocities committed upon their families? Because Israel insists the atrocities were a Hamas directive, the question will never be investigated or answered. If that is the case, then Hamas receives the benefit of doubt─ it would be insensible of Hamas to urge actions that drive world opinion from its support.

Israel’s worldwide propaganda machine (Hasbara) previously instructed Western media to precede Hamas with the word terrorist, as if the two words were one word. The Pavlovian response to the characterization assured that upon hearing the word Hamas the adjective terrorist flowed to the brain. The terrorism that Israel and its Mossad have inflicted upon the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Iranian people, as well as hundreds of innocents from several nations throughout the world, is never discussed.

If Hamas did not exist, Israel would find another organization to provoke, accuse of terrorism, and be pressed to liquidate in an uncontrollable war that the state of Israel claims was forced upon it.

The brutal war against the Palestinians

Israel’s excuses for waging war in Gaza fail from day one. If Israel wants to eliminate militant Hamas then it only needs to stop oppressing the Palestinians. No oppression, no provocations, and no Hamas reaction. In 2008, the Palestinian militant group floated an offer if Israel withdrew from the lands it seized in the 1967 Mideast war and remained behind the green line, Hamas would agree to a 10-year truce. Israel did not accept the offer, showed it wanted it all Palestinian land, and then accused Hamas of terrorism for defending the Palestinians against Israel’s aggression.

Reinforcing the Israel border and containing Hamas behind the border is not difficult and would have resolved one issue. Negotiating release of the captives was only a matter of numbers in a quid pro quo deal that may have irritated Israel’s leaders but would have satisfied Israel’s anguished population. That leaves combatting the mortars and rockets that cause havoc to Israel. That problem could be resolved if the larger problem of oppression was resolved.

Exact statistics on Israeli casualties due to rockets fired from Gaza in the last 10 years, after barrages became heavy, are difficult to confirm. Research and estimation have about 25 Israelis killed from rocket fire, an average of 2.5/year. As of June 10, about 300 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the invasion and 50 hostages have died in captivity. Israel has traded an average of 2.5 deaths/year during the next 140 years for 350 immediate deaths to its citizens and total destruction of Gaza for assuring that there is no Hamas to launch rockets. Why does Israel prefer to have its military youth immediately killed and all hostages severely endangered when another plan is less deadly to the Israel population? Does that sound plausible? Netanyahu says the only way to save the hostages is by the invasion, which contradicts the assertion that ferocious Hamas will kill the hostages. Does that sound plausible?

Reasons for other Israeli military actions have been implausible.

Israel destroyed a World Central Kitchen  (WCK) convoy and killed seven aid workers. The IDF’s investigation concludedthat the army unit involved had believed the vehicles they were tracking from the sky had been taken over by Hamas gunmen, and that they were not aware of the coordination procedures put in place between the military and World Central Kitchen for that evening. After the aid convoy reached its warehouse destination, a car carrying what the IDF said were gunmen headed north, while the WCK aid workers began driving south in vehicles marked with the charity’s logo.”

The entire evidence presented by the Israeli military for believing Hamas fighters drove the trucks was seeing a bag that the military mistook for a gun. Other than the bag, the Israel investigation admitted the military did not have confirmation of any gunmen in any of the cars. One way of confirming have troops establish a blockade on the road and then broadcast for the car occupants to leave the cars. That would have peacefully resolved the issue. Why wasn’t that done?

Conclusion: The World Central Kitchen convoy was deliberately targeted by Israeli military to intimidate food aid suppliers and have Israel obtain more control of food deliveries.

  • Israel attacked a U.N. school in central Gaza and reportedly killed at least 33 persons, including 12 women and children. Reason Hamas militants were believed to be operating from within the school. Next day, the Israelis bombed another United Nations-run school in northern Gaza, and three people were killed. Reason belief of a Hamas position inside the school.

    Why hasn’t Israel occupied the institutions — schools, hospitals, community centers, mosques  — to ensure Hamas militants would not be able to use them and innocent civilians could? Just pull up in armored vehicles to the institutions, broadcast for all occupants to temporarily leave, carefully enter and occupy the institutions. If there are Hamas militants, they will either flee into tunnels or be killed in the ensuing firefight. Preferable to know the institution constituency than kill innocent civilians because it is suspected that Hamas militants might reside on the premises.

  • One notable feature of all the hostages that have been released and rescued is that, regardless of the sensational headlines, none of the hostages appear to have been mistreated and all have emerged in good condition. There are no reports that Hamas has assassinated any hostage. NBC news reported on the June 8 rescue that, “ In the wake of the rescues, the bloodied and burned bodies of Palestinian adults and children were scattered on the town’s streets. Video showed bodies piled up near the doorway of one home.”

    Operating in an environment of violent hostility, the June 8 rescue of four hostages had a greater probability that more hostages and rescuers would be killed than survived. Only one military personnel was killed and “Gaza’s Ministry of Health said 210 people were killed and another 400 were injured in the assault and rescue operation.” This occurred at the same time the US had prepared a proposal that would bring release of all hostages.

    Another exposure of the brutality of the Israel military. They could have waited for the outcome of the US proposal before engaging in a dangerous and bloody rescue operation. The 210 Palestinians killed and 400 wounded did not counter the Israelis; they were just arbitrarily killed. Compare that to what Hamas could have been doing and has not done. Hamas has not kept the hostages in the same areas as Hamas fighters, which would act as a deterrence for Israel to attack or subject the hostages to death.

The Turning Point

A turning point in the long straight road along which Israel has driven the Palestinians has been achieved. Where that road will lead is indeterminate and precarious this road has Zionist land mines that disturb and block passage.

In the campus  protests, those who favored the Palestinian cause and were against the genocide greatly outnumbered the pro-Israelis who favored the genocide. Yet, the smaller number of the genocidal were able to stifle the protests and have a congressional committee label them as anti-Semitic. As usual, in American democracy the mass of people do not determine policy; it is the well-heeled and well-connected who determine the country’s direction.

Israel, which is committing genocide, calls itself a Jewish nation and a majority of worldwide Jewry supports Israel. This means worldwide Jewry supports the genocide. Those against the genocide are against those who support the genocide and, by default, are against Zionist Jews.  Being against Zionist Jews automatically labels one as anti-Semitic. We have anti-genocide is anti-Semitic and pro-genocide is a good thing, contradictions that make a sham of the U.S. government who close their eyes to this circus trick that only the Zionists can perform.

The turning point is a difficult road, along which everyone must shout louder, act more forcibly, attract more audience, and beat the drum of insensitivity until an American President steps out of the White House, crosses Pennsylvania Avenue, and warmly embraces those who demonstrate for Palestinian freedom.  Am I too naive?

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning—

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Dan Lieberman publishes commentaries on foreign policy, economics, and politics at substack.com.  He is author of the non-fiction books A Third Party Can Succeed in America, Not until They Were Gone, Think Tanks of DC, The Artistry of a Dog, and a novel: The Victory (under a pen name, David L. McWellan). Read other articles by Dan.