Some have asked, “Why doesn’t
Gaza just kick Hamas out, after all, they use human
Years ago, in the heart of the Civil Rights struggle, I remember people saying, “If we can just get rid of that Martin Luther King, Jr., everything will be OK.” So, they did. They got rid of him. King was assassinated, only to have us learn that the problem had never been King. The problem was segregation. When I first got involved in speaking out for justice for the Palestinians, I remember people saying, “If we could just get rid of that Yasser Arafat, everything would be OK.” And they did, by poison or stress, we don’t yet know, but they got rid of Arafat, only to learn that the problem never was Arafat. It was occupation. One people taking the land, labor and resources of another people, simply because they have the power to do it.
assassinates Hamas leaders, kidnaps and imprisons them by the hundreds and
misrepresents their goals and reason for being.
It amazes me. Israel
shuts down and puts a siege on Gaza,
chokes the very life out of its citizens, and I still hear people say, “If we
could just get rid of that Hamas, everything would be OK.”
Does anyone think the conflict between
Israel and the
Palestinians really started with the election of Hamas in 2007? The tension started 64 years ago when the
Haganah, Stern Gang, Irgun and Palmach drove 750,000 Palestinians from their
homes, many of whom became refugees, some of whom are still living in Gaza. Then in 1967, by
means of a trumped up war which Israel
was assured of winning, Israel
started an occupation.
The editors of The Nation magazine write about the violence in
Unless the deeper issues are addressed, the cycle will continue – the cycle not of violence, but of impunity. Impunity is what happens when an aggressor fractures the norms of international law and basic human rights, yet is never held to account, and so is free to commit the same crimes again and again. That is what we are seeing now, and that is exactly what the Goldstone Report – the findings of the UN investigation of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09 - so presciently warned against.
But Hamas uses human shields. At least, that is what Netanyahu said. Remember, “We use missiles to protect our people. They use people to protect their missiles.” Sounds good, and the media loved it. It’s just not true. Netanyahu uses missiles, bombs and rockets to kill people to protect
Israel’s occupation and goal of taking over all
He cries “human shields to cover up the blood on his hands.
Gary Burge, professor of theology at
College specializing in religion and
politics in the Middle East, wrote:
The current strategy has been to use the “human shield” argument. This is common in
Ukraine, where both Ukrainian nationalist
and pro-Russian separatist blame civilian casualties on the other side “because
they use human shields.” It has also been used by the Assad regime in Syria. The U.S. used it in the battle for
Fallujah in 2004. Now the same is being used in Gaza, and the Israelis have repeated this
argument to the American media ad nauseam..
The people of
are being killed, not because they are being set up by Hamas, but because there
is no place to run. No bomb shelters, forest in the hills or even UN schools
are safe from Israel’s
superior military assault. They have no
Iron Dome. Burge says, “ Israel
runs the risk of winning the war and losing all credibility in the world
I hope we can keep our eye on the ball as to who is ultimately responsible for the violence in
It is just too easy to put the blame on Hamas.
August 9, 2014