A couple of days ago, my hometown newspaper published an opinion by a very conservative writer who shared his views about Hamas. (I have copied a portion of it below.) I don’t know whether this vitriolic venom is published in other countries, but many newspapers in the USA give it space.
A couple of years ago, I would have brushed off this nonsense without even reading it. Now I think such opinions are dangerous and need to be taken very seriously. The US foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel is enmeshed in this ugly narrative, and until Americans are more informed about the facts on the ground and what is really going on in this occupation, we will be complicit in perpetuating the injustices.
My letter to the Albuquerque Journal Editor:
Columnist Charles Krauthammer’s inflammatory rhetoric about the Israel-Palestine conflict is beyond the pale.
He not only spews “facts” about the occupation without a scintilla of understanding about the facts on the ground in Gaza, but he also perpetuates the myth that one side of this conflict is the aggressor (Hamas) and the other is the victim (Israel). World leaders and most people have moved beyond this black and white framing of the conflict. The Albuquerque Journal should too.
I am an Albuquerque native currently living in Gaza. Would the Albuquerque Journal be interested in regular, factual posts from Gaza to share with your readers? Some insights into the daily lives of Palestinians living in Gaza might be enlightening to Burquenos.
Column published on March 23, 2013 in the Albuquerque Journal
Hamas Lives To Destroy Israel
By Charles Krauthammer / Syndicated Columnist on Fri, Nov 23, 2012
WASHINGTON — Why was there an Israel-Gaza war in the first place? Resistance to the occupation, say Hamas and many in the international media.
What occupation? Seven years ago, in front of the world, Israel pulled out of Gaza. It dismantled every settlement, withdrew every soldier, evacuated every Jew, leaving nothing and no one behind. Except for the greenhouses in which the settlers had grown fruit and flowers for export. These were left intact to help Gaza’s economy — only to be trashed when the Palestinians took over.
Israel then declared its border with Gaza to be an international frontier, meaning that it renounced any claim to the territory and considered it an independent entity. In effect, Israel had created the first Palestinian state ever, something never granted by fellow Muslims — neither the Ottoman Turks nor the Egyptians who brutally occupied Gaza for two decades before being driven out by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Israel wanted nothing more than to live in peace with this independent Palestinian entity. After all, the world had incessantly demanded that Israel give up land for peace.
It gave the land. It got no peace.
The Gaza Palestinians did not reciprocate. They voted in Hamas, who then took over in a military putsch and turned their newly freed Palestine into an armed camp from which to war against Israel. It has been war ever since.
Interrupted by the occasional truce, to be sure. But for Hamas a truce — hudna — is simply a tactic for building strength for the next round. It is never meant to be enduring, never meant to offer peace.
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Copyright, Washington Post Writers Group