October 18, 2023 | The Washington Times

How to save Gazan lives

It would require only two words
October 18, 2023 | The Washington Times

How to save Gazan lives

It would require only two words

Much of the media is now moving briskly on from the atrocities committed by Hamas with Tehran’s assistance – the deadliest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust – to the plight of Gazans.

Why must Gazans suffer for the crimes of their leaders who happen to be designated terrorists?

The answer: They needn’t.

It would require only two words by Hamas leaders to end this war. Those words are: “We surrender.”

Hamas leaders could emerge from the elaborate and expensive tunnels in which they are hiding. They could release their nearly 200 Israeli, American, and other hostages.

Emperor Hirohito surrendered to spare the Japanese further suffering and end a world war. To do the same would be beneath the dignity of Mohammed Deif, Hamas’s military commander?

Israel’s military operation against Hamas has been targeting infrastructure: weapons factories, munitions warehouses, command-and-control centers.

Because the north of Gaza is an active war zone crawling with Hamas fighters, Israel has advised Gazans not eager to die for Hamas and its Iranian puppeteers to head south.

Hamas has been ordering Gazans to stay put and get killed so their corpses can be used for public relations purposes.

Gazans would be even safer if they’d cross into Egypt to wait out the war. But Egypt has prohibited large numbers from entering. Hamas also has taken steps to prevent an exodus.

Israelis have long supplied Gazans with electricity. No international law obligates them to do so in wartime. At President Biden’s urging, however, they have agreed to provide power to the south – for now.

But with all the foreign aid that has poured into Gaza since Israel’s complete withdrawal from the territory in 2005, why are Gazans still relying on Israel for electricity?

The answer: Because Hamas’s raison d’etre is killing Jews. The wellbeing of Gazans is for other to worry about. Hamas turns metal pipes imported to distribute water into missiles.

Hamas’s war crimes on Oct. 7 – including torture, rape, and mutilation – replicate ISIS and Nazi barbarism.

Call me naïve, but I expected self-proclaimed champions of the “Palestinian cause” to protest: “It’s not fair to judge all Palestinians by Hamas’s terrible actions!”

But the Democratic Socialists of America, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Harvard identity groups, and a Starbucks’s union are among those proclaiming solidarity with the baby-killers and genocidaires, including by displaying drawings of a Hamas terrorist flying a paraglider over the international border into Israel.

I attribute that mostly to malice, but ignorance spiked with antisemitism plays a role. I have space here to relate just a few fundamental facts.

“Palestine” is the name the Romans gave to Judea, the land of the Jews, as a punishment for Jewish rebellion. The name derives from the Philistines, non-semitic, sea-faring people from Crete who settled in the coastal area known as Canaan in the 12th Century BCE. The Philistines became enemies of the Jews – Goliath the best known. Arab armies invaded centuries later.

Palestine was ruled by foreign empires for millennia until the founding of Israel in part of that territory – an act of decolonization.

As recently as the 1940s, the term “Palestinian” generally referred to Jews. Musicians in the Palestine Symphony Orchestra were Jews. Reporters writing for the Palestine Post were Jews.

The most prominent Palestinian Arab leader before Yasser Arafat, who founded the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964, was Haj Amin al-Husseini, appointed Mufti of Jerusalem by the British.

He spent much of World War II in Germany, recruiting European Muslims to the Nazi cause and broadcasting Nazi propaganda. “Kill the Jews wherever you find them,” he told the Arabs of the Middle East on March 1, 1944. “This pleases God, history, and religion. This serves your honor. God is with you.”

In 1947, the U.N. passed a resolution calling for the partition of Palestine – minus the three-quarters Britain had already constituted as a new Arab state today known as Jordan – into two more states, one Jewish and one Arab.

Palestinian Jews agreed to the plan. Palestinian Arabs and the five Arab members of the U.N. denounced the resolution and launched a war to drive the Jews into the sea.

More than one percent of the Jewish population of the fledgling State of Israel was killed in that conflict. About 700,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees. Over the years that followed, a larger number of Jews would be expelled from Arab and Muslim countries.

Today, the descendants of Arab Muslims who didn’t fight or flee are Israel’s largest minority. They attend Israeli universities. They are doctors, scientists, lawyers, judges, and police officers. Some serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Nowhere is it easy to be a minority, but Israeli Arabs enjoy more rights and freedoms than do Arabs in any Arab country. Israeli Muslims enjoy more rights and freedoms than do Muslims in any Muslim country.

Yet Israel is slandered as an “apartheid” state.

A “two-state solution” means two states for two peoples peacefully coexisting. Palestinian leaders in the West Bank have rejected multiple proposals.

The Hamas Charter warns that anyone signing a peace agreement that would give so much as “a grain of sand in Palestine in favor of the enemies of God” should have their “hand cut off.”

Besides, Gaza, is already a de facto Palestinian state, established following the 2005 Israeli withdrawal, one ruled by Hamas with funds, arms, training, and instruction from Iran’s rulers who are always happy to sacrifice Arab pawns to advance their goals of “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!”

Why aren’t those concerned about the people of Gaza directing their fury toward Hamas and its patrons in Tehran who have now made any solution impossible for the foreseeable future?

The answer: It’s much more exhilarating to blame the Jews.

Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times. Follow him on X @CliffordDMay. FDD is a nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.


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