Saturday, August 9, 2014

Two Wrongs In Gaza Will Not Make It Right

Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections in 2006 is evidence of its ability to organize according to democratic principles. International response to this event ranged from surprise on the part of the then American Administration, to affirmation of the Palestinians'  desire for democratically oriented solutions to the problems they faced. Israel's response derived from the persistent animus that exists between their geo-political ambitions and Hamas' violent objections to those ambitions. We are all witnesses to the tragedies that persist as a result of this conflict. 

In the last month or so nearly 2000 lives and counting have been lost in Gaza, seventy percent of which are the lives of innocent women and children. Over 65, 000 families have been left homeless through Israel's indiscriminate blaze against anything in its path, and the United Nations has referred to some of Israel's actions as criminal. It should be noted that Israel has a history of ignoring U.N. rulings that exceeds that of any other nation. The insistence of morally warped hard liners that no one in Gaza is innocent as long as they support Hamas has reaped the due disdain of people around the world. But we must also raise serious questions about Hamas' strategy in this "war" which has brought the kind of devastation to the people it claims to represent in Gaza.

The ineffectiveness of Hamas' military praxis is highlighted in the fact that their launching of  thousands of rockets at Israel has been a total bust. It is reminiscent of the proverbial aggrieved damsel who flails away at the chest of her aggressive assailant with ineffectual blows while screaming :"You brute, you brute, you brute!". The brute force of Israel is all too evident, but it is time for Hamas to stop fighting in a way that only serves to bring more death and destruction to Gaza and its inhabitants. It may gain much sympathy from the world, but Israel... with US support... does not give a damn about International condemnation. People's collective memories are as abbreviated as the next news cycle, and Israel has the kind of presence in popular media that is effective in forming the content of those memories. Enough blood has been shed. Too many lives have been shattered. There are too many homeless. Time to stop the madness!

Hamas must stop playing into the hands of of the Zionists. Instead of persisting with a strategy that gives an excuse for Israel to continue its policy of apartheid, it is time to build on the democratic instinct that brought it to power and gave it legitimacy in the Palestinian political process. Accumulating countless ineffectual weapons is an exercise in futility. The repulsion of Israel's Iron Dome nullifies them. The repulsion of civilized people who insist that it is wrong to indiscriminately fire missiles at civilian populations must not be ignored. Two wrongs do not make a right. It is time for  Hamas to become a more effective partner with the rest of the people of Gaza in repelling the occupation that threatens the viability of their future and the future of their children. There are many ways to "skin the cat" called Apartheid. Irritating it with ineffectual "straws" is not one of them.

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