I spent the weekend and most of Monday engaging in back-and-forth with fellow progressive Democrats who were trying to change the subject on the clear black-and-white facts about Hamas’ terrorist war against Israel. I kept reminding them of four indisputable facts.
Fact one: Hamas openly declares it hates Jews. It is an openly bigoted, anti-Semitic organization. Its public charter, which it calls its “Covenant,” states: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” The Covenant actually endorses the notorious fraudulent anti-Semitic rant, used in part by Hitler to justify the Holocaust, the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
Fact two: Hamas’ invasion is not about supporting an independent Palestinian state. Hamas denies Israel’s right to exist. It rejects a two-state solution. The head of its political bureau, Khaled Meshal, stated this plainly at a 2012 rally in Gaza: “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on any inch of land.”
Some commentators, attempting to explain the Hamas invasion over the weekend, blamed the establishment of the state of Israel as the reason why there is still no independent Palestinian state. That is false and contradicted by undeniable historical facts. For example:
- For 19 years, between 1948-1967, Arab countries controlled East Jerusalem and all the land of the West Bank all the way to the Jordan River. They could have established a Palestinian nation, with Israel left with a fraction of the territory compared to today’s Israel. So, why didn’t they?
- In 2000, at Camp David, Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Barak, offered to create a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 97% of the West Bank. The answer was no.
- In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Ohmert offered to withdraw from almost the entire West Bank and to partition Jerusalem on a demographic basis—in addition to all of Gaza still being without Israeli soldiers or civilians. Still, the answer was no.
Fact three: Hamas doesn’t care about an independent, democratic Gaza for the well-being or social justice of Gazans. To the contrary. Since Gaza threw out the official government of the Palestinian Authority, it has not invested in food, education, or jobs. Instead, it has used millions of dollars from Iran to build bombs and rockets to be aimed at Israeli civilians, and has lined its own pockets with 15% of substantial funds from Qatar aimed at the poor.
It is simply beyond dispute that Hamas has established a corrupt terrorist dictatorship, with some leaders living in luxury abroad. In the summer of 2023, Gazans defied their overlords and held rallies throughout the area. Some chanted, “Where is the electricity and where is the gas?”—and burned Hamas flags.
Nor is Hamas reacting to Israeli occupation of Gaza.
In 2005, Israel withdrew its citizens (about 8,000) and soldiers from Gaza and from four settlements in the West Bank. In 2007, Hamas ousted the Palestinian Authority and took over dictatorial control of Gaza. But it opposed the authority’s negotiations to establish an independent Palestinian state and does so to this day.
Fact four: Hamas is and continues to be a terrorist organization—which meets the universal definition as dedicated to intentionally murdering civilians for political purposes. Hamas does not deny that. It brags about it. Just this last weekend, Hamas terrorists intentionally killed 260 young civilians attending a music festival in the desert near Gaza during the first moments of its murderous invasion.
No, it is not the same thing when Israel is forced to respond to defend itself from rockets aimed at civilians and, tragically and unintentionally, innocent Gazans civilians are killed—often because Hamas chooses to launch its rockets intentionally aimed at civilians from schools and hospitals (a double war crime). Those who make the false equivalence between intentional murder and self-defense with tragic and unintentional deaths of innocents ignore the facts.
I have always been a supporter of a two-state solution. Since I was very young, I believed in justice for the Palestinians and argued with my father that they deserved their own nation. But I also now remember the famous line of Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof” when he argued with himself by saying, “On the one hand,” and then countered with, “but on the other hand.” However, on one issue on which he could never compromise, Tevye said, “There is no other hand.”
So, regarding the Hamas terroristic attack on Israel in the last several days, I can only say—based on indisputable facts—“There is no other hand.”
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