Yes, Gaza is occupied. It is occupied by a Hamas death cult that no Arab army, nor the Palestinian Authority, had the wherewithal and fortitude to liberate. It is occupied by a Marxist liberation philosophy that rationalizes nihilistic acts of violence against Jews as ennobling or, as one American professor stated, “exhilarating.” Thanks to the Israel Defense Forces it is now being liberated from “occupation.”
Hamas supporters in the United States aver concern for Palestinian civilian casualties of war, including children who are universally innocent, but what is fiercely stated as Western world altruism is contaminated with another motivation – antisemitism. The hatred of Jews among many calling for a cease-fire is clear since there is a justified way to spare needless Palestinian deaths – publicly demand that Hamas surrender. A surrender by Hamas would quickly spare Palestinian civilians from the trauma of war.
An entreaty urging Hamas surrender is undoubtedly heresy. Such pleading in Gaza, and maybe on some U.S. college campuses, would likely be a call for traitorous execution. But the absence of surrender calls in the Western world shows the true passion for this cause is not love of the Palestinian people, but rather resentment that Israelis are capable of a necessary military response to a cruel, implacable and sadistic terrorist enemy.
The demand for surrender makes sense if Hamas cared about the people of Gaza. The truth is, Palestinian lives are expendable to them. The hatred of Jews, and not preservation of people in Gaza, is what is driving their supporters. Hamas terrorism not only threatens and murders Jews; it also enslaves the people of Gaza and indeed threatens Western civilization. Hamas never offered Palestinians the chance to prosper or evolve a civil society. Hamas denied them the enrichment of education, opportunity and even the basics of life, as necessary resources were diverted into rockets and extended warfare tunnels below ground.
If the American protesters in support of Hamas had their way, the people of Gaza would continue to labor under the fascist authority of a terrorist organization that has never allowed dissent. Hamas summarily executes those that oppose their authority or that they arbitrarily deem traitors or heretics. American protestors who blithely shout pro-Hamas slogans would likely be killed in Gaza for personal preferences of who to love, how to worship God, or the role of women in society contrary to enforced Hamas dogma.
There is no free press in Gaza. No elections. No human rights. Those denials of basic freedoms do not come from Israel’s actions. They come from the gun barrel of a tyrannical, outlaw regime. It is a regime financed by Iran, to serve Iranian interests, and not the interest of Gaza residents. Despite radical views and a population mired in poverty, tellingly, Hamas leaders, Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh, have each accumulated a net worth of $4 billion.
The Palestinian people of Gaza will eventually be liberated not by terrorists, but by the Israel Defense Forces. Once liberated, the world needs to help that ailing island of despair that has become isolated not by Israeli occupation, but because of their own leaders’ genocidal intentions. History, too often, is a recycled story told through tears of despair.
To gain the Irish free state, terrorists fought the British authorities, but then the Irish terrorist leader, Michael Collins, turned his own guns against his former allies when they stood in the way of a pragmatic, compromise peace agreement and civil progress. It is a historical analogy the Palestinian people should heed.
The Palestinian people of Gaza do not deserve the life they have endured under the Hamas dictatorship that assumed control after Israel left in 2005. The mountainous rubble they live in is evidence of the fantastical delusion that almost two decades of intermittent war and terrorism, including indoctrinated racial and religious hatred, can bring tangible triumph. Israel will not be driven into the sea and the Jewish people will never capitulate to another Holocaust.
The real enemy occupiers of the Palestinian people are those in Iran who strategically exploit their anguish and their installed Hamas overlords, who amorally lead by distorted religious zealotry and whose only vision is endless pain, suffering, destruction and needless death.
Barry Ziman is a novelist and government relations professional living in northern Virginia.