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Simple Truths Denied
July 30, 2014
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I can think of no recent conflict in which the moral issues are so clear and stark as in the Hamas-Israel conflict. There is not a single fact which is not known to both the media and to the public at large, but such has been the intensity of denialism, obfuscation and outright lies, that it becomes morally obligatory to state them again and again until reality can no longer be avoided.
Hamas is a terror organisation, not termed as such by Israel alone as implied by a number of commentators, but defined as such by the EU, the USA, Canada, Japan and by Egypt and Jordan. It is one amongst the myriad of Islamist, Jihadist terror groups sowing havoc in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and elsewhere, generating hundreds of thousands of casualties and millions of refugees on a scale of misery almost unparalleled in modern history.
Hamas’s openly and repeatedly stated goal is the elimination of Israel and, less widely broadcast, a holy war against Jews everywhere.
It instigated the present conflict first by the kidnapping and murder of 3 Jewish teenagers and then escalated it to a sustained rocket attack on Israeli town, cities and villages. It has built an immense network of tunnels which, in addition to normal defensive purposes, are clearly intended as covert, offensive assets to sow death and terror within Israel itself.
In the present conflict it is using its own population as hostages while simultaneously mounting a ruthless propaganda campaign to demonise Israeli self-defense. For this it has depended on its hardcore supporters in the media and the West, and the confused, cowardly conformity of the mainstream Western media.
Many talk sentimentally of peace, including people who understand the fundamental dynamics of the present conflict but wish to burnish their public image. Peace could come immediately following the unambiguous recognition of Israel as the authentic Jewish homeland and taking all violence off the table in on-going negotiations regarding outstanding matters like borders and settlements. The warring Palestinians factions, from Islamic Jihad to Hamas and Fatah and their backers in the Islamic world and the West, would need to back this with tangible actions including security cooperation with Israel and demilitarisation.
The reasons why it does not happen is also well understood by anyone who has followed events in the Middle East, but is the topic for another letter. Simply summarised, the Palestinians have been recruited into an endless war against the existence of Israel.
Israel will pursue its immediate goal of neutralising the threat posed by Hamas. Her survival depends on it. The smoke and mirrors around this conflict is considerable, but the basic outline is quite clear. It is past time that the simple truth is given due recognition.