Sunday, October 15, 2023

Comments about the Israel-Hamas War

I'm reading lots of thoughtful items about the Israel-Hamas War so I wanted to share them. 
By the way, one thing I have noticed is that posters on Twitter who say "Israel-Hamas War" are generally supportive of Israel while those who say "Israel-Palestinian Conflict" are generally not. Israel is trying to maintain a distinction between making war against "Hamas" but not against "Palestinians" but I am afraid this definition will be increasingly difficult to maintain as the suffering of the Palestinian people increases. 
This is well said: Yes, I can understand why people around the world are angry and terrified about what is happening in Gaza to the Palestinians. 
But remember, Hamas can stop this any time they want. They can release the innocent men, women and children they are now holding hostage, and they can abandon their war against Israel. 
I was amazed today at the size and vigor of the marches around the world this weekend -- I don't know whether they are pro-Palestinian or pro-Hamas or anti-Israel but it was upsetting to see this: Even writers I respect greatly, like Hamilton Nolan, are writing things like this - Young Morality and Old Morality
 Yesterday, I was in Times Square for a rally in support of the endangered citizens of Palestine. Most of the people there were young. But there were also quite a few elderly people, some hobbling on canes, who had painfully dragged themselves out to stand and be a part off the supportive crowd. Because they knew it was important. Because they understood what is at stake. They were not there to compete with the young, to mutter snide takedowns of the speakers, to talk about why the rally should have been framed differently in order to attract the support of more moderate figures in Washington. They were there because people are dying. They had perspective. They had wisdom. I hope that we can all get there, one day. 
But yes, of course people are dying. Ukrainians are dying in Ukraine, too, and millions died in World War II etc etc etc. That doesn't mean that everyone who is unjustly attacked must immediately surrender or else be blamed for all the subsequent deaths.
Here's another tweet that made me go "hmmm.....":
Finally, Wesley Wark has written an enormously insightful piece about how the Israel-Hamas War of 2023 will compare to Israel's previous wars against Hamas - The Ground War in Gaza 
 ... there is the altered military and political context. While Hamas has long been Israel’s sworn enemy, in previous wars with Hamas Israel sought to target and eliminate Hamas leaders, degrade Hamas military capabilities, and punish it so that it would be deterred from launching future strikes. It did not seek to destroy Hamas, fearing what might emerge in its place. 
This time, stung by the unprecedented brutality of the Hamas cross-border attacks, the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, now supported by a “war cabinet” including opposition politicians, has vowed the complete elimination of Hamas. The Israelis have also mobilised on a much larger scale, calling up some 360,000 reservists, compared to the 57,000 involved in 2014. The Israel demand that Gazans leave the northern half of the Gaza strip and flee to the south for protection, suggests a far more wide-ranging military incursion than took place in 2014. 
Wark goes on to discuss several specific aspects of this war that make it difficult to predict the outcome. He concludes: 
 A ground war in the Gaza Strip will test the will not just of Israelis and of Hamas; but of the world. It will certainly test the willingness of Gazans and Palestinians living outside Gaza to continue to support the war aims of an unelected regime that has brought hell down on their heads, not for the first time, but perhaps for the last.


Cap said...

As Wesley Wark points out above, Hamas is an unelected regime. Half the population of Gaza are children and couldn't have voted for them anyway. Yet the so-called civilized and humanitarian government of Isreal holds the civilians of Gaza collectively responsible for Hamas' atrocities. Here's Israeli president Isaac Herzog:

“It is an entire nation out there that is responsible,” Herzog said at a press conference on Friday. “It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true. They could have risen up. They could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d’etat."

So Israel holds children collectively responsible for atrocities committed by a democratically unaccountable regime. It uses this as justification for destroying one of the world's most crowded neighbourhoods with little discrimination, cutting off water and electricity to an entire population, and ordering the 24-hour mass evacuation of over a million people from a tiny land mass with closed borders on both sides.

But sure, Israel is "complying with international norms." I suppose when you look at what other settler colonial regimes have done, the French in Algeria, the British and Dutch in S. Africa, the Belgians in Congo, and the Japanese in Manchuria and Korea, this is true. Slaughter and ten-to-one casualties are the norm when colonists face indigenous uprisings. And the US and Canada is backing the settler colonists, sending them money and arms they don't need, and political support at the UN. By Herzog's logic that makes you and me responsible for the horrors the IDF will inflict on the civilians of Gaza. Is the person who decapitates a child with a bomb more civilized than the one who uses a sword? What about people like you and me, whose governments support a slaughter that's been going on for over 70 years? Are we more civilized than Hamas?

Cathie from Canada said...

Well, Cap, I think a nuanced moral position isn't going to be possible when Hamaz deliberately targeted children last weekend.
I read an article somewhere that I couldn't find last night, that talked about the difference between deliberate murder of innocent people, and their incidental death in a war. I know in the end it makes no difference to the person who died, but maybe intent should make a difference to the people who remain - what Hamas did was deliberate murder, while Israel is making war against Hamas and causing incidental deaths as a result.

Anonymous said... Hamas not elected? Seems that disinformation. Mac

AI Email Generator said...

The Israel-Hamas conflict is a complex and deeply divisive issue. It involves historical, political, and humanitarian aspects. Opinions on the matter are diverse, with concerns about civilian casualties and the need for a peaceful resolution being central to the debate.

Brian Dundas said...

Precisely. All arguments I read here slamming balance ignore the years of apartheid, encroaching into Palestine via illegal settlements, and most importantly the deep history. All sides are BAD BAD BAD. It's evil to launch terrorist attacks against children and evil to bomb hospitals in revenge. Period. Nuance is the only path that reflects reflects reality.

Dm Social Media Glossary said...

The Israel-Hamas conflict is a longstanding and complex issue, marked by cycles of violence and political tensions. It involves deep-rooted historical, territorial, and ideological factors impacting both Israelis and Palestinians.