Guest commentary: Hamas’ intent is evil
I am astounded to read Cathleen Krahe’s letter to the editor (“Hamas is hardly evil,” Aug. 3, Letters, The Aspen Times). She once again makes assertions that are unsupportable, inaccurate and in direct opposition to the facts reported by reputable news agencies.
One of Krahe’s favorite distortion techniques is to (mis)quote a source by applying it to another, different situation — different time, different geography, different context — to make her case. In her most recent diatribe, she trots out Henry Siegman, a former leader in the American Jewish Community (retired 20 years ago). She then twists his comments about the Palestinians living in the West Bank and applies them without qualification to Gaza.
Siegman had some occasionally legitimate complaints about Israeli actions in the West Bank (I do, too). Krahe takes these anecdotes out of context. She portrays Siegman as generally opposing Israeli actions in Gaza as if these actions were intentionally directed against civilians — her projection, not his.
What reputable source would assert that the situation in Gaza is in any manner equivalent to the West Bank? Krahe totally chooses to ignore that Hamas initiated the recent conflict. How many thousands of rockets needed to be launched by Hamas before Israel asserted its legal right to take protective action on behalf of all of its citizens — Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.? That’s the same Hamas that the U.S. government and the European Union have designated as a “terrorist organization.”
Assuredly, evil intent
The massive excavations by Hamas — tunneling under Israeli kindergartens to attack children — are prima facie examples of its evil intent. Its placement of civilians in the line of fire is another prima facie example of its evil intent. Its condemnation by many of its former Arab allies confirms its overarching evil intent. It proudly declares that “(It) loves death as Judeo/Christians love life.” Under normative societal values, purposeful killing is evil. Planning to kill is evil intent!
Due to limited space, let’s examine the misleading lies just in Krahe’s closing sentence:
Krahe said, “It is absurd to call Hamas evil for wanting to end the blockade of Gaza, killing and imprisoning Palestinians without trials and the occupation of the West Bank.”
Blockade of Gaza?
The blockade of Gaza is permitted by international law because Hamas attempts to import war material in the guise of humanitarian assistance. This was confirmed by international legal opinions issued after Israel interdicted supplies of lethal weapons from Turkey in a naval confrontation that made headlines a few years ago. Consider this: More moderate Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt (which shares a border with Gaza and imposes an identical blockade), all support Israel’s blockade of lethal weapons to Hamas. Krahe purposely fails to note that consumer goods — food, medical supplies, gasoline, propane and electricity are being supplied every day by Israel to Gazan citizens (during war-time) in a humanitarian effort, not to further disrupt civilian life. Does anyone in their right mind think Gen. George Patton would have supplied the Nazis at the Battle of the Bulge during the battle?
Imprisonment and execution?
As to the accusation of Israel imprisoning and killing Gazans, she has the facts reversed. The “authority” in Gaza — Hamas — has summarily killed its own citizens without trials and brags about this to keep the remainder of its populace “in line.” This is not an “Israeli” activity, despite her attempt to make it so. Without basic proof or legal due process, those accused by Hamas are killed and their bodies dragged through the Gazan streets to make an example of those who dare to dissent.
Israel unilaterally ended the occupation of Gaza in 2005, much to the distress of the Israelis who lived there. Why? To test the conditions for commensurate actions by the Palestinian authorities, thereby evidencing its desire for peace over conflict. The Israelis were forcibly removed by a decision of the Israeli government. The objective was to allow the Gazans to be self-governing in a democratic fashion.
Nevertheless, Gazans chose the promises of Hamas in 2007 in response to Fatah’s continued corruption. Hamas has morphed into the “occupiers” of Gaza by imposing Sharia, killing Christians, torching churches, declaring war on women’s rights, hanging gays and other barbaric acts being played out by its compatriots who are wreaking havoc in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Afghanistan. Hamas calls for death and destruction to all who oppose it. So does its sister organizations of Jihadists.
The Cause of this Conflict
The basis of the latest conflict is solely due to Hamas’ firing deadly rockets indiscriminately aimed at Israeli civilian population centers without provocation. (Do we need to remind Krahe that 20 percent of Israel’s population is Muslim, and that Hamas’ rockets are targeting them, also?) Hamas encourages the killings of its civilians by placing them in harm’s way to gain “protective cover” for its “soldiers.” Foreign journalists (who are muffled by their “handlers”) are well aware that some of Hamas’ deadly rockets have fallen short of Israeli territory and have landed in population centers within Gaza (despite Hamas’ denials). These errant rockets are the cause of the largest number of clustered civilian deaths.
The ‘End Game’
When the Gazan tunnels and missile storage sites are destroyed by Israel — rest assured that they will be — we all hope that the Gazan people will reconstruct their live with massive support of the Western democracies and Israel. Meanwhile, those injured by Israel or Hamas have Israeli field-hospital medical facilities awaiting them just over the border in Israel — assuming that they can flee their “leaders” so as to access this humanitarian medical treatment.
David Kudish lives in Miami and Aspen.