By Gulamhusein A. Abba
The thud of Hamas rockets landing in Israel is the voice
of Palestinian resistance. The current war by Israel on Gaza
is its desperate attempt to silence this voice.
Hamas is resisting the long drawn, nearly half a century long
brutal occupation. And Israel, the occupier has been trying
to snuff out this sole source of resistance. Its present carnage
in Gaza is its desperate attempt to realize this goal once and for all.
August 3, 2014
In justifying Israel’s current war on Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that Gazan terrorists led by Hamas are raining thousands of rockets on Israel in an attempt destroy it, to wipe it off the map, in accordance with their charter. This poses an ‘existential threat’ to Israel and it is the duty of the government to protect its people and defend Israel. It is with this goal in mind Israel has launched the current operation to find and destroy the tunnels Gazans use to infiltrate into Israel and kill its soldiers, and, to locate and destroy the manufacturing, storage and launching sites of the rockets, the training centers and ‘command centers’ of Hamas. (Israel includes homes of Hamas militants and leaders under the term .command centers’)
On the face of it, this seems a perfectly valid explanation.The problem is that each and every component of this claim is false.
The rockets falling in Israel are being fired not by ‘terrorists’ but by the democratically elected representatives of ALL Palestinians, including those living in the West Bank.
In the Palestinian parliamentary elections for the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem held on January 25, 2006, Hamas won a plurality of 42.9% of the total vote and 74 out of 132 total seats (56%). These elections were certified as being free and fair by international observers. When Hamas assumed power the next month, the Israeli government, the United States and the EU, refused to recognize its right to govern the Palestinian Authority.
As for Hamas trying to destroy Israel and wipe it off the map, it is true that its charter, drawn up way back in 1988, mentions eliminating Israel and replacing it with a single unified state embracing all of Palestine. It nowhere speaks of ‘driving all the Jews into the sea’.
In any event, Hamas has changed its stance on this issue. Hamas leaders have repeatedly stated that Hamas is ready and willing to accept Israel within 1967 borders that were established after the 1967 war which Israel initiated. It should be noted that the 1967 borders encompass for Israel about 78% of Palestine as it existed in 1947/48 instead of about 55% allotted to it by the UN resolution creating Israel.
Limitations of space prevent me from listing all the statements made to this effect by Hamas leaders. Suffice it to record that Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal indicated to Robert Pastor, senior adviser to the Carter Center, that the Charter is "a piece of history and no longer relevant …………” and Pastor has stated that that those who quote the charter rather than more recent Hamas statements may be using the Charter as an excuse to ignore Hamas.
Given that Hamas has no army, no tanks, no planes, no gunships, no drones, no guided missiles, Hamas cannot even imagine wiping Israel off the map with its primitive, unguided and hopelessly ineffective rockets! These rockets are being fired to send a message to the world and especially to Israel that Palestinians will never lie down on their backs and allow Israel to ride roughshod over them, that Palestinians will never surrender and submit meekly to Israel, that Israel will never have peace and tranquility as long as it keeps Palestinians under its boots.
The thud of Hamas rockets landing in Israel is the voice of Palestinian resistance. The current war by Israel on Gaza is its desperate attempt to silence this voice.
After all Hamas was formed by Palestinians who believed that the Road Map of peace negotiations crafted by the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations) with the US as an “honest broker”, and agreed to by PLO and the PA, was not the right path to follow. They felt that history had shown that Israel was using it just to delay the creation of a Palestinian state and use the time gained to grab more and more Palestinian land, build Israeli only settlements and roads on them and transfer thousands of Israelis from Israel to these settlements. They felt that resisting the occupation and persistently demanding its end was the only way to get the yoke of occupation off the backs of Palestinians and get for them an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.
Hamas was formed to give the Palestinians an alternative to the path the PA had chosen to travel. And they chose the path Hamas offered by electing it to power in the parliamentary elections for the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem held on January 25, 2006 – the only fair, free and democratic elections held for that region till now.
It needs to be emphasized, and understood by the world, that Gaza (as also West Bank and East Jerusalem) is OCCUPIED territory, and people living in occupied territory have an internationally recognized right to resist the occupation. Hamas is resisting the long drawn nearly half a century long brutal occupation. And Israel, the occupier has been trying to snuff out this sole source of resistance. Its present carnage in Gaza is its desperate attempt to realize this goal once and for all.
What is being bombed and destroyed are not just the tunnels and the manufacturing, storage and launching sites of the rockets, the training centers and ‘command centers’ of Hamas. What is being bombed is all of Gaza’s infrastructure, including its sole power generator. What is being bombed are homes of innocent civilians, schools (including UN schools where Palestinians seek refuge), hospitals and mosques. Entire neighborhoods are being reduced to rubble. And those being killed are not only Hamas militants but innocent mn, women and children, in several cases entire families. More than a thousand Palestinians have been killed and more than 85% of them are innocent civilians.
Had it been any other country than Israel committing this monstrosity, hell would have broken loose by now. In the case of Iraq, we got its occupation of Kuwait vacated by force in record time.