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Letter to the Editor: Hamas and the Israel–Palestine Conflict

8 June 2018

Lately there have been lots of articles related to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and in many of them Hamas is painted in a rather unflattering light. These articles often inaccurately label Hamas as a militant group bent on the destruction of Israel, then try to use this as justification for Israel’s violence.

But these remarks are a gross oversimplification. Hamas only arose in response to Israeli crimes. And far from Hamas being violent aggressors, they are often only retaliating to Israeli aggression. For example, during a 2012 cease-fire between Israel and Palestine/Hamas, Israel maintained a devastating assault, but Hamas respected the ceasefire. Eventually, Hamas retaliated by firing their first rockets in 19 months, but obviously only the retaliation made international headlines because Western/American media is a strong ally of Israel (probably Israel’s only real ally).

In addition to missile attacks and violence, Hamas has been blamed for the blockade setup around Gaza, but in fact, Israel installed the blockade when Hamas won a democratic election in Palestine. This blockade has devastated the Palestinian economy and culture. This would be like Canada attacking the USA because we disagree with the results of their democratic election … except we would be unlikely to devastate their economy and way of life. But surely if Hamas is a militant group, then the USA government is as well, since both are democratically elected and have military power.

As the democratically elected government for Palestine, Hamas has repeatedly made it clear that they would accept a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine in accordance with internationally accepted boundaries; attempts constantly blocked by USA and Israel for over 40 years. Far from Hamas being bent on the destruction of Israel, they have long accepted the existence of Israel and have been willing to compromise. Rather, it is indisputable that it is the Israeli government that is bent on the destruction of Palestine.


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