“But Hamas…”


A Palestinian man sits on the edge of a refugee camp following the Nakba in 1948. Credit: Creative Commons/palestineremembered.com.

In conversations about Gaza, I have heard many thoughtful people in the Jewish community lament the loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza but then say, “But Hamas…,” as if that were the heart of the problem. I’d like to suggest that, when we have these conversations about Hamas and Israel’s current bombing campaign, we begin with the necessary context and historical perspective.
Re: The Nakba
1. To create the Jewish state, the Zionist movement destroyed more than 400 Palestinians villages and expelled 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land. Palestinians who remained in what became Israel were relegated to second-class citizenship, had much of their property confiscated, and, to this day, have fewer rights than Jewish Israeli citizens.
Re: The 1967 Occupation
2. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and still occupies them until this day.
Re: Settlement expansion; the apartheid wall; and the siege of Gaza
3. Over the past 47 years of occupation, Israel has illegally confiscated more and more Palestinian land; built an apartheid wall; systematically denied Palestinians basic human and civil rights and engaged in state-sponsored violence; and forced the Palestinians in Gaza to live in appalling conditions that make it increasingly impossible to survive. Israel’s latest bombing campaign, Operation Protective Edge, has killed over 1,900 Palestinians, at least 450 of whom are children, and has displaced hundreds of thousands more.
If those of us in the Jewish community who are committed to justice begin from these facts, I think it would become clearer – regardless of who the Palestinian leadership is – that the underlying problem really is the denial of freedom and basic human rights to millions of people, for decades. And, as a community, it should also become clearer where priorities need to be in order to have any integrity on this issue: addressing the Nakba of 1948 and the responsibility for the Nakba head-on – including the right of return for refugees; ending the occupation; ending the siege on Gaza; and recognizing the right to full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a long-time organizer for peace and justice in Palestine/Israel. More recently, she is a founding member of Jews Say No!, on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace, and on the coordinating committee of the Nakba Education Project-US.

77 thoughts on ““But Hamas…”

  1. Killing 400 Semitic children in cold blood with Hellfire and other advanced missiles is anti-Semitic. Enjoying your swimming pool while your brother’s children have no clean water and suffer with injuries is inhuman. These are behaviors that cannot be fixed or excused by saying, “He said..,.” The world watched these behaviors on video.

    • Mary;
      As a Jew born in Tel Aviv 32 years ago let me point something out that you obviously do not know. Palestinians, whether they are born Christian, Muslim, or Atheist; and yes there are all 3 in Palestine. Are all Semites because they are born in a Semitic region. So when you make your statement one can easily infer that you mean it is also Israel killing Semitic children. Perhaps God did this on purpose, making all his children the same. Perhaps he more so appreciates this writers call for peace, than yours for hate and murder.
      Then again what do I know? I only lived there, had family there, and saw first hand the unjust treatment that SOME of my own people committed. What makes you know more? Other than not knowing simple geography?…

      • Dear David:
        Thank you for pointing that out. Although I cannot attest to reading/hearing all there is to read/hear on the matter, I do believe that you are the first I’ve seen to state that fact: they are both Semitic peoples — if simply based on nothing but geography and linguistics. (There may be greater qualifiers, but I do not know, just as I have always wondered what makes an Arab an Arab, when they clearly are Semite?) That same evil machine that wants us all to believe we pray to a different God; Arab and Jew, White and Black, etc. that we are not brothers; wants to perpetuate — or fabricate — differences between us to eternalize the divide.
        PS Scrolling through the comments I’m pleased to see that others have posted similarly.

  2. Very eloquent and straightforwardly stated. The Hamas complaint is a distraction from an effective decades-long campaign of misinformation.

    • Exactly. So is the “what about…(insert country of choice)?” So what if Syria or another country is also showing inhumane treatment, ethnic cleansing, or genocide? Does that mean we can’t also complain about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians? We only get one country to complain about?
      Human rights does not follow a binary system. We can multi-task and demand human rights in all countries, including Israel.

  3. Thank you for you sanity and humanity. There is so very much I love about Jewish traditions and wisdom. It speaks to my heart and soul when someone intelligently and humanely puts clear blue water between the actions of a neocon state and the Jewish people as a population apart from, and not defined by, the powerful few.

    • SARAH, It’s not just “a few” in Israel supporting the murderous rampage on Gaza. I too am warmed by the Jewish traditions and the wonderful heart of some Jews I have come to know. However, I am unable to see spiritual strength in the State of Israel, only a reliance on military and economic might and a hatred of Arabs and Muslims that runs so deep it threatens the Jewish soul that I admire so much.

      • I agree entirely. The Jewish soul is one of kindness and humanity, and I’m saddened to see it seduced by bigottry. The Palestinian people have as much of a right to exist as Jewish people, and always will. The best we can hope for is that the two learn to dwell together in peace. This is my hope and prayer. The State of Israel needs to truth God more, and weapons less. He is there to protect us all.

  4. Many thanks for a very well written article, I find that very many people don’t seem to care about the history and the truth about Palestine and it upsets me a lot. When I tell that Palestinians just want their freedom they always answer with: ‘Hamas are destroying Israel and Israel has the right to defend themselves.’ In one of Obama’s speeches he also said that and of course the British government are also defending Israel.
    It really upsets me to see Gaza completely destroyed and all those people living in such terrible conditions, surely something must be done, but Israel seems to be determined to destroy Palestine and its people. Thank you once again for your article, I just wish that more people will read it.

  5. Also good to discuss the genesis of Hamas. As I understand it, Israel created Hamas to counter the PLO and divide Palestinians. That produced the “we can’t negotiate with divided Palestinians” excuse and bought time for more home demolitions and settlements. What do you know about this?

  6. It is heartening to see people from all stripes of life coming together to demolish the wall of lies that zionists of all stripes created with the help of historians, novelists, filmmakers, poets, actors, thinkers, politicians, singers, you name it. But human conscience eventually finds a way to emerge out of slumber and nudge its heart towards truth.

  7. I am a Christian Palestinian American, and I thank you for standing up for what is humane! Jews, especially Israeli Jews should cry out VER LOUD for justice and humanity in Palestine, because you are the only people that won’t be tagged with “Anti Semetic”! You won’t believe it, my husband has an Israeli driver in our company, and he treats him like a son, even though he’s 45. His name is Aaron, and he respects and loves my husband, because he saved Aarons life several times from depression effects, etc….So once we invited Zionist Christians to our home to explain to them what’s going on in Palestine/Israel… and mentioned Aaron’s, and our partner in another business is an Israeli as well, yet the only response was “Are you anti semetic?” We were shocked! People are soo brained washed from this corrupt Media “CNN and even worse FOX”, that humanity towards the Arabs is erased from their conscience! You have a lot of responsibility on your part! Thank you!!

      • You need to do your homework and take the trouble to look up the word anti-semitism. It was a term coined by a German self described philosopher named Wilhelm Marr in the late 1800’s and was specifically aimed at Jews. So this talk of ‘We are also Semites’ is basically an irelevant load of hogwash. How do you account for the fact that Mein Kampf, the Arabic version , is still a best seller in the Middle East today? Or the reverence that Palestinians have for people like Haj Amin El Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jeruslam and self confess ed Nazi who travelled to Germany during WW 2 to study the how to conduct another final solution for all the Jews in the ME? Or on the other hand an organistaion like Hamas who openly calls for the total annihilation of all Jews? And then you have the efrontery to turn around and claim that we cannot be anti semites? FFS shit or get off the pot!

        • The reference that a Palestinian supported Nazi’s pre WW2 is oft used and meaningless. Some British royals and business people also did. To use it to justify land theft, ethinc cleansing, and decades of oppression, is, frankly, obscene.

          • Peter, there is photographic documentation of Jerusalem’s,Haj Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini, meeting with HItler and reviewing Nazi troops.As for “land theft, President Abbas recently lamented that t was a mistake to Arab leaders not to accept the 1947 UN partition, Your narrative is sadly uninformed.

  8. Well wrote , but Zionists have wrote their own books of history in which they state Palestine never existed ! Someone tells the world please!

      • And neither did Israel. The geographical area was called Palestine by the Britts and then UN created two states. Israel and Palestine in that geographical area.

      • Well actually it has existed for a very long time….. Just read the ‘Histories’ by Herodotus written in 482 BC. It mentions these people in many forms and actually doesn’t mention the Israelites at all. The British called the area Palestine as part of their colonies but the name and the people go back for many thousands of years. Great article, thanks

      • Palestine did not belong to British, the British occupied Palestine and gave it to the Jews.
        So you think the US has the right to give Iraq away to I don’t now Somalis maybe?

      • @ Rafael “Palestine indeed never existed as an independent entity. It belonged to the British”
        Nonsense. The British administered Palestine under the LoN Mandate FOR Palestine. The Mandate set the British with the task of guiding Palestine to independent statehood.
        @ מתיאס “I haven’t read here about the PALs decision to not proclame their PAL State in 1947 or 1948”
        So what? Israel was proclaimed WITHIN BORDERS according to the Israeli Government “as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947” http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf
        Israel has never legally acquired any further territory. No one has ever recognized any further territory as Israeli. What lay outside of Israel was not and still is not Israeli. http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk#googlemap
        It has been illegal to acquire territory by war since at least 1933 under the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States Article 11 http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897
        The Palestinians ask for their legal rights under the UN Charter and International Laws Israel obliged itself to uphold.
        Israel’s demands for territory have no legal basis what so ever and the justifications for not ending the occupation are complete nonsense as are the claims of “we made the desert bloom” “there was no such state as Palestine” what ever Mark Twain said. They’re completely irrelevant to the actual sovereign extent of the State of Israel and Israel’s illegal activities in territories which were according to the Israeli Government “outside the State of Israel” …”in Palestine” http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/B4085A930E0529C98025649D00410973 and which have never been legally acquired by the State of Israel.

    • Ansab,
      Please explain what you mean by “existed” From what I know it was never an independent state, it was always a region.
      I am looking in Wikipedia (to follow). Can you please share your sources and let me know where I should look up the history you are referring to (i.e. weblink)?
      “Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين‎ Filasṭīn, Falasṭīn, Filisṭīn; Greek: Παλαιστίνη, Palaistin

      • I am always amazed when someone claims there never was a Palestine – especially someone who claims to be a Christian. Have they not read their Bible? Joel 3:4 “Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;”
        Now I realize this was the KJV but to claim Palestine never existed when it is indeed in the Bible is absurd. Many Bibles have maps showing Palestine.
        Saying Palestine has never existed does not make it so. If you know any history of the Middle East you know that names of countries have changed many times but the people of that region often still refer to themselves by the name their tribe or original country name.

    • Britain did not occupy Palestine.Palestine was given over to Britain after WW1 by the League of Nations in trust.Britain had absolutely no intention of handing it over to the jews in spite of the Balfour declaration. That can be proven that when the partition vote took place at the UN in 1947 Britain abstained. A partition was eventually agreed to by a majority vote but the Arabs launched a war of ‘annihilation’ (their words) against the new State of Israel. Their first attempt at genocide was thwarted and that in a nutshell is the history of the conflict. The fact that 700000 people became refugees is their fault alone and Israel has no obligation whatsoever to allow them back in.

  9. That’s it exactly. We must always start with the events of 1948. So few people are aware of what happened then. We must educate and remind.

    • So, might makes right?
      The Palestinians were being invaded by people who wanted to steal their land. I’d probably want to annihilate those invaders too.

  10. You try and talk civilly with people though, and they will try to argue that there has never been an occupation of Gaza or of the West Bank in the entire history of Israel. That is what someone seriously told me yesterday.
    This article is great though, but many people who are for the continuance of the siege on Gaza will most likely not listen, which is sad 🙁

  11. Donna, thank you for your concise, yet laser-like, comments. I continue to be amazed – though no longer shocked – by the total absence of context provided by the Israeli government, the mainstream media, and pro-Israeli apologists.

  12. It is also important to remember that Hamas was not founded until 1987 – forty years after the creation of the state of Israel and twenty years after the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

    • Yes. Israel had nearly 4 decades to treat Palestinians justly and humanely before Humas was formed. They chose not to.

  13. Great discussion. Heartwarming to see people from all walks of life standing up for humanity, standing up for wat links us all together, our belief in GOD. Lets keep up the good work. May GOD bless u all, and may GOD end the suffering of all GOD fearing people.

  14. I was sent this article to read by someone I know, because I am one of those “But Hamas…” sayers.
    And I was not convinced to be honest. The “historical context” you give is so one-sided and impartial that it’s like you’re saying “look at these evil Zionists, they came to Israel and killed poor Arabs and they need to be held accountable”.
    What does blaming one side do? Is it a good point to create dialog? Certainly not. And here comes another “historical context”.
    In the Arab world, there were a number of pogroms which played a key role in the massive emigration from Arab countries to Israel.
    Anti-Jewish rioters killed over 140 Jews in the 1945 Tripoli pogrom.
    The 1945 Cairo pogrom marked the start of a series of violent acts against Egypt’s Jews.
    Half of Aleppo’s 10,000 Jews left the city in the wake of the 1947 Aleppo pogrom.
    The 1947 Aden pogrom brought to an end the existence of Aden’s almost two-thousand-year-old Jewish community.
    The 1948 Oujda and Jerada pogrom and 1954 Petitjean pogrom were pogroms in Morocco.
    Farhud refers to the pogrom or “violent dispossession” carried out against the Jewish population of Baghdad, Iraq, on June 1-2, 1941 during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
    In December 1947, 13 Jews were killed in Damascus, including 8 children, and 26 were injured.
    You may as well want to check this historical context (a short video) and facts out (which include a jihad from Arab mayor of Jerusalem in April 1920, refusal to negotiate and accept the existance of the state of Israel by Arab leaders, calls to eliminate all Jews or “throw all zionists into the sea, and calls to “kill Israel” coming from this (!) year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZY8m0cm1oY

  15. For those of us that may agree that Israel has not been innocent in their approach to treatment of others in this historic problem, we may still struggle with Hamas and their actions. Hamas is labeled as a terrorist organization for many reasons. They publicly state they are ready to die for their cause. They celebrate suicide bombings. They celebrate the 9/11 attacks on the USA. They fire rockets indiscriminately against civilians on a regular basis — many landing inside Gaza itself. They are not the Girl Scouts for sure.
    For those seeking a true peace solution, the right approach might be to put pressure on both sides — both Israel and Hamas/Palestine. Condemning the democracy that offers many more opportunities to their citizens while extolling the virtues of the terrorist organization is a hard argument for many of us to understand — especially those of us that have seen the children’s TV programs encouraging preschool children in Gaza to desire to kill Jews. What society cheers for that? What parent would let their kid watch?
    Will Israel open borders to Gaza while Hamas desires to destroy all of Israel? They would be crazy to. If Gaza wants more freedom, we need to help them overcome the pain, heal, build a new society and gain economic and political freedom. The world can pressure Israel more if no rockets are falling from Hamas. Hamas wants civilians to play the victim — but victims never walk in victory. It hasn’t worked in many years. I hope the people of Gaza might try a different course of action.
    Respectfully submitted.

  16. Very well put. How many times to we have to point out that Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Gaza. They have done all they can to protect their people.

    • I will celebrate the moment you do some simple research and realize that Hamas was never elected to govern Gaza. Gaza never held its own elections. Storing weapons in mosques and schools and shooting rockets in the proximity of hospital z and sheltered children is no way to protect Gazans from harm. Wake up!!

  17. Thanks for the article reiterating important arguments to prove the case of Palestine, but none of those arguments are a good counter to the “But Hamas…” illusion.
    “But Hamas…” is much better countered by explaining the actual reality of Hamas’ actions and positions which are not remotely as they are being portrayed in the media.
    The most important responses are:
    1) Making clear, and referencing articles showing, that Israel is nearly always the party breaking the cease-fire agreements and was in fact the party that broke the cease fire in 2014.
    2) Showing how Hamas just made a peace agreement in June with Fatah, and agreed to have the Palestinian Authority take over governance of Gaza, and it was only after this internal peace making in Palestine that Israel then attacked in order to undermine that peace making and keep Palestinians divided form each other.
    3) The rockets that militants (often not Hamas) are firing into Israel are almost entirely a symbolic act of defiance which almost never harms anyone in Israel, and that Israel’s extreme military response, which has killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, is utterly evil, and absolutely illegal under international law.

    • Um ….those rockets contain shrapnel and do kill when landing. Tunnels were built for incursions to kill civilians. There is no symbolism there and it is a war crime.

      • You’re talking war crimes after what Israel has just done? That’s chutzpah.
        And how many people have been killed by Hamas rockets? According to Wikipedia, since 2001 there have been 28 deaths.
        Tunnels have always been used by occupied people. Like the French in WWII. What do you expect them to do, roll over and play dead?

        • Oh yeah, lots of chutzpah. Those tunnels into Israel were meant too be used to target Israelis civilians not to benefit Gazans. You really are barking up a wrong tree. Hamas seized control and is occupying Gaza. They represent no one but themselves.

    • Eric, I appreciate the effort to get a better answer to “But Hamas?” I don’t yet understand the rockets as a “symbolic act of defiance.” I understand that they are ineffective compared to Israel’s military. Symbolic to whom? If the rockets could kill 10 or 100 or 1000 Israelis, would Hamas not use them? I ask this this way because I think the peacemakers’ side needs a better answer to “But Hamas” that holds on to both hearing real fears and also the asymmetric capabilities and actions. To not make excuses: if rockets are symbolic violence they are idiotic symbolic violence for its own sake, not defense, not exposing any deeper truths. How do we not make excuses or dismiss real fears, without getting entangled in conversations that miss even bigger issues? I think the path to more effective conversations might try to turn empathy for people under fire from those rockets into also-empathy for people under much worse assault, rather than diminish it.

  18. Palestinian violence isn’t a new phenomenon; it existed before Hamas, as the Jewish-Arab conflict existed prior to 1948. It’s problematic to only trace it back to the Nakba, or to the 1948 war. Also problematic (and frankly, in my opinion, it is propaganda) to mention that Palestinians were evicted from their homes in 1948, but not mention that the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank and Gaza–as well as from other Arab countries–was far more complete than the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from what is now Israel. Jews were forced to leave places where they had lived for thousands of years, such as the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem and Hebron.
    Does this make the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians okay? No. Is it important to keep in mind when trying to understand the events of 1948, and since? Yes.

  19. Very disappointed in this article. I won’t go into details, but the author and everyone else knows that Hamas is very widely accused of launching rocket attacks from civilian areas, using human shields, forcing Palestinians to go to places that Israel warns it will attack, and so on. I was hoping to see a discussion of how none of this exculpates Israel for the undesired but inevitable killing of Palestinian civilians. Instead this is just a not-very-well-thought-through list of some of the major accusations against Israel as a whole, and each of the 3(!) short points are hotly and intelligently debated among scholars, not necessarily on the points of fact but in terms of intent, and context.
    Important issues deserve more thought than this.

  20. For those who honestly want to know, Hames is not a creation of Israel. It’s an offspring of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. It was not elected to govern Gaza, it won control of Parliament in PA elections. This meant power sharing with Fatah’s PA President. Hames seized control of Gaza. Hames also has not given up on replacing Israel with an Islamic state. Believing in myths does not help support your opinion.

  21. There are about 6 million Israeli Jews. Why not move all of them to Los Angeles and New York or where ever they want to go?
    Jews survived because of the diaspora. Why stay in one place and get destroyed by rising Islam? Frank

  22. The Gazan said: We were already dead 7 years ago when they built the around us and prevent food and medicine and goods from reaching us.
    With walls around us have to use our enguinity to survive by digging tunnel to get food medicine etc. From across the border.
    That is the reason we will continue to fight untill Israel lift the blockade, because with the blockade …. We are dead anyway.
    The only non Israeli passagevthat we have is Rafah. Even was blocked by Israel friend the Egypt. There us simply no way for us to get the basic needs in life …. Food and medicine

  23. None of what this writer says obliterates in the slightest the question, “But what about Hamas?” I have found this blind spot & this refusal to address the issue of what we might inadvertently be feeding & empowering to be perhaps the most baffling thing about much of the American Left’s response.
    This kind of blind certainty stands in stark contrast to the soul-searching & attempts at self-criticism & self-appraisal that many Jews here & in Israel & elsewhere, have been engaging in. I wish I could see one iota of such healthy & redemptive doubt among supporters of Hamas.
    I urge one & all to dig out the series that Jacob Bronwoski did for the BBC “The Ascent of Man,” several decades ago. It’s now on DVD & available through Netflix. Look for the program titled “Knowledge and Certainty.” It is brilliant & moving & illuminating. To those who sweep aside the question, “But Hamas…?” as if it doesn’t matter, I echo Bronowski’s words: I beseech you in every fiber of my being to consider it possible that you may be mistaken.

  24. Are there any Jews here supporting Hamas? Their proudly declared charter includes annihilation of all of you. Have any of you ever been under threat of torture and death. Go ask some camp survivors if Israel response is proportionate. Stand proud for Israel to destroy Hamas and gazans will live better sooner.

  25. When I come across yet another article such as this one and the comments that follow, I’m always reminded how quickly we can become mired down in meaningless debates on details (e.g. when and how did Palestine exist, who really has title to the land, etc). These debates on the long history of people who have occupied this land is of no value and misses the larger picture.
    And the larger picture is that there has been and continues to be a disproportionate hatred of Israel and, in reality, Jews that has existed for at least the past 2000 years. We seem to forget that Israel is not only attacked by Hamas but also Hezbollah on the north and has sworn enemies surrounding them on all sides. If Israel is not perfect in every aspect than I say they then, are like every other nation in the world.
    We see people in Northern Ireland (most recently) and other places refusing to buy goods that are Israeli made because of this issue. But where are these same actions, an equivalent outcry against other nations and regimes whose inhumane treatment and civil rights violations are far worse than Israel’s? Do we refuse to buy goods from China or other SE Asian countries who have been far worse?
    We have plenty of very recent and current evidence of how Muslim-controlled regimes treat foreigners, infidels, women and children in the lands surrounding Israel.
    Israel has bent over backward to treat people of different faiths, backgrounds and countries who visit their nation fairly and respectfully. This has been their recent history (since ’48).
    I’m all for a solution for the Palestinians and their fair and humane treatment. But lets not, once again, get carried away with “blaming the Jews”.

  26. When I read yet another article like this one, I’m reminded, once again, how quickly we become mired down in meaningless debates over details (e.g. the historical facts of Palestine and the long history of people that have occupied this land) and miss the larger picture.
    And that larger picture is that there has been and continues to be a disproportionate blaming of Israel and hatred of Jews for at least the past 2000 years. If Israel isn’t perfect in every aspect (try as they do) then I say they are like every other nation. But they have consistently bent over backward to be fair and respectful to people of varying faiths, backgrounds and nationality in their short, recent history.
    Israel not only contends with Hamas but has to deal with Hezbollah to the north and are generally surrounded by nations that want to annihilate them on all sides.
    Yet we see protests and people refusing to buy Israeli goods in N. Ireland (most recently) and elsewhere and constant shouts of Zionism, Zionism. But where are those same actions and shouts against the horrible and arguably much, much worse Islamists in the lands surrounding Israel? These Muslim-dominated nations and regimes who have a long history of extreme violence and brutality against men, women, children and infidels.
    I’m all for a lasting, long-term solution for the Palestinians but let’s not, once again, lose our perspective and start “blaming the Jews”.

  27. Why does the dialog about the Nakba always start with “ethnic cleansing” in the War of Independence? Had the five adjacent States not declared war upon Israel, there would have been no occasion for this to occur.
    The proximate cause was the aggression by Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. upon Israel ummediately following the UN vote for a Jewish state.

  28. I read many of the comments to this posting today with great sadness. Most of the earlier postings were sincere but showed ignorance of Israel’s plight and an inability to distinguish between right and wrong. The ignorance centered in three areas: historical disputes expressed as historical certainties, an inability to understand the existential threat Israel is facing, and a false projection of good intentions on Hamas, totally inconsistent with its own rhetoric and propaganda. Every confrontation with Israel has resulted in Hamas’s showing bad faith and political maneuver, every compromise projected as a sign of Israel’s weakness and not its good faith. History is, admittedly, not a straight line, but I still feel that Israel is, by and large, doing as best as it can to deal with an impossible situation.
    Do the commenters expect Israel to open borders so that more cement can be brought in to rebuild the tunnels? How about a port which would allow importation of more advanced missiles to replace the ones just spent. Yet Israel, placating to world opinion, continues to promote an unconditional ceasefire.
    I am writing this comment from Nagasaki where I visited yesterday the Peace Museum. I saw how tragic were the consequences of the dropping of the second and thankfully most recent employed atomic bomb. Never should that happen again, but faced with an intransigent Japanese leadership should America have risked losing a projected one million soldiers in the alternative land invasion? I am afraid that Israel faces making the best of hard choices. None of those choices should include the pervasive idea that the blockade should be lifted before Israel’s security is insured.

  29. Apparently this site only allows comments that agree with their point of view as I tried twice to post an opposing viewpoint over the weekend and it still has not been posted.

  30. Reading this article and the comments that follow reminds me yet again how quickly an issue can get bogged down into meaningless debates over (in this case) the long history of Palestine and the people who have inhabited the area. The larger picture gets lost entirely.
    And the larger picture is that Israel is disproportionately vilified and disparaged throughout the world. We see protesters in N. Ireland (most recently) and elsewhere protesting the sale of Israeli goods and yet where is an equal outcry against other arguably much worse nations and regimes?
    Israel has not only Hamas to contend with but also Hezbollah to the north who opts to turn on their rockets whenever and uses the same tactics in the southern towns of Lebanon as Hamas does in Gaza. They are surrounded by a majority of nations that would destroy them in a heartbeat if they could.
    Israel has a track record of bending over backwards to accommodate people of all faiths and backgrounds within their borders. Additionally they have shown great restraint in jurisprudence against their enemies going back to the prosecution of post-Holocaust Nazi’s in the early 60’s. If Israel is not perfect in every aspect then I say they are like every other nation in the world.
    We all want humane treatment for the Palestinians and a long-lasting peaceful solution. But let’s not use this issue and make up outrageous lies like Hamas was created by Israel to, once again, justify the thinly-veiled hatred and “blame the Jews.

  31. Actually Tikkun brings some faith and restores decency and credibility to the Jewish side of the tragedy . Some of the Jewish people who seem to have blindly fallen beyond repair to the brain washing of the Zionist Israeli Hasbara ( myth and propaganda ) for so many years , were it affected their sense of justice and their belonging to humanity in creating balance judgement against acts of criminal violence no matter who is it done by when the matter comes to Israel and its crimes.. You and your white washing all that Israel has and is committing of atrocities against the Palestinians civilians and children is not helping the credibility of Israel, its supporters and you. So, please don’t criticize Tikkun and the decent honest people who post and wish to reach a humane solution, but do look in the mirror and recognize the damage you are doing to your people and the rest of us.

  32. Thank you Simon, Phil and a few others for your fact-based accurate comments. Israel has every right to defend its citizens against thousands of rockets fired by Hamas, a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction. The writer of “But Hamas….” refers to the wall erected after two forrific intifadas as an “apartheid wall”. This proves that the author does not understand Israel’s security concerns. This wall has brought much needed feelings of safety to the citizens of Israel by nearly eliminating the incidence of suicide bombings.

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