Why Do You Want Us to Condemn Hamas?
I am not known as an Islamist and have never been or will be. For I do not equate Islam with any political party’s drive for power. But only in one case, I would support an Islamist group: if it is fighting for the freedom of a nation and its emancipation from an unjust oppressor.
That’s why I totally support Hamas and all those who oppose Israeli occupation. The downtrodden do not have a choice of weapons. They take what comes their way in self-defence. That is what Hamas and all Freedom fighters do to liberate their country.
We did it against French colonialism in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. And if necessary, we will do it again. Freedom warriors in Vietnam and Cambodge did it first against the French, then against the Americans. The Lebanese did it against the Americans and Israelis. Iraqis, Sudanese and Egyptians against the British. We might not have survived if it hadn’t been for that military conflict. All invasions aim to crush opposition and replace one people with another. There is no success whatsoever, except for America and Australia, where colonialism succeeded in decimating indigenous populations via multiple genocides and ethnic cleansing. Folks that do not resist are exterminated. Such imperialistic projects, thank God, failed in countries with rich and powerful millenary civilisations. Colonisation died in East and South Asia, as well as in all Islamic regions.
Islam became the driving force behind the resistance against France and Britain in all the Muslim-majority countries. It will not be different for the Palestinians. As the Oslo process failed, Hamas and other resistance groups emerged as the alternative of “Fatah” and the PLO.
Henceforth, Israel and its Western supporters will have to negotiate with those they call “terrorists” as they did formerly with the PLO and even the Taliban. Everybody knows it is humiliating for them, but they have no choice. Islamists like Hamas, Al-Jihad al-Islami, or Hezbollah in Lebanon, will never give up. Mark my words. THEY WILL NEVER GIVE UP. They’ll die for the country, and they’ll be born again. Other will come, and they will be more lethal. So, here’s an advice for the people of Israel: if you want safety, change your government, press the new government to negotiate with your Islamist enemies, because, believe me, the Palestinian Authority doesn’t represent anybody anymore in Palestine. And shrewd observers know as well as Israeli intelligence, which was the only to blame for what happened to your compatriots on 7 October 2023. And I won’t reassure you. It will happen again if you don’t change the policy. If you feel powerless, then flee and save your lives.
Jews who value their culture and religion do not condone or support Israel or its Nazi rulers. We don’t have anything against them. They are our neighbours, our friends, and our brothers. They lived with us in Arab-Muslim countries and some continue to do so, in peace. The others made a decision. They chose to support the Zionist rulers over the Palestinian people. As a result, they will have to deal with the consequences of their decision.
How often did Israel aggress the Palestinians before Hamas retaliated on 7 October 2023?
All those who continue to talk about Hamas’ 7 October attack on Israel as if it was the cause of the bloodshed and call on people worldwide to condemn “Palestinian terrorism” (Hamas is Palestinian, right?) They think we don’t remember Israel’s 75-year-long aggression against the Palestinian people, whose independence they continue to deny while backing, with all their power, Israeli oppression and ongoing aggression (never labelled terrorism, but self-defence). Self-defence is a right of both parties, not just Israel.
Let us examine the situation objectively and honestly. Let us establish a count and inventory of this conflict.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen several episodes of aggression and bloodshed over the years. If we focus only on the years 2022 and 2023 leading up to the Hamas retaliation on October 7, 2023, there were several instances of Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
Count the Dead: Is Israelis’ Blood superior to Palestinians’ Blood?
According to the United Nations, 2022 was one of the worst years in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Between December 8, 2022, and January 13, 2023, Israeli security forces killed 14 Palestinians and injured another 117. There was an estimated 82% increase in Palestinian killings, with fatalities in the West Bank from the previous year and nearly quintupling (491%) from 2020. The report, titled “Pulling the trigger is the first resort: Palestinians killed by Israeli army and settlers in 2022”, provides a detailed account of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, as well as the accompanying situations, based on field and office research. The report highlights Israel’s systematic disregard for the right to life, as evidenced by frequent killings of Palestinians. Children and civilians accounted for a significant portion of the Palestinian deaths, with 41 children and 125 civilians killed in 2022.(“Pulling the Trigger Is the First Resort: Palestinians Killed by Israeli Army and Settlers in 2022 [EN/AR] – Occupied Palestinian Territory | ReliefWeb,” n.d.)
On the Israeli side, the Washington Post claimed that Palestinians killed 29 Israelis in 2022, including troops and civilians, in knife, bomb, and shooting attacks in central Tel Aviv, downtown Jerusalem, and West Bank settlements (Berger 2022).
Moving forward to 2023, the data available up to May shows a continuation of the conflict with casualties on both sides. By mid-May, 139 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces, while 18 Israelis had been slain by Palestinians, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In 2023, the conflict escalated further. The UN reported that by October 12, 2023, at least 1,100 Palestinians had been killed, including 290 children, and more than 5,000 injured as a result of Israeli attacks against Gaza. These attacks included airstrikes that targeted densely populated areas, including markets, hospitals, residential buildings, and United Nations facilities.
Palestinian fatalities from 1/1/2008 to 19/9/2023
Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: https://www.ochaopt.org/data/casualties
Israeli Fatalities from 24/1/2008 to 19/9/2023
Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: https://www.ochaopt.org/data/casualties
From October 7, 2023, until today, October 21, 2023, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has significantly increased casualties on both sides.
On the Palestinian side, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that since 7 October, 52 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli security forces, and five more have been killed by settlers (Shamdasani, 2023). Al Jazeera reported that an Israeli strike on October 17 killed more than 500 Palestinians at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City ((Doyle 2023). According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, at least 4,079 Palestinians have been killed, including 1,413 children and 806 women, with approximately 3,420 civilians dead (“Israel Destroys a Quarter of Northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian Death Toll Exceeds 4,000 [EN/AR] – Occupied Palestinian Territory | ReliefWeb” 2023).
“Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stated that the Israeli army is crushing the innocence of Gaza’s children, killing an average of 100 of them daily since the launch of its extensive military offensive against the region on the 7th of October of this year.” (“Israel Kills 100 Children Daily in Gaza since October 7th of This Year [EN/AR] – Occupied Palestinian Territory | ReliefWeb” 2023).
War Prisoners, Not Hostages
On the Israeli side, the Israeli government reported that around 1,300 Israelis have been killed since the start of the conflict on 7 October (“Israel Destroys a Quarter of Northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian Death Toll Exceeds 4,000 [EN/AR] – Occupied Palestinian Territory | ReliefWeb” 2023b). The Israeli government also reported that Hamas is holding at least 199 hostages kidnapped from Israel (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2023).
Israel is talking of hostages, and the terminology is wrong. They are war prisoners, just like the Palestinians who are still in the Israeli jail. As of September 2023, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) was holding 4,499 Palestinians in detention or in prison on what it defined as “security” grounds (“Statistics on Palestinians in the Custody of the Israeli Security Forces” 2023). The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen numerous arrests and detentions over the years, with Palestinians being held in various prisons and detention centres.
It is important to note that these numbers are subject to change as the conflict continues and more information becomes available. The situation is highly fluid, and the number of casualties can increase rapidly due to the intensity of the conflict.
As you can see above, from the UN graphics, there is no symmetry or balance between Israeli and Palestinian fatalities so far: 6407 k dead on the Palestinian side in return for 308 dead for Israelis. If you understand the statistics, it means that the Palestinians would rather die than give up. It means also Israel is a fascist entity, not a democratic state. But you already know this.
Nobody wants more life losses, but there will be much more over the years, and the statistics might change as Hamas and other resistance groups improve their score. They have been working on this, as you can see from the 7 October operation. I think there will be better-designed others with more fatalities on the Israeli side. For one thing is sure and certain: the Palestinians resisted Israel for 75 years, and they are ready to fight for the future 750 years if necessary. You will not have the last word, even if you use your atomic bomb to get rid of them. You will still have to face consequences as you cannot eliminate all the Arabs and all the Muslims of the world. In a word, Israel will never have peace without granting peace to the Palestinians.
Recognise that this is a fair outcome. You took the land by force, and now you will give it back, willing or unwilling. You have no other choice. They told you for many years. It is Land For Peace.
This conflict is not religious. The evidence is given by all the Jews worldwide who condemned the Israeli actions, and some of them condemned Zionism itself. We – Arabs and Muslims – have nothing against the Jews or the Christians. We are neighbours, friends and brothers if they don’t aggress us. But we have a problem with political Zionism, as you have a problem now with political Islam. We cannot condemn people who are fighting for their lives and the lives of their families and friends. Hamas and Hezbollah, with fellow Islamist groups, are the only ones who stand against Israel. By religious duty and Arab national solidarity, we have to support their fight until the liberation of Palestine. They are able to do the job. So, I will not recommend enough: Negotiate with them, not with the PA, which is entirely out of business, as far as I understand.
And for those who want us to condemn Hamas, I say: Did you condemn Israel for all its crimes since 1947? No, of course not. Then, negotiate with Hamas. If you conclude a just peace that gives the Palestinians their rights to statehood, sovereignty, the right of return, and the exchange of war prisoners, then you would not need to ask us to condemn anybody but cowardice and cowards, and we will not blame you for hypocrisy and double standards.
Berger, Miriam. 2022. “2022 Was Deadliest Year for West Bank Palestinians in Nearly Two Decades.” Washington Post, December 29, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/29/palestinians-killed-west-bank-israel/.
Doyle, Ted Regencia,Kevin. 2023. “At Least 25 Reported Killed in Rafah, Biden to Visit Israel on Wednesday.” Www.aljazeera.com. October 16, 2023. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2023/10/16/israel-hamas-war-live-iran-warns-resistance-front-may-attack.
“Israel Destroys a Quarter of Northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian Death Toll Exceeds 4,000 [EN/AR] – Occupied Palestinian Territory | ReliefWeb.” 2023. Reliefweb.int. October 19, 2023. https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/israel-destroys-quarter-northern-gaza-strip-palestinian-death-toll-exceeds-4000-enar.
“Israel Kills 100 Children Daily in Gaza since October 7th of This Year [EN/AR] – Occupied Palestinian Territory | ReliefWeb.” 2023. Reliefweb.int. October 18, 2023. https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/israel-kills-100-children-daily-gaza-october-7th-year-enar.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Latest: Occupied Palestinian Territory/Israel . 17 October 2023. https://tinyurl.com/2ak5a3vu
“Pulling the Trigger Is the First Resort: Palestinians Killed by Israeli Army and Settlers in 2022 [EN/AR] – Occupied Palestinian Territory | ReliefWeb.” n.d. Reliefweb.int. https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/pulling-trigger-first-resort-palestinians-killed-israeli-army-and-settlers-2022-enar.
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani. Occupied Palestinian Territory/Israel. 17 October 2023. Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani. Occupied Palestinian Territory/Israel. 17 October 2023.
“Statistics on Palestinians in the Custody of the Israeli Security Forces.” 2023. B’Tselem. September 7, 2023. https://www.btselem.org/statistics/detainees_and_prisoners.