Portfolio of Hope

Is it terrorism to retaliate when you have been terrorised, or is it an act of resistance? Why Hamas really attacked Israel, and why I stand with Gaza in their fight for liberty…

Hamas’s Invasion Of Israel

On Saturday 7th October, Hamas- an Islamist militant group and (as of 2007) ruler of the Gaza Strip, a 25-mile long territory between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea which over two million people call home- launched an attack on Israel, blowing up parts of the country’s 55km, eight-metre-high separation fence and sending fighters into Israeli Jewish communities along the Gaza frontier (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/8/what-is-the-group-hamas-a-simple-guide-tothe-palestinian-group) for a land attack. It is in these communities where Israeli civilians have been abducted from and taken into locations throughout the Gaza Strip as, essentially, ‘prisoners of war’ in Hamas’s invasion of Israel, as we are seeing in video footage such as this one:

The video above is filmed at a dance festival in Southern Israel whereby hundreds of young people found themselves indiscriminately under fire from Hamas. 260 bodies are said to have been recovered from this festival alone, with the overall death toll in Israel reportedly being at least 1100.

The Israeli government has formally declared that it is at war, with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordering a ‘complete siege’ of Gaza, and saying that Palestinians would ‘pay a heavy price.’

– !! DISCLAIMER !! –

Now, before I go any further with this, I just want to put a trigger warning out. It might not be happening directly to you, you might be hundreds of thousands of miles away from the conflict, but seeing such inhumane videos on social media is traumatising in itself. The human brain isn’t designed to see stuff like that. It can be overwhelming.

It’s important to remember though that the conflict happening in Israel is an isolated one. Whilst yes, there are wars taking place in other countries around the world, there are far more countries living in peace than there are countries living in war…

Are Israelis planning a counter offensive against Hamas?

Israel have already responded to the attack on their land by launching a counteroffensive on Gaza. They have called up army reservists and launched a wave of airstrikes on the strip. They have also, in retaliation for Saturday’s attack, ramped up their (already extremely tight) control of the Gaza Strip, by restricting/preventing all food, water, and medical supplies from entering Gaza…

Civilians were ordered to leave their homes prior to the airstrikes but, where exactly they were/are supposed to flee to is unclear (unclear/impossible: same difference)…

Let’s go back a bit: What started all of this?…

Hamas has long been attempting to take over Israel since it was founded in 1987 as an ‘uprising’ against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, with the aim of liberating historic Palestine. ‘Historic’ because, in 1850, Palestine was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority. In the late 1800s though, in response to discrimination and violence against them, some European Jews decided to establish a Jewish state and chose Palestine. These colonisers became known as ‘Zionists.’

Zionists began a pre-planned, brutal campaign of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in the proceeding years, which ultimately saw them forcing Palestinians from their own land in order to create a Jewish majority. The UN (dominated by the USA and the UK) supported Zionists in their efforts to do this when, after World War II, they voted to partition Palestine, recommending that it be split into separate Jewish and Arab states. Although Jews constituted only one-third of the population and owned less than 7 percent of the land, the UN recommended ceding 56 percent of Palestinian land to a Jewish state, so as to establish a ‘national home’ in Palestine for Jewish people, despite this being vehemently against the wishes of the indigenous Palestinian majority.

For Jews, Palestine was their ancestral home/their ancient homeland- the lands of Jewish kingdoms in the Bible, but Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land (and, rightfully so, it was theirs to begin with), and opposed the move.

‘Palestine is an Islamic homeland that can never be surrendered to non-Muslims… Waging holy war to wrest control of Palestine from Israel is a religious duty for Palestinian Muslims’ (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hamas).

In 1948, unable to solve the problem, British rulers left and Jewish leaders declared the creation of the state of Israel. Many Palestinians objected to this and a war followed, for which, overwhelmingly, Israel have been the perpetrator of…

Expelling people from their homes is a war crime. As well as preventing them from returning. Israel didn’t just commit a war crime in 1948 but continues to commit one to this day.

Salman Abu Sitta

1967: Israel invaded the West Bank and Gaza, an area with an Arab population of about 1.5 million. This resulted in the dispossession of half a million Palestinians.

2006: Israel attacked Lebanon and Gaza, killing nearly 2000 people, the vast majority of whom were civilians. Amnesty International described Israel’s actions as “serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including war crimes”. The EU took no action against Israel. Britain and America facilitated the rapid rearming of Israel as it bombed civilian neighbourhoods, and decimated the infrastructure of Lebanon and Gaza.

(^ As just two examples)…

2023 (aka now): Palestine fights back…

A ‘double-standard?

‘I’m confused. When Ukrainians attacked back after Russia’s invasion, the US celebrated them. When Palestinians do the same against Israeli occupation, they’re condemned.’

(^ a tweet– questioning the hypocrisy of the West’s response to the conflict).

& another by Aaron Bastani, co-founder of British left wing media organisation, Novara Media:

‘There’s clear double standard in endorsing terrorism… Those fighting our enemies (Russia) = war of liberation, VS, those fighting our allies (Israel) = terrorism.

Clips have also emerged on social media from a CNN interview with Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, in which he posed the rhetorical question:

“Why does the United States support Ukraine in fighting occupation – while here they support the occupier, who continues to occupy us?”

I too question why. I question why the media are calling this terrorism, why The White House has released a statement on behalf of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US to, ‘express our steadfast support to Israel, and our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism. There is never any justification for terrorism’ the statement (very hypocritically*) reads.

*’Hypocritically’ considering that they (the West) have been so complicit, so supportive, even, in allowing Israel to terrorise Palestinians, as they have been doing so since the 1800s…

The question we all need to be asking ourselves, is this:

Why is it justifiable for Israelis to force Palestinians out of their own land, ridding the population of Muslims in favour of jews but, when Palestinians fight back, finally, when they want to revert their homeland back to how it used to be they must be ‘eradicated?’

Was Hamas’s invasion of Israel justified then?

‘This is not a Muslim issue. This is not an Arab issue. This is not a Palestinian issue. This is a human rights issue.’

The war that’s happening in Palestine at the moment is absolutely horrific, there’s no disputing that. At all. Video footage of people being taken hostage by Hamas, women seen being paraded through the streets lifeless in the back of pick up trucks, it’s unbearable. But, it wasn’t a random, unprovoked decision made by Hamas to invade Israel. No, this attack, however grave, comes off the back of decades of conflict which has seen upwards of 4500 Palestinians being held captive in Israeli prisons. In fact, this year has been the deadliest year on record for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Is this what has motivated Hamas to strike Israel with a spectacular attack in retaliation?

With Four in ten Palestinian men spending time in Israel jails, a senior Hamas leader has said that the group had captured enough Israeli soldiers during the attack against Israel to; ‘make Israeli authorities free all Palestinian prisoners in its jails.’ The people captured are, according to Hamas spokesman, Abu Obeida, being held in ‘safe places’, so as to allow for prisoner swap negotiations to take place, whereby Palestinian men are exchanged for captured Israelis…

However horrific, however uncomfortable it might make you feel, Hamas are simply trying to reclaim what is theirs….Palestine was invaded by Israel, and Gaza turned into, as Amnesty International and residents alike describe it; ‘the world’s largest open air prison.’ This is them retaliating against that…

Not a ‘random’, ‘unprovoked’ attack as the media would have us believe, but an act of resistance following years of bloodshed at the hands of Israel…

It’s devastating that so many innocent lives are going to be lost as they get caught up in the, literal cross fire, their whole lives being ripped apart as they become embroiled in the power struggle of Israel VS Gaza but, and it pains me to say this, what is the alternative? For Palestinians to sit by and let their human rights be completely revoked? We’ve stayed silent for so long, letting Israel impose restrictions on Gaza that completely eradicate their human rights, but now that they’re fighting back for what is theirs, we suddenly have an opinion…

As Jeremy Corbyn said at a conference on Sunday, the way to end the terrible situation is to ‘end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.’

To conclude

The fact of the matter is that, whatever your political views are, whichever ‘side’ you are on, we are all human being’s at our core. We are all ‘one and the same.’ And yet, people are killing each other over something as insignificant as land (‘insignificant’ because, it is material and materialism is the least important thing in the world. Our existence is one centred on love and connection, neither of which can be quantified via material means, by how much land we own, by what we own)…

‘We all bleed the same.’

Jews deserve to live, freely.

Muslims deserve to live, freely.

Israel, Palestine, Gaza- they all deserve to exist in their own right.

There should be no control, just peace-

world peace.

2 responses to “Was Hamas’s Invasion Of Israel A Justifiable Act Of Resistance?”

  1. Thank you for sharing and seeking to provide short-term and longer-term historical and political context to a terrible situation. In these days of polarisation and censorship, I think it takes courage and strength.

    I don’t support the attack on civilians by Hamas or Israel but there is no doubt that Israel and it’s international backers and arms dealers, notably, US and UK, have enabled a climate where such events become inevitable.

    Prior to the Hamas attack, over 200 Palestinians had died in this year alone, 2023, in the Occupied territories and in Israel. I read some 30 Israelis have also died in this calendar year. Often, for the media, denying context, this heightened violence erupted out of nowhere.

    For US and UK, a key context is that our governments and industry are supplying Israel to commit brutal war crimes on a daily basis and, this is, potentially, in violation of domestic law.

    I would just add that land is very important as a place of shelter and sustenance and connects us with our past and future.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I too don’t support violence but, as you say, we have unfortunately enabled a climate where a war is inevitable really. The mainstream media are providing an extremely one sided narrative of what is happening in palestine, and so I think that it’s incredibly important for people to voice their own opinions where they can, as I have tried to do here

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