Try to hold all these inconvenient truths about Gaza in your mind at the same time

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Yair Rosenberg shares 13 inconvenient truths about what has been happening in Gaza — which I have edited down slightly:

Try, as best you can, to hold them all in your mind at the same time.

1. The protests on Monday were not about President Donald Trump moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and have in fact been occurring weekly on the Gaza border since March. They are part of what the demonstrators have dubbed “The Great March of Return” — return, that is, to what is now Israel.

2. The Israeli blockade of Gaza goes well beyond what is necessary for Israel’s security, and in many cases can be capricious and self-defeating. Import and export restrictions on food and produce have seesawed over the years, with what is permitted one year forbidden the next, making it difficult for Gazan farmers to plan for the future. Restrictions on movement between Gaza, the West Bank, and beyond can be similarly overbroad, preventing not simply potential terrorist operatives from traveling, but families and students. In one of the more infamous instances, the U.S. State Department was forced to withdraw all Fulbright awards to students in Gaza after Israel did not grant them permission to leave.

3. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is an authoritarian, theocratic regime that has called for Jewish genocide in its charter, murdered scores of Israeli civilians, repressed Palestinian women, and harshly persecuted religious and sexual minorities. It is a designated terrorist group by the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

4. The overbearing Israeli blockade has helped impoverish Gaza. So has Hamas’s utter failure to govern and provide for the basic needs of the enclave’s people.

5. Many of the thousands of protesters on the Gaza border, both on Monday and in weeks previous, were peaceful and unarmed, as anyone looking at the photos and videos of the gatherings can see.

6. Hamas manipulated many of these demonstrators into unwittingly rushing the Israeli border fence under false pretenses in order to produce injuries and fatalities.

7. A significant number of the protesters were armed, which is how they did things like this: [shoot down an Israeli drone].

8. It is facile to argue that Gazans should be protesting Hamas and its misrule instead of Israel. One, it is not a binary choice, as both actors have contributed to Gaza’s misery. Two, as the BBC’s Julia MacFarlane recalled from her time covering Gaza, any public dissent against Hamas is perilous: “A boy I met in Gaza during the 2014 war was dragged from his bed at midnight, had his kneecaps shot off in a square and was told next time it would be axes—for an anti-Hamas Facebook post.” The group has publicly executed those it deems “collaborators” and broken up rare protests with gunfire. Likewise, Gazans cannot “vote Hamas out” because Hamas has not permitted elections since it won them and took power in 2006. The group fares poorly in the polls today, but Gazans have no recourse for expressing their dissatisfaction. Protesting Israel, however, is an outlet for frustration encouraged by Hamas.

9. In that regard, Hamas has worked to increase chaos and casualties stemming from the protests by allowing rioters to repeatedly set fire to the Kerem Shalom crossing, Gaza’s main avenue for international and humanitarian aid, and by turning back trucks of needed food and supplies from Israel.

10. A lot of what you’re seeing on social media about what is transpiring in Gaza isn’t actually true. For instance, a video of a Palestinian “martyr” allegedly moving under his shroud that is circulating in pro-Israel circles is actually a 4-year old clip from Egypt. Likewise, despite the claims of viral tweets and the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry that were initially parroted by some in the media, Israel did not actually kill an 8-month old baby with tear gas.

11. There are constructive solutions to Gaza’s problems that would alleviate the plight of its Palestinian population while assuaging the security concerns of Israelis. However, these useful proposals do not go viral like angry tweets ranting about how Palestinians are all de facto terrorists or Israelis are the new Nazis, which is one reason why you probably have never heard of them.

12. A truly independent, respected inquiry into Israel’s tactics and rules of engagement in Gaza is necessary to ensure any abuses are punished and create internationally recognized guidelines for how Israel and other state actors should deal with these situations on their borders. The United Nations, which annually condemns Israel in its General Assembly and Human Rights Council more than all other countries combined, and whose notorious bias against Israel was famously condemned by Obama ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, clearly lacks the credibility to administer such an inquiry.

13. But because the entire debate around Israel’s conduct has been framed by absolutists who insist either that Israel is utterly blameless or that Israel is wantonly massacring random Palestinians for sport, a reasonable inquiry into what it did correctly and what it did not is unlikely to happen.


  1. Lucklucky says:

    Bizarre. He says that Israel should be helping a territory with people that want to destroy it.

    What United States should have done to Japan then? And Japan didn’t had the level of genocidal thought against US that the Hamas and the Ayatollhahs have against Israel.

    He also does not point how Marxist media fake news narrative = “a protest”. It actually was an attempted invasion designed by Palestinians to have the most Palestinians causalities. But what newspaper or journalist said in the news that it was an attempted invasion?

    Notice that Marxist Media rewards since decades a narrative where victmhood is defined by the number of causalities without caveats. In doing so rewards with political points the side that cares less about their own people. It is designed to be that way by the Marxist media, it is not innocent.

  2. Borgia says:

    Israel should have finished the job a long time ago. If you take someone’s land, make damn sure you kill them. Otherwise they’ll have a dangerous claim on it.

    That’s all I have to say on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  3. Bob Sykes says:

    Is has been reported that Mohammad bin Salman has stated that the Israeli’s have a right to some territory (not defined), and the Palestinians should take what Israel is offering. I believe he was referring to the PLO, but it has implications for Hamas, too. How much of a free hand Israel has with either Gaza or the West Bank remains to be seen. However, the slow moving intifada cannot be sustained if the Arabs turn against it.

  4. Kirk says:

    From the Arab cultural perspective, the Israelis won their wars against them handily, and then behaved as though they’d lost them, instead.

    What the Israelis see as magnanimity in victory, the Arabs see as an acknowledgment of defeat. “If the Jews won, why are they offering us tribute…?” “Well, we must have won, then…”.

    You want to “win” against Arabs, you have to utterly break them, drive them into the wastes, and destroy everything they were and are. The Mongols did that with the Assassin’s sect Alamut, and the Ismailis have been pacifists ever since…

  5. Magus says:

    The different treatment of Israel v South Africa in US media is amazing to witness. Jewish power at its finest.

  6. Lucklucky says:

    Kirk, yes. If Israel did not existed would Palestinians?

    The territory would be in the hands of Jordania, Egypt, and I vouch no one would have cared, like no one cares for the Assyrians, Curds, Caldaics, Druzes and many other people in Middle East.

    Palestinians only exist because of the political fights in the, let’s call it white men consciousness and evolution (which includes its most destructive ideology, Marxism).

    Bob Sykes, the Arabs — and I talk about real Arabs of the Arabic peninsula, not how we in West, the fault of Arabists in Foreign Office, call everyone there Arabs — want now that Israel exist as a bulwark against the Ayatollahs.

    But that is a small influence on the situation; the war is here not there.

    Magus, typical conflation Marxist tactic. Do you think people still fall for it?

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