Hamdan, spokesman for Hamas, says they are NOT against Jews; in fact, Hamas is all about letting Jews live as normal citizens, practicing their religion as they will (thank you very much). What they are against, however, is “occupation”…of “their” land. So, while they are not against Jews, or Israelis, they are against anything that resembles military occupation of the land that they are willing to die for. Israel, on the other hand, is more or less in control of the waterways, the airways, and the borders into and out of Israel, their land; hence, “occupation.”
So for starters, who owns what, and who should be in charge of what? Wouldn’t we all like to know that? I am not a fan of war, of killing, of an eye for an eye. I am not a fan of violence or perpetuating error, mistakes, grudges or even just “the plan of the day” if it perpetuates any of the above; and I am not a fan of killing as a solution to gaining peace.
Yet I am a big fan of peace! I am a fan of peace and harmony, understanding, compromise, examining the facts, reaching agreements and truth. And yet I can see that life seems to dish up more of the former (the war mentality) than the latter (the peace mentality).
If you live in a world (or place) that is filled with the former, not only does no one smile, everyone who lives there—and that includes civilian men and women and children of all ages—is subject to living in fear and knowing that they will likely die, gruesomely and possibly even soon, just because they are somehow in the way of someone or some power that wants them gone. Apparently, if Jews “incite” the Arabs (just by their presence in Gaza), then it’s the Jews’ fault when the Arabs get so incited as to wreak havoc (violence) against them.
Apparently the Arab philosophy is to blame the victims for their own murders and devastation of their lives and homes, as in, “We can’t help what we do: they incited us by their presence.”
Hamas is so about not only an eye for an eye, but about being “proactive” and doing whatever it takes to have it their way. (Is that not the philosophy of terrorists?) They start with the premise that the land is theirs and they will not live in “militarily occupied” territory, at least that is what Hamdan told us on TV–that it’s all about “occupation” of their land. Based on that premise, they believe they are free to do whatever it takes to stake their claim and make it so…even to perpetuating the atrocious belief that Jews used to kill Christians for their blood. From Hamdan’s own mouth, translated from the Arabic: “We all remember how the Jews used to slaughter Christians, in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos. This is not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film. It is a fact, acknowledged by their own books and by historical evidence.”
This kind of talk, of course, will further incite Arabs against Jews, and no one on that side of the “fence” will bother to check the truth of such a statement.
If you live in a world (or place) that harbors the latter, not only do people in such a place smile, but everyone there feels safe and secure against having their serenity disrupted by the forces that abide in the world (or place) that engenders war. Everyone in that place of peace may not have every single thing to their liking, but they do not suffer at the hands of those who insist on having it their way to the exclusion of anyone else’s way, and the state of peace.
Yes, I know; most people would say no such place of peace exists. The world today is a mess, I agree. War pops up everywhere, and sometimes stays for many, many years. Or maybe it goes away or underground for a period of time, only to rear its ugly head a year or two or so later, going for another round of hostility that hopefully will achieve its aim THIS time.
Although you can never have too much peace, even a little bit of war should be unacceptable.
Yet, you say, what are we to do if we (or one of our friends) is attacked in an aggressive war-provoking way? Ah! Therein lies the discussion.
The Bible tells us, should we put any stock in it in the first place, that there is a time for war. However, one would have to believe that it is referring to some military action that has a definite achievable purpose, one that is for the greater or greatest good of the people, and has a chance of success. War (mass killing/destruction/violence) without purpose or hope of victory is not only senseless violence, but it is doomed to become a never-ceasing smoldering fire that uses up valuable resources on all fronts, demolishes significant historic sites, wastes countless lives, including those of innocent children, and destroys community property that may never again be replaced as it once was — or at the very least, would cost so much to replace that neither side could afford to rebuild it to its former quality for its previous use. In that sense, both sides lose; and property — which hurt no one, but was there for both shelter and service to the inhabitants or members of the community — is “killed” right along with the children and anyone else who gets “in the way” of the attack.
War — as we unfortunately know — is still sometimes both legitimate and necessary. But ongoing and senseless violence — with no achievable goal or hope of success — never is.
But such seems to be the situation between Israel and Hamas. Hamas, just in case anyone isn’t sure who or what it is, is defined as a Palestinian Islamic movement, founded in 1987, with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state incorporating present-day Israel and the West Bank (the Gaza Strip).
Israelis are those who were born in, or live in, Israel. They want to live in peace. Obviously they are not all Jews. Palestinians, who also could have been born in and now live in Israel, want to establish their own state of Palestine, but they want it to be free of Israeli occupation.
In any war, declared or undeclared, regardless of what side the “players” are on, they would want to know what they are fighting for.
Some people would fight to the death to protect their family from harm. (Freedom from harm.) Some would fight to the death to keep their country free. (Freedom from dictators and enslavement.) Others would fight to the death to gain and keep certain rights for themselves and all others in their country. (Freedom to live and work where one chooses, if possible; freedom to speak out; freedom to be part of the community at large without prejudice; freedom to choose one’s form of government or one’s officials; freedom to have a place called home.) Some people would fight to the death just to have a country in which to be free.
But if we were ever told we must jump into a war just because it was there, isn’t that kind of like saying that we must kill the person in front of us because he has a weapon? Or that it’s a victim’s own fault for being in the way if he gets killed?
There is no reason at this time for anyone in Hamas to believe that anything they do will soften Israel’s will so they’ll come around to a different way of thinking and let them create their Palestinian state. Certainly all this latest violence is hardly a good way to say, “Pretty please, may we have our Palestinian state now?”
As children we’re taught that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar (although why that was a popular saying or teaching tool I don’t know, since I never wanted to catch any flies), yet somehow the lesson lingers, even though no one pays any attention to it. It seems that in today’s world the lesson might be to use rockets to represent the “flies,” and then use some kind of “rocket repellent” to keep those representative flies at bay. Neither side seems to know that “honey” even exists.
No one wants to give up what they want and settle for some lesser thing, yet that “lesser thing” could start to look very desirable when they see that it could mean no loved ones being killed, no homes or other property being senselessly destroyed, walking in the streets is once again a safe thing to do, and children will have a chance to live and grow in their own neighborhoods, in peace.
But “honey” has its price. Negotiations have to have some nectar to work with, and that can only come from the compromises, the concessions, and the way they are processed to produce the honey. Are there adequate worker bees to keep things buzzing while the “queen bees” work out the best deal for the honey? As all good bees know, you can’t pass by the honey-deal of today in hopes that tomorrow’s or next month’s (or next year’s) honey deal will be better; for all we know, all the flowers will be gone by then.
Hamas is not the voice of nor the “other name” for Palestinians. Many Palestinians would be happy to have peace now, just as Jews and other Israelis would. Right now, all sides (Israelis, Palestinians and Hamas) see the others as the enemy, since they are not in accord.
But with good old Osama Hamdan speaking for Hamas, we can see why getting to the honey will be a very sticky proposition.