By John Dunkelgrün
Early in 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea, there were quite a few people who dismissed criticism of Putin.
“You have to understand that the Crimea was never really part of Ukraine, that traditionally, historically it is part of Russia”, and so on. It was accepting a bully’s action because the alternative, outright war with Russia, didn’t bear contemplating. The German Der Spiegel called them ‘Putin Versteher’, people who understand Putin, not really in the sense of fully agreeing with him, but seeing and accepting his logic.
Today we have ‘Hamas Versteher’, people who accept Hamas’ argument that last Saturday’s atrocities were the natural reaction of Israel’s ‘crimes’ against the Palestinians’, that it is natural for people whose land is occupied, who are deprived of their future and their hopes to protest in this way, that they are doing this to give Palestinians a future.
The arguments are as false as a halal pig. Hamas has never given a hoot either for the Palestinians on the West Bank, nor of those within Gaza. And to be clear, Gaza is not occupied. Since 1979 it has been autonomous in name and since 2005, after Ariel Sharon decided to withdraw from the strip unilaterally, also in practice.
From that moment on Gaza could have become a prosperous enclave on the Mediterranean. It has beautiful beaches, straddles both Israel and Egypt and enjoyed considerable goodwill internationally. It could have been a wonderful success story. Its borders then were not closed, there were no walls or fences. It was not to be. In 2006 free elections were held and the people of Gaza chose Hamas, an organisation that in its charter calls for the extinction of the State of Israel. Hamas became a very harsh and cruel regime that treated its citizens even worse than the corrupt leadership of the Palestinian authority in the West Bank. Time and time again it has attacked Israel, resulting in retaliations that have hurt and killed thousands of people. It has caused more Palestinian casualties than Israel during its entire existence. This caused Israel and Egypt to close the enclave in an attempt to control the goods going in and check for weapons. Hamas reacted by building a tunnel network, using funds from international donors that was meant to develop its infrastructure and economy.
By its words and its deeds Hamas is a terrorist organization, officially branded as such by many countries. It has used its own people as human shields, it has successfully used prisoners and the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips and has now captured almost one hundred and fifty Israelis, most of them civilians including small children and people in their dotage. They did this for the same reason, but also to put pressure on Israel by threatening to ceremonially murder them.
The current action has nothing whatsoever to do with how Israel treats Palestinians in the West Bank. Yes, the way Israel’s actions on the West Bank can rightfully be criticized in many ways, but Hamas has never done a single thing that indicates they are interested in the well-being of the residents of the West Bank. They just use it as a red herring. Hamas and its admitted paymaster Iran are worried that as a result of the Abraham Accords, they have lost the limelight on the world scene and see Russia’s war on Ukraine as a good opportunity.
The ‘West’ is giving so much aid to Ukraine, that their armories may now be too empty to support Israel. It is also their opportunity to put a spoke in the wheel of negotiations for peace between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Hamas knew it would cost the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of their citizens, have many buildings and crucial infrastructure in the Strip destroyed, but they just don’t care. They want international attention, they want condemnation of Israel at any cost.
In the next days, weeks, or even months, prepare for pictures from Gaza of dead babies, crying mothers, corpses pulled from under the rubble, and lying talking heads on all the news services. Starting with countries, news outlets, and publications that are openly or covertly enemies of Israel, you’ll start hearing complaints of disproportionate reactions by Israel, even of genocide. Yet, they were quiet or ‘understanding’ when Hamas attacked, murdered, and abducted more than a thousand civilians.
Hamas Verstehers beware. You are not helping, you are supporting pure evil.