Punishing Many because of the Few

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By: Sean Curry

The crisis occurring in and between Israel and Palestine is an extremely complicated and intricate situation due to the vast history of the geopolitical landscape over the past four thousand years. But even with this in mind there are criticisms to be distributed towards both sides, although Israel holds the majority of the blame.

On the Palestinian side, Hamas claims to a Palestinian Sunni Islamic organization, which was founded in 1987. Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin stated in 1987 that Hamas was founded to liberate the traditional lands of Palestine and its people from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that includes Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a position which was reaffirmed in their 1988 charter. While Hamas opposes the recognition of Israel and is committed to its destruction, it is the military wing of the organization that should be held accountable for the actions committed on behalf of the group. It is this group of fanatically devoted followers of Islam that has given the world the unfortunate impression that Hamas, and to an extent both the Islamic religion and the people who reside in the middle-east, are nothing but radically violent and seemingly backwards people. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

To put things into perspective, many people in the US identify themselves as Christian or believing in God. Unfortunately though there is a distinct group of people, who also believe in Jesus as their lord and savior, who commit nothing but acts of hate and disrespect to any and everyone who does not share their extremist beliefs. Others also carry out abhorrent and outright criminal acts, consisting of threatening mothers and/or doctors outside of abortion clinics, with some extremists resorting to the use of bombs in order to destroy the clinics while people remain inside. Most Americans would not identify themselves with these types of people and groups, and in turn would not want to be held accountable for the actions of, or seen as similar in any way, to these people/groups.

However for Israel to condemn and launch a full scale assault on the entire population of Palestine, literally millions of people, because of the actions and beliefs of only a few thousand Hamas members, which equates to roughly 1 Hamas member for every 884 Palestinian people, does not make sense morally, ethically, or logically.

Conversely, the actions carried out by Hamas are not to be tolerated or condoned in anyway due to them purposefully using safe zones as launching areas for their rockets or inhumanly substituting children as shields against Israeli forces. They have captured, tortured, and brutally massacred not only Israeli soldiers, but civilians as well. They continue to commit horrible atrocities in complete disregard for the suffering they bring to other Palestinians.  It is because of this that Hamas does not deserve any form of condolence or praise, as they are the one’s perpetrating and perpetuating the suffering being experienced by everyone in the war-torn region. Hamas is single-handedly destroying the credibility and legitimacy of the plight of the Palestinian people every day with their outlandish claims, shouts of violence and war-crime level acts of aggression committed towards the Jewish populace.
Again, this is an extremely complicated issue, one with ancient roots that are buried miles under the vast political, historical, cultural, and religious landscape. It is because of this unique situation that any hasty decisions could be the fuse needed to release the tension that is bottled up in the complex powder keg known as the middle-east. If peace is to be found in the region, it will not, and must not, be through the total destruction of either the Palestinian or Israeli people.

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