OK, what to do in the Middle East? First of all, lets understand whom and what we’re dealing with. What exactly IS an “Arab,” eh? That term is thrown around, quite often so incorrectly, it’s amazing. Just so anyone reading this doesn’t ‘go off’ on me for any perceived supposed insults towards the ‘Arab people,’ let me first tell you what the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee says.
“"Arab" is a cultural and linguistic term. It refers to those who speak Arabic as their first language. Arabs are united by culture and by history. Arabs are not a race. Some have blue eyes and red hair; others are dark skinned; many are somewhere in between. Most Arabs are Muslims but there are also millions of Christian Arabs and thousands of Jewish Arabs.”
Guess what folks? The ADC has a very interesting fact to share: “The Arab World consists of 22 countries…There are an estimated 1.2 billion Muslims in the world...The ten countries with the largest Muslim population are: Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, and China. Of these countries only Egypt is an Arab country.”
So! When you speak about Arabs it should be understood that not all Arabs are wild-eyed fanatical Islamic Jihadists who crave nothing more than the death of all infidels (those who are not of the Islamic faith). To put it more precisely, as the ADC says “Most Arabs are Muslims, but most Muslims are not Arabs.”
So, next question: what is Hamas? Oh, in case anyone is wondering I am neither Jewish nor Arab! So, the question begs itself here, “Is Hamas an Arab organization? No! Is Hamas’ an off-shoot of an Arab religion? No! For that matter, is there anything Arab-like about Hamas?
In actuality, Hamas is an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawima al-Islamiyya, or the Islamic Resistance Movement.Curiously, however, the Jewish word chamas (pronounced hamas) means, ‘violence.’ For those interested, replace the word violence in several chapters in Genesis with chamas/hamas and see what you find.
So how do many ‘real’ Arabs feel about what is going on in Gaza today. Not how many might think. You might be surprised! Here is part of a letter from Shmuel Aweida, an Israeli-Arab Christian pastor, published in a leading Israeli newspaper. He makes a very good point here, one which seemingly every pro-Palestinian activist has missed.
Aweida states very clearly that “Instead of feeding the hungry with food, they feed themselves with weapons…Instead of building houses and hospitals above the ground, they build terror-tunnels under the ground.”
Folks, listen to what Aweida says here! “The tunnels found in the past days have cost hundreds of millions of US dollars to build! The IDF blew up millions of your money, dear nice people in the naive West!”
So, all that food for the hungry Gazans has fed Hamas’ troops, all that concrete and steel given to the Gazans to build their infrastructure has gone to build Hamas’ under-structures.
After Hamas’ two main leaders, Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal, rejected the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire because it didn’t meet the Hamas’ leaderships own desires, the Gazan people, and to a lesser degree those in the West Bank, were outraged.
The Gazans did not change their minds after the killings of both Palestinian and Jewish teens, it didn’t change after Hamas’ rocket barrages started, and most importantly, it hasn’t changed since the Israeli offensive against Hamas began.
West Bank residents, not having been directly caught in the fighting, are not surprisingly quite as direct about their desire for a permanent cessation of attacks against Israel.
A new West Bank/Gaza public opinion survey, conducted on June 15-7, 2014, by a leading Palestinian activist and pollster, showed a surprising lack of real support for Hamas’ war against Israel: 70% of Gazans agreed with the statement “Hamas should maintain a cease-fire with Israel.”
57% agreed that Hamas’ should support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s desire to “renounce violence against Israel.” Asked about Hamas’ governing structure, the majority of Gazans stated that it is corrupt, its actions are not in line with their wishes.
Furthermore their militias are a problem as they act outside of the Palestinian Authority. In fact, 88% of Gazans believed the Palestinian Authority should take administrative control of Gaza from Hamas.
Asked directly who should govern Gaza over the next two years, the majority said it should be the current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, while Hamas leaders Haniyeh and Mashaal combined got just fifteen percent of the Gazans support.
Not surprisingly, 82% said they want the political situation to be arrived at where they can go back to work in Israel, and 56% said they would be willing to work in Israel if they were paid fairly and felt safe.
Well, folks, to me this certainly sounds like the majority of Gazans want Hamas out and peace restored. Unfortunately, Hamas is seemingly unwilling to let either of those things to happen.
I don’t believe the Gazans deserve what they are getting, from either side. The Hamas leadership seems bent on doing whatever it wants regardless the cost. The Israelis are obviously not going to roll over and play dead, and have decided they must wreak havoc upon Hamas’s infrastructure no matter the cost to all involved.
What will be the end result of all this? If history is true to form, eventually the Israelis will decide they have accomplished what they intended to do and the Hamas leadership will go into, they hope, a re-building mode.
If this happens, I hope the Gazans take the opportunity then to deal with their own political situation and establish a government of and for and by the people. I believe that once ‘the world’ knows that’s its aid will be used for its intended purposes we should all fall behind the Palestinian people and help them build.
Notice I don’t say rebuild, for by any standards what they’ve had has been a disaster. There is not a single human being in this country who would have called living standards in the Gaza acceptable. They deserve to have the means to live. In peace, amongst themselves, and with their neighbors.
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