OPINION: Israel’s response to weekly border protests was justified

In Opinion
Flags are in the background. A silhouette of a soldier faces a person protesting.
Though Israel's actions may be questioned, they handled the protests with as much restraint as they could. (Amanda Tran / Daily Titan)

As Israel approaches its 70 years of independence as a democratic Jewish state, it faces a weekly threat from Palestinians. Hamas, an Islamic terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip, has spent $10 million organizing protests, despite the fact Gaza is on the brink of economic collapse, even organizing 30,000 protesters to riot at the Israel-Gaza border on March 30.

Understanding the type of sickening, genocidal propaganda promoted by Hamas is essential to recognizing the threat Israel faces, and it should lead anyone to conclude that no other nation facing a similar threat could have responded with more restraint than Israel, unless it risked the lives of its own citizens.

In Gaza, the propaganda against Jews is so disgusting, so vile and so effective it would make the Nazis proud.

In an episode of a show called “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” which is targeted toward children, child actors are scripted to preach martyrdom, and tell the viewers “we don’t like the Jews because they are dogs,” and “the Jews are criminals and enemies, we must expel them from our land.”

Hamas which produced this propaganda, won a majority of the Palestinian Parliament in 2006 during the Palestinian elections. They also currently control the entire Gaza region since Israel removed all its settlements.

Up until May 2017 the Hamas charter explicitly called for a destruction of Israel and the murder of every Jew, according to the Avalon Project at Yale, a collection of historical documents.

With that important context established, the recent clashes at the Gaza-Israel border have made it clear that the demonstration organized by Hamas was never meant to be peaceful.

First, Hamas wishes to tear down the security barrier. In fact, Yahya Sinwar said the protests will continue until the barrier is torn down, according to the Times of Israel. Sinwar declared, “We will take down their border and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies.”

This is genocidal language from the leader of the march.

As the Palestinian citizens of Gaza were attempting to destroy this very important security barrier, they began throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at the Israeli side. Two were armed with guns and shot at Israeli soldiers. Kite bombs decorated with swastikas have been launched by Palestinians into Israel.

The continued violence has resulted in 39 deaths since the protests started on March 30, according to Al Jazeera.

It should pain anyone who cares about human life to hear this. As this conflict continues to rage, it’s painful every time one life is lost, whether it be Israeli or Palestinian. And the Palestinians have been placed in a terrible situation.

The recent conflict at the border has to be explored through this lens: Hamas, a terrorist group bent on destroying Israel, organized several violent uprisings to destroy the security barrier.

The goal of Hamas is twofold: to provoke Israel, and leave them with no choice but to engage in a defensive attack that would undoubtedly leave several dead and many more injured, and to tear down the security barrier.

Hamas loves the publicity. They are branded as peaceful resisters who kill no one, while Israel has killed several Palestinians in self-defense.

The moral case against Hamas and for Israel can best be exemplified by the treatment of a 7-year-old Palestinian child by Hamas and the Israeli soldiers.

During this recent clash, Hamas sent the child to the border, likely as a ploy to get her killed and win in the face of the international community.

When the Israeli soldiers saw her, they put her out of harm’s way and ensured she was returned safely to her parents. That’s right; Hamas sent this child to die, and Israel ensured she remained safe.

Israel, like any other country, is open to criticism in how they handle these types of situations.

However, many are suggesting that Israel shouldn’t have had the ability to defend itself at all, and that this was a peaceful protest, even going so far as to take the side of Hamas.

Some have even suggested that the soldiers killed the people for target practice. But Israel currently has the capability and technology to murder every Palestinian, and certainly had the capability to kill far more than 39 people. However, the goal of Israel is not to kill indiscriminately, but to minimize deaths on both sides.

If Hamas had the capabilities, they would murder every Jew tomorrow and destroy Israel. Hamas is still going to do its best to frame the issue as a genocide against its people.

The Students for Justice in Palestine at Cal State Fullerton participated in a solidarity rally on April 7 in Anaheim.

One of the signs at the rally read, “All Glory to Our Martyrs.” Anyone with decent, secular or progressive values should be horrified by a sign like this that promotes extreme religious fundamentalism.

If Hamas is successful in framing this narrative, it will only fuel more violent uprisings, and more dead people on both sides. This is how propaganda wins.

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