Blame Hamas, not Israel, for dead Gazans

Thursday evening we went to the Fireweed Community Market rather late and noticed a number of chalk slogans on the pavement at the entrance to the market area. 


By Karen Walker and Wayne Tuck

Thursday evening we went to the Fireweed Community Market rather late and noticed a number of chalk slogans on the pavement at the entrance to the market area. They said things like “Free Palestine” and “Stop killing children.” Clearly, we had missed a protest about the conflict in Gaza.

With close friends in Israel, and having visited the country twice in recent years, we take more than a passing interest in the conflict. Like every thinking person, we abhor war and violence, and we fervently wish that the conflict in Gaza were not happening. But it is happening, and we have watched for more than a month as the world, for the most part, has spoken out only to condemn Israel, with just the odd occasional reference to the nature and tactics of the enemy it is fighting and its culpability in the conflict.

We’re sure that those who demonstrated at the market today know that since taking power in Gaza in 2007, Hamas – recognized even in the Arab world as a terrorist jihadist organization – has been steadily building tunnels and launching rockets into Israel for the sole purpose of killing civilians. For the last seven years, Hamas has launched a barrage of rockets at communities, homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, and places of worship of all faiths.

At times, this barrage has been an almost daily occurrence, with little or no media reporting of it outside Israel. Although thankfully there have been few serious injuries and deaths as a direct result of these rockets, many Israeli children have been deeply traumatized by these constant attacks.

Protesters here and elsewhere have surely asked themselves where the money for those tunnels and rockets and rocket launchers has come from. We ask them to imagine what the lives of Gazans would be like if the millions of dollars used to arm Hamas had been used for constructive rather than destructive purposes.

What if, instead of focusing its efforts and resources on its primary goal of annihilating the state of Israel (a goal that is clearly stated in its charter), Hamas had worked to help Gazans live more productive and prosperous lives? Would there be a blockade of Gaza if its government were building schools, hospitals, businesses, and homes, rather than tunnels and rocket launch sites?

The protesters must know that Hamas is not interested in a “two-state” solution; it wants Israel off the map and the Jews of the world exterminated. In its schools and television broadcasts, Hamas teaches and fosters hatred of Israel and of all Jews. Generations of children are being raised with these beliefs deeply ingrained in them.

Jew hatred and anti-Semitic violence, conflated with the Gaza conflict, are on the rise everywhere, including right here in Canada. Hamas and its fellow jihadists all over the world are not only anti-Israel and anti-Jew, by the way; they are anti-West, anti-Christian, anti-female, and anti-gay. Their hatred and violence won’t stop with Israel and the Jewish people.

Sadly and tragically, the people of Gaza are bound by Hamas’s evil manifesto, whether they agree with it or not. Hamas rules with an iron fist and tolerates absolutely no dissent. Today’s protesters might recall the public executions of dozens of Fatah members and supporters immediately after Hamas assumed power in Gaza in 2007. During the present conflict, Hamas has publicly executed people accused of collaborating with Israel. These executions and numerous threats, backed up by armed might and masked faces, stand as a constant warning to anyone inside Gaza who would dare disagree or refuse to do what they are ordered to do.

The world knows that Hamas fires rockets at civilian targets in Israel from residential areas, schools, mosques, and hospitals inside Gaza. People know that Hamas stores missiles in UN schools (The United Nations Relief and Works Agency itself has reported on this) and launches rockets from close by. Many of these launches have been reported on by journalists who have witnessed them with their own eyes but dared not film them or report on them until they left Gaza. When he was safely out of Hamas territory, a Spanish reporter filed a report just two days ago about rockets being launched from a hotel where he and other journalists were ensconced. He asked, “What was their intent? To provoke Israel to kill us?” Imagine the world’s outrage, and Hamas’s delight, if Israel had returned fire and killed foreign reporters.

It boggles our minds that so many people can so easily ignore these facts. Of course, they say that they are supporting the people of Gaza, not its terrorist government. So do we. Israel’s fight is with the jihadists who are running Gaza, not with the people of Gaza.

Civilian injuries and deaths are a horrible and inevitable consequence of every armed conflict that has ever been or will ever be. But Hamas has taken this tragic reality to a whole new level: Israel is fighting an enemy that uses its own civilians, and especially children and women, as shields and decoys – a reprehensible and cowardly military stratagem that often results in the deaths of those children and women. The world knows about this, but for reasons we cannot fathom, people are willing to overlook it.

Every dead child in Gaza, graphically reported on by the media, is an unspeakable tragedy for a family, but it is a public relations victory for Hamas. The Hamas leadership rubs its hands in glee every time the world hears about more civilian deaths and condemns Israel for them.

Some reports have suggested that many civilian deaths in Gaza have in fact resulted from Hamas’s own actions, but we don’t read or hear about this in the mainstream media. People might also ask themselves why we don’t see photographs or film footage of Hamas militants, but rather only images of civilians. Reporters who have left Gaza have stated that they believed they would have been shot if they had pointed a camera at a Hamas militant.

We would ask the protesters to imagine how different the situation would be if Hamas’s rockets had succeeded in killing the thousands of Israeli families at which they have been launched over the past several years. Would Israel still be the big, bad bully in the Middle East if we were talking about dead Israelis rather than Gazans? Would there have been protests in Whitehorse to show solidarity with Israel?

Finally, we would remind the protesters that right next door in Syria, Bashar al-Assad has bombed, gassed, tortured, and slaughtered 170,000 of his own people – including more than 11,000 children – over the past three years. Where and when was the protest in Whitehorse about that? Where are the protests about the Christian, Yazidi, and other minorities being beheaded, raped, and enslaved by jihadist ISIS militants right now in northern Iraq?

It is the world’s great shame that our response to Arab-on-Arab violence is to wring our hands or to ignore it altogether. But when Israel is involved, the gloves come off.

Karen Walker and Wayne Tuck live in Whitehorse.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wyatt's World for Oct. 28, 2020.

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 28.… Continue reading

Yukon Child Care Board chair Amy Ryder says the board could be playing a bigger role in childcare policy making if they had more financial support from the Yukon government. (Submitted)
Yukon Child Care Board asks for larger role in annual report

The board is asking for a larger budget to increase outreach and advice

Yukon’s clocks will no longer change in March and November but will remain permanently on Pacific Daylight Saving Time. (Courtesy Yukon government)
Off the clock: Yukon prepares to end seasonal time changes

Starting on Nov. 1 Yukon will be one hour ahead of Vancouver and two hours ahead of Alaska

Dawson City as scene from West Dawson. Art Webster, the vice-chair of the Dawson Regional Planning Commission resigned last month over the Yukon governments unwillingness to pause speculative staking. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Vice-chair resigns from Dawson land-use planning commission

NDP warns that not pausing mining activity is the road to a second Peel decision

The opening ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg on July 28, 2017. The 2021 Canada Summer Games have officially been rescheduled for Aug. 6 to 21, 2022, exactly one year from the date the national competition was originally set to take place in the Niagara region of Ontario. (Canada Summer Games/Flickr)
Canada Summer Games dates set for 2022 but uncertainty remains for Yukon athletes

Yukon athletes continue waiting to get back into schools

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council passed first reading on a bylaw for the designation change at its Oct. 26 meeting, prompting an upcoming public hearing on Nov. 23 ahead of second reading on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Local contractors will be given an advantage on a contract for the design and construction services that will see a new reception building at Robert Service Campground decided city councillors during the Oct. 26 council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local firms will get advantage on contract for new Robert Service Campground building

Yukon-based companies competing for contract for new reception building will receive 20 extra points

Fallen trees due to strong winds are seen leaning on to power lines which caused some power outages around the territory on Oct. 26. (Courtesy of ATCO)
Wind knocks out power around the Yukon

High winds on Oct. 26 knocked out power to Faro, parts of Whitehorse and beyond

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging the reduction of its caribou quota to zero. (Yukon News file)
YG replies to outfitter’s legal challenge over caribou quota

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging… Continue reading

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this year, saying that with COVID-19, it’s “more important than ever.” (Black Press file)
Get flu vaccine, Yukon government urges

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read