The children of Palestine are prisoners of Hamas

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In his Aug. 7 cartoon, Rob Rogers is not merely wrong but misses by 180 degrees where hate resides. Israel does not hate the children of Gaza, but Hamas does hate the people of Israel. Whereas Israel has accepted the rights of Palestinians to have their own homeland in Palestine, Hamas denies the right of Jews to have their own homeland in Israel. Hamas, per its own charter, is committed to the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.

Whereas Israel makes phone calls and drops leaflets to warn the inhabitants of buildings it plans to strike in order to give families and children an opportunity to run before a rocket strikes, Hamas sends missiles indiscriminately targeted at civilian Israeli population centers in hopes of killing Israelis. The death of children in Gaza is the tragedy of an asymmetric war created by Hamas.

Hamas turns humanitarian aid into an offensive weapon. It takes concrete needed for schools, hospitals and homes and uses it to build tunnels into Israel to kill or capture Israelis. Israel spends its limited resources to design, build and deploy an effective anti-rocket system; its Iron Dome anti-rocket system protects the lives of Israeli women and children. In contrast, Hamas cruelly ensures that Palestinian women and children will be killed; Hamas treats its children as human shields to protect their rocket launchers, daring Israel to eliminate weapons targeted at civilians of Israel.

Gaza is a terrible tragedy, but not one of Israel’s making. Great Britain left the region in 1948 and put the Palestinian West Bank under the jurisdiction of Jordan, and the Gaza Strip under the jurisdiction of Egypt. For almost 20 years until the 1967 war, those countries could have created an independent state for Palestinians; they did not. Instead they kept Palestinians in refugee camps and told them that after Israel was destroyed, they could return to their homes. Then, after Israel successfully defended itself during the 1967 Six-Day War, these same countries abandoned the Palestinians. Having been abandoned by their Arab brethren, the Palestinians in Gaza turned to Hamas, which now treats them as human shields.

The Palestinians are not prisoners of Israel. The children of Palestine are prisoners of Hamas. Hopefully we will someday see this in a cartoon by Rob Rogers.

BARRY NATHAN
Point Breeze


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