HAMAS/ISRAEL WAR - It is amazing that some people and governments believe they know what is best for Israel. The suggestions have poured in, mostly in the vein of:
- Agree to a ceasefire. However, this would allow Hamas to re-group, build more tunnels and re-arm. Hamas has hundreds of underground weapons factories dispersed throughout the Gaza Strip with a concentration in Gaza City, and many are still operating. Since Hamas is a known terrorist group whose mission is to kill Jews and wipe Israel off the map, who would suggest that a country let up on its efforts to defend itself and fight for its survival and the survival of its residents? The answer is the antisemites who don’t care a whit about the survival of the Jewish people or the survival of the only Jewish nation on earth.
- Allow more humanitarian aid. Hundreds of trucks filled with humanitarian aid have entered Gaza via the Egyptian crossing in southern Gaza. However, so has contraband that would aid Hamas. For example, oxygen ventilators were found on aid trucks nestled among cartons of cookies. These were sent for Hamas tunnels not hospitals. Nonetheless, Israel supports humanitarian aid for Gaza’s residents.
Although the aforementioned suggestions for Israel have been widespread, there have been very few suggestions for Hamas. So here are a few that could be helpful:
- Release all hostages. In return, the United States will send you 100 college students per hostage who believe Hamas was justified in murdering more than 1400 Israelis on October 7th. This would be good for Hamas, for the USA and for these students. A win-win-win.
- Provide to Gaza’s hospitals the half a million liters of diesel that Hamas is holding. The operations of Hamas weapon factories might be hindered a bit, but this act of kindness would suggest that Hamas has some humanitarian spirit.
- Do not force hospitals to relinquish their diesel to Hamas fighters. If Hamas wants to save Gazan lives, let this fuel be used so life-saving procedures can be performed.
- Stop using human shields. Don’t let your Gazan brothers and sisters serve as cover for your military equipment because it puts the people you are theoretically fighting on behalf of (men, women, children, the young and the old) in harms’ way.
- Do not block evacuation routes. Encourage those who want to exit areas where you have your tunnels and equipment to leave so they will not become casualties of war.
- Do not try to escape through the Egyptian crossing or by the sea. It’s normal to want to protect oneself, but since fighters for Hamas are dedicated to their cause, trying to escape could suggest cowardice and selfishness.
- Accept Israel’s right to exist. In 1948, the forefathers who left Israel by choice made a mistake. Those who were displaced by force which has been documented, similar to what happened to many Jews in 1948-1949 who were living in Arab countries, are probably quite elderly or no longer alive. Find acceptance for the reality of today. Israel exists and will continue to exist. As much as Hamas would like to, it cannot turn back time. But acceptance can be tough, so while the PTSD of the men, women and children who have experienced the repercussions of Hamas brutality are being treated, get some therapy for yourselves too to sort through your feelings of hatred, resentment and anger.
- Become productive members of Gazan society. By applying all your ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness to your goal of killing the Jewish people, you have wasted your skills on a lost cause. The solidarity of Jews worldwide, even with their divergent points-of-view, is stronger than the Hamas desire to wipe the Jewish people off the earth (sounds a lot like Hitler’s desire). After atonement, use your brains to make Gaza into a technological powerhouse and tourist magnet. Within 75 years, Israel became the “Start-up Nation”. Don’t be jealous of Israel, emulate it.
- Tell your fellow terrorist organizations to not put Israel in peril. This would create positive energy for the region instead of the negativism that currently exists because of these terrorist groups. Work to stabilize the region, not disrupt it.
- If you want a state of your own, show the world you can be a peaceful and cooperative member of the family of nations. If a state is your goal, barbaric behavior as witnessed on October 7th will not help you achieve this goal. Similarly, if killing Jews is really your goal, barbaric behavior will only move you closer to your own destruction. Show the world that you know how to self-govern for the true benefit of your population.
These are just a few top-of-mind suggestions that various governments might give to Hamas. However, to quote Brazilian novelist Paulo Coehlo, “Don't explain. Your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe you.” Nonetheless, providing facts can provide comfort and hopefully a sliver of enlightenment to those whose hate is embedded in their thinking.
(Marcia Selz, Ph.D., is the author of “At Vitoria: A City’s Medieval Promise between Christians and Sephardic Jews”, and is the founder of the Coalition of Homeowner Associations-Council District 5. For the past 18 years, Dr. Selz has been a volunteer with Israel’s Sar-El program, working on an IDF base for one-two weeks each year. On December 17, 2023, Dr. Selz will again report for Sar-El volunteer service and will be one of the many thousands of volunteers who are now deployed in Israel.)