Hamas, Taliban, Aryan Nations Bound by
One Thread: An Obsession with Causes at the Expense of People
by Dan Ehrlich
Extremist zealots of all persuasions from Hamas, to the Taliban and even the white supremacist Aryan Nation in America have one thing in common...a devotion to selfish causes that have nothing to do human betterment or freedom.
Given the scale of the current Israeli response to rockets fired from Gaza any reasonably intelligent person has to ask: Knowing in advance what Israel's response will be why does the democratically elected Hamas government continue bombarding Israel with bigger and better rockets?
The same person might also ask: Knowing the carnage that results in Gaza from Hamas attacks on Israel, why don't the Gazans demand and end to such attacks?
The answer to the first question is rather easy to give. Ideological extremist groups such Hamas, the Taliban or even America's white supremacist cults have no feeling for people other than what use they may be in publicizing their causes. All they care about are their causes.
Why then would Hamas go so far as to fire a rocket at Jerusalem, one of Islam's holiest cities and filled with Palestinians...But, they're West Bank Palestinians.
Or why would it brag about bigger and better rockets fired at Tel Aviv when they know what the Israeli response will be; yet they still do them at the expense of their own people. To them the media based publicity, political gains and Israeli deaths are all that matter. The same is true of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Their ideology is all that matters and those who reject it will be punished or killed.
Leaders and groups that have genuine humanitarian concerns for their people are sensitive to their needs and would act to protect not harms them. To Hamas Gaza is merely a staging area for its jihad. It can be argued that groups such as Hamas would see the entire world destroyed for the sake of their ideology and goals.
As for the second question, one first must realize that the Gaza Strip is different from the West Bank in both topography and its people. West Bank Arabs are either long time residents or indigenous to the area.
Most Palestinians in Gaza are war refugees. And the Strip was the only area of Israeli captured Egyptian land that Egypt didn't want returned. This left it under Israeli occupation until Israel couldn't handle it any longer and gave it to the PLO and then Hamas took charge by election. The fact that Hamas won the election against the PLO on a manifesto that included continuing the war of destruction against Israel is a main reason why rockets regularly are launched from Gaza.
Oddly, the Gaza Strip is the only area that has a genuine historic lock on the place name of Palestine.
As you probably know, Palestine was the name the Romans placed on Judea after the final bloody Jewish revolt against Rome was crushed in 136 AD. The Romans took such heavy loses, the Emperor Hadrian renamed the region Palestine, meaning Land of the Philistines, to erase the Jewish identity with it, renaming it after the ancient enemies of Israel.
Yet the long dead Philistine civilization was actually located on the Gaza Strip, yet it wasn't a Semitic culture, having roots in Europe. It's interesting note with all the current Arab pretensions of being indigenous to Palestine, they never have dropped the Roman name for an Arabic one. That's probably because the pre Roman name was Jewish.
There seems to be two strains of thought about why the Gaza population endures so much violence. First, there are those who are willing to tough it out until they retake Israel and they see Hamas as their deliverers. After all, a terrorist group dedicated to Israel's destruction won a popular election to carry out its mandate.
Second, there are those people who would like the violence to stop, but are afraid to speak up against Hamas, the only law in town and a law unto itself. The fact remains Hamas is waging a jihad against Israel and it won't end, in the long-term, until Hamas is broken or Israel is destroyed.
It was rather cynical of the Egyptian prime minister visiting Gaza Friday, expressing his outrage over the violence and support for Hamas. This is because much of the enclave's current situation is due to Egypt not taking up Israel's offer to hand it back, allowing it to remain a free flowing near anarchy. Then again, Egypt has enough poverty of its own to take on still more.
The problem facing Israel's military in Gaza is similar to that which faces NATO in Afghanistan...But more extreme given the density of population in Gaza. How do you fight a guerrilla army that uses civilians as human shields?
The obvious answer would be having your army go in and root out the terrorists. But such action will cost the lives of your own troops as well as civilian lives.
Yet, as we have seen here, in Afghanistan and even in Pakistan, modern technology is moving us closer and closer to wars by remote controlled non-human fighters. This may be joy for the generals, but as we seen it can be hell for civilians in the remote controlled cross fire.
This will only stop when provocations stop...which means the people of Gaza must demand and end to rocket attacks against Israel.
But the tit for tat nature of this conflict has remained the same since the 1920s when Arab nationalism spurred on the first deadly attacks against Jewish settlers. This transformed pacifist left-wing Jews, hounded out of racist Europe, into fighters. No more turning the other cheek. Wit, that's a Christian trait, isn't it?
What makes the Israel-Palestinian conflict so unique is that an enemy sworn to destroy you yet, in the end, depends upon you for its very existence on several levels. Yet, until that level of existence increases by virtue of peace, proper education, jobs and lifestyle, the plight of the Gaza Strip remains grim.
Right now there is considerable popular British anger at the latest Israeli onslaught. But British and American liberals, in particular, have short memories. Just recall the reaction of the UK in WW2 to missiles being fired at it from Germany. The war being almost over didn't stop the RAF from needlessly destroying Dresden along with thousands of civilians. There's that double standard again.