Sickened by the lack of media coverage in Iraq, in comparison with the endless weeks of documenting what is unfolding in Israel/Gaza, I decided to write about why our focus should primarily be honed in on ISIS – whilst not ignoring the tragic loss of life at both the expense of the Palestinians and Israelis. This blog will focus on the situation in Israel, whilst part II will explain why ISIS poses the bigger threat.
Ever since the Gaza “war” – as it is referred to by the media- initiated a month or so ago, the world has witnessed an explosion of sheer uproar: most of which is not in Israel’s favour. I may be amongst the very few willing to fight Israel’s corner but am completely unashamed to do so. If you are to go by today’s media coverage of the situation, by way of constant scenes of Palestininan casaulties, images of Gazan destruction and the low ratio of Israeli deaths compared to Palestinian ones; then you would of course view Israel as a heinous, wicked and murderous state.
But let me backtrack…. yes, many innocent civilians are being killed but who kicked things off by hurling rockets into Israel, jepoardising the lives of many Israelis? Who orders its civilian families – women and children most invulnerable – to stay put, instead of ordering them to flee for safety? Whose conscience decision is it to spend millions of its mostly Iranian and Saudi invested money into building missiles, rockets and tunnels, all to harm a state they want wiped off the face of the earth, instead of investing in a safety mechanism/emergency plan to safeguard its people and minimise deaths? Who trains and teaches children as young as 5 to embrace and prepare to die in the name of their people, to see dying in this manner as martyrdom?
Hamas is guilty of all of the above.
To blame Israel for enacting a mass defensive -which does inevitably lead to innocent loss of life (given Israel’s military capabilities and Gaza’s mere 360 kilometre squared strip of land and 1.8 million population) – is quite unreasonable. This is because it is not within Israel’s interest to implement such a military defensive. Not only are they the only Jewish state globally but they are boxed in by Islamic nations, many of which now are increasingly hostile to its very existence. The removal of Israel’s one true Egyptian ally, Hosni Mubarak has resulted in a further destabilsing and unsurety of Israel’s safety and given that Iran is currently developing nuclear weapons in such a proximity to the tiny Jewish state – Israel’s presence constantly hangs in the balance.
How then is it logical for Israel to carry out a military operation that will unfortunately yet consequently result in loss of innocent life and risk the wrath of its neighbours and enemies that outnumber them, unless it is pushed to the utmost extremes and forced to defend or face possible destruction? If Mexico had the capability to launch rockets into the United States, you would no longer be able to point out Mexico on the world map. Would the media portray that as evil and incomprehensible? Of course not. National security is the apex of priorities amongst those who govern and you do not have to be a student of international relations to know this: no nation tolerates any type of threat posed against its inhabitants, whether internal or external.
How many people are aware of the centuries upon centuries of anti-semitism (that really originated out of 7th Century Arabia for the Muslims), at a time where Judaism and Christianity were flourishing and well-known and a time when Muhammad was trying to establish his message? How many people understand the threat Judaism posed to Islam at this time, when the Jews refused to accept Muhammad as their prophet? He himself is quoted in the Islamic Sura 9:5: ‘fight and slay the pagans [ie.infidels] wherever ye find them and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war’.
Anti-Jewish sentiment did not arise from the 1947 creation of the Israel state. In fact, the very existence of this nation has seen a steady increase in anti-semitism particularly amongst Muslims, because for once in Jewish history, their military capabilities are superior – compared to the Palestinians who have no army. The infidels that should be slain hold a position where they can minimise their casualties, whilst their Muslim brothers cannot testify to the same story. But instead of analysing the manipulation and exploitation of Hamas, blame is automatically accorded to Israel: a lone and uniquely placed Jewish state, full of people who have always faced aggression and contempt and always will do. The Holocaust has come and gone but the fact remains that hatred of Jews is always prevalent, leaving Israel with no other option but to defend itself. By any means.
I get weary when I get accused of Islamophobia. I hold no anti-Muslim agenda and know very well that every single Muslim in this world is not guilty of anti-semitism. But we cannot deny that much of the anger directed at Israel, namely in the name of Islam is of this frame of thinking. I myself was spat on at primary , as my schoolmates would frequently refer to me as a ‘Jew’. There is enough instilling of anti-Jewish sentiment in plenty of Muslim children and once engrained, contributes to this mass problem we face: a mass hatred in the 21st Century. That witnesses hundreds of thousands of people protesting and demonstrating worldwide. That hold up ‘Fuck Israel’ placards. That sees the boycotting of Israeli produces, from numerous Tescos in Bradford to probably around much of the UK and beyond. That sees a marked and visible increase in anti-semitism in Europe yet again: 69% in Greece, 53% in Spain and 48% in Poland for example.
These times are of great concern for the state of Israel and for Jews globally, a country having to resort to defensive violence in order to preserve its integrity and existence. A country at the risk of the mouths of many lions – all seeking to devour it.
God bless both the Israelis and Palestinians I say! But at a time where even many international political actors are turning their backs on Israel, I urge you to examine and research for yourself the deep-rooted contentions the Jews have been battling with, in order to maintain their race.
How many of you have attended an anti-Israeli rally due to pictures streamed from Twitter and Facebook of utter atrocities, yet not really not knowing the truth behind those pictures? How many of you know that not every dead, injured and bleeding child you see on social media is from the situation in Gaza? Instead, many of the images you see is drafted in from conflicts from all over the Middle East, most probably from Syria. A brown face can pass for a lot of things.
So delve deeper. Deeper into the deeper sentiments against Israel to drive them to do what they do. Deeper than media portrayal of Palestinian victim and Israeli aggressor.