One cannot easily understand the regular Israeli shelling of Gaza in particular, oftentimes on religious holidays.
One also cannot understand the motive behind Hamas’s acts of provocation with futile missiles inside and outside Israel, except for the fact that these randomly fired rockets incite the Israeli Army’s destruction machine in Gaza. The same story, over and over again, an endless cycle. Why?
The world knows Israel is an occupier that practices all kinds of torture against the Palestinian people and that the people have the right to self-defense in every possible way. This is nothing surprising. What is surprising though, is the periodic repetition of the same act in times of religious celebrations, and Hamas’s launching of futile rockets, despite its leaders knowing that this will push the Israeli Army to decimate Gaza’s buildings, centers, infrastructure, houses, and shops and destroy Hamas’s weapons.
Whenever this happens, Israel’s destructive streak usually lasts a few days. Then, resistance leaders launch calls for help and immediately yield to dictates once international intervention takes places, leaving Gaza in ruins. A few days later, pleas to fix what was destroyed mount, and UNRWA scrambles to look for funding. A year later, the same scenario repeats itself. Missiles are launched toward Israel, the Israeli Army destroys everything, and the lives of Palestinians are taken. The same tired old story.
This is a scenario that citizens must rethink. While resistance surely requires weapons, the irresponsible crushing of the people over and over is murder for hire! The Palestinian people are crushed, their lives, resources, and livelihoods are taken, while politicians sit safely tucked away in their ivory towers, safe from all the destruction, reveling in the gains they achieve whenever Israel gives them media attention and falsely describes them as resistance fighters.
I am confident that resistance is a noble act that honorable people do without seeking to turn their resistance into a source of financial or political gain.
The history of dozens of nations that fell under occupation tells us that the golden rule of resistance is the possession of a deterrent force, or at the minimum, a force to protect against absolute destruction.
Another lesson is to never pick a fight with your enemy if you cannot fight back.
People do not forget that their land is occupied, but wisdom does lie in tearing people apart with wars of attrition that only result in destruction.
This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi newspaper Okaz.