In Gaza, only the innocent deserve support

After every Israeli aggression against Gaza, one thinks there is nothing left of Gaza

Octavia Nasr
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After every Israeli aggression against Gaza, and they have not stopped for decades, one thinks there is nothing left of Gaza or its people to endure another incursion. Israel has never been able to bring Gaza to its knees despite the military might it rains on the overpopulated strip which Israel with Egyptian support keeps under siege controlling who and what goes in and out.

Israel says it has the right to defend itself against Hamas rockets that terrorize residents even if they rarely cause much damage or kill anyone.


On the other hand, Hamas’ very existence is to resist Israeli occupation. It considers it a right to defend itself against occupation and constant intimidation.

Through every attack the IDF claims it wants to paralyze Hamas but targets the entire population instead. As a result, Gazans die, Hamas remains and the rockets continue to be launched. The two have been at this for years and Gazans have no place to go and no choice but to endure.

Without a specific aim or strategy

Hamas launches rockets without a specific aim or strategy. Supporters celebrate when rockets send Israelis racing to their shelters to hide, oblivious to the fact that the imminent response will send Palestinians to their graves. Those cheering on Hamas should know that they cannot “celebrate” Hamas rockets on Israel and then complain of Israel’s killing, maiming and destroying.

In the same token, those justifying the IDF’s repeated disproportionate collective punishment of Gaza under the pretext of self-defense should not be shocked at more attacks, more rockets and more suicide bombings. Violence breeds violence. They should ask whether another incursion is the solution and how can Hamas - a military group under siege - launch rockets despite repeated sophisticated operations by one of the world’s top armies?

The damage Israel has been inflicting in Gaza goes beyond the loss of life and property. It is destructive on the psychological and moral levels as well.

Israeli air raids

While the Israeli air raids are not resulting in the destruction of Hamas and its military wings nor their will to arm, train and launch rockets, they are destroying Palestinian psyche and the will to live.

How many children’s bodies paraded in the media and how many weeping mothers and fathers can the world take? How many overflowing morgues and how many overcrowded cemeteries? How many statements of justification and how many demonstrations of support before the collective conscience understands that all of Gaza is not Hamas?

Do not pretend that young Palestinians can see any hope or light at the end of the tunnel. Examine your words and actions before you cheer, you will find weeping to be the order of the day!

This article was first published in al-Nahar on July 15, 2014.


Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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