Free Gaza—from Hamas

November 28, 2012 1:54 am 1 comment

Child in Hamas Festival in Gaza. Photo: wiki commons.

Under the façade of human rights, anti-Israel campaigners have been promoting the theme of “Free Gaza,” falsely alleging that Israel’s blockade is responsible for the suffering of millions of Palestinians. They organized “humanitarian aid” flotillas (carrying almost no aid) in order to provoke violent confrontations with the Israeli Navy, and held hateful protests at universities around the theme of Palestinian victimization and the invented slogan of “collective punishment.”

In the second Gaza war, the promoters of the Free Gaza campaign share major responsibility in producing and marketing this tragedy. With their backing, the Hamas leadership was confident (overly confident, it turned out) that it could escalate attacks on Israelis, and count on international media and political campaigns to prevent Israel from maintaining a strong counterattack. This strategy worked for them in the first Gaza war (December 2008 to January 2009), as it did for Hezbollah in 2006. The stream of “flotillas” and accompanying publicity created a fabricated image of Israeli aggression and Palestinian suffering which Hamas leaders have successfully exploited for many years.

One of the most active groups involved in the “Free Gaza” industry is an Israel-based NGO known as Gisha (“Legal Center for Freedom of Movement”). Gisha has waged a media campaign to promote what they portray as Israel’s policy of starving the population of Gaza and preventing them from unencumbered imports and travel. In their public relations efforts, Gisha and its allies have largely erased all traces of Hamas—including their brutality against their own people, and the acquisition of thousands of rockets hidden in schools, mosques and homes.

Anyone who is actually concerned about the welfare of the people of Gaza, and does not belong to the church of “it’s all Israel’s fault” would have focused the generous resources provided by foreign donors (including the New Israel Fund and anonymous European government officials) on liberating Gaza’s citizens and Israelis from Hamas.

But instead they constructed a fictitious Gaza, based on the total disconnect (overlooked by journalists committed to the Palestinian victimization promoted by NGOs) between the image of deprivation and the huge sums spent on rockets and missiles to attack Israel. According to the IDF, in the past decade, more than 13,000 rockets and mortars—an average of three per day—were launched against Israel. More than 1,500 were fired in the eight days of this conflict, beginning Nov. 14.

The missile industry—the biggest in Gaza—consumes huge resources and tens of millions of dollars, pounds, euros and dinars. How many school lunches, prenatal and infant care medical checks and other social welfare measures could this money have been used to buy, if only the Hamas overlords of Gaza were so inclined?

Similarly, according to media reports, Gaza has “15,000 Qassam fighters who are responsible for most of the rocket blitzes.” Thousands more were involved in building and operating over 200 tunnels that were dug under the border between Egypt and Gaza—many large enough to bring rocket sections through—in order to maintain the war against Israel.

While some societies encourage their best and brightest to go to universities, become scientists, build businesses and create jobs, in Gaza’s Palestinian society, the best jobs are making, smuggling and shooting rockets to kill Israeli civilians.

All of this is erased in the distorted universe of the NGO human rights network and their funder-enablers, such as the New Israel Fund and hidden European government officials. In their absurd, patronizing and morally inverted version of reality, all responsibility and blame lies with Israel.

Another radical fringe group with a major bank account calls itself “Breaking the Silence” ($523,342 by the NIF from 2006 through 2011; additional funds from Europe). BtS plays a central role in the dissemination of false “war crimes” accusations against Israel, including in the notorious Goldstone report of 2009.  Now, BtS is seeking to repeat this process by drawing comparisons between the fictitious “crimes” of four years ago, and the current Israeli operation in Gaza. As in the case of Gisha and many others, there is no mention of Palestinian war crimes (such as every rocket attack) and the intimidation through which Hamas controls Gaza. On these issues, the silence is deafening.

There are many more examples selling more or less the same defective product. In contrast, a real and moral Free Gaza movement would close the missile industry and help Israelis and Palestinians in liberating themselves from the tyranny of Hamas. With yet another ceasefire, the “human rights activists” have another opportunity to do the right thing, and demand that instead of investing massively in restocking rockets for another round of warfare, Palestinian leaders invest in the welfare of their own people.

Gerald M. Steinberg is president of Jerusalem-based research institution NGO Monitor and is professor of political science at Bar Ilan University.

1 Comment

  • Why doesn’t Israel expell the so-called Palestians from Israel? They are not really Palestians because they come from all over the Arabic lands; Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon; their own country didn’t want them, so now Israel has to deal with them. They all could live very peacefully and prosperously in Israel. The war lords ar warmongers. It’s a big business and where atr they getting all this money to buy weapons? If anybody is to be called Palestians, it should be the Israelians since they are the ancient people who have returned to their homeland

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Jewish Identity Sports Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    Cycling the Desert: New Israel Bike Trail Connects Mitzpe Ramon to Eilat

    As the popularity of cycling continues to increase across the world, Israel is working to develop cycling trails that make the country’s spectacular desert accessible to cyclists. The southern segment of the Israel Bike Trail was inaugurated on Feb. 24 and offers for the first time a unique, uninterrupted 8-day cycling experience after six years of planning and development. The southern section of the Israel Bike Trail stretches over 300 kilometers in length and is divided into eight segments for mountain biking, [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    Forthcoming Major Action Movies Inspired by Jewish Comic Artist Jack Kirby

    JNS.org – With the recent Oscars in the rearview mirror, Hollywood’s attention now shifts to the rest of this year’s big-screen lineup. Two of the major action films coming up in 2015—Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters in May, and the third film in the Fantastic Four series, slated for an August release—have Jewish roots that the average moviegoer might be unaware of. As it turns out, it took a tough Jewish kid from New York City’s Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home give dating advice to a young Jewish man in a comedic video posted Monday on YouTube just in time for Valentine’s Day. Jonathan, an associate at the Jewish home, quizzes the senior citizens on an array of topics including having sex on the first date, kissing a girl, who should pay for dinner and whether online dating is a good idea. When the 28-year-old asks a male resident named Lee about his experiences [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.” Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Jewish Identity Lifestyle Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    JNS.org – Amid the numerous studies and analyses regarding Jewish American life, a simple fact remains: part-time Jewish education is the most popular vehicle for Jewish education in North America. Whenever and wherever parents choose Jewish education for their children, we have a communal responsibility to devote the necessary time and resources to deliver dynamic, effective learning experiences. The only way we can do this is by creating space for conversations and knowledge-sharing around innovative new education models. That also [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.