Lamenting Gaza and White-Washing Hamas
It would be difficult to write about the Gaza Strip without mentioning its rulers: Hamas, the US-designated terrorist group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and genocide of the Jews.
Yet that’s precisely what Elizabeth Kucinich did in The Hill, in her more than 1,100-word op-ed “Gaza’s plight matters to the world.”
Kucinich, the wife of former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), is a self-described “D.C.-based consultant dedicated to working to bring social, economic, health, agricultural and ecological systems into balance.” But balance — among other things — is lacking in her anti-Israel missive that is full of lies and distortions.
In her commentary, Kucinich refers to Gaza as “occupied Palestinian territory,” but doesn’t say that in 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. Shortly thereafter, Palestinian Arabs elected Hamas, which subsequently initiated three wars against the Jewish State: in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014.
Kucinich calls Israel’s blockade of the Strip “illegal.” However, the UN’s Palmer Report (2011) called it a “legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
Kucinich writes that “rebuilding in Gaza is going at a snail’s pace.” Yet, once again, she omits the culprit. As the Jerusalem Post has noted, Hamas obstructs humanitarian aid by taking up to 95 percent of the cement Israel allows into the Gaza Strip.
The purpose of the smuggled cement, as Hamas has acknowledged, is to construct “terror tunnels” to penetrate the Jewish state, and kidnap and murder Israelis. The Israeli and Egyptian checkpoints and partial blockades that Kucinich laments in her op-ed are designed to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons and material to wage future wars (but these measures are failing because Israel doesn’t want to completely shut down the Strip).
Kucinich likewise fails to mention the hundreds of truckloads of humanitarian aid Israel that permits to enter Gaza monthly. And despite professing concern for the “plight of the Palestinians,” Kucinich omits the systemic human rights abuse that they suffer at the hands of their leaders.
A 2015 report by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) documented numerous incidents of torture and assaults of Palestinian Arabs by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules the West Bank. In March 2015 alone, ICHR recorded 13 deaths at the hands of Palestinian officials, including nine in the West Bank and four in the Gaza Strip; 60 allegations of torture and ill-treatment; and 71 reports of violations involving the due process of law. Palestinian Arabs have been imprisoned by the PA and Hamas for simply criticizing their governments on social media.
Kucinich details the effects on Palestinian children of what she calls “three major Israeli assaults on Gaza,” but omits the manner in which Palestinian leaders indoctrinate and misuse their people. During the 2014 Hamas-initiated war in the Gaza Strip, Gazans, including women and children, were used by their own government as human shields.
And as part of their ritualistic indoctrination, both Hamas and the PA have encouraged Palestinian Arabs, including children, to “martyr” themselves in terrorist attacks against Israelis. One infamous children’s show on Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV called “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” featured a Mickey Mouse-like cartoon character who, according to German newspaper Der Spiegel, sought to transform viewers into “rifle-toting Islamist Mouseketeers,” instructing them on “the throwing of a grenade and the shooting of a rifle.
Much of this anti-Jewish incitement has been associated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Kucinich, calling for greater funding of the agency, labels UNRWA, “quite literally a life-sustaining force.”
However, a UN investigation found that Hamas and fellow terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad often use UNRWA schools and clinics to store — and launch — rockets at Israel during the 2014 war. A June 2016 documentary by the Center for Near East Research featured interviews with UNRWA students praising the terror group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and boasting “Right now I am prepared to be suicide bomber.”
A one-sided, factually challenged offering from the wife of a failed former Democratic presidential primary candidate is hardly surprising. Mr. Kucinich has falsely claimed that “Israel can kill, injure, and humiliate Palestinians at will, with impunity, which is exactly what gave rise to Hamas.” Both Elizabeth and Dennis Kucinich have been speakers for Friends of Sabeel, an organization that has a history of using antisemitic imagery and language while arguing for the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.
The British novelist George Orwell once observed, “Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.” Kucinich’s verbal gymnastics extended Orwell’s insight from the sublime to the ridiculous in her article about “Gaza’s plight.”
Sean Durns is media assistant for the Washington D.C. office of CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.