by Slow Factory
But, doesn’t Israel have a right to defend itself?
No country has the right to commit war crimes and break international law, even in the name of “defense”.
No country or organization has the right to commit ethnic cleansing, forcibly remove an entire civilian population of over 1 million people under threat of violence, attempt to murder and genocide an entire ethnic population by bombing and starvation, or annex territory, no matter what.
Israel has continually broken international law and committed grave violations of Geneva convention and international humanitarian law since its creation in 1948 up until today, notably the land theft and illegal settlements in the West Bank that have been continually condemned by the entire world with the exception of the USA and its allies.
Well, if Palestinians put down their weapons and declare peace, there would be peace, but if Israel were to put down their weapons and declare peace, the Jews would be exterminated.
Peace without Justice is oppression. The status quo of siege in Gaza is not just. The status quo of occupation in Palestine is not just, therefore any peace under occupation and apartheid is oppression. And oppression must be maintained by violence. If Israel laid down their arms, and accepted an end to apartheid and occupation, there would be a chance for peace. The core demands of Palestinians are justice, dignity, equality, and their homes and land back.
There have been many mass peaceful resistances to the occupation which have met with severe violence from Israel. Even a global cry for peaceful resistance to occupation (BDS), rooted in the simplest form of supposed freedom in capitalism simply to choose what you purchase in a free market has been censored and in some cases criminalized.
The 16-year siege on Gaza is violence. The 75-year occupation and steady land theft is violence. Real peace demands justice, and justice demands an end to occupation and apartheid.
But isn’t Hamas the enemy?
Israel created Hamas.
Israel indirectly created Hamas through its violent oppression of decades, upon decades of violent occupation, and apartheid. Oppression breeds resistance. Violent oppression breeds violent resistance.
Israel directly created Hamas by funding its leaders, and the groups that it was created from such as the Muslim brotherhood. But don’t listen to us, listen to the Israeli officials involved in the 1980s. Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s helped finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a “counterweight” to the secularists and leftists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Fatah party.
“The Israeli government gave me a budget, and the military government gives to the mosques.”
“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Back in the mid-1980s, Cohen even wrote an official report to his superiors warning them not to play divide-and-rule in the Occupied Territories, by backing Palestinian Islamists against Palestinian secularists.
To be clear: First, the Israelis helped build up a militant strain of Palestinian political Islam, in the form of Hamas and its Muslim Brotherhood precursors; then, the Israelis switched tack and tried to bomb, besiege, and blockade it out of existence.
This Intercept article explains: https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/hamas-israel-palestine-conflict/
Aren’t the current war and bombings about the hostages?
If Israel/US cared about the hostages, they would not be indiscriminately bombing the entire Gaza strip, with no regard for whether or not the bombings will be killing hostages. Unless they know where they are, and in that case, the fact that they are not sending in special forces and are instead reducing the entire region to rubble, shows the ultimate motive is not about saving life but destroying it.
Hamas has offered the release of hostages in exchange for urgent aid and fuel to be sent to Gaza, but Israel refused. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2023/10/20/israel-gaza-war-live-hamas-releases-two-american-captives-from-gaza
Israeli families of hostages have been protesting the Netanyahu government, saying he is the one not doing enough to make sure hostages are released.
“Many relatives of those held in Gaza remain at a sit-in outside the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, holding signs begging officials to negotiate.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/22/pressure-grows-on-israel-to-negotiate-release-of-gaza-hostages
Hamas released two other hostages with conditions growing worse than ever. Since the release, Israel has struck Gaza more than 7,000 times and has more than doubled the number of Palestinian prisoners under unlawful arrest in the past two weeks— now at 10,000. Prisoner or hostage? Depends on your point of view.
Free Palestine is the same as Pro-Hamas.
Hamas, formed in 1987, is relatively recent compared to the call for freedom from the long-term occupation which started in 1948, and the British and armed Zionist settler incursions which began decades before that. Very few Palestinians in Gaza or in the diaspora support Hamas.The movement to Free Palestine means what it says, to free Palestine from military occupation and ethnic-based land theft, nothing more nothing less.
Who bombed the Al-Ahli Hospital?
Disputing the bombing of Al Ahli Arab Hospital is a terrible distraction. The World Health Organization (WHO) documented more than 136 attacks on health care services in the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of hostilities on 7 October. Focusing on one hospital when so many war crimes are being committed distracts from the vital and life-saving calls for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the siege, and an end to the apartheid.
Is there a “Hamas command center” under Al-Shifa Hospital?
Israel made this claim without any evidence, and have presented many instances of “evidence” that are clearly fraudulent. From the now infamous “terrorist calendar” to the video evidence claimed to be a continuous cut which clearly shows edits. Israel has also claimed in many previous bombing campaigns of Gaza in the past 15 years that there have been military presence in hospitals, all of which have been proven by UN and independent observers to be blatant lies.
We need to Free Gaza from Hamas who are using children as human shields.
“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” Avner Cohen, former Israeli religious affairs in Gaza, referring to the years of funding and political support from Israel and the Mossad to create Hamas leading up to 1987. Netanyahu then supported Hamas directly by making sure that funding from Qatar went to Hamas. The largest supporter of Hamas has been Netanyahu, as a deliberate and publicly-stated “divide and conquer” strategy to undermine the Palestinian Authority. Only a fundamental change in Israeli policy can “free Gaza from Hamas”, by stopping funding and supporting extremist groups, and by stopping the international war crimes of annexation, collective punishment and violent oppression that create the violent resistance to occupation.
As for the racist phrase “human shields”:
1) Gaza is the most densely populated area in the world, described as a concentration camp by UN and international experts. The Palestinian people under occupation, as described in the Geneva Convention, have a right to defend themselves from occupation, and there is no physical way for any resistance fighters to create military encampments.
2) The person using the term “human shields” is the one who is dehumanizing the innocents, declaring that they are no longer people, they are objects. This kind of violent, dehumanizing language is only directed towards Brown and Arab people. Imagine a “terrorist” in London or New York takes children hostage and brings them into a hospital. Would the military then bomb the hospital to make sure they killed the terrorist? Then blaming the deaths of the children on the terrorist, quoting “human shields”? Absolutely not. This would be a crime. Only Palestinian children are declared objects and then murdered because “a terrorist is hiding behind them”.
Israel is not an apartheid state — there are 2 million Arab citizens and even Arab members of the Knesset.
With the 2018 “nation-state law”, Palestinians in Israel are now considered “native aliens” or foreigners in their own homeland. Because Israel is defined by its law as “the historical homeland of the Jewish people,” any non-Jewish Palestinian in Israel, even if they hold an Israeli passport, still does not have rights equal to those of Jewish citizens. Israel controls every aspect of Palestinians lives; Palestinians must travel through inhumane checkpoints, separate roads, different registration of cars, show multiple forms of identification to simply go to work or visit loved ones in neighboring towns. Palestinians also routinely have water and electricity shut off in both Gaza and the West Bank, while the rest of the country does not experience these conditions. Israel has poured concrete into Palestinian wells and regularly cuts down Palestinian olive groves that are hundreds of years old. The largest and most reputable global organizations have named Israel an apartheid state including: repeated UN reports, investigations and rapporteurs, HRW, Amnesty International, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, and, tellingly, the African National Congress who are arguably the most qualified, having fought and ultimately overthrown apartheid in South Africa.
The Slow Factory team is a cross-disciplinary group of researchers, academics, artists, and scientists working at the intersection of climate justice and social justice. We work to provide anti-colonial climate education that has a direct impact on building a more just and sustainable world. With an emphasis on systems that have been intentionally created to produce waste, pollution, and injustice we aim to dismantle and design these systems to instead produce justice, equity, and a healthier planet.