by Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash
Hamas is a militant organization that does nothing for its citizens -- no schools, no universities, no employment and no health care.
Hamas released another propaganda video this week, in honor of the anniversary of the terrorist group's establishment. The video, which is supposed to help popularize the group among Palestinians, is shot in the style of Islamic State videos: Footage of weapons, combat units, terrorist attacks, rockets being launched and the killing and kidnapping of IDF soldiers. This show of force and hatred is, ironically, more proof of the reality with which Israel deals. A terrorist organization that systematically built for itself a terrorist state over the course of several years.
Terrorism is no longer a faraway reality for Americans and Europeans, who sit comfortably and securely watching the chaos on a screen as it takes place way off in Asia or Africa. And Hamas is not a terrorist organization that, once in a while, carries out attacks in the West, rather it is one that shares a border with us and carries out attacks against us over and over again. If not for geographic limitations, it would have attacked around the world, just like the Islamic State group.
Hamas declared that it has carried out more than 80 suicide attacks against Israel and fired more than 15,000 rockets its way. All of this with the explicit intent to murder as many Israeli civilians as possible. Summer after summer, year after year, and notably so since Israel ended its "occupation" of Gaza. And there is no international coalition calling to eradicate Hamas. Even its classification as a terrorist organization is not iron-clad among European Union institutions. Israeli airstrikes and responses are framed as "war crimes." Above all, we are subject to repeated calls to hold negotiations with Hamas. At the same time, the disengagement from Gaza led world leaders to pressure Israel to do the same in Judea and Samaria -- which will cause irreversible damage that could end not only with another Hamas regime, but even with Islamic State members on the outskirts of the Jordan Valley.
Moreover, even as frustration builds due to growing global hypocrisy -- or, perhaps, ignorance -- we cannot forget that this monster conquered Gaza via democratic elections, which were forced on Israel by the United States after the disengagement. The latter insisted upon "free" and democratic elections in Gaza, despite the warnings from Israeli officials and even from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' emissaries. They were deluded in their belief that it was possible to tame the terrorists. If only we gave them a population, a state and bureaucracy, they would become moderates. And more than anything, "they will have something to lose." This lesson was certainly not learned by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
With 10 years of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, there is no civilian side to the story. It is a militant organization that does nothing for its citizens -- no schools, no universities, no employment and no health care. Each of these services has suffered dramatically since the disengagement. Hamas is prepared to lose everything as long it can continue with terrorism. So when countries around the world voice anger over the blockade on Gaza and call for the Palestinians to be freed from the occupation, we must remind them that the only occupation Gazans are under is that of the Hamas terrorists that they voted into power.
Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash
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