A notorious terrorist entity, Hamas, organized tens of thousands to amass on Israel’s border with the goal of breaching the border fence and crossing into Israel.
It is meaningful — and not coincidental — that the mass march was arranged to begin during the most sacred holiday season for both Christians and Jews. Passover celebrates the birth of a free Jewish people under God, and Easter marks the belief in everlasting life through Jesus’ resurrection. Both holidays are the bedrocks of their religions. Both holidays are of immense spiritual and theological significance to their respective communities. Both celebrations are deeply life-affirming.
Hamas embodies the other side.
You may recall that Hamas is the terrorist group that violently wrested control of Gaza from the elected Palestinian Authority in 2007. Dedicated to fundamentalist political Islam, Hamas’ mission (stated explicitly in its founding charter) is the destruction of Israel and Jews everywhere. The charter presents its conflict with Israel as an inherently irreconcilable struggle between Jews and Muslims, and Judaism and Islam, adding that the only way to engage in this struggle “between truth and falsehood” is through Islam and by means of Jihad — violence, until victory or martyrdom.
Hamas has pursued its murderous agenda against Israel by sending suicide bombers, launching rockets, and building terrorist tunnels, promoting a nihilistic ideology while the people of Gaza languish. The idea that this mass march is driven by anything other than a violent intent strains credulity. The words “nonviolent” and “peaceful protest” are not in Hamas’ lexicon. They are but thin, cynical labels meant for foreign audiences only. In fact, in a sermon he gave on March 9, 2018, Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, foreshadowed the expectation of violence. He said it would be “impossible to control” the tens of thousands who would march from the north, east and south Gaza Strip to protest.
Life for the people of Gaza under Hamas’ authoritarian rule has been deteriorating for years as the regime uses international donations to invest in terror rather than in building a civilian infrastructure, schools, roads or job opportunities. Adding to their troubles are the economic sanctions imposed on Gaza by the ousted Palestinian Authority (PA). Attempts to broker reconciliation between the PA and Hamas have all failed, and often violently. The most recent reconciliation effort failed just last month when an assassination attempt was made on the life of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah while he was on an official visit to Gaza. That’s the Gazan way.
These terrorists, the Gaza leadership, organized the current mass march, so it came as no surprise to anyone living in the region that the march was violent from the start, with firebombing, shootings and various attempts to breach the border fence. On Saturday, the Israeli Defense Forces published the names, photos, and terrorist group affiliations of 10 of the 15 people killed at the border. Hamas acknowledged many of them as gunmen from its military wing.
Past experience shows that when Hamas detects growing civilian unrest, which could lead to civil disobedience, its solution is to divert the fire towards Israel. This time Hamas hopes the fire will spread to the West Bank, and even beyond.
This march is clearly designed for confrontation, and to manufacture deadly conflict with Israel.
In the days to come we will see the unfolding of a familiar media script: hand-wringing about the dead and wounded on the Palestinian side, scolding Israel about overreacting, and the need for “proportional” force, as if it is only fair for Israelis to be killed and wounded, too. That’s what “proportionality” means.
We’ve seen this script before, a script that represents a position that is neither moral, nor ethical nor just. It is only a propaganda position.
Faced with an arsonist attempting to set fire to your house, you the homeowner will sensibly use all the water you need to douse the fire completely before it spreads. You cannot possibly “overreact” to a fire; you must do everything you can to put it out.
There is no “proportionality” between the arsonist and the firefighter.
Proportionality-mongers, deluded by or complicit with Palestinian propaganda, want Israel to wait until the whole house is burning down before calling in the firefighters.