An excellent article by a Muslim
Where to point the finger of blame in the flotilla incident
by Tawfik Hamid
The recent interruption of the flotilla ship that was supposed to carry food and medicine to the people in Gaza has resulted in global anger and strong reactions against Israel. These reactions included many demonstrations against Israel and denouncements by different governments and government officials (1).
The question that came to my mind when I saw such demonstrations is why we have not seen many in the Muslim world until today reacting in such an angry manner against the terrorists who actually killed thousands of their fellow Muslims. If we can see tens of thousands in the Muslim world an Europe demonstrating against the killing of the pro-Palestinian activists we should wonder why we do not also see similar powerful reaction against the Islamists who conduct terror acts nearly on daily basis and resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives. If the aim of the demonstrators is to show respect to human life then one should ask why the demonstrators do not respect to the same extent the human lives of the victims of terror by also demonstrating against the terrorists. In addition, why we have not seen the pro-Palastinians in the West also demonstrate with such anger in support of the human life of the Israelis who were brutally killed by Palestinian terrorists. Are these demonstrations a true expression of sincere care for human life or does it only represent a covert form of anti-Semitism that is expressed by selective demonstration against Israel. If the demonstrators truly care about human life we would have also seen them also demonstrating against Hamas as well when it killed many Palestinians (2);(3) in Gaza in its fight with Fatah to gain power and control over Gaza.
Furthermore, a radio discussion between the IDF and the leaders of Flotilla demonstrated clearly that Israel offered the Palestinian activists to deliver on behalf of them the food and medicine to the people in Gaza (4). If the intention of the Flotilla was only to deliver this support to people in Gaza why the Palestinian 'activists' rejected such an offer and thus resulted in such bloody end to the problem?
Before blaming Israel for attacking flotilla it is fair to mention that previous experience with Palestinian terrorists showed that on several occasions they disguised under different humanitarian covers in order to achieve violent goals (5). In such a case, it is unfair to deny Israel the right to be suspicious about the intentions of the Flotilla especially when its leaders refused to let the Israelis deliver the support on their behalf to the people in Gaza.
To understand another dimension of the problem, let us imagine that a ship full of food and medicine has been sent to Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan- Is it correct to allow such a ship to deliver the material knowing that the main aim of Al-Qaeda is to destroy the US?
Allowing such support for Al-Qaeda can be considered as an indirect support for killing more Americans.
Some may argue that, Al-Qaeda is different from Hamas. Let us have a look on some statements from Hamas Charter to see the similarities between the two groups:
The Covenant and Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement
· Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.
· Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.
· It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Muslim generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.
· Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realized.
Some may argue that the ship was for the people in Gaza rather than to Hamas. It is important here to mention that those 'people' in Gaza are the ones who actually choose Hamas and gave it a sweeping victory in Jan 2006 (6).
All what is needed to stop the Palestinian suffering is that the Hamas organization accepts the three basic and justifiable demands of the international community (i.e. to accept the right of Israel to exist, to respect the former international agreements of the PLO, and to stop violence against civilians). Had the Hamas organization accepted these international demands, people in Gaza would not have suffered and the flotilla incident and loss of lives would not have occurred.
So, before pointing a finger of blame at the Israelis, this finger should point first at the Hamas organization and its leadership for refusing these basic demands of the international community and also at the leaders of flotilla for refusing that the IDF deliver the support that was carried on the ship to the Palestinians.
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