quotes The Gaza crisis

31 October 2023
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Updated 31 October 2023

The Gaza crisis

It is important to illuminate the standing of Saudi Arabia amidst the human suffering occurring at present in Gaza with the continuous Israeli air raids and heavy bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

There is a need to balance the situation in Gaza between the extremism of Hamas and the radicalism of the right-wing parties inside Israel. Most Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have condemned the two sides over the violence they have spread. These nations have warned against these two groups of corrupt and savage political opportunists.

Hamas has no commitment to the Palestinian cause. The Palestinians themselves have been wary of them because Hamas exploits the population for its own advantage. While Hamas labels itself as The Islamic Resistance Movement, there is nothing that belongs to Islam that Hamas promotes. The religion of Islam is a religion of tolerance, peace, and moderation. Islam is the religion of Wasatiyah, “moderation in all things.” Its conflicts with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and, later, the Palestinian Authority have weakened the Palestinians’ positions on the world stage. It diminished the chances for the Palestinians to have a state of their own.

Hamas’ connection to terrorism is well known. At least half a dozen countries have designated Hamas a terror group. The Arab Gulf countries have placed Hamas on their list of terrorist organizations. Hamas has done nothing to help the Palestinians. Their alignment with Iran, Hezbollah, and other extremist organizations is not in dispute. There is strong evidence of this. American security officials suspect that Hamas operates a terror network inside the US. Hamas frequently fires rockets at Israel using residential areas. It runs command posts in the middle of apartment buildings and blocks. The group uses civilians as human shields. For years, Hamas has been secretly digging underground tunnels to smuggle arms into the Gaza Strip from the sea or land. The Egyptian government has been cracking down on this illicit activity to protect the security of its borders.

Hamas has found support in the figure of the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The group began as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and officially cut ties around 2017. Yet, many countries fear its terror, especially Egypt, which has been confronted with its tactics of penetrating its borders to destabilize Sinai. Its leadership is wealthy. Several Hamas leaders have amassed huge personal fortunes. For instance, Khaled Mashal has a net worth of over $2.6 billion; Moussa Abu Marzouk, another top Hamas chief, enjoys wealth estimated at $2-3 billion. Militarily speaking, its missiles are manufactured through the help of Iran. There is no doubt that the rocket attacks which it launched against Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, were masterminded by Iran.

Hamas and the Israeli extremist right-wing parties are equally culpable in the contemporary tragedy of the Palestinians.

On the other hand, the Israeli right is a disgrace by the universal standards of decency. It is extremist, vicious, racist, and violent. They are very dogmatic, sticking to the images of a Greater Israel as preached in the Talmud with no consideration for anyone or any other group of people who share the land with them. They make civilian Palestinians the targets of their bloody attacks. They kill men, women, and children. They never express regret or sorrow when they have “succeeded” in killing an innocent Palestinian or an Arab. They call in their party platforms openly for discrimination against the Arab population in Israel in policies such as housing, employment, and travel. They win their Knesset seats by fanning hatred against the Palestinians, the Arabs, and the Muslims. They celebrate the humiliation of the Palestinians. They have their political alliances with the settlement movements, seize Palestinian lands without any compensation, and harass many Palestinians living in the West Bank.

The settlers are a big constituency for the Israeli right. At present, they are attacking the Palestinians living in nearby areas. They want to turn Israel into a theocracy governed by religious laws. Their extremity has entered mainstream Israeli life and politics. They are the players and the shakers of any Israeli coalition government since the formation of any government in Israel depends on their participation. They have no sense of responsibility, which is an essential condition for the operation and functioning of any democracy. They practise a strategy of overkill in Gaza, unrestrained by any consideration of humanity, laws, or religions. They kill for the sake of killing.

Saudi Arabia has submitted many peace plans. They aimed first to restore the rights of the Arabs in Palestine and to help the Palestinians form their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital. They provided so much assistance to the Palestinians and all the Arab nations that are the frontline states in the historic confrontation versus Israel. King Fahad proposed his peace plan in 1981. In 2002, King Abdullah also advanced a peace plan to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Regrettably, these sincere diplomatic initiatives went unheeded. Had they been implemented, peace would have been achieved for the Palestinians.

If there were no Hamas, the Israeli right-wing parties would not have reached power. This suggests that Hamas and the Israeli extremist right-wing parties are equally culpable in the contemporary tragedy of the Palestinians. This means that the Arab-Israeli strife is an endless cycle of hatred, destruction, and death.

Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst. X: @Mr_Alshammeri