Unless people are living under rocks, everyone is aware of Israel’s war with Hamas, which has put Palestinian civilians in the crossfire. In a stroke of irony, the war has led to Palestinians being treated in a similar way as their Jewish ancestors who initially founded Israel in 1948.
Since the current Israel-Hamas war began last month, Palestinians have had to endure displacement and segregation, and they’ve been forced to obtain legal second-class citizenship to be within Israel’s borders. As conditions at the border worsen, Palestinians are denied nationality and are distinguished separately from Jewish Israelis.
In Gaza and the West Bank, Palestinians remain under the rule of an Israeli military regime that enforces extreme travel restrictions through fenced military zones. During Israel’s most recent attack on Palestinians in Gaza, the nation showed its true feelings toward the Palestinian people in an area filled mostly with women and children. Their actions included cutting off food and water supplies and sealing the border with a military blockade that prevents refugees from leaving.
I want to make one thing very clear; I am not on the side of Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization that should be eradicated. Palestinian civilians’ displacement, however, resulted from Israel’s mission to expand the area that is currently considered Palestinian territory. In the West Bank, the Palestinians are labeled stateless and not allowed to travel throughout the Israeli military-controlled area. To rub even more salt into the wound, Palestinians are confined to military zones and fenced within a 700-kilometer area that requires a permit for traveling outside their homes.
“I want to make one thing very clear; I am not on the side of Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization that should be eradicated. Palestinian civilians’ displacement, however, resulted from Israel’s mission to expand the area that is currently considered Palestinian territory.”
Does this sound familiar? A group of people from another land come to a native population’s homeland, and over time they start to expand their territory and claim it as their own. This same scenario happened to the Native Americans in North America when their land was slowly taken from them as they were forced into reservations. Fast forward to 2023. The effect that the war has had on Gaza makes Israel’s claim of “self-defense” a bit murky.
It feels similar to the United States’ initial lead into the Iraq war, with more similarities than one would initially think. In both instances, brutal and horrific terrorist attacks occurred and eventually resulted in a full-scale war.
Fighting terrorism is always a worthy cause, and Hamas is a terrorist organization that should be eliminated. However, civilians getting caught in the crosshairs of a conflict like this is nothing new in war, and it’s hard to justify.
I don’t really see how cutting off food and water to Gaza citizens is going after Hamas unless the rationale is that starving everyone means starving Hamas as well. Also, it isn’t a very good look for Israel to additionally block the Egyptian border and prevent hospital aid from coming to Gaza.
While going after Hamas is a good cause on the surface, it looks as if Israel is operating with the mindset that all Palestinians are a part of the organization. It is unknown when the conflict between the two forces in the Middle East will end, but the conditions under which the Palestinian people have had to live make it hard not to sympathize with them.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to New Mexico State University, the NMSU Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Kokopelli, or any other organization, committee, group or individual.