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The Israeli-Hamas conflict: Two sides of a coin

Israeli soldiers in a trench
Israeli soldiers in a trench

I lived in Israel, which I called my second home. My heart will forever be in Israel and the conflict raging on there right now is heart-wrenching to me as I am sure it is for many. The hostility there is tragic, particularly because it is never going to be a path to victory for any side.

First, we need to recognize that neither Hamas, nor Prime Minister Netanyahu is interested in peace. Hamas in Gaza, in contrast to the Palestinians in the West Bank, has repeatedly and publicly declared that they will never recognize Israel.

On a personal level, recognizing the existence of a person is the first step towards accepting the person’s rights, obligations and responsibilities. It is also a necessary step towards engaging that person in dialog, discussion or debate. Thus, Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel, now or in the future, indicates that Hamas is not interested in any engagement with Israel.

Is peace possible without engagement? The answer is flatly, no!

What about Hamas’ rockets in the current conflict? Do they have any military value? Again, the answer is no! Hamas has fired well over twelve hundred rockets into Israel and there is no military result so far. In other words, the rockets are intended to inflict fear on Israeli population.

That, they have achieved. The majority of the Israeli population, even those who are moderate, now stand behind Natanyahu’s government’s actions, thanks to Hamas rockets.

The third point: There is no doubt, that in the present conflict, Hamas is courting international sympathy. And it has gained that, at a cost of more than thirteen hundred human lives. And as one would put it, Netanyahu has more than obliged in this Hamas quest.

Think about this: Do we care, or should we care about human life? Is it morally justifiable to sacrifice another or other people’s lives, for any course, however noble it is? Any group that supports, approves and promotes suicide bombing, for example, believes, by implication, in sacrificing of others for a cause.

I’m afraid, that Hamas deems it necessary, and acceptable, to sacrifice any number of lives in order to gain world sympathy. I am not opposed to sacrificing one’s life for a cause. There is a virtue in the sacrifice of oneself for the sake of others. Self-sacrifice, however, is not synonymous with imposed sacrifice.

So, is there a viable, or victorious end in the Hamas path? The answer is no! How about the Israeli path? Is Israel any better?

Let us look into that.

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