US President Obama can only hope that the temporary ceasefire still in place in the Gaza strip at the time of this writing (afternoon of Thursday Manila time) holds without it being violated before it ends on Friday (Saturday Manila time). If he were being less diplomatic, he should have said “without the ceasefire being violated by Hamas before it ends.” For it is always Hamas that violates ceasefires.
On Friday Aug. 1, Hamas finally agreed to the US and UN demand for a ceasefire that Israel had earlier agreed to. It was just a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire that would have allowed medical personnel in Gaza to treat the wounded, Hamas to recover dead comrades, and for compassionate groups to deliver much needed aid to the Gaza Palestinians injured because Hamas has been using them as human shields.
But within hours after the start of Friday’s humanitarian ceasefire, air raid sirens blared again in Israel. Hamas had resumed its heavy shelling of Rafah. Some 51 Hamas rockets and mortar rounds hit Israel on Friday. Nine other Hamas rockets were shot down by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system.
President Barack Obama “unequivocally condemned the ‘barbaric’ Hamas” and its allied Palestinian factions “responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers, and abducting a third almost minutes after the ceasefire was announced.”
Unfortunately, some Filipinos have shallow-thinkingly fallen for the propaganda aims of the Hamas policy to provoke Israel to fire back at Hamas from their tunnels located under Palestinian residential areas. The Hamas goal is to make the world share its hatred for Israel and the whole Jewish race. It wants Israel to fire back and accidentally kill thousands of civilian Palestinians so that Israel gets blamed and condemned for being heartless.
Hamas propaganda wins everytime it convinces Filipinos that, as an editor has written, Obama should make a stronger appeal to the military of the Jewish state not to follow the ancient law of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Or to require Israel to take a more sacrificial stance and respect the ceasefire even if Hamas had broken it because that would show “the world that the Jewish nation is not trigger-happy.”
The columnist who wrote these lines has obviously been won over by the Hamas (which has the support of the majority in the UN General Assembly): “The one thing that Israel has in abundance is fire power, deadly, mostly accurate, powerfully devastating, murderous and most of the 1,360 Palestinians have been killed by bombs, shells and crushed and buried alive under the collapse of homes and public building. The alleged deliberate shelling and bombing of homes and houses, schools, hospitals and shelters in a massive bombardment is a possible war crime according to a UN body.”
And this: “Can the invasion of Gaza and massive killing of so many Palestinians by Israel be justified? It’s an exercise in self-defense, the Israelis say, and they must eliminate the enemy who is firing rockets into Israel. The Hamas organization says they have a right to self-defense too against the invading force. That’s the weakness of the Israeli position, they are invaders as they were in 2009 when a similar invasion was launched.”
It’s sad when Filipinos condemn Israel as the aggressor in this fight. They should remind themselves that the aim of Hamas is the annihilation of the Israeli state and of the Jewish race.
The deep reality that these Filipinos should know is that Israel is being supported in secret by no less than the leaders of such important Arab and Muslim countries as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority itself. These Arab leaders see Hamas as a terrorist group and the greater threat to their countries’ well-being than Israel.
Let’s not forget that the Palestinian Authority—which Israel recognizes as the government of the whole Palestine—lost Gaza to Hamas in a war with that terrorist organization. Israel has been willing to accept the two-state solution, with the PA, the heirs of the late Yassir Arafat, as the government of the Palestine state.