Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

The silent are complicit in Israel-Palestine conflict

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By Ray Hanania

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You can’t denounce Hamas and Palestinian violence against Israel if you have been silent about Israeli government violence against Palestinians.

Those who only denounce Hamas violence but are silent on Israeli government violence are complicit in the terrorism that is sweeping through Israel and Palestine.

If you don’t know anything about Israel’s government violence against Christians and Muslims in Palestine, you are either deaf, dumb or blind; or you are an American politician or a member of the mainstream American news media.

Since the beginning of 2023 and through the end of September, Israeli forces have killed 94 Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, more than double the death toll of 43 killed in the same period in 2022.

I bet most of you never heard or read about that violence by Israel’s government.

I also bet you haven’t heard reports of how Israeli extremists and settlers have been spitting on Christians churches, priests and pilgrims in Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a part of a campaign to expand Israeli settlements. The videos are online, if you look.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

I suppose you haven’t seen reports about Israeli settlers killing Palestinians while taking their farmlands or arresting children. Israel’s laws discriminate against Christians and Muslims; and when Palestinians are killed, there rarely are consequences.

You did hear, though, how Hamas launched missile attacks against Israel this past weekend and captured several dozens of Israeli soldiers as prisoners. It dominated the news media this past weekend.

You heard President Biden denounce the Palestinians, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken demand that the Arab countries denounce Hamas “terrorism.”

Coincidentally, many of the members of the Illinois legislature are in Israel, taken there by pro-Israel groups to reinforce the propaganda against the Palestinians.

Members of the U.S. Congress, who have been deafeningly silent about Israeli violence, were quick to defend Israel and condemn the Palestinians.

The fact is, there is violence on both sides–by Israelis and by Palestinians. But you won’t hear about the violence by Israel against the Palestinians, as much as you hear about violence by Palestinians against Israelis. Politicians and the mainstream news media routinely minimize Palestinian deaths and Israeli terrorisms as being consequences of the failed peace process.

When the violence is by Palestinians against Israelis, the stories change and it becomes a crisis, one involving hatred, “anti-Semitism” and “terrorism.”

I denounce the violence by both sides. But that’s because I recognize the violence by both sides. I don’t close my eyes to the violence by Israel’s government the way many American politicians and so-called journalists spin the truth because of partisan support for Israel and hatred of Palestinians.

My family is from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. We own 10 acres of land adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Gilo, a half mile from the Old City of Jerusalem, in what was the West Bank, which was annexed by Israel. My family can’t develop our land or even live on it because we are Christian.

Israel destroyed the home, the well and the small road that was on that land in order to prevent Palestinians from expanding their presence around Jerusalem.

Anyone who condemns Hamas violence but fails to condemn Israel’s government violence is complicit in the violence and the deaths of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Criticism of a government is not hatred. Criticism of Israel’s government is not anti-Semitism. That they claim it is anti-Semitism is really a strategy to try to silence anyone who speaks out in support of Palestinians and Palestinian rights.

Don’t believe everything you read in the mainstream news media, and don’t for a minute think that President Biden is a better person than former President Donald Trump. They are both hypocrites who pick and choose morality based on their politics.

If you condemn one, condemn both. If you can’t, then you are the problem prolonging the conflict in the Middle East.

POLITICAL GRAPEVINE: Back on U.S. politics, it is hypocritical for Republican Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz to justify his efforts to undermine Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy by claiming McCarthy compromised with Democrats to prevent the shutdown of the U.S. government. Gaetz didn’t oust McCarthy. In truth, it was the Democrats who ousted McCarthy. Without their vote, Congress would have a Speaker and America wouldn’t be one more step towards weakness. Bill Lipinski and I discuss the ouster of McCarthy in our weekly podcast “Two Guys on Politics” broadcast each week on YouTube.

(Ray Hanania is a former Chicago City Hall reporter and award-winning columnist. Visit hanania.com for more opinion.)

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