Wednesday, October 11, 2023


I am horrified by what Hamas has done. Horrified.

And I'm horrified by the worldwide defence of Israel's "right to defend itself" through collectively punishing the population of Gaza, half of whom are children.

I am horrified that the Israelis and the rest of the world think that a stricter siege and heavy bombing are any kind of solution to the ongoing violence. Collective punishment is a crime under international law, and so is the cutting off of fuel, food and water. 

Israel is an apartheid state. Nethanyahu denies Palestinians a right to their own state, and denies them equal rights under Israeli control. 

Ordinary life for ordinary (non-Hamas) Palestinians has been getting worse and worse over the last few years, with more brutal violence from settlers, as the police and the military look on, more theft of land and houses belonging to Palestinians, more bulldozing of Palestinians' houses, more administrative detention of innocent people, and the torture of some of them, more burning of olive trees, more theft of water.

The natural first response to the violence and brutality from Hamas might be a desire for revenge. But has the human race - so clever these days in so many ways - not evolved to know that violence begets violence and the brave and wise person seeks another way?...the way of a ceasefire and negotiations, and in this case the end to apartheid.

The Palestinians' struggle for freedom has been shut down at every level: diplomatic talks that were shut down, economic boycotts that were deemed economic terrorism and shut down, going to the United Nations where the USA vetoed resolutions holding the Israelis to account, the International Criminal Court where the USA put pressure on the court not to pursue war crimes of Israelis.

None of this justifies the brutal actions of Hamas.

And the brutality of Hamas does not justify the collective punishment of Palestinians by the Israelis: the west should not be supporting the latter.

"What is morally wrong cannot be politically right." John Bright, Quaker MP

We need a ceasefire and meaningful talks and a resolution by the world to treat seriously and fairly the Palestinians' call for their own land.


marmee said...

Yes sue I do agree with you! However, and I am terrified of pointing this out...I lived under an intransigent authoritarian regime kept in place and supported by the civilians who had the right to vote them out of power. Do civilians then bear no responsibility for the governments they actively empower? And as most people I am horrified by the brutality of what is happening in Gaza and Israel at this moment. And another hard hard truth that we had to learn and are still battling with: if you brutalise people day after day and year after year there are unintended and unforeseen consequences.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you for your comment, Marmee. I think that civilians do have a responsibility but only up to a point. For example, I never voted for our current government, and have no power whatsoever to change what they do, much as I yearn to do so.

marmee said...

I accept the point you are making Sue. I find it hard to clarify my thoughts around this let alone shape the sentences! My experience is that citizens/civilians seem able to live in clear view and knowledge of oppression and even atrocities comfortably if the people affected are otherised. Or if there is an ingrained sense in the dominant group that its perceived survival outweighs anything else. In my case, the resistance operated as a sort of insurgency and I can recall realising that harm could come to me and mine from that insurgency( bombs in particular) although we were activists for change. Because we lived and moved in the same places as those who were pro the governing regime.