Is Guterres defending Hamas or the UNRWA budget?
The budget for helping Palestinian refugees is a sizeable chunk of the United Nations budget
The UN leader, Guterres, once again expressed support for Hamas militants and suggested that their actions on "Black Saturday" were a result of the 55-year-long occupation, the absence of a Palestinian state, and the suffering of the Palestinian people. This idea isn't new, as the international community has considered it for years, but it raises questions for those familiar with the conflict's history. Let’s consider these three points:
If we acknowledge a "55-year-long occupation," it's reasonable to wonder how things were before that time. It would be helpful if Mr. Guterres and the like could name the Arab countries and organizations that recognized Israel's right to exist 55, 75, or even 100 years ago, regardless of its borders. If, as is the case, there were none back then, perhaps the issue isn't solely about "occupation."
It's worth noting that the last major terrorist attack, which garnered global attention, originated from an area where Israel withdrew its soldiers and settlers 17 years ago, following the disengagement model with the Palestinians.
“Since 2007, Hamas has had full control over Gaza, but they haven't made any efforts to develop it into a full-fledged state. Their primary goal has remained the destruction of Israel. So, can we truly call it a state?”
Lastly, the notion that "it did not rise out of nowhere" can be applied broadly. Hitler used a similar justification for his actions (that killed over 60 million people) based on the suffering and humiliation of the German people due to the Treaty of Versailles. Would Mr. Guterres find such a concept legitimate?
Or would he find legitimate the actions of Baruch Goldstein, a fanatical Jewish terrorist who, in 1994, shot dozens of Arabs during prayer in retaliation for a series of terrorist attacks against Jews. Or is that different?
While it is true that UNRWA's budget, the organization aiding Palestinian refugees, is a sizeable chunk of the United Nations budget, cynicism must have its limits.
P.S. In my lifetime, I've never encountered a single Jewish person who approved of Goldstein's actions or celebrated those deaths. Compare this with the response of so many people in the Arabic world (especially Palestinian) response to recent massacres in Israel or the 9/11 terrorist attack. Is it possible that the issue involves not just Islamism as an ideology and fanaticism but also a sense of moral superiority fostered by figures like Guterres in the Western world?
About the author. Karl Volokh, political analyst, blogger.
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