Courtney Walcott’s Nov. 8 column in The Calgary Herald entitled: “Add your voice to the calls for a ceasefire in the Mideast,” is a crash course in how even (presumably) good intentions can lead to dangerous conclusions.
Walcott, who serves as a city councillor in Calgary’s Ward 8, framed the current war between Hamas and Israel as a two-sided conflict with two seemingly comparable parties, writing that “Just as we must call out acts of violent terror that target civilians, so, too, must we call out the outrageous starving and bombing of civilians.”
This comparison is not only rife with falsehoods, it is also a stunning false equivalence between Hamas, a genocidal Islamic terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel and to replace it with an Islamic theocracy, and Israel, a liberal democracy that, despite its many flaws, has a right and indeed a responsibility to protect itself against Hamas’ heinous genocidal attempts.
Walcott is right to condemn Hamas’ “violent terror that target civilians,” but incorrectly writes that Israel is “starving and bombing civilians.”
Israel is not starving civilians. Although Israel has targeted Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, many hundreds of humanitarian aid trucks have entered the enclave, providing food, medicine and other needed provisions to civilians.
Israel is bombing Hamas terrorist targets, doing its utmost to avoid harming civilians. Hamas, which hides its terrorists and rocket launchers inside densely-packed civilian neighbourhoods inside Gaza, operates a major headquarters underneath Gaza’s Shefa Hospital and forcibly prevents many civilians in Gaza from finding refuge from areas where active fighting is taking place, is entirely responsible for all suffering of Gazan civilians when it declared war on Israel just over a month ago, massacring 1,400 innocent people and taking hundreds more people hostage.
Hamas doesn’t just harm civilians; it massacres them, intentionally and gleefully, as demonstrated in the video footage taken from Hamas terrorists who invaded Israel on Oct. 7.
Despite this dangerous threat from Hamas, Israel has taken extraordinary measures to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The country gave civilians in Gaza weeks to leave areas where fighting was likely to take place, dropped leaflets and made phone calls to warn civilians before a bombing took place.
Walcott concludes his column with a demand for a ceasefire, and wrote that “It bears repeating: only with immediate steps to end the violence, a release of all captives, and a diplomatic solution anchored in international human rights and international law will we begin to unpack the conflict and plot a path toward a lasting peace.”
To borrow Walcott’s language: it bears repeating that against Hamas, which will never stop its genocidal war against Israel, there is no “diplomatic solution.” This is not an opinion, but fact. Ghazi Hamad, a senior official with Hamas, told Lebanese television in October that the group will not stop until Israel is annihilated, and it will carry out more massacres.
There is no decision or policy choice that Israel could possibly make that would make Hamas cease its war against Israel. To Hamas, every square inch of Israel is “occupied” territory, and every single Jew in Israel, no matter how young, is a legitimate target for torture and murder.
Prior to Hamas’ massacre on Oct. 7, there was a ceasefire in place between Hamas and Israel, which Hamas broke. Israel does not have the luxury of minimizing Hamas’ deadly threat to the country, as Walcott has done, and consequently has no choice but to keep fighting the Islamic terrorist group until it can no longer pose a danger to Israeli civilians.
Against Hamas, a ceasefire is not a plea for peace. It would be a capitulation on Israel’s part and a major victory for Hamas. Fortunately, most Canadians understand this threat and, in a recent poll, support Israel’s invasion of Gaza to defeat this medieval genocidal terror group.
Mike Fegelman is executive director of HonestReporting Canada, a non-profit organization ensuring fair and accurate Canadian media coverage of Israel. www.HonestReporting.ca