My Response to Maajid Nawaz’s Opinion Piece Regarding Gaza, Israel and Hamas (1)

Assalamu alaykum Maajid Nawaz,

Many perhaps will baulk at the fact that I even addressed you with a supplication of peace, given your statements and in particular your recent reductionist article.  However, just as you take the mantle of nuance in your discourses regarding “Islamists”, which incidentally has done more to oppress the Muslim minority and fuel anti-Muslim sentiment in the UK than anything else I can remember since 9/11, I too wish to approach issues with some degree of “nuance”, devoid, where possible, of emotional obscurity.

You have stopped replying to my Tweets, despite my concerted efforts to remain as impartial and respectful as possible. This endeavour has caused me to come in for criticism by Muslims as well as the far-right Christians, as they struggle to understand my position on you.  I had stopped Tweeting and following you for a period but, withholding my tears, I came across your attempts at semantically trivialising Zionist aggressions in the blatantly one-sided “war” that is raging in Gaza. It is not a war, it is a massacre. I am thus addressing you once more, appealing to the side of Maajid which cries when it sees images of blasted Palestinian toddlers.

Despite your claims of balance and nuance, indicating towards impartiality, these two qualities are notable only by their absence in your article. There are several claims which need attention, in order to inject some contextual balance.

Your opening title suggests your Zionist leanings.  Palestine must be free, I agree, but of usurpers, in this case the Zionists, which seems to have escaped your conscious completely.

It is claimed Hamas does not believe in peace, that they have a genocidal agenda to wipe out Jews and they, by policy, through the deliberate targeting of civilians, are terrorists. Conversely, you claim the “reckless” killing of civilians by the Zionists, is not terrorism.

This textbook Zionist narrative is not new and demonstrates your blind spot when it comes to the Zionist entity. The policies of members of government organs is indicative of Zionist sentiment.  Ayelet Shaked is a senior figure in the (coalition) ruling Habeyit Hayehudi “Zionist-religious” party.  She posted a letter of the leader of the usurper (“settler”) movement and close advisor of Benjamin Netanyahu, Uri Elitzur, which espouses the following:

“Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people… They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

Would Shaked, Elitzur and Netanyahu be classed as “extreme-far right”? This is a call for ethnic cleansing bordering on genocide, Maajid Nawaz.  It is calling for a deliberate targeting of mothers, elderly and children. Would this be regarded as State terrorism? At the same rate, Arab members of the Knesset have been kicked-out for highlighting that the Zionists have “blood on their hands”.

The claims of Hamas using hospitals and mosques in your article is tenuous at most, and is signature Zionist propaganda. Jon Snow exposes this claim here, when Mark Regev makes the same comment as you. You seem to quickly accept this narrative wholesale without investigation. You Tweeted the report that UN schools were being used by Hamas to store rockets. Yet the report itself made no mention of Hamas whatsoever. On top of this there were allegations that Zionist agent provocateurs had placed these rockets in the schools and the suspects had been detained. It is interesting to note that “schools” is omitted in your article. Is it because of the article I Tweeted you?

You state that Hamas does not respect Palestinian lives because their leaders hide in “civilian buildings in a densely populated piece of land.” The proof is in the pudding Maajid, they have nowhere to go.

You make a deplorable comparison between the “containment” in Gaza, Iraq and Syria, ignoring the obvious incomparable quality: size.  Gaza is approximately 1700 times smaller than Syria and Iraq and is one thirteenth the size of Greater London, yet it homes a population of 2 million. But darn those pesky leftist-Islamists who have somehow skewed global opinion on the crimes of the Zionist state.  Presumably that includes the celebrities who have been condemning the Zionist actions.

My tone needs to harden on this hypocritical point.  Don’t you dare insinuate that the Muslim minority of Britain at least, regards the death of a child killed by Asad in Syria as less. The Muslim minority, including the “trendy alliance” has been denouncing the neocon intervention for valid reasons, and Iraq is one of them. However it is the British government whose policy shifted in the beginning of this year which regards the blood of Muslims in Syrian, Iraq and Palestine as less; its criminalisation and suppression of aid activity and individuals who are willing to put their lives on the line for these very children constitutes a reigning-in of the concern for the people of Syria and Iraq.  And you, Maajid Nawaz and your Quilliam Foundation have done everything you can to inhibit this humanitarian intervention.

Hamas Terrorists?

Finally your tirade against Hamas again ignores history and reinforces existing Zionist policy, as articulated by the purpose of this latest operation: to destroy Hamas.

Born from Zionist atrocities and resistance against the occupiers, Hamas became a political party and were democratically elected in 2006 by EU authorised elections which regarded it as just and fair.  Running up to the elections, the Zionist entity did whatever it could prevent Hamas coming into power. Why would that be the case? Is it because they knew the people themselves wanted Hamas to govern them?  At this point, would you Maajid Nawaz, “the liberal”, condemn this “undemocratic” behaviour of the “only democracy in the Middle East”?

After this Hamas repeatedly extended their diplomatic hand to the West, comprising US and Europe.  The Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh even wrote a letter to George Bush stating:

“We are an elected government which came through a democratic process.”

“We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don’t mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years.” 

“We are not warmongers, we are peace makers and we call on the American government to have direct negotiations with the elected government,” he wrote. Haniyeh also urged the American government to act to end the international boycott “because the continuation of this situation will encourage violence and chaos in the whole region.”

This also runs contrary to your hyperbolic claim which also contradicts the views of the founder of Hamas that,

“Hamas terrorists reinforce their own belief that a two-state solution is not desirable, fuelling their own genocidal agenda to wipe out “the Jews”.”

More conditions and sanctions were imposed on Hamas. The Zionist entity then sanctioned an illegal blockade on Gaza, inflicting illegal collective punishment. Democracy is the model method of governance, so long as you are Western “approved”, no?  Hamas and the actions of the Palestinian resistance movements must be framed with this context.

Hamas are not terrorists, a point which UK policy recognises, as they are not proscribed, a “nuance” which you failed to highlight in your piece.  The assignment of terrorism as a strategy to inflict collective punishment on a people is a historic strategy. In 1967, Ariel Sharon was tasked to “pacify” the ever strong Gazans. As the British academic, Ramzy Baroud notes,

“It should also be of no surprise that Palestine’s mightiest resistance today, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was formed by a small group of school kids in the central Gaza Strip. These were poor refugees who grew up witnessing the brutality of the occupation, and the abuse it invited into their daily lives…

…The Beach Refugee Camp near Gaza City sustained most of the damage, with many fleeing for their lives and taking refuge in mosques and UN schools and tents. Sharon’s declared objective was targeting “terrorist infrastructure”. What he in fact meant to do was target the very population that resisted and aided the resistance. It is the same “terrorist infrastructure” that Sharon’s follower, Benjamin Netanyahu, is seeking to destroy by using the same tactics of collective punishment, and applying the same language and media talking points.”

This brief historical analysis establishes them as the resistance to an occupation, however the tainting with “terrorism” as a tactic was political expedience on the part of the Zionist entity, as it is now. There is a greater obtuse flaw in your expression of Palestinian resistance fighters as “terrorists”, and that is the definition of “terrorism” itself. A thorough analysis of this will show how ridiculously superficial and self-defeating such claims are.

Given the length of this piece already, I will address this in the second part of this blog.


Part 2

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