When Americans hear the words “demonstrators” and “protests” many of us think of non-violent marches, sit-ins and boycotts led by people like Mohandas Gandhi in India and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in our own country.
As Dr. King wrote in 1957, “the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding.”
But when the terrorist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, talks about “demonstrators” and “protests” it is describing organized mayhem and incitement to violence. This is what took place Monday and to a lesser extent Tuesday as Hamas urged Palestinians to attack and cut through the security fence separating Gaza from Israel.
A toxic co-mingling of violent Hamas terrorists and other armed people hid among Palestinians gathered at the security fence – including peaceful protestors and children being used as human shields.
Most of the tens of thousands of Palestinians at the fence were not engaging in violence. But enough were – as they tried to tear down parts of the fence – that the Israeli troops had no choice but to open fire.
Clearly, if the Israeli forces intended to inflict maximum casualties, thousands of Palestinians would have died, rather than the 60 reported by Hamas.
As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council on Tuesday, Israel acted with great restraint to hold Palestinian casualties to the absolute minimum.
“I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council: Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border?” Haley said. “No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon asked a similar question at the Security Council meeting called to discuss the Gaza violence.
“What would you do, each one of you, if a violent mob of tens of thousands were threatening your sovereign borders?” Danon asked. “What would you do if your people were faced with terror attacks day in and day out? You must not give in to the cycle of death the Palestinians have created. You must call out lies when you see them.”
The Palestinians seeking to get through the border fence and enter Israel are not like the desperate people from Latin America seeking to cross the U.S. border with Mexico to get jobs and build better lives in America. Instead, they are seeking to enter Israel to commit violent acts and kill Jews. It’s as if Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban all massed forces on the U.S.-Mexico border and rushed forward to invade the U.S.
The Washington Post quoted 23-year-old Mohammed Mansoura, who was one of those attempting to get through the security fence Monday as saying: “We are excited to storm and get inside.” When asked what he would do inside Israel, he told the Post: “Whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.”
The Post report continued: “Two other young men carried large knives and said they wanted to kill Jews on the other side of the fence.”
So the so-called “Marches of Return” of Palestinians seeking to enter Israel have been neither peaceful nor about “rights” – unless you mean the right of armed mobs to invade Israel, attack Jews and work towards the destruction of Israel.
Over the last few weeks, demonstrations have turned into riots and grown increasingly violent as attackers have attempted to burst into Israeli territory.
On Monday, the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel and the day the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem, Hamas got exactly what it wanted and planned for – a reported 60 dead and 2,700 injured, ensuring the world would denounce the “massacre.”
In truth, Hamas is doing everything it can to get as many Palestinians killed and wounded as possible along the Gaza-Israel border, to feed its propaganda machine and get sympathy around the world.
Hamas records shootings, deaths, and funeral to go viral on social media and be carried on TV around the world. Families’ who cooperate with Hamas get $3,000 for every dead Palestinian.
The accompanying orchestrated cacophony of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment across the globe dutifully depicts Israelis as Nazi-like murderers gunning down nonviolent protesters and portrays the Jewish state as pursuing ethnic cleansing against a heroic, outnumbered, neighbor. These are lies with no basis in fact.
In fact, all of the media manipulation, all the cynical crocodile tears cannot wash away the truth – it is Hamas, not Israel, with blood on its hands.
Yet no matter how outrageous their actions, Palestinians can always count on the United Nations, the governments of many nations, and assorted nongovernmental organizations to give them a moral free pass.
Who is really responsible for the deaths and injuries of so many Palestinians? Why is there a border fence in the first place? Why have the building materials destined to rebuild civilian homes in Gaza been stolen so Hamas can build terror tunnels to send terrorists into Israel to murder Jews?
Such questions are always deflected with one answer: It’s all Israel’s fault.
And Hamas is rewarded for its brutal policies by anti-Israel diplomatic moves by Turkey and South Africa and cynical calls to sanction Israel – never the Palestinians – at the U.N.
Only strong U.S support will thwart anti-Israel resolutions the condemn Israel for doing what every nation on Earth does: defending its borders and its citizens. Thankfully, President Trump and Ambassador Haley are providing this support.