What would the US do if 30,000 Mexicans, organized by a known terrorist group, marched towards the Texas border, demanding to return to their ancestors’ homes, with many of the protesters throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, carrying fence cutters, launching burning kites that set ablaze US territory near the border, igniting tires, and even shooting guns at US agents across the border?
If the US used force to protect its border against such a “peaceful protest,” what percent of the 30,000 Mexicans would end up dead or injured? Would it be more or less than 40 (about .13%)? And how would the global media and human rights organizations react to these incidents?
Now consider the reaction to Israel’s defense against precisely this kind of assault on its sovereign border, dubbed the “Great Return March” and organized by Hamas, a US-State-Department-designated-terrorist organization. Hamas has acknowledged that at least five of its members were among those killed in the march. The number of terrorists involved in the related violence is likely much higher. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “32 of the 40 Palestinians killed (80%) were terrorist operatives or individuals affiliated with them.”
If the “Great Return March” had any truth to it, the Hamas-organized propaganda offensive would have been called the “Great Deception March” because it is entirely founded upon deception. Incredibly, on April 6, an advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), himself highlighted the deceptive nature of the march, accusing Hamas of “only selling illusions, trading in suffering and blood.” Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Abbas’ Advisor on Islamic Affairs and Supreme Sharia Judge, delivered a sermon, broadcast on official PA TV, in the presence of Abbas, in which Al-Habbash accused Hamas of intentionally sending Palestinians in Gaza to “go and die,” only so that Hamas has stories of dead Palestinians for “the TV and media.”
Hamas knows that most observers will simply focus on images of injured and killed Gazans, rather than blame Hamas for sending children towards a militarized border….But the biggest deception of all behind the so-called “Great Return March” is deceiving the Palestinians themselves into thinking that they have any hope of “returning” to any homes or territory in present-day Israel that their ancestors might have occupied before 1948. Have Israeli Jews ever demanded a “return” to the millions of homes their ancestors lost in Europe, during the Holocaust, or in the Arab and Muslim world, from which roughly a million persecuted Jews were displaced between the 1940s and the 1970s?
By contrast, when Gazans received a historic opportunity, after Israel’s 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, to prove that they can engage in responsible and peaceful state-building, they opted to turn Gaza into a Somalia rather than a Singapore. Instead of choosing coexistence and cooperation, Hamas has promoted a culture of anti-Israel hatred, while diverting Gaza’s resources to terrorist rockets and attack tunnels, even after launching and losing three wars against Israel in the span of seven years (2008, 2012, and 2014).
Yet global reaction to the Gaza border “protests” shows just how much the Great Deception March succeeded in deceiving so many, who end up blaming Israel while ignoring Hamas’ role in the violence and, more generally, giving Hamas a pass on its cruelty, corruption, and disastrous policies. The human rights organization Amnesty International recently called for an arms embargo against Israel, arguing that Israel has been “killing and wounding of civilians demonstrating in Gaza by the Israeli forces, despite the fact that they don’t pose any immediate threat.”
If even Palestinian leaders see through the Hamas ruse, why do Amnesty International, the UN, the NY Times, Bernie Sanders, and so many others have such a hard time understanding what’s really going on? Their reactions show no regard for history or context, and demonstrate how little Israelis can rely on the assurances of those pressuring them to make concessions to Israel’s sworn enemies.