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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Israel must renounce violence, recognize Hamas

Published: April 28, 2006
Section: Opinions

Editor's Note – Kevin will be posting letters regarding his column, as well as responses to various letters on his personal blog.

It is no stretch of the mind to suggest that the preponderance of Israelis and Palestinians are desperate for peace. Decades of war and militarism have not resulted in anything more than continued violence and bloodshed;

yet Israeli and Western governments and the American media seem to believe that diplomacy-as-usual in the Middle-East will now somehow bring about an end to violence.

Immediately following the Palestinian elections, the international community, with America and George Bush as its conductor, began making unilateral demands of the Hamas-led Palestinian government: “The leaders of Hamas have a choice to make. If they want the help of America and the international community to build a prosperous, independent Palestinian state, they must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism and work for lasting peace.” But did the Israelis and the Western governments really give Hamas a choice? Over the past three weeks, Israel has launched numerous air-strikes and artillery campaigns in Gaza, including a savage attack that left one Palestinian child dead and 7 civilians and 5 children maimed and wounded. Days following that particular shelling, the Israeli government announced it would be suspending all security ties to the Palestinian government, a move that amounted to a “declaration of war” in the eyes of the Palestinian government.

So, to reiterate the question, what choice have we really left Hamas and the Palestinians? Hamas has only held power for a handful of weeks, yet they have already had to endure brutal attacks on their civilians, aid cuts from numerous Western powers, and an Israeli government completely unwilling to make concessions in the name of peace and coexistence. Why is the Bush administration not waging an isolationist policy against Israel for the same reasons they are unwilling to deal with Hamas? Why is the media unwilling to ask tough questions of the Israeli government in light of their assault against peace, yet feel perfectly capable of asking the leaders of Hamas those questions?

These events, coupled with the inability of Israel and the West to make concessions towards the advancement of peace, has left two newly elected governments in the same position they were in years paston the brink of a bloody war. History should tell us that shellings in the Gaza Strip will only result in retaliatory suicide bombings;

not peace talks. The people are tired of years of military aggression and guerrilla warfare;

it is time for the politicians and the media to abandon their supremacist ideology and work to a common goal: a peaceful Middle-East.