| The Israeli regime was not the victim on October 7 | MR Online

The Israeli victim narrative about October 7 is based on western double-standards

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on October 24, 2023 by Robert Inlakesh (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Oct 25, 2023)

The Israeli regime was not the victim on October 7. The Hamas offensive bears no resemblance to the September 11 attacks of 2001 and the Palestinian resistance has nothing in common with Daesh or other takfiri terrorists. The only thing that was out of the ordinary for the conflict in Palestine on October 7, was that for once the fight was taken to the Israelis and instead of it being dead Palestinians, it was dead Israeli soldiers and settlers.

In Western media, the Hamas offensive of October 7 is being depicted as the single worst event in the history of the Palestine-Zionist conflict, an attack comparable to the 9/11 bombings and hence a justification for the complete annihilation of the Palestinian people as a result. This is because they have been fed the narrative that Hamas fighters, belonging to the movement’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, stormed over a “border fence” and launched a devastating attack on Israeli unarmed civilians.

According to Western media, the Hamas attack is where the war started, the attack on Israelis was unique and therefore it justifies a racist annihilation of the indigenous population of Palestine. Israel, with the full backing of Western media and politicians, have managed to concoct a narrative that mimics the post 9/11 narrative, one that depicts Palestinians are barbaric Muslim extremists that rape white women and behead babies. But, unfortunately for them, despite this working on older portions of the population, the younger generations are not falling for it, because they can see through the double-standards and racist rhetoric that their parents fell for in the lead up to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Attack Was Only Unique In One Way

Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, as declared by al-Qassam Brigades’ Commander Mohammed Deif, was a retaliatory offensive that Hamas and the some dozen Palestinian political factions had warned was coming if the Zionist regime continued its attacks on worshippers at the Aqsa Mosque. In 2021, Hamas also launched an offensive, named the Sword of Jerusalem, in response to similar Israeli attacks against Palestinian worshippers during the Holy month of Ramadan. The 11-day war in May of 2021 resulted in the murder of at least 285 Palestinians, while 13 Israelis were also killed. Since then, “Israel” continued, in 2022 and this year, to violently assault worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque, with extremists inside the Zionist Knesset also discussing proposals to change the status quo at the third holiest site in the Islamic faith.

In August of 2022, “Israel” launched an unprovoked attack on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement inside the Gaza Strip, killing 50 Palestinians – most of whom were civilians – while no Israelis were killed. Then in May of this year, “Israel” launched another unprovoked attack that targeted PIJ, along with civilians, which resulted in around 35 Palestinians being murdered. In the West Bank, Israeli forces have been invading refugee camps and cities non-stop since the beginning of the year, murdering hundreds of Palestinians. In early July the Israeli military invaded the Jenin refugee camp, targeting medical workers, and journalists and destroying the civilian infrastructure there while killing at least 18 Palestinians, before they ran away out of fear after suffering soldier casualties.

To go through the record of massacres committed against the Palestinian people would require a whole book to be written, however, for the sake of time, consider the following examples: In 2008/9 the Israeli attack on Gaza massacred around 1,417 Palestinians, during the 2014 war there were over 2,300 Palestinians murdered by “Israel’s” offensive, then, to throw in one of many historical massacres, when “Israel” invaded Lebanon and later occupied the south of it in 1982, the Zionist military’s offensive resulted in roughly 20,000 dead Palestinians and Lebanese. All of these examples noted are worse, statistically, than the offensive of Hamas on October 7, 2023. As for such death in a short period of time, this isn’t even comparable, take the opening strikes launched on Gaza in 2008, which targeted a police ceremony, killing over 251 non-combatants within seconds.

In 2018, beginning on March 30, the Palestinian people in Gaza launched one of the largest non-violent protest movements in history along the Gaza separation fence, calling for the lifting of the blockade. Israel responded by killing 300 Palestinians over the course of the demonstrations that lasted over a year, targeting men, women, children, the elderly, journalists, medical workers, and people with disabilities. What was the international response to this? To condemn Hamas and claim that “Israel has the right to defend itself”. All of what is being mentioned only scratches the surface of the horror inflicted upon the Palestinian people, not even touching on the ethnic cleansing of 1947-9 and the countless wars of aggression, coupled with the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands since.

To suggest that what happened on October 7, is somehow a “unique evil” is to either say that you value Western/Jewish lives more than Arab lives, or it comes from a place of pure ignorance.

An Attack On “Israel”

Often we hear of “Israel’s right to defend itself” and that “Israel’s border was breached”, on October 7. To begin with, under international law, the Zionist regime is an occupying power in the Eastern part of Al-Quds, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, meaning that they have an obligation to provide the means for civilians’ human rights to be protected; they have never lived up to the international standards. “Israel”, being an occupying power, also means that under the Fourth Geneva Convention, the people under its occupation have the right to use violence in order to free themselves from the rule of that occupying power. As the occupier, dubbed an Apartheid regime by the world’s top human rights organizations, the Israelis have no right to defend the continuation of their military occupation, none.

Also, there is no border between “Israel” and Gaza, and there are armistice lines where there is a militarized separation barrier, but there is no border, this is an outright lie. Gaza is not a separate country. This territory has been labeled by UN experts as unlivable since 2020 when 97% of the water was already undrinkable for years prior to the beginning of the war when the Zionist entity cut off the water.

Another thing we have to look at critically here is the true nature of the Hamas-led offensive against the Israeli military and settlements surrounding Gaza. Yes, the offensive initially targeted military sites and resulted in the killing of at least 300+ Israeli soldiers, in addition to other kinds of armed Israeli combatants, so when you see the Israeli death toll, this must also be kept in mind. The second issue with the narrative in Western media about the death toll is the immediate assumption of guilt when allegations are made towards the Palestinian armed groups; specifically the Qassam brigades of Hamas.

Often, Western media will cite the need for investigations into allegations of war crimes committed in Gaza, but then it will instantly assume war crimes were committed against unarmed Israelis. There must be one rule for all, if we can’t decide what is going on in Gaza, then we certainly can’t make a judgment on what happened on October 7 to the Israelis, especially since the information from the Israeli side is heavily restricted. There is no consideration to the fact that there were armed clashes between Israeli forces and the Palestinian armed groups inside the settlements, which we have video evidence documenting. These clashes, which we have film showing unarmed Israelis in the middle of, could well have meant that Israeli armed gunmen accidentally shot their own citizens, we also have testimonies of Israelis who were held hostage and testified to having witnessed Israeli forces killing unarmed hostages.

Until there are human rights reports and independent inquiries, we simply cannot know exactly what happened on the Israeli side, especially considering all of the unsubstantiated reports spread about rape and beheaded babies. On top of this, it wasn’t just Hamas fighters that crossed the separation fence, fighters from various smaller armed groups engaged in the fighting, while even Palestinians who were from no group at all crossed over. So telling who shot who and what unarmed civilians were killed, and under which circumstances, is going to require further investigation, in the cases where we do not have any video evidence. What happened to the Israelis on that day, is a more complex picture than when the Zionists fire missiles into civilian neighborhoods.

None of the above is written to justify any killing of unarmed people, but it works to put what happened into perspective. They live in settlements, on top of the villages that Zionist militias ethnically cleansed, the descendants of those who were expelled by force are now making up the majority of those Palestinian fighters from Gaza. Gaza’s armed groups are a refugee resistance, many of whom joined the resistance forces following the murder of family members at the hands of the Israeli military. They lost their lands, their family members, their friends, their homes, their livelihoods and there was not a single hope for anyone to help them, so they decided to take matters into their own hands, to free their people, to create a new life for the following generations. Hamas is a product of Israeli occupation, violence and Apartheid. They are a national liberation movement, they do not seek to kill disbelievers in their brand of religious dogma in order to force the world to fall under their rule like Daesh terrorists do, they simply want to reclaim their lands. This does not mean you have to agree with their ideology or their violent tactics, but to ignore why they exist, why they have support throughout the Arab and Muslim World, and why they launched this attack, is simply choosing to remain ignorant. The same was the case for the ANC in its fight against Apartheid in South Africa, which most of the world now understands today.

The Palestinian people were led by secular-nationalist armed movements, along with secular-Marxist movements, for the majority of the history of the struggle against the Zionist entity. There is no equivalence to be made between what was essentially a modern-day slave revolt, from Gaza, and a senseless terrorist attack. In all successful revolts against colonial rule, European invaders, settler-colonialism, and slave masters, there have been unarmed people killed as a result of these uprisings, this is what happens when you murder, dispossess, and humiliate an entire people just because of their ethnicity/race. Eventually, the people who are persecuted by violent racist oppressors, will rise up and attempt to break their chains. For all those condemning the Gazans for rising up, they first must look at themselves in the mirror and ask what they did when the people were being forced into using violence as the obvious last option available to them. The Israeli regime itself is not the victim, it is the cause of the violence, while unarmed civilians are simply those who are caught in between.

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