Opinion | Palestinians aren’t pawns of Hamas. They want freedom, just like anyone else.

Opinion | Palestinians aren’t pawns of Hamas. They want freedom, just like anyone else.

Palestinians have been gathering en masse
in Gaza and within Israel proper, between 20- and 30,000 people, to protest. And rather than recognize, “Wow! This is the largest civil protest that’s happening
almost anywhere in the world,” the first thing you hear is, “Hamas is organizing people.” But what you’re doing in that moment is you’re
assuming that Palestinians are automatons, that they’re actually pawns that are being
produced and procreated in order to serve a political vision and not humans, who are
struggling for freedom. When we die, we’re being accused of staging
our own deaths. But if you saw me as human from the beginning,
you would understand that I am like every other human who can’t live without freedom. And I’m willing to die for that freedom, as
anybody else would. There are going to be six families grieving
children today. That’s a lot to carry. And the fact that they can’t grieve those
children but have to respond to whether or not Hamas told them to do it; it’s layers
upon layers of violent dehumanization that happens. It’s almost like Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. When he was shot dead, right? People wanted to roll tape about how he stole
some cigarillos. Who cares? Since when do we execute shoplifters? Right? And so, since when do we execute children
who are protesting? What Palestinians are trying to overcome is
that eliminatory violence, as well as to create a new future where they can exist with Jews
who want to be on the same land. They just can’t exist as supplicants or as
second-class citizens. The abomination is that we dare to exist and
that we won’t disappear, and somehow that’s seen as in response to
Israel, rather than a desire to live. And that’s what it comes down to. We’re not trying to say anything about Israel. We want to live. And the fact is that Israel is part of the
reason we’re not living, the primary reason that we’re not living. It’s the only nuclear power in the Middle
East; it’s supported by the world’s global superpower with unequivocal military, financial
and diplomatic aid. We’re against all odds. The fact that we’ve survived this long is
a miracle. And we’ll be one day, I think, one of the
most tremendous inspirations to anybody reading history in the world. That we managed to survive, that we managed
to live with dignity, that we managed to love, that we managed to build futures with other
people also fighting for freedom.

100 thoughts on “Opinion | Palestinians aren’t pawns of Hamas. They want freedom, just like anyone else.

  1. Respect for them jews for taking back their Jerusalem.
    Christians should do the same and take back North Africa and the Middle East and make it green again. Islam has made already far too many deserts.

  2. OMG check out the trolls…no humanity and no argument…how can you defend the indefensible….yup you cant. Noura Erakat is an amazing human being inspiring. BDS Love from Scotland.

  3. This looks heavily edited by WP… it is almost made to seem that the protesters are at fault, but the response is heavy-handed (like Brown selling cigarellos)…
    watch Noura's CBS News interview from yesterday… much clearer.

  4. I’m in passionate agreement with this speaker/author. Thank you for posting/writing. Praying for the people of Gaza.

  5. Well said Noura! Indeed, The Palestinian People's struggle will forever be regarded as one of the most inspirational human endeavors to achieve Freedom, Dignity and Life.

  6. Noura Erakat is right. As human beings Palestinians have every right to live in a state and society as full citizens. To portray them as having been duped into demanding freedom is racist propaganda.

  7. Thank you, Washington Post, for posting this talk by the articulate and brilliant Noura Erakat!. I am thrilled you are finally giving voice to this crucial issue. BRAVO WAPO!

  8. Wow, THANK YOU Washington Post for this piece. So refreshing, so honest and raw. This — THIS is real journalism. So much love and respect to Noura Erakat, and WP for putting this brilliant mind on.

  9. This israeli government is lost and US defend this … Shame for humanity .
    Totally with you my palestinian friends. We won't let you alone . Peace

  10. Noura Erakat is an amazing public intellectual. It is sad that Israelis have dehumanized Palestinians so much that Noura even has to make a case for the humanity of Palestinians. Palestinians have every right to live freely. Israel is a colonial state, and like most colonizers, maintains its control by dehumanizing the indigenous people and slaughtering them.

  11. Excellent. Noura Erakat is articulate and eloquent. And thanks to the Washington Post for letting us hear Palestinian voices. I hope we will see more.

  12. Totally agree
    How crazy Israeal convince the world that people don't have the right to resist and fight back for their freedom

  13. Of course, agreed. That Palestinian lives and right to autonomy are up for debate is shameful. Noura Erakat is amazing in her ability to bring clarity.

  14. Thank you to the Washington Post for sharinf this talk and article! Many thanks to Noura Erakat for her bravery, honesty and clarity in explaining why we must support the struggle for Palestinian freedom and their right to self-determination.

  15. Well said. We, as Americans, must be dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. This includes Palestinians. Israel, on the other hand, is a country dedicated to the concept that Jews have special rights that no one else on Planet Earth has.

  16. Agreed. Here is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – it's time for ALL people to advance and support human rights.
    Article 1.

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

    Article 3.

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    Article 4.

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    Article 5.

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Article 6.

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

    Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    Article 8.

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

    Article 9.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    Article 10.

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    Article 11.

    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
    (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

    Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    Article 13.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    Article 14.

    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
    (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 15.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    Article 16.

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
    (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
    (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

    Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 20.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
    (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

    Article 21.

    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

    Article 22.

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    Article 23.

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

    Article 24.

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Article 26.

    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
    (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
    (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

    Article 27.

    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
    (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

    Article 28.

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

    Article 29.

    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
    (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
    (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    Article 30.

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

  17. Truth and eloquence all in one. Thank you Noura Erakat for always saying and doing the right thing, and standing for justice at all times.

  18. Couldn’t agree more with the speaker. Thank you WaPo for giving Ms. Erakat this platform to share thoughts that are resoundingly represent the views of countless Americans and human rights advocates around the world!

  19. Thank you Washington Post for serving as the platform for a Palestinian voice. This is the type of journalism that is necessary in these times. Thank you.

  20. You are an idiot; from the 60 killed 50 where soldiers OF Hamas. The notion that Israel are automatons that only kill is FALSE. Israel is protecting themselves. If they were to ignore the terrorists SEND BY HAMAS, WHICH ARE USUALLY CHILDREN, thousands of people would die. Why are you so ignorant to the lives of the Jews Pakistan needs to focus on electing a more democratic leader in order to stop violence. You disgust me in every single way because you clearly jump to conclusions instead of thinking. Ugh I expected more from the Washington Post

  21. Thank you Noura for your eloquent explanation! It is so important the world views palestinians as actual humans with ambitions and fears and not just statistics or “hamas pawns”

  22. The poor palestinians showed their allegiance and left Israel and now want back, well sorry that ship sailed decades ago.Get over it. There are no non muslims in Mecca.

  23. If they are TRYING to get themselves killed, then they need to bear the responsibility. AS for Michael Brown, the argument wasn't, "He stole cigarillos therefore he should be killed." The film showing him stealing the cigarillos and pushing the diminutive store owner only served as evidence that he was a bully and a thug quite capable of trying to wrestle the gun from the policeman's hands and rushing the policeman a second time.  That was what killed that fine young man.

  24. Ever heard of the action of moving ?

    Like to move elsewhere ?
    Its not like there isnt enough land around its like empty all around !

  25. Brilliantly explained by Hours Ereakat as usual. We need her voice heard across the nation and indeed around the world.

  26. It is not a civil protest… it's murderous manipulation of the poor people that Hamas keeps in a desperate state so they can maintain their political hold. You never see any of the principals of the movement protesting, they always send simple minded brained washed innocent civilians mixed with militants combatants in order to create martyrs. Get rid of Hamas and the PLO, and it's a sure guarantee that hard working Palestinians will flourish in Israel just the same as other Israeli arabs.

  27. these protesters were paid for coming to the fence. not saying the situation isnt bad in gaza but stop the BS…the proof is the day after the 62 died and during the Naqba day there were not riots or no deaths…so although this lady is articulate she is full of BS. watch the following clip and see how peaceful the rioters are –

    israel left the gaza strip. billions of $ were given to hamas to build the gaza strip, but what did they do with the money??? build rockets and tunnels. they dont take care of their own people who starve and suffer. israel is no angel too but should it support a place or regime that wants to destroy it???
    you can also blame the PA cause they are the ones that pay the electricity bill and such.
    accept israel's right to exist and things will change!!

  28. I am not saying they are not living in horrible conditions. They are suffering. No one is disputing that. I have not been there. I have a friend that lives there and her life is hell. I know that but don’t blame Israel for those conditions !!! Or better yet… don’t only blame Israel for the conditions. You went there and saw what is the situation there but what led to that ????
    Fighting for their freedom??? If they are allowed to do that then Israel is allowed to defend it self from that.
    The people of Gaza elected hamas. Hamas does not recognize Israel right to exist and is trying to kill and hurt Israelis.
    I wish hamas would have used all the money it got from different countries to better the life of its citizens and not use it to build tunnels and shoot rockets into Israel.
    Israel left Gaza… we thought they will turn Gaza into the second Singapore but NO. They chose a different path and Israel doesn’t have a choice but to defend it self.
    I wish things would be different but please turn to the PA if you want more electricity for Gaza or to hamas.
    I am sure if hamas recognized Israel’s right to exist things would have been different.

  29. 1. they voted for hamas to lead them knowing who hamas is and what their charter is.
    2. 53/62 people killed by Israel snipers were working for hamas, so what makes you think most of the people there only wanted "freedom"?
    3. despite media calling it a "peaceful protest", we saw numerous palestinian's charging the fence with homemade explosives and firebombs, rocks, burning tires, burning kites with swastika's on them, etc
    4. despite media trying to justify these things, several interviewed people did not hide their desire to cross the border and kill jews.

  30. I agree with Noura. For far too long were allowed the state creating an apartheid to dictate the narrative. If we complain of IDF snipers targeting children and unarmed protesters, medical personnel etc, we are told they're acting in defense. How does a child harm them from the other side of a fence AND a buffer zone? How does a doctor or a baby threaten a sniper? They don't!

  31. I think the Palestinians want the freedom to live without Israel as their neighbor. Years of virulent anti-Israeli propaganda will do that to people. Nearly a fifth (17%) of Israelis are non-Jewish and they are not second-class citizens and they are not clamoring to move to Gaza and they are not being asked to leave Israel. I don't think Hamas or the Authority care about their people in the same way.

  32. Palestianians aren't robots but Hamas has a documented history of paying martyrs and citizens in their fight against Israel. They are desperate and are being brainwashed from birth by Hamas. Too ignore this would be disingenuous.

  33. NOURA PLEASE KEEP DOING YOUR THING !!! peace silidarity and 100% respect to you etc etc etc this Insanity has to stop and its only getting worse with this orange skinned yuppie parasite running america etc etc etc

  34. I'm so glad she is admitting that Gazans are thinking individuals who are responsible for their actions.
    Responsible when they voted in Hamas.
    Responsible when they smuggle Iranian mortars, rockets, launchers.
    Responsible that their relationship with Egypt (an Arab muslim country) has deteriorated to the point that the border is open 3 days a month only.
    Responsible when they allow rocket launchers on to the roof of their homes.
    Responsible when they store weapons in their schools.
    Responsible when they break cease fire agreements.
    Responsible when they pay "taxes" to Hamas for the UNRWA aid it doles out.

  35. I'm not trying to dehumanize Palestine's people, I am dehumanizing Hamas and any other group or individual that uses their own people to further their own interest, keeping them mentally enslaved, keeping from them any and all possibilities to improve their lives. If there was peace and the people of Palestine were able to succeed as individual, Hamas would cease to exist. Hamas has to create caos and death in order for the world to pity them so they can continue to get the funds to continue in existence… It's just business as usual for them and for people like you who don't mind bending the truth in order to achieve your nefarious purpose of making a living our of the suffering of your own people.

  36. I can easily dismantle this speech sentence by sentence. People who are not aware of what's going on and base their thinking on emotions will agree with this "convincing" speech. "wow, this is the largest civil protest" – wake up people, it is not – it is very violent, full of provocations and attempts to breach the border. I feel sad for Palestinians, but there's so much to say about what they should be doing if they want a better life and it has nothing to do with blaming Israel. Let's begin with something very simple – recognize Israeli right to exist and accept the peace offer, which has been offered to you so many times, arranged by the world community. Invest they money you're given into playgrounds, education, hospitals and future promising infrastructure, instead of spending millions on tunnels, weapons, explosives, paying salaries to those who kill Israelis, etc. Abandon your false hope of getting rid of Israel, accept your neighbor, live in peace and prosper. Instead of raging, change yourself and your thinking, your set of beliefs… too much to ask for? Stop hatred. Stop violence. Be human. … and the miracle will start happening.

  37. Palestinians have been used by Hamas and you can not hide that truth from the World anymore, regardless of what you say!🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻

  38. Very dishonest and even deceitful. "The very fact that we've survived this long is a miracle"… it's not a miracle, it's an obvious sign that Israel is not interested in killing Palestinians, if Israel wanted to wipe out the Palestinians it could do so in a blink of an eye, we don't want war.

    As for all of you in the comment section who think Israel is some sort of villain in this story, I invite you to read the lyrics of the Palestinian national anthem and see what it's really all about, spoiler alert, it does not contain the words: freedom, peace, hope and love. Here:

    Warrior, warrior, warrior,
    Oh my land, the land of the ancestors
    Warrior, warrior, warrior,
    Oh my people, people of eternity

    With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my vendetta
    With the longing in my blood for my land and my home
    I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars
    I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers

    With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the weapons
    And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle
    Palestine is my home, and the path of my triumphal
    (Palestine is my home, Palestine is my fire,)
    Palestine is my vendetta and the land of withstanding

    By the oath under the shade of the flag
    By my land and nation, and the fire of pain
    I will live as a warrior, I will remain a warrior,
    I will die as a warrior – until my country returns


    Hmmm… yeah, I don't know if anybody here is going to listen, but at least the truth is here for you to see. I want the Palestinians to be free and to live in peace with them, I wish the majority of them would want the same. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that this is the case in reality. All I can ask of you is that you don't blindly support or demonize one side or another, but instead seek to understand the truth about the nature of this conflict. All this talk about Israel being a terrorist state is utter nonsense.

    Please ask yourself, why Hamas, a terrorist organization responsible for carrying out 40% of the suicide bombings during the second intifada, was elected for the Palestinian parliament in 2006? right after Israel had evacuated Gush Katif, an area north of the Gaza strip in favor of the Palestinians. Before you call Israel a terrorist state, please inform yourself of what's really going on.


  39. Palestinians just want the freedom to "drive the Jews into the sea", as they chant this rather religiously

  40. Israel isn’t the one taking away freedoms of Gazans. Israel left Gaza in 2005. 50/60 of the protestors killed were Hamas terrorists. This is a completely disingenuous woman. She doesn’t want equal rights, she wants vengeance and to push all the Jews into the sea. Even if she believes what she says, the majority of Palestinians don’t. Ugh

  41. Noura is not a Palestinian – she is an American. Interesting statement vis a vis pawns as Yassir Arafat stated that 'a woman's womb is her best weapon against the Israelis, Zionist Jews.' When children are educated in Arab/Gazan, West Bank/Arabic schools to be martyrs whose only aim is to kill Jews, Israelis, Zionists, I suggest that they are indeed pawns in a policial game. The Arabs who wish to have freedom are very welcome to it. The only barrier is their refusal (as is her's) to accept Resolution 181 (a law!) . Their hatred of Jews/Israelis/Zionists overwhelms their ambition for so-called freedom. As Golda Meir stated, "When they love their children more than they hate us, then a resolution can be found.". I agree that Arabs should not be second class citizens but according to statistics and surveys, the Arabs who live in democratic Greater Israel enjoy a much better life than their Arab neighbours.
    Yes Gazans have 'staged' deaths and put their civilian population on the front line, because they know they can not win a physical war against Israel so use their population in a PR war. What she fails to tell you is that families of martyrs are PAID by Hamas! Their so-called Martyrs are celebrated and worshipped and children are encouraged to emulate them. The truth is that the Arabs who now live in Gaza/West Bank have been used as willing pawns; that is their tragedy.
    Gaza can have all the 'freedom' it wants as soon as it stops shelling Israel. Freedom of air, sea and land. Simple. That she sees terrorism, misogyny, the murder of children, the brainwashing of a entire society into psychopathy is creditable is tragic.
    Do not believe this woman – her rhetoric is shameful.

  42. God the people commenting here're just plain dumb. She said it herself but in the opposite way. The Palestinian people are pawns to HAMAS!! There a reason it is known factually that the Palestinians use children and woman as human shield so that Israeli's can't kill terrorists. This woman is doing nothing but spreading hatred, and she calls her self a human rights attorney? What a joke! Maybe if she focused on the smoke the Palestinians have created from these recent riots, and the stones they throw. Maybe she should know that the reason all these people are gathering there is because HAMAS offers them food and shelter if they go there. Everybody get a reality check. 'Palestine' is a fundamentally terrorist run state. You are simply ignorant to think they are not

  43. Apparently, the great crime that the people of Palestine must be perpetually punished for is having the audacity to be on the land coveted by European Jews. If Israel was established in Uganda as originally considered it would be the native Ugandans who would have paid the price.

  44. Imagine you’re under siege and surrounded by a horrific containment fence with prison style security checkpoints. You somehow gain access to a rocket or explosive ordnance. Would you aim it at the containment fence or checkpoints or indiscriminately at hundreds of square miles of empty desert protected by missile defense systems? The most effective utilization would be to assault the containment structures, and the fact this has never been done belies the true origin of the ‘attacks’. These rocket attacks are FALSE FLAGS.

  45. Have you seen read or heard the fanatical ideology that peddles Hamas? Those poor people are just cattle for their tyrannical ideology!

  46. And yet this video only has just over 6,000 views, no wonder the world is asleep to the suffering of the Palestinians…

  47. Israel is defending itself . now gazans mar 16th are protesting against hamas cuz they dont want to fight Israel they arent the bad guy its hamas and plo. lying to them . Israel helps the gazans with hospital care saving babies giving aid IDF gives food and clothes . u guys are wrong . hamas is now shooting its own gazan people cuz it is proxy of iran

  48. Does Noura Erakat believe that Israel has a right to exist? If so, where exactly? Please answer these questions, Ms. Erakat.

    In her recent WaPo piece (which I read), Noura Erakat outlined a strategy that would only end with the elimination of the Israeli state as currently constituted.

    I fear that she is a propagandist for her tribe.

  49. You are a liar trying to deceive people. The protesters are paid $20 a day. Why don't your people use the $ given to them by many countries to help their own people?

  50. Human wrights and freedom. For all is so important … take down the barriers let freedoms rain..God bless All people…

  51. I am perplexed.

    The speaker, Noura Erakat, mentioned Israel’s nuclear capability and receipt of foreign aid. How is that relevant? How is Israel relevant at all to the lack of freedom she complained about?

    In 2005, Israel gave Gaza in its entirety to the Palestinians. Palestinians in Gaza are ruled by the Hamas government in Gaza, not by neighboring Israel. Gazan Palestinians’ freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to elect new leadership, and freedom of sexual expression are all being restricted by the Hamas government, not by Israel.

    Did Israel over-react in shooting people who appeared to attempt to breach the Gaza-Israel border? Perhaps. But why were the people protesting at the border? Why were they not protesting in front of the Hamas government headquarters, which was the appropriate place to protest the restrictions on their freedoms?

    I would appreciate respectful explanations of this. May there be peace, salaam, shalom for all people.

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