On October 7, which was the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah, a terrorist organization murdered, raped, and took hostage hundreds of Israeli civilians. Nonetheless, the attack sparked worldwide celebration that Palestine was finally freeing itself from Israel. In the past weeks, this “decolonization” has only led to the appalling deaths of countless Israelis and Palestinians, yet the horrors of Israel’s continued and brutal attacks on Gaza have led many to undermine the inevitable consequence of Israel failing to retaliate—Hamas dominating the entire territory. As a terrorist group that considers exterminating all Jews one of its fundamental principles, Hamas is not just rebelling against the oppressive Israeli state—it is a group that values the indiscriminate destruction of an entire religious and ethnic group only for the crime of existing. And Jews wouldn’t be the only ones negatively impacted by Hamas taking control—Hamas’s leadership already steals humanitarian aid intended for the Palestinian people to support their military campaign against Israel and also support lavish lifestyles for the group’s elite while a majority of their constituents live in poverty. How could this criminal and corrupt terrorist organization possibly “free Palestine”? The media frequently portrays this situation as a matter of “pro-Israel/anti-Palestine” or “pro-Palestine/anti-Israel”. However, this oversimplification is far from reality. Since Hamas essentially functions as the government of Palestine, if you insist on an immediate end to the state of Israel, you are effectively demanding that Hamas lay claim to the entire territory. Palestinians are not free under Israel, but they—and many others—are far less free under Hamas.
It is abundantly clear that Hamas is bad news for everyone—yet anti-Israel rhetoric works to convince people that anything bad for Israel is inherently good for Palestine. This is evidently false, as Hamas continually demonstrates, yet people around the world become so deeply entrenched in anti-Israel rhetoric that they abandon logic in gross misrepresentations of the situation. The departure from logic in many Palestinian liberation groups was particularly striking in their support for the events of October 7, including the Palestinian Youth Movement, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Jewish Voice for Peace. The misinformation regarding Israel and Palestine is so widespread that activist organizations unrelated to the Palestinian liberation movement also promote logical fallacies to garner support. Notably, the Chicago chapter of BLM posted a graphic depicting a paraglider meant to represent the terrorists who initiated the October 7 attack on Israeli citizens. By openly supporting Hamas militant forces as a means to liberate the Palestinian people, they reinforced the notion that the destruction of Israel—including Israeli civilians—is fundamentally indistinguishable from the uplifting of Palestine.
As the situation in Israel and Palestine grows increasingly dismal, the initial celebratory tone has largely shifted to demands for a cease fire. However, both Israel and Palestine already agreed to an agreement of this nature in the Oslo Accords, yet neither the first or second iteration of this agreement successfully prevented the October 7 attack. Since Palestine is essentially controlled by a terrorist organization, and not the Palestine Liberation Organization (the official government), there cannot be a guaranteed agreement of peace—especially when peace contradicts Hamas’s fundamental principles. If a cease fire could be confidently enforced, it would be the optimal resolution. Unfortunately, a cease fire would likely force Israel into relinquishing the millions of people between Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank to the hands of Hamas. Nonetheless, this doesn’t justify Israel using any course of action necessary to eliminate Hamas—the international community must continue holding Israel accountable to the laws of war and preventing civilian loss of life as much as possible. It will to be difficult to decide what the road to justice for Palestine looks like going forward, but liberation for everyone must begin by destroying Hamas if there is any hope for peace in the future.