Letter: Gaza is held hostage by Hamas, not Israel

The news media would have us believe that the destruction in Gaza and the high number of civilian deaths stand solely at the feet of Israel and its military. However, both CNN and The New York Times have reported on the Hamas tunnel entrances found directly under the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and under homes throughout Gaza.

Why is it that Hamas fighters have placed themselves in these civilian population centers? Perhaps, it is because a human shield is only useful if there are innocent humans standing between you and your enemy. And when those human shields are destroyed, who is at fault? The soldiers attacking the terrorists, or the terrorists that placed the civilians in the line of fire?


CNN and The New York Times have reported this number. A major news outlet like CNN would verify its facts before reporting them, right? The answer is no. The 10,000 dead is the number reported by Hamas. To believe this number is to believe that terrorists with no qualms of torturing, raping and murdering women and children would not lie about the number of Palestinian deaths. This is a number chosen for its power to shift the focus from the brutality of the terrorist attacks to that of Israel’s military response.

Finally, genocide. A powerful word, especially for the Jewish people. The Nazis tried to commit genocide against the Jews in World War II, killing six million in a systematic attempt to wipe out an entire population. That is in fact the definition of the word. In Gaza, millions of leaflets are dropped by Israel telling Gazan civilians to move south. Warnings are given in advance of an Israeli strike. Humanitarian corridors allow Gazans to escape the fighting. These are not the actions of a government trying to systematically destroy a racial group. These are the actions of a people who have suffered genocide and would never wish it upon another. 

Hamas is a terrorist organization. They are the cause of this war. The goal of Israel’s military is to remove these terrorists from its borders, and the Gazans are caught in the middle. They are truly in the worst position possible — placed in the line of fire between a powerful military trying to protect its people and a terrorist organization that only values their utility as human shields.

Jeff Merage
Steamboat Springs

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