Hamas to blame for Middle Eastern conflict

For thousands of years, blood has been shed over Palestine, and unfortunately, this year has been no different.

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a new ceasefire agreement, not quite a peace treaty yet, after a conflict that left thousands dead and nearly a half million displaced. Now, as the storm calms, we look back and assess who is truly at fault. Who morally and politically bears responsibility for those deaths? Hamas.

I say Hamas and not Gaza because the Israeli leadership has made it clear that their fight is with the political actors running Gaza, not the Gazans themselves.

The massively polarizing coverage of this major conflict has provoked both angry condemnations and appeals for peace on social media.

Naturally, people are divided and take sides. The problem lies in the increasingly prevalent logical fallacy minefield of the middle ground. More formally known as the “argument to moderation,” this logical fallacy describes that if two positions of opposite extreme are held, then the truth must lie somewhere in the middle.

Put simply: If I say fire is hot and you say fire is cold, then fire must be lukewarm.

Regarding Israel, one’s Facebook friends may make passive claims that both Israel and Hamas are to blame, or that both sides have some faults and bear responsibility.

Rather than critically addressing the issues surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict, this argument trivializes what has left thousands dead this year alone and cost billions of dollars.

While it is equally fallacious to paint the world merely in terms of black and white, the desire to offend no one by prescribing blame to all sides of a conflict does not help achieve just conflict resolution.

Hamas is at fault for causing the death of thousands of Gazan citizens and starting a war.

Had Hamas not engaged in rocket attacks directly aimed at Israeli civilians, thousands of Gazans would still be alive. Had Hamas not hidden weapons in schools and hospitals, thousands of Gazans would not have perished in the Israeli invasion.

It is offensive to the intellect to equate the democratically elected Israeli government, inclusive of Christians, Jews, and Muslims, with a terrorist organization dedicated to Jewish eradication, not Gazan liberation.

In the Israel-Hamas conflict, there is right and there is wrong.

Will Schaub is a senior majoring in political science and English.

September 23, 2014


Will Schaub

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