There is a lot of information going around on the Internet about the situation Gaza. No doubt some of this information is better than others. It is critical to seek alternate sources of information, given that the Main Stream Media (MSM) has been moving toward authoritarianism and a perspective that is big business friendly and very cozy with the biggest and most powerful businesses. We exist in a time where, in the MSM, reality is treated as a radical notion (ref: Kapur on Michael Parenti and Media Manipulation).
So, where can someone who is concerned about the situation find trustworthy alternate sources of information. Fortunately, where Gaza, and the broader Israel/Palestine conflict, is concerned—there is an abundance of information. However, the problem is so severe, the suffering so great, and the wounds —on all sides— so deep, that it can be overwhelming to find a place to begin to try to understand what's actually happening, and what are the possible solutions for a cessation of hostilities and violence, and a genuine pursuit of nonviolent conflict resolution.
I will point to a couple of sources of information, though there are many, many more good sources of information to be found. One is a video report from the IWW Real News Network: Rafah - Report from the Ground. Another source I have been using is Jewish Voice for Peace and its off-shoot, Jewish Peace News.
So what's going on? Israel labels Hamas as a terrorist organization. But Hamas is a political party that has been elected to government. Therefore, as a legitimate governmental organization, how can it be terroristic?
Secondly, the popular myth is that Hamas wants to destroy Israel. I am not convinced that this is true. More realistic and sensible, would be a Hamas position to stop conditions of apartheid, stop economic and social injustice, stop the occupation—the oppression... But I don't know what the official Hamas policy is. However, I have heard that members of the Bush Administration have been accused of fomenting Hamas militarism and violence.
Another myth that I have seen rebutted is that militant extremists are launching unprovoked rocket attacks. This is ridiculous. For one, the provocation is the injustice. I am not saying that launching rockets is a good thing, or that it is likely to help the situation. But I do think that Palestinians, including militants among them, have legitimate reason to be angry. They have been so gravely and grievously mistreated—abused. Secondly, I have read that the rocket firings have only occured after specific incidents, that can reasonably be considered as acts of provocation, committed by Israel. Examples of these incidents might include abuse and discrimination and Israeli controlled check-points... Also see The Gaza Bombshell [Vanity Fair].
What would cause Hamas, or members of any militant extremist group—if not systematized oppression, to act out violently? The onus is on Israel, as the power broker in this situation, to administer true justice and begin to treat the Palestinian people with respect, to accord them equal treatment. All humans deserve to be treated equally.
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