More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Gazans Speaking Out Against Hamas and Their Enablers

As Israel-haters protest across the world, including at college campuses across the US – often displaying violence, antisemitism, and support for terrorism – a number of palestinian Arabs from Gaza (some still living there and others now living elsewhere) have come out publicly to speak out against these useful tools for Hamas.

First up, we have Hamza Howidy, an accountant and peace advocate from Gaza city, who wrote a powerful piece in Newsweek excerpted below:

Protests are spreading across the United States at college campuses, where university students are gathering in the name of Palestinian rights and occupying campus spaces with tents. Sadly, not everyone who purports to support Palestinians is truly interested in safeguarding our rights.

It pains me to say this as a Palestinian from Gaza. As my home is destroyed and too many killed, I never thought I would find myself criticizing those speaking up. And yet, I cannot be silent about what I am seeing. The truth is that the manner in which many gather to voice their support for Palestinians does more to hurt our cause than help it.

You know what would help the Palestinians in Gaza? Condemning Hamas‘ atrocities. Instead, the protesters routinely chant their desire to “Globalize the Intifada.” Apparently they do not realize that the Intifadas were disastrous for both Palestinians and Israelis, just as October 7 has been devastating for the people of Gaza.

They should be speaking up for the innocent victims of Hamas—both Palestinian and Israeli. Instead, they endorse Hamas’s ideology with posters announcing resistance “by any means necessary” and chants of “from the river to the sea,” effectively glorifying the Al-Qassam brigades, Hamas’ military wing, whose ideology is entirely based on the elimination of more than 6 million Israelis from the land.

I assumed individuals who initiated these slogans were uninformed about what they were advocating for. I saw the LGBTQ flag frequently flown among people chanting lines from Hamas’s charter, and I initially wanted to educate them, to warn them that the group they are honoring would most likely toss them from the top of a building or murder them like they did to Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a Hamas commander accused of homosexuality. Hamas harasses women who don’t cover their heads. Hamas tortures those who demonstrate against their authoritarian rule, as they did me when I protested.

All of this seems to be lost on the people who have named themselves our allies, to our misfortune.

Hate speech on college campuses starting with the one at Columbia has recently reached a frightening pitch. I’ve seen people yelling antisemitic things at Jewish students, including “Jews go back to Poland” and other horrible phrases. It has deteriorated to the point that Jews are no longer attending university classes due to the current hostile environment, and they are attending their classes online to avoid the demonstrators.

It’s unconscionable. But it’s not just the antisemitism that has me despairing. It’s the hypocrisy. Where were these caring young people when Hamas took over Gaza and slaughtered hundreds of Gazans, or when Hamas held 2 million Gazans captive for more than 17 years? Why didn’t they speak out about the fact that Hamas led Gazans into this conflict, which resulted in more than 30,000 dead and 80,000 injured, according to Gazan municipal authorities? Where were they when Hamas’s failed missiles claimed the lives of hundreds of Gazans on October 17, or when Hamas murdered young people in order to steal aid and resell it to Gazans at massively inflated prices?

The only conclusion that can be drawn from these demonstrators’ silence concerning Hamas’ atrocities and their antisemitic chanting is that they are not concerned with protecting Palestinians. They are out in their tents because of a hatred of Jews and Israelis.

If the protesters cared about Palestinians, they would have one central demand: Hamas must surrender, because we have all suffered from Hamas and can no longer live under the rule of a terrorist group. Only then can a ceasefire be achieved.

Read the entire thing.

Next up, we have Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib, who describes himself as a “Proud American from Gaza City; pro-Palestine, pro-peace, anti-Hamas.” Earlier this week, he tweeted the following:

What being pro-Palestine means to me / my platform: I’m passionately, unequivocally, and without hesitation, a proponent of the Palestinian people’s just and urgent aspirations for self-determination, liberation, sovereignty, and safety. I grew up in Gaza, where I experienced Israeli violence and bombardment, including one incident that almost killed me and caused me permanent hearing impairment; my family is still in Gaza and has suffered dozens of deaths during this latest war; my grandparents were expelled from their ancestral homelands in 1948 and fled to the Gaza Strip; and my parents were raised in a refugee camp in Rafah during the 1950s. This background informs and influences me and speaks to why I care about the Palestinian issue and consider myself pro-Palestine. I am motivated by a sincere desire to see my people obtain their legitimate and undeniable rights, which they have not had for decades.

Yet I, and many others, especially those who are silent or are forced to be quiet, struggle with finding a political home in today’s pro-Palestine movement. Increasingly, it feels as if pro-Palestine activism is dominated by maximalists (wanting all of historic Palestine and other zero-sum positions and approaches), slogan-driven voices, and narratives. There is a lack of pragmatic and humanistic ability to hold multiple truths at once and to advocate nuanced and color-rich positions and views that are not black-and-white depictions and understandings of the Israel and Palestine conflict.

Here’s what, to me, an effective and meaningful pro-Palestine platform entails:

1. Supporting the right of Palestinians to a sovereign and independent state living in peace side by side with Israel.

2. Condemning Israeli government actions, policies, priorities, and decisions that kill, harm, undermine, or oppress the Palestinian people.

3. Criticizing and decrying the conduct of the war in Gaza, the military occupation in the West Bank, and the Israeli government’s disregard for Palestinian civilian lives, and the destruction of property and cities.

4. Rejecting, denouncing, and exposing the theft of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the sprawling settlement enterprise and settler violence.

5. Supporting highly targeted, specific, and effective sanctions against individuals, groups, and entities that are enabling the unjust and illegal occupation of the West Bank and harming Palestinian civilians.

6. Denouncing and combating the dehumanization of the Palestinian people or the denial of their existence as people with the right to live on the land they called home for generations.

7. Acknowledging the tragedy experienced by hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians from 1948 and giving them/their descendants the right to return to the lands of a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

8. Understanding past and contemporary mistakes that have set the Palestinian people back by decades and made them pawns in ideologies and geopolitical programs, agendas, and designs.

9. Developing a pragmatic and realistic framework for recognizing Israel’s existence, right to exist, and the inevitability of its continued existence, all of which should inform how a solution is approached.

10. Dispensing with delusional and destructive elements of the Palestinian narrative and acknowledging that there will not be a full liberation of all of Palestine, there will not be a right of return to what is now mainland Israel, and that Israel cannot and should not be confronted militarily or through any form of violence.

11. Promoting a cultural shift away from revolutionary rhetoric, martyrdom, and armed resistance, and instead, rebranding coexistence and peace as a courageous and necessary evolution to preserve Palestinian lives, lands, and heritage and foster a new generation of nation-builders who are focused on doing the most with what the Palestinians currently have and can have in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

12. Denouncing and rejecting antisemitism while also acknowledging that Zionists and Israelis are a diverse group/people and that the Palestinians have to work with all of these segments to have sustainable coexistence and peace.

13. Understanding how violent/hateful rhetoric, actions, and mistakes are detrimental because they empower right-wing and extremist forces in Israel who are opposed to Palestinian rights and that persistent mistakes and incendiary rhetoric and proclamations erode support for the Palestinian people and cause.

14. Recognizing Palestinian agency, responsibility, and accountability when taking actions that have negative consequences and outcomes and acknowledging that, while there’s an asymmetry of power dynamics, Palestinian leaders, political groups, and prominent figures should make rational and responsible choices to optimize for better prospects.

15. Accepting that even with East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, access to holy sites must always be shared and open to all.

16. Realizing how nefarious regional players like the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies are not sincere or helpful allies to the Palestinian people and have done so much damage to the entire region and the Palestinian cause.

17. Developing the capacity to hear Jewish perspectives and grievances, historical and contemporary, to understand why pro-Israel supporters believe what they do and why Israel means so much to so many, even if one disagrees with those opinions and views.

18. Understanding that Hamas recklessly endangered Palestinian lives and placed the people of Gaza in significant harm and that the group relies on Palestinian suffering as part of its strategy to delegitimize Israel globally while perpetuating the conflict without any meaningful resolution.

19. Registering the dangers of Islamist rhetoric and ideology that seeks to Islamize Palestinian society and to turn the Palestinian national project into a religious one in pursuit of an Islamic state that, by default, will be exclusionary and incapable of accommodating diverse residents in a future Palestinian country.

I am compelled to share the aforementioned because, for far too many people, pro-Palestine activism has been reduced to incendiary language that fails to capture the multiple moving parts of what is needed to advance the just and urgent Palestinian aspirations for freedom and independence. While many students, activists, advocates, academics, and analysts have their hearts in the right place, many cannot present viable and pragmatic ideas that are not mere rhetorical statements and empty slogans.

I know that many strongly disagree with my views and opinions, and that’s entirely fine. Still, many more are eager to see a recalibration of pro-Palestine activism to actually help the Palestinians achieve statehood instead of inflaming division and fostering hostility towards supporters of Israel and the Jewish community. Many in Palestine are aware of the need to be pragmatic and don’t think that angry protests, BDS, antisemitism, endless academic lectures, social media activism, or “feel good” slogans will actually make a difference.

It’s time for a rejuvenated pro-Palestine movement that serves as a big tent to encompass multiple views and opinions and to invite and promote broad alliances, especially with mainstream Jewish and Israeli communities, to work towards a just and sustainable resolution of the conflict once and for all. This is entirely attainable and achievable with humility, civility, patience, compassion and kindness, perseverance and determination, a willingness to accept reasonable compromises and accommodations, and, most importantly, the recognition of both sides’ undeniable and mutual humanity.

While I do not agree with everything he has written here, I recognize the importance of someone who is anything-but-pro-Israel publicly getting behind peaceful initiatives and condemning Hamas, terrorism, and antisemitism.

These are two brave Gazan voices that have come to my attention. Many, many more are needed.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Scroll to Top