Condemn Hamas? It’s Time We Flipped the Script

Over 15,000 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza.

5,000 children.

1 in 200 dead.

1.8 million displaced.

Churches targeted.

Hospitals.

Schools.

Shelters.

No water.

No food.

No electricity.

No fuel.

Families destroyed.

Cities flattened.

Yet, I am supposed to first condemn the Hamas attacks before voicing my opposition to this slaughter.

Western media won’t address the asymmetry of the conflict.

They won’t give us a historical analysis of 75 years of death on stolen lands, uprooted olive groves, and poisoned wells.

But before I mention Israel is an apartheid state, I must voice my objection to Hamas.

Two million Gazans have lived under violent occupation and surveillance in an open-air prison for 16 years, in poverty and without dignity or freedom.

Checkpoints.

Beatings.

Punished for peacefully protesting.

Punished for being born Palestinian.

Yet, I can’t criticize Israel’s brutality without first condemning Hamas’ terror.

It’s time we flipped the script.

How about before one mentions Hamas, they must first oppose Israeli terror and the murder of children?

They must call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the occupation?

They must first voice disgust for Israel’s ongoing war crimes?

Only after this can we address how Hamas rose to power, how Israel propped them up, and the dehumanizing conditions that led to those horrific, indiscriminate murders on October 7th.

The analysis of Israel and Palestine must change.

The narrative of victimhood must change.

The conversations, too, must evolve, and so must our hearts toward the Palestinians if this cycle of horror is to ever end.

JOSHUA FRANK is the managing editor of CounterPunch. He is the author of the new book, Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America, published by Haymarket Books. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank.