Germany, (Palestine Telegraph) – Alan Johnson wrote an article on The Telegraph on July 25th 2014 to criticize Jon Snow’s programme on channel 4 where he talks about the Israeli ‘protective edge’ in the Gaza Strip. Simply saying, the article includes many fallacies.
It starts from the title as the word “deluded” embodies a political negative impression on Hamas. Also, the word shows that Hamas as an offensive movement. This is simply not true. John Snow’s programme has been considered as a good journalims that makes a balance in reporting the two sides. For this, I do not think that Jon Snow would be illiterate to use a photo of Syrian child and say it is from Gaza. I do not think he would fall in such a mistake as he has many followers all over the world and he knows that thousands investigate his tweets, posts, ….etc.
Regarding the “disabling illusions about Hamas”, Alan Johnson made in his article, I think, to be pro-Israel does not mean to attack others or change the facts. What we need is to be brave enough to fight for morals and the values we learn/teach in the west. Why not to speak to Hamas? This is a good question since Hamas has been elected by the majority in Palestine. Isn’t this a democracy? Otherwise what is democracy? A political movement has been elected by people… To whom should we talk then? Even though Hamas states about the destruction of Israel in its constitution, as Palestinian I do not think that Hamas believes such a statement is applicable or achievable. Johnson’s claim about Hamas’s statement of destruction Israel has been very old and stale.
It is true that Hamas did not grow up as a reaction to the Israeli blockade. It seems that Johnson has never been in Gaza and he does not know the policy of Hamas regarding the rockets. It is true also that Israel left Gaza in 2005 but the most obvious fact that Israel has not ended its occupation either of the Gaza Strip or all Palestine. Since 2005 Israel has still been controlling everything in the Gaza Strip, the borders, the sky, the port, the sea, the land… No one can leave Gaza without pains and suffers.
The claim that people cannot speak about Hamas freely is not true. I think many Facebook posts and twitter tweets are good witnesses on how people can criticize Hamas. However, during the time of war, the priority is not to criticize Hamas but to be united to face the war. This is logic everywhere and in every country. This statement is very fake “Everybody here hates Hamas. But they’re too afraid to say so publicly”. Simply I use the word of Alan Johnson “As a generality, that is a truism”. Why everyone and who can say everyone? Of course some/many Palestinians including me do not agree with many policies of Hamas but this does not mean that we represent all the Palestinians or as mentioned “everyone”.
In brief and as mentioned before, to be a pro-Israel does not mean to make fallacies of truth and reality. We need pro-Israel academics, supports, traders, ….etc. to push Israel for peace, end the war, lift the siege of Gaza and most importantly, end the Israeli ongoing occupation of Palestine since 1948. We need pro-Israel supporters to help us build a peace in Palestine and Israel for both Palestinians and Israeli rather than pro-Israel supporters to attack or blame the Palestinians for their resistance of the occupation. Palestine is under occupation. Gaza is under attack. Gaza is burned by Israel. However, pro Israel supporters complain against the resistance. Does this make peace, morals, human rights, democracy, economy?
By Wesam Amer
Wesam Amer is a Palestinian PhD candidate in media and communication at the University of Hamburg.