November 19, 2012 | 10:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Earlier today, someone posted the following on Israelife's Facebook page:"The IDF is an evil organization. Netanyahu and all the Zionist scum are evil murderers. By deception, they wage war. Do not be deceived!" In order to prove the accuracy of his statements, this person attached a video of a former IDF soldier being interviewed by the BBC back on January 6th 2009 during operation Cast Lead. In this interview, the Israeli said that what the IDF is doing in Gaza is a war crime. He also said that the IDF and the Israeli government are "killing the desire of the Palestinian people to live in freedom." This video is not fake or a fraud, it is genuine. The Israeli giving the interview is Yonatan Shapira- a well-known activist against the Israeli government.
A short You Tube search will provide you with several videos of Israelis opposing the government, claiming the IDF's way of interfering in Gaza is wrong. Similar videos presenting Palestinians opposing the Hamas are impossible to find. This fact leads some people, including the person who left the initial Facebook comment, to believe that the Israelis are under the rule of a rough government who strikes innocent Palestinians for fun and oppresses Israeli civilians. Moreover, it makes people believe that Palestinians under the rule of Hamas are living peacefully, only bothered by the occasion Israeli missile.
When I watch those videos and realize the lack of similar videos from Hamas, I come to a different conclusion. To me, the video of Yonatan Shapira represents one of the biggest differences between Israel and Hamas: Israel is a democratic country. The people here have every right to express their opinion, even it is seems non-legitimate. There, however, this freedom of speech does not exist. You cannot find a video of a Palestinian speaking out against Hamas, because they cannot do such a thing. Hamas settles in private houses and rules the citizens of Gaza with a an iron fist. It takes their money, their freedom and their voice, and anyone who even considers opposing the government- loses his or her life. The very few voices of people from the inside opposing the Hamas can only be heard from distanced western states, such as the United States. The title of Shapira's interview: "Brave Israeli Soldier Speaks Out On BBC Against the Crimes of His Government," is deceiving. He is not braver than any other Israeli, he just uses his democratic right to speak his mind. He was not executed but probably was criticized, for he is considered a minority here. Palestinians, on the other hand, don't resist, because they can't.
In the past couple of days, IDF aircrafts flew over Gaza and dropped notes asking civilians to stay safe and keep their distance from Hamas facilities. The IDF is doing all it can to hit legitimate targets without harming civilians, which is a very hard thing to do because Hamas intentionally operates within civilian areas. Hamas, on the other hand, carries no value for life, neither Israeli nor Palestinian. It aims at houses and town centers in Israel and uses Palestinians as human shields to defend itself from Israeli attack. Do not be fooled- Hamas does not care for the civilians living in Gaza because it only values death.. As more and more pictures and videos of Palestinians supposedly wounded by IDF forces turn out to be fake, it becomes more and more clear who is acting in a humanitarian manner and who is acting the exact opposite way. SHARE THE TRUTH.
Yonatan Shapira on BBC
Mosab Hassan Yousef, Palestinian and son of a Hamas founder and leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, interviewing from the safe United States and opposing Hamas.
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