The Arab World has opposed the existence of Israel since it was established on May 14th, 1948. Consequently, Israel has faced numerous attacks from terrorist groups associated with these opposing nations, long before the Hamas attack on the Jewish state on October 7th, 2023. Growing up, I witnessed the ongoing conflict and learned about its multiple facets. It was after carefully examining the facts and reflecting on my experiences from childhood to adulthood, that I chose to support Israel. Living in Sri Lanka, it’s challenging to back a nation accused of mass murdering Muslims, who are a minority comprising up to 9.5% of the Sri Lankan population. I faced ridicule in my childhood, condemnation in my youth, and now in my adulthood, I’m labeled as a sadist. In the political arena, since 1971, various presidential administrations in Sri Lanka have severed ties with Israel for political gain. Today, the conflict between Israel and Hamas is playing out on two fronts. Firstly, there’s the physical war fought on land, and secondly, there’s an information war waged on mainstream media and the internet. I’m not sharing this article to contribute to the information war. Instead, I want to clearly express my stance on the armed conflict between the sovereign state of Israel and Hamas, irrespective of Sri Lanka’s official and unofficial positions. So, I stand with Israel! Here’s why?
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Hamas is a Terrorist Organization
Sri Lanka has a long history of dealing with terrorism, notably in the three-decade conflict against the L.T.T.E (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), once deemed one of the most ruthless terrorist groups globally. The L.T.T.E. had a reputation for infiltrating borderline villages and massacring innocent civilians, similar to what Hamas did on October 7th. I back Israel mainly because Hamas is officially recognized as a terrorist organization just like the L.T.T.E. (Hamas earned its terrorist organization label from multiple countries and entities on October 8th, 1997). Indeed, on November 3rd, Germany became the latest nation to declare a total prohibition of Hamas activities on its soil [Full Story]. This designation is rooted in Hamas’ track record of violence, including suicide bombings, rocket attacks, using human shields, recruiting child soldiers, and other terrorist tactics that the L.T.T.E. employed before they were eliminated. The group’s charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel, and its clashes with Israel have led to civilian casualties, prompting concerns about its methods and objectives. The classification as a terrorist organization is grounded in these actions and the perceived threat it poses to regional stability and security.
Israel has the right to defend Itself
It’s disheartening to see that Sri Lankans may not have learned much from the insurgencies in 1987-1989 or the three-decade-long civil war. As a nation, we rightfully defended our land, as recognized in international law, by putting an end to the insurgencies on December 29, 1989, and defeating the L.T.T.E. on May 18, 2009. However, there seems to be a reluctance to acknowledge that Israel also has the right to defend itself. In my view, I understand that Israel has a valid need to safeguard its citizens and borders from entities with a documented history of violence like Hamas. This perspective is influenced by historical parallels, particularly considering Sri Lanka’s experiences with insurgencies and the civil war. On the other hand, I’ve heard people sympathetic to Palestine argue that Israel is committing mass murder of civilians under the pretext of defense. I am telling them, don’t set the kitchen on fire, if you can’t stand the heat! During an interview with Khaled Mashal, an Arabian news anchor gave perspective, stating, “The kind of attack Hamas carried out is not a regular operation. It’s more like a declaration of war. So, some people ask what you think the Israeli reaction would be?” Mashal’s response? “Sister, a nation can’t be liberated without sacrifices.” [Full Video]
Media Coverage is highly Biased
The Jerusalem Post once said, “Media is so biased a child killed by an Israeli airstrike is important; a child recruited by Hamas or another terror group, and whose life is put at risk is not.” I often joke with my friends, that to get a well-rounded view of what’s happening in Gaza, they should watch Al Jazeera or BBC first and then switch to CNN because Al Jazeera and BBC as media outlets sympathetic to the so-called Palestinian cause are biased. Similar to how they showed bias in their coverage of the civil war in Sri Lanka. Alex Deane put it in perspective when he said, speaking to Al Jazeera about civilian casualties in Gaza, “Your figures first of all come from Hamas a prescribed terrorist organization in the United Kingdom.” On the other hand, while CNN reports attributing the death of over 1,400 Israeli citizens and the taking of more than 200 hostages to Hamas, Al Jazeera, in its coverage of the same incident included the phrase “according to Israeli officials” subtly implying the CNN reports aren’t true. Al Jazeera accuses the Israeli Defence Forces of causing collateral damage, but it fails to acknowledge that most of the collateral damage occurs when Israel responds to attacks launched by Hamas fighters embedded in the civilian population [Ex: the explosion at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital].
Israel is the homeland of the Jews
Even an individual who identifies as an atheist would concur that the Bible serves as a credible historical source, substantiated through archaeological evidence such as the Pool of Siloam, dating back approximately 2,000 to 2,500 years. Notably, the Bible abstains from employing the term “Palestine”; rather, it designates the contemporary region, commonly known as Palestine, as Canaan or Judea. The biblical depictions of Canaan roughly correspond to the contemporary geographical expanse encompassing Israel, the West Bank, and segments of Jordan and Lebanon. The Bible chronicles the journeys and settlements of the Israelites, guided by prominent figures like Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, within the land of Canaan. The appellation “Palestine” was ascribed to the region circa AD 135, after the Temple’s destruction in AD 70. It is imperative to recognize that the historical and geographical references in the Bible may not precisely align with modern political boundaries, resulting in diverse interpretations of biblical locales. Nevertheless, the Holy Bible underscores that present-day Israel constitutes the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.
The adage, “In war, truth is the first casualty,” though its origins are uncertain, resonates strongly with Sri Lankans in their perception of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Viewed through a lens shaped by power-hungry politicians, whose primary aim is to sway the votes of the Muslim minority, the conflict becomes a narrative manipulated for political gain. These politicians consistently point fingers at Israel for the hardships faced by the Palestinian people, influencing media channels like Al Jazeera and BBC to support this skewed version of events. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the Sri Lankan population has fallen prey to this narrative, overlooking the irony that the very accusers of Israel were once the ones leveling similar charges against Sri Lanka. This climate highlights the malleability of political narratives based on convenience and the supposed complexity of conflicts where truth often becomes a casualty. As you read this article, you face a crucial decision based on the shared information. The choice is yours: to embrace the truth and stand with Israel or to dismiss it, perpetuating a false narrative. This decision underscores the individual’s role in shaping the narrative of global conflicts, emphasizing the need for discernment and a commitment to truth when navigating the intricacies of the Israel-Palestine issue. Ultimately, the power to influence perspectives and outcomes lies in your hands.
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