Hill Times Columnist Seeks To ‘Explain’ Hamas’ Genocidal Ideology With Infantile Logic

June 21, 2024

In his Hill Times column on June 12, Phil Ryan attempted to justify the heinous attack that Hamas carried out against Israeli civilians on October 7. Titled: “Why we Must Contextualize Hate,” Ryan went far beyond providing “context” and provided what can only be described as a justification, in his mind, for the actions of the Islamic terrorist group wielding military and administrative control over Gaza.

Ryan criticized the control that Israel exercises over the Israel-Gaza boundary, and specifically decried what he characterized as the lack of sufficient humanitarian aid. Quoting an anti-Israel column written by a former professor in the United States, he claimed that Gaza is “forced to rely on Israel for food, water, electricity, trade, mail delivery, access to fishing, medical care, or contact with the outside world,” and that they are “resource-starved.”

Lucky for Hamas, they only rely on Israel for food, and not for weapons. Weapons and other tools of war Hamas has in abundance. Ryan seems impervious to all logic and reason in parroting claims that Gaza is starved of resources when more than eight months after their October 7 attacks, Hamas’ military capabilities have yet to be exhausted. To criticize the lack of resources in Gaza in the face of Hamas’ ability to carry out a complex attack in Israel and then a protracted military campaign is laughable.

A look into the founding charter of Hamas gives us all the context one needs to understand why this is the case. Where Hamas could spend the millions of international aid dollars Gaza receives on resources and critical infrastructure, it is instead spent on building up Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure for the expressed purpose of eradicating the Jewish presence in Israel.

Even outside Israel, the supposed object of widespread, and spurious, condemnation, Hamas members called for an “international day of rage” less than a week after they massacred over 1,200 Israelis.

In providing “context,” it seems Ryan forgot about all of this context. He forgot that Hamas has defined its very existence around a call for genocide, and has never abandoned this position.

In his column, Ryan went on to cherry pick fragments of quotes from Israeli leaders in which he claims they declared their “intent to commit war crimes,” which he claims have, indeed, come to pass.

Israel is currently providing food to Gaza above what it provided before October 7. In the intervening months, there are no credible reports of war crimes being committed by the Israeli government or military. Urban warfare experts, such as John Spencer of the West Point military academy, have pointed out the lengths to which Israel has gone to prevent civilian casualties and fulfill all possible obligations under international law.

Ryan claimed that understanding the context of Hamas’ terrorist attacks means not “behaving as if the history of Palestine began on Oct. 7.” On this point, he is correct. Palestinians have been carrying out attacks on Israel for decades, secure in their knowledge that academics, media outlets, and activists will jump to their defense no matter their crimes.

Ryan celebrated the protest movements against Israel, claiming that the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement lauded by anti-Israel groups will soon be the “taken for granted” mindset internationally. The BDS movement is part of the very same pro-Hamas campaign whose followers have taken to the streets across the world with the slogan “by any means necessary.” In the aftermath of an attack where those means included murder, kidnapping, sexual violence, and burning people alive, it’s a chilling message.

The sum total of the context that Ryan provided in his column is that Israel must constantly justify its actions to defend itself. No amount of suffering will be enough. Hamas, on the other hand, needs only to play the victim to be assured of a generous interpretation from the international community.

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