Former Canadian Ambassador To Israel Pens Column Blaming “Occupation” For Hamas’ Murderous Rampage

Only three days after Hamas’ unprecedented terrorist assault on Israel that killed close to 1,000 Israelis, and with at least 100-150 innocent Israelis kidnapped by Hamas in Gaza, some commentators are already presenting a disturbing moral equivalence between Hamas, the Gaza-based Islamist terrorist organization responsible for unspeakable crimes against humanity, and Israel, the victim of those attacks.

In an October 9 opinion column in The Toronto Star entitled: “The violence between Israelis and Palestinians will not end until each side recognizes the other’s legitimacy” Jon Allen, a senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and a former Canadian ambassador to Israel, repeatedly portrayed the violence as a tit-for-tat conflict between two warring parties, never using the words ‘Islamist,’ ‘terror’ or ‘terrorism’ even once. Hamas, says the former ambassador, are “militants”.

Allen began by outlining the tragic events in Israel, but failed to adequately explain what took place, namely a Hamas massacre against hundreds upon hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, before pivoting to writing that “the suffering and death toll is now transferring to the Gaza Strip…more than 680 people have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory strikes,” drawing a moral correspondence between a terrorist attack against civilians and Israel’s targeting of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Allen continued by falsely stating that Israel was “increasing the number of Israeli work permits for Gazans (the ‘economic solution’ to the Occupation),” perpetuating the falsehood that Israel occupies the Gaza Strip. As a former ambassador, it is remarkable that Allen seems unaware that Israel has not occupied a single inch of the territory since 2005, when the country forcibly withdrew all its citizens.

Allen soon began whitewashing Palestinian terrorism, writing that “young unemployed Palestinians in Jenin and other West Bank cities who never have had the chance to vote in a democratic election and who are facing settler violence, settlement expansion at an unprecedented pace and despair in the face of an Occupation for which there is no obvious end, are responding with violence of their own.”

While Allen’s mention of the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria) is a non sequitur in his discussion on Gaza, the biggest problem with his statement is that terrorism against innocent Israeli men, women and children is not justifiable by any yardstick whatsoever, let alone the lack of democracy, which is entirely the fault of both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), respectively.

Allen then shared his solution to Islamist terrorism: “the only way to stop the current and future cycles of violence is to deal with the underlying causes of the conflict, i.e., end the Occupation and negotiate a two-state solution.”

Allen seems unaware that Hamas is dedicated to Israel’s wholesale destruction as a Jewish State, and a theocratic Islamic state in place of it, little different than the Islamic State (ISIS). Against that backdrop, there is clearly no room for negotiation, and Israel has little choice but to militarily denigrate or otherwise eliminate Hamas.

Any observer who has done even a modicum of research would know that Hamas, and other terrorist groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) do not oppose Israel because of specific geographic disputes. They reject Israel’s right to exist at all, and have never shied away from claiming so.

As the death toll from Hamas’ grotesque and inhuman massacre on innocent Israelis now surpasses 1,000 – the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust – and Israel is once again forced to respond to protect its citizens from horrific acts of violence, it has never been more important to set the record straight: Israel does not occupy Gaza, and even if it did, there is no justification whatsoever for the indiscriminate murder of innocent civilians by Hamas, an organization dedicated to destroying Israel.

This column would be abhorrent in any context, but written by a former ambassador to Israel, it is almost incomprehensible in its ignorance.

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