Globe & Mail Commentator Mahmoud Mushtaha Paints Dire Picture of Gaza, Conveniently Airbrushing Hamas Out

In a July 2 opinion column in The Globe and Mail, Mahmoud Mushtaha, a Gazan who is now in Cairo, wrote a commentary portraying the heart wrenching suffering in Gaza and his own survivors’ guilt.

Mushtaha’s commentary entitled: “I escaped Gaza, but it continues to haunt me,” said the following: “Since I fled Gaza, I feel like I’ve been balancing on a razor’s edge. Each moment is a tumultuous blend of relief and guilt – gratitude for surviving, and sorrow for those who have lost their lives or remain trapped, facing daily threats of death from Israeli forces.”

His and his family’s suffering are tragic. Yet with his sadly eloquent soliloquy, blaming Israel solely for the war, he papered over the facts.

His erasure is most resounding in its deletion of Hamas’s terrorism and their instigation of the war.

On October 7, thousands of Hamas terrorists – joined by civilians from Gaza, invaded Israel, breaking the existing ceasefire, committing a bestial massacre of 1,200 innocents while taking over 250 hostages, 120 of whom remain in the terrorists’ hands. But from Mushtaha’s commentary, readers wouldn’t even know Hamas exists, which, in turn, gave readers no way of understanding why Israel is fighting for its existence.

This approach of blaming Israel for all that is bad in Gaza, with nary a mention of Hamas, is misinformation that is now increasingly common. This is despite Israel’s impossible task of balancing its fight for survival with safeguarding the civilian population in Gaza that Hamas embeds itself in. Israel allows plentiful amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza, takes the enemy’s children out of the area for medical treatment, goes to great lengths to prevent civilian casualties, and more.

Mushtaha ignores it all, condemning Israel, and only Israel. For example, he wrote, “How did I leave everything behind? Where did I find the courage to pass through the checkpoint run by Israel, which has detained and killed so many men my age?”

Given that Israeli soldiers are regularly attacked by Palestinians, they have a right to defend themselves. Mushtaha offered no source for his alleged gratuitous violence on behalf of Israeli soldiers.

He ignored that the videos coming out of Gaza show markets plentiful with food, bakeries with stocks aplenty, people eating well, splashing in their pool, and more. There is suffering in Gaza, but not everyone in Gaza is suffering.

However, what is truly astonishing in this article is Mushtaha’s refusal to acknowledge his people’s true aggressors: Hamas.

Hamza Howidy, another Palestinian from Gaza, who himself was imprisoned and tortured by Hamas, has no such compunction. He asks why people are not outraged by the harm Hamas causes Gazans. He deduces that the world media is only interested in Gazan’s suffering when Israel is involved.

Howidy recently wrote in Newsweek the following: “Since October 7, hundreds of Gazans have been killed by Hamas’ failing rockets. Hamas has confiscated the food, fuel, and medicine sent to Gaza, and they did not stop there. 13-year-old Ahmad Breka was shot in the head by Hamas in Rafah while attempting to collect humanitarian aid. Others were fortunate because they were merely shot in the legs by Hamas while attempting to grab humanitarian goods that Hamas stole and kept in their facilities.”

Mushtaha did not include any of this. He erased Hamas’s violence against his people while deploring anything Israel does. This double standard is despite Hamas’s instigation of the war he suffers, and their continued targeting of their civilians, including using them as human shields.

Unsurprisingly, this is not his first piece whitewashing Hamas. On February 8, he wrote a similar piece, again for The Globe and Mail, about his experiences in Gaza, with not a hint of Hamas’ murderous, power-hungry violence on both sides of the border.

By whitewashing Hamas’s genocidal role in the war, Mushtaha positioned himself as a convenient lackey for Hamas at best, and at worst, something much darker.

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