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SERWAN ZANGANA: It Should Not Be Difficult to Condemn The Atrocity of Hamas Attacks on Israeli Civilians

It is easy to be biased and support one side over the other in a conflict or a war between two countries as one’s long held beliefs can definitely have a major role in such a decision. Also, the propaganda and media of the involved countries or groups can draw a deceiving image in front of the public’s eyes. Indeed, each side attempts to influence the public psychologically and emotionally in order to legitimize its actions.

This is what appears in the recent Israel-Hamas war. The American public and the politicians are divided based on their religious beliefs and political affiliation as the war tears up the Gaza Strip.

Supporting a side in a conflict is human nature but justifying a vicious act is clearly not part of having a sound and wise human character.

The conflict of Israel-Palestine traces back to 1948 when the State of Israel was established. Since then this ongoing conflict has never stopped. The international community has continually failed to resolve this problem. Apparently, all the meetings and attempts that have been conducted throughout the years – including those led by the United States – have all ended with no concrete result.

There are reasons that created barriers to all of these peace attempts. For example, there are differing views among the international community on the conflict – especially, in the West and the United States which has aligned itself as one block versus the rest of the world. Secondly, is the unwillingness of both Israelis and Palestinians to recognize each other’s historical rights in the region.

Hamas’ attacks on Israelis civilians on October 7th, has absolutely no legitimacy – at the same time the bombarding of Palestinians civilians by the Israeli military is not the way to defend its citizens. The greatest catastrophe of war is in losing lives of those who are completely innocent. The unjustified and vicious acts against both Israelis and Palestinians in my view aligns both the Hamas militia and the Israeli government on the same level.

“Thus blood of the innocent will not be shed, bringing bloodguilt upon you in the land that your God יהוה is allotting to you” (Deuteronomy 19:10) (Sefaria). This is what the Old Testament is teaching regarding innocent people. The Abrahamic religions have always been a bastion for innocent people.

Furthermore, Islam has preached no less than the Bible and Torah in regard to forbidding the killing of innocent people. “If anyone kills a person, it would be as if he killed the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” (5:32).

The wide line between the innocent people of both Israelis and Palestinians on one side and the Israeli government and Hamas militia on the other side can clear one’s view in order to fairly express the sympathy to one side over the other.

However, condemning the atrocity of Hamas attacks on innocent Israeli civilians should not be difficult in any case – but especially given that many of the victims were not in agreement with Israeli government policies in Gaza Strip.

May God lead us all in a way to Peace.

Updated 10-21-23

– Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.

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