Tag Archive | Abuse

Hamas: Hated by Gazans and Israelis Alike?

Let’s forget for a moment that Hamas’ major goal is not independence and a good life for themselves and their brothers, but the destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews.  We’re not getting into that at the moment, true as it may be. Today I want to look at Hamas from a different perspective – that of Gazan citizens.  Or, in other words, the very people that Hamas is supposed to be working to protect and help, to defend and build for.  What do Gazan citizens think of Hamas?  What do they think of Israel?  If they had to choose between Israel and Hamas, who would they choose? I think the answer is obvious, but evidently, it’s only obvious if you know the facts, something which most people today seem not to know, or perhaps are simply unable to see.  Let’s take a look: Mudar Zahran writes,

“While the world’s media has been blaming Israel for the death of Gazan civilians during Operation Protective Edge, this correspondent decided to speak with Gazans themselves to hear what they had to say. They spoke of Hamas atrocities and war crimes implicating Hamas in the civilian deaths of its own people. Although Gazans, fearful of Hamas’s revenge against them, were afraid to speak to the media, friends in the West Bank offered introductions to relatives in Gaza. One, a renowned Gazan academic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as soon as someone talked to a Western journalist, he was immediately questioned by Hamas and accused of “communicating with the Mossad”. “Hamas makes sure that the average Gazan will not talk to Western journalists — or actually any journalists at all,” he said . . .”

And according to the Algemeiner, most Gazans want a permanent ceasefire:

A recently released poll published by the Washington Institute of Near East Policy corroborates Perlov’s view that Hamas has been losing support within Gaza. The study, which notably was conducted prior to Israel’s July 18 incursion by a respected Palestinians pollster, demonstrates that the majority of Gazans are unhappy with Hamas governance – for myriad reasons.

The Way,’ also spoke to Mudar Zahran:

“Not a single Gazan that I spoke to supported Hamas,” said Zahran, who came to the “West Bank” to cover the conflict in and around the Gaza Strip.
“Come on, do you guys think we are animals? That we would love seeing Hamas terrorists hiding among our crowds just to have Israeli F–16’s bomb us so we can get the sympathy?” he asked in an interview with JerusalemOnline. “Please understand, yes, Gaza elected Hamas, but people make mistakes. Didn’t the Germans elect Hitler? Were the Germans still in favor of Hitler when Russia and the Allies were marching into Berlin and bombing the hell out of it?”
Of course, that doesn’t mean most of the population in Gaza is ready to ally with Israel or even return to Israeli rule.
“We have to be clear; Palestinians hate Israel,” Zahran reminded his Israeli readers. “This might change in thirty years or so, but they hate Israel. So Gazans hate Israel, but for sure and I can authoritatively say this, they hate Hamas even more now.”
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So, where does that leave everyone else?  Is it aiding civilians when we give Gaza food and building materials, or is it aiding Hamas and hurting the innocent?
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Fights or Abuse?

Nobody agrees on everything all the time.  Nobody goes through life without some screaming or arguments.  And if a parent says, “I can’t believe you did this!  How stupid can you be?” to their child, it’s not automatically abuse.  Neither is spanking a child.  On the other hand, if a mother slaps her twenty-year-old daughter, then maybe that is abuse.  And although taking your mother to court is not something to do immediately or without weighing the consequences, if the slap is not an isolated incident (and let’s face it, slapping a twenty-year-old rarely is), then maybe the daughter should think about it.  Because that slap is either harassment or abuse.

So where do we draw the line?

Let’s leave the question of corporal punishment aside.  Instead, let’s focus on verbal and emotional abuse.

abuse, cycle of abuse, violence, relationships, abuser, victim

I think one of the easiest ways to tell if something is abuse is to talk to the family.  There are a few classic characteristics to abuse:

– The victim is always wrong; the abuser is always right.

– If the victim were to have behaved differently, the abuser would not have responded in such a fashion.

– The victim is afraid of the abuser.

– The abuser doesn’t see anything wrong with his or her actions; to the contrary, they are always justified.

– The abuser may feel that the victim ‘made him/her’ act in a certain way.  “You made me hit you.”

– The victim will often take responsibility for the abuser’s behavior: “If I were better, s/he wouldn’t have hit me.”

– The abuser is under so much pressure that the victim should have known better

– The abuser’s behaviors are often inconsistent and may change dramatically in a short span of time.

And there are many more.verbal abuse, verbal child abuse, child abuse, abusers, victims, relationships

What’s important to remember is that abuse is a pattern, not an isolated incident.  If you get frustrated one day and slap your kid on the hand, as long as it is only once a year or once every six months, you’re not abusive.  But if it becomes a habit, or happens once in a while after you’ve been yelling at your kid for half an hour straight, every single day – then maybe you are.

Okay, that probably wasn’t a good example.  But point made.

If that is abuse, then what is a fight?

A fight happens when two people of equal power disagree.  Abuse happens when one person wields more power than the other.  It may be husband and wife, with either one being abusive.  A friend may be abusive, or a coworker.  Usually, though, a child can’t abuse a parent – simply because they are not in charge.  They cannot throw the parent out.  They cannot hit the parent without getting seriously injured.  They cannot refuse to feed the parent.  They might bite the parent, or hit the parent.  But do you think that will go unnoticed?  Probably not.  Unless the biter or hitter is a toddler or preschooler who is just learning (and sometimes even then) the parent will usually strike back.  Children cannot abuse their parents until the roles switch and the parents become dependent on the children.

There is a fight, where we are both equal.  And then there is abuse, where one person wields their power in an unhealthy way over another person.  And if the less powerful person asks for help from family or close friends, they can usually expect to be told that the abuser is right, and they should apologize.

Because that’s the way life works.  No one wants to get on the wrong side of the more powerful person – especially when that person has a temper and a tendency to be abusive . . . even if the person in question doesn’t realize that it’s abuse.

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*This post was inspired by my sister, who told me to write about [burning] bridges, and the importance of building bridges in our lives.  Since I don’t like to think that I burn bridges just for fun, I started thinking of what I could write instead . . .