Today’s Kick-Ass Woman of the Week is Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO executive who recently gave an interview on ABC’s This Week.
Whenever conflict happens between Israel and Palestine, both sides arrive to the argument with guns blazing. I can understand, I know plenty of people on both sides of the argument and I can see points in both even if I don’t necessarily agree. However, it is important to take a step back and look at what is ultimately happening – the death of civilians, considered “collateral damage,” a dehumanizing term that tries to gloss over the fact that these people are ultimately mothers, fathers, and all too often, merely children.
In her interview, Ashrawi calls the conflict in Gaza a massacre, with war crimes committed daily. “I can’t understand how people sit back and say self-defense,” she said. “Against who? Against innocent civilians? Against more than 80 children who have been turned to bits?”
In response to those who claim that no nation would accept being targeted by rockets, as Israel has been, she retorts that no nation can accept being besieged, treated as prisoners and defenseless cannon fodder. Residential areas, people fleeing, and medical personnel are being targeted. Throughout it all, Ashrawi argues, they are being blamed for their own deaths in a systematic campaign to blame the victims.
Ashrawi says these people are expected to lie down and die quietly, and if they try to respond in any way they are not only labeled terrorists, but they also become legitimate targets. Four boys running on the beach, a family of 8 huddled in their home, and many of the other casualties of this conflict did not pose any such threat.
I’m not defending Hamas’ actions, and I don’t think Ashrawi would either. They know firing missiles at Israel will elicit a response, and they know that their weapons are no match for Israel’s defense systems. They know that more Palestinians will die than Israelis when it comes to war.
However, the way the war is going on is “inhuman and cruel and unacceptable,” according to Ashrawi. War is an ugly thing, but there has been too much civilian blood shed, from innocent Palestinians and Israelis. Ultimately, as Ashrawi says, these are all human beings. We should try and remind our friends and politicians of this.
Check out Ashrawi’s interview here.
Until next time… #SupportGaza