Commentary | Hyde Park: Applying some logic to conflict terminology

As a math student, I have come to appreciate logical reasoning. Although I realize that the real world is not perfect, I am appalled by the blatant lies and propaganda presented not only in international newspapers, but in our very own Daily, which I expect to be well-researched and fact-checked.

There are no sides to be taken in the current conflict in the Middle East, which should be thought of as conflict-resolution. Instead, there are eight years of rocket attacks by terrorists on innocent civilians, with a delayed military response to protect these citizens. It is time to correct The Daily’s grievous errors, avoiding the use of emotional appeals and words of convoluted meaning. Here we go:

First, there is no occupation in Gaza. Period. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. In other words, every Israeli civilian and soldier left the Gaza Strip. Therefore, the term “occupation” is a misnomer. Logical conclusion: All references to an occupation of Gaza are lies and misrepresentations.

Second, there is no Israeli siege of Gaza. For those who do not know geography, Gaza is roughly rectangular. Gaza borders Israel on two sides, and the Mediterranean Sea on another. The fourth side of Gaza borders Egypt. So, yes, Israel has imposed a sea-blockade since the beginning of the crisis – which has prevented Iran from shipping weapons – and yes, Israel closed off the land borders, although humanitarian aid still passes through. However, this leaves a fourth side, which Israel does not control. Logical conclusion: Israel is not responsible for any siege. Such claims are, again, lies and misrepresentations.

Lastly, the subtitle of the article “Hamas must be talked to” refers to “Israel’s repeated refusal to negotiate openly with the Palestinian authority.” The entire article speaks about Hamas. For those who do not know: Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are not the same thing. Hamas is a terrorist organization that, after being elected in Gaza in 2006, began a civil war in the Gaza strip killing many Palestinians.

For some reason, I don’t recall protests condemning Hamas for killing Palestinians, but then again, there are no protests when Hamas kills Israelis either. Besides being a terrorist organization, Hamas’s mandate calls for the destruction of Israel; not a friendly stance if Hamas really wants peace. Hamas also uses civilians as human shields, and hoards the humanitarian aid sent in to Gaza by Israel.

The PA is a political organization – with strong historical ties to terrorism, but they beefed up their public image through dialogue with Israel and denunciation of Hamas operatives as terrorists – and the PA governs the West Bank. Israel negotiates openly with the PA, and Israel’s relationship with the PA is not the subject of the article. Logical conclusion: the editors either never checked the facts, or, similar to the poor terminology I described earlier, The Daily has published lies and misrepresentations.

Many more points should be made. I hope The Daily adopts more rigorous editing procedures, so that the situation is properly portrayed.

Gilad Ben-Shach is a U3 Math and Physics student. Send him fun facts about rectangles to gilad.ben-shach@mail.mcgill.ca.


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