I want to tell you about a man I’ve met. I won’t tell you his name, where I met him or under what circumstances. I’ll simply share with you what’s he’s said.
He’s an Arab man who is free to go as he pleases. Perhaps he has influence or connections. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. I didn’t ask.
He says he travels with relative ease between Israel, Jordan and Gaza. He does that often. He spoke about Gaza before, during and after the July-August 2014 war.
On one occasion, he said, a friend of his wanted advice. I believe this took place before that 2014 war began. It seems that Hamas ‘representatives’ had come to this friend’s house in Gaza. Hamas wanted to dig a tunnel from his house, under his house. For the use of his house, Hamas said it’d pay the man fifty dollars a month (the amount might have been in Israeli shekel or another currency, but this individual used ‘dollars’ to tell his story, perhaps because of who he was talking to).
The Gazan asked for advice. He understood what would happen if the Israelis found out about his house being used for tunnelling. He had no illusions. He believed that the house could be bombed in order to seal the entrance of the tunnel. What should he do?
This man I listened to said, ‘just tell them no. Tell them you don’t want their tunnel.’
That wasn’t satisfactory, his Gazan friend said. ‘If I do that, they’ll likely kill me.’ Then he said, ’maybe what I’d be better off doing is to tell them, if you give me 100 dollars a month, you can build two tunnels from my house.’
That’s Gaza. It’s how Gazans live. It’s how they feed their families.
During the July-August 2014 war, the man I listened to received a call, this time from a friend in Gaza who was terrified. The friend described what was happening to him—and his neighbours. He said, ’when the Israelis come over our heads, they notify us when they’re going to bomb us. They tell us to leave our homes. We try to do that. But when we leave, we’ve got these Hamas guys show up and they tell us, ‘go back to your homes.’
We tell them, the Israelis are going to bomb.
They tell us, if you don’t go back to your homes, we will consider you to be Israeli collaborators. We will treat you as collaborators.
Gazans understand what that means: certain death. He had no choice. He—and other families also trying to leave—turned around. They all went back to their homes. The Israelis bombed.
This man I met said that Gaza suffers horribly now, after that war. It’s awful there, he said. No one helps.
He said, only one nation sends food to Gaza—Israel. The Arab nations send nothing.
He said he’s seen people from the European Union come to help ‘Palestinians’. He said, the EU teaches the ‘Palestinians’ to be anti-Semitic.
He travelled to Jordan to visit schools. He didn’t say why. He said he spoke to 8-9 year-old children. He asked them what they learn in school. They replied, Jihad (holy war) against the ‘Zionists’ (Israeli Jews). They learn about being suicide bombers. They said they learn about armed ‘resistance’ (warfare) against the ‘Zionists’.
This man asked, ‘where do you learn these things?’
They replied, ‘in school’.
He asked, ‘where do you go to school?’
They answered ‘UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency)’.
[The United Nations Charter dedicates its work to pursuing peace and security for its member states. UNRWA works as a UN agency under the UN umbrella, using the UN name. Its work in the Middle East, however, isn’t dedicated to peace and security between Israel and its immediate neighbours. It’s dedicated instead to teaching Arab children to kill Jews and to destroy the Jewish state (see David Bedein, Roadblock to Peace: how the UN perpetuates the Arab-Israeli conflict-- UNRWA policies reconsidered, Israel Resource News Agency, 2014)].
This man left the children. He went to the UNRWA schools educating them. He asked the teachers there what they taught the children (remember, this man is an Arab). The teachers at the UNRWA schools replied, ‘we teach them to fight the ‘Zionists’.
As this man thinks about all the work the UN and Humanitarian NGOs (non-government organizations) do in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, he can think of saying only one thing: none of them cried out against Hamas using human shields. None cried out for the deaths caused by Hamas terror against its own people.
This man is not afraid to talk. He’s not afraid to tell the truth.
You should listen to what he says.