By Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský (EPP, KDU-ČSL)
The Middle East tends to evoke bitter sentiments to the entire world, precisely because of what it forces us to confront within ourselves. Just as a doctor in the Tenth Century had to ignore the screams of his patient, Hamas must now be purged to save the Two State Solution. Still, how do we weigh this responsibility against the burden of human lives which will be lost?
Principles sometimes only emerge under hardship, when we are forced to discover what we will and what we won’t change, at our own convenience. As a Czech and an elected politician, I belong to the world of legal nation states and I support Western values as summarised by the charters of the UN and the European Union. However, an ancient pulse still beats beneath the freshly poured foundations of the modern order on which we all stand.
Powerless in the face of antiquity, we now have to take positions in a war which is presented to us on wholly inappropriate terms. The struggle in the Holy Land predates the ideals that guide us today and will probably outlive them too. As we must take our stand in arguments about legal statehood, human rights, material prosperity, media bias and international funding, what do we have to guide us?
While Rousseau praised individuals who rise up against oppression, the principle of Just War, I am glad to say, has existed from at least the time of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and is now enshrined in the UN Charter.
Hamas Terror Attacks and International Law https://t.co/NO9XZbtSSa
— Miguel H Otero (@miguelhotero) October 10, 2023
A just war
For a war to be just, it must be winnable and it must be declared by a competent authority. On this principle, the modern West stands in agreement with the Kings of the middle ages: any aggression by the Palestinians in Gaza at this point is futile for as long as they are dominated by Hamas.
However we may sympathise with the suffering of Palestinians, Palestine can not fight a just war as a nation while they themselves are hostages to an organisation which is unaccountable to courts, has not held an election since 2006 and uses their own population as human shields. However brutal either side may be, it is Israel which fights for justice. Please don’t misunderstand me, justice is not the same thing as fairness and there is, of course, nothing fair about the suffering of hostages – both those who were kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th and the wider Gazan population held hostage by Hamas themselves.
After the revelation that Hamas has been using humanitarian aid from the UN to conduct their attack against Israel, the question arises, should the EU continue sending aid to try to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people, or should we tighten our stranglehold on Hamas, despite the reality that people will suffer as a result?
Hamas affiliates ‘looted UN fuel and medicines in Gaza’
Alleged seizure of aid agency supplies follows claims that terrorists used Unicef first aid kits during their murderous raid on Israelhttps://t.co/FoWj0TCS9U
— Nile Gardiner (@NileGardiner) October 16, 2023
Looking back at the great struggles to preserve our nations, we may reflect on the glorious deaths of willing martyrs, such as those involved in the assassination of Reynhard Heydrich or the Polish Government-in-Exile’s Żegota organization, whose underground agents made coordinated attempts to save Jews from the Holocaust.
Such stories of heroic deaths make us feel good about our flag and our nation, but how often has some heroic partisan brought the oppressor’s vengeance down on an entire community that wanted no part in the fighting? What about the unwilling martyrs? Don’t we have a duty to protect the hostages?
In Poland, an entire family was beatified this year by the Catholic Church for sheltering Jews during WWII.
Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children (the youngest child was yet to be born), were not part of the formal resistance and their decision to hide Jews in their home was not political in nature. When the German authorities finally discovered what the Ulmas were doing, the entire family were shot along with the Jews they were sheltering.
The terror in Europe didn’t end because heroic families like the Ulmas resisted. It ended because the enemy was hammered by military force.
#BREAKING The European Commission said it will proceed with payments of development aid to the Palestinian territories this month after its internal screening identified no diversion of funds to terrorist groups.https://t.co/ZUAKPAFmRy
— euronews (@euronews) November 21, 2023
For the sake of people who are being compelled to live as human shields, branded with the same stigma of their terrorist overlords, we must have the courage to deal with Hamas. They are the parasitic, gangrenous, limb that needs to be amputated before the Holy Land can even begin to recover.
The Israel Defense Forces are in the process of executing this painful procedure and the international community must resist from interfering, and therefore the EU must freeze aid to Palestine. The faster this action is taken, the fewer collateral martyrs will fall on the road to peace.
Information travels fast,
but disinformation travels faster. pic.twitter.com/qwrgxfcu7u
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 27, 2023