EU must help its abducted citizens in Gaza!

To: Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Cc: Mr Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy 
      Mr Charles Michel, President of the European Council 

According to media reports, some 800 EU officials recently petitioned you, claiming that you had acted disproportionately when you stood by Israel’s side following Hamas’s unspeakable atrocities on 7 October. We do not share that view. Your critics ignore the following crucial facts. 

- 7 October marked the largest loss of Jewish life in a single day since the Holocaust.
- The high numbers of civilian victims given by Hamas cannot be independently verified.§  Nor can many other claims by Hamas, e.g. about Israel bombing the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza. 
- Hamas in fact represents the interests of its sponsor Iran, rather than those of the Gazan people.
- Hamas’s ideology aims at wiping Israel off the map, so any Hamas–Israel negotiations are off the table.

-  Since 2006, Hamas has crushed whatever democracy existed in Gaza, killing hundreds of Fatah members.
In a stark contrast to Hamas’s terrorists, Israel’s military does not intentionally target civilian population.
Hamas uses civilians as human shields, which makes it, not the Israeli soldiers, responsible for their fate.§  Attacks on civilian infrastructure    are allowed under international law if it is used for military purposes.

- Hamas’s elaborate network of tunnels under Gaza has exit points in schools, mosques, hospitals, etc.
- Distinguishing (non-uniformed) militants from civilians is typically impossible, or not immediately.
- Hamas has an army of 25,000 (plus Islamic Jihad and others): 1 in 40 Gazan men is a combatant.
- Each of them has supportive friends and family, raising the count of anti-Israelis to… 1 in 10?
- Hamas also has lots of willing collaborators, further raising that number to some… 1 in 3? 
In such conditions, fighting a “clean” war against Hamas in densely populated Gaza is a practical impossibility. Whatever mistakes both Jews and Palestinians committed in the past – and those were many – Israeli authorities now have a situation on their hands with which they have to deal, and urgently. As they plan to rescue the hostages, they also face an even more serious threat from Hezbollah in the north, from Iran, and from other (especially Arab and/or Muslim) hostile states in the region and around the world. 
As well as from cancel culture, evident i.a. in recent events at some US universities. And from disinformation spun by Russia and China, neither of whom cares about Palestine, but who both want to undermine the US globally. 
As the EU’s top officials on the international arena, yourself, Mr Borrell, and Mr Michel have an individual and collective duty of care towards EU citizens abducted by Hamas terrorists. One sadly ironic example is Alex Dancyg – a 100% Jew and a 100% Pole, a man of dialogue between nations. If anyone could be of help for Palestinians wishing to build a prosperous, peaceful country, it is people like Dancyg. Hijacking them is hijacking peace. 
For all its faults, Israel is a modern democracy that largely shares European values, a one-of-a-kind in the Middle East. While Palestinians certainly deserve the right to self-determination and to full independence, it is hard to imagine how they could avail themselves of those rights as long as Hamas keeps ruling Gaza. 
Hamas knew its attack would have consequences for civilians – and given that half of Gaza’s population is under the age of 18, children would naturally dominate among those. That did not stop these terrorists, who have built 500 km of tunnels for themselves, but not a single bomb shelter for civilians. 
We thank you, Madam President, for your efforts so far and encourage you to do whatever you feel is right to release EU hostages and advance lasting peace. We also ask Mr Michel and Mr Borrell to always join you in your endeavours. Please have the courage to not follow the advice of those who see reason in barbaric terrorism.

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