Author Samya Ali converted to Islam in 1980 and she is a free-lance writer.

All mainstream media in the U.S. is reporting on the current fighting between Palestine and Israel according to the usual official narrative: Hamas is a terrorist organization; this was an unprovoked attack; Israel has the right to defend itself, and on and on. There are, however, growing numbers of Western independent journalists and websites who know the truth of what is happening, know the context and the history, and are not fooled by those who, through obliviousness or deceit, parrot the talking points that have indoctrinated Americans for decades. Below are excerpts from some of these independent writers and sites.

Kathryn Shihadah, on patheos.com, writes:

Israel is realizing right now that it can’t oppress its neighbors forever without expecting retaliation. Palestinians have tried many methods of reasoning with Israel, only to be turned down; many nonviolent forms of protest, only to be gunned down. In the olden days, there were suicide bombers – the desperate act of the hopeless (and of those without the usual weapons to deliver bombs). Hamas hasn’t been involved in such an attack since 2008.

Palestinians in Gaza have been locked in an open-air prison for sixteen years – under a brutal blockade that blocks the entrance of critical medicine and medical supplies, food, and other staples, causing rampant malnutrition in children; the Al-Aqsa mosque (one of the holiest sites in Islam) has been desecrated again and again in recent months; illegal Israeli settlers (with assistance from the Israeli military) have been attacking Palestinians and taking over their land; Palestinians in the West Bank have endured fifty-six years of occupation and indignity; Israel is illegally holding over five thousand Palestinians as political prisoners, under inhumane conditions.

The list goes on. And there is no end in sight.

That is why Hamas initiated these hostilities – because, how long should humans live, starving, in a cage, before they fight back? What else did Israel expect would happen?

People who know the situation in Palestine-Israel knew this day would come – we just never expected it would play out as it has. Israel has powerful weapons and wealthy allies. What do the Palestinians have? A desperate hunger for justice and dignity, and nothing left to lose.

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Chris Hedges, writing on Consortium News, notes:

Regimes implanted and maintained by violence engender violence. The Haitian war of liberation. The Mau Mau in Kenya. The African National Congress in South Africa. These uprisings do not always succeed, but they follow familiar patterns. The Palestinians, like all colonized people, have a right to armed resistance under international law.   

Israel never had any interest in an equitable settlement with the Palestinians. It built an apartheid state and has steadily absorbed larger and larger tracts of Palestinian land in a slow motion campaign of ethnic cleansing. It turned Gaza in 2007 into the world’s largest open air prison.

How can you trap 2.3 million people in Gaza, half of whom are unemployed, in one of the most densely populated spots on the planet for 16 years, reduce the lives of its residents, half of whom are children, to a subsistence level, deprive them of basic medical supplies, food, water and electricity, use attack aircraft, artillery, mechanized units, missiles, naval guns and infantry units to randomly slaughter unarmed civilians and not expect a violent response?

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Phyllis Bennis, on Consortium News, wrote:

In 2012 the U.N. determined that without “herculean action” by the international community, by 2020 Gaza “will not be livable” – largely, though not only, because of the profound lack of access to clean water. 

In 2015 the U.N. again reported that conditions had worsened, particularly because of the Israeli military assault in 2014 and its destruction of water and electrical infrastructure. And once again they urgently warned that Gaza would be “unlivable” by 2020.

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The Palestine Bureau, on Mondoweiss.net, reports:

According to the latest reports from the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 17,500 Palestinian families, comprising over 123,538 people, have been internally displaced in Gaza since Israel’s bombardment began.

The majority of Palestinians in Gaza, who number more than two million, are facing prolonged blackouts, as Israel continues to cut power to the majority of the strip. On Monday Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement that he “ordered a full siege on the Gaza Strip. No power, no food, no gas, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”

Gaza has been under complete Israeli siege since 2007, with Israel controlling the land and sea borders, as well as air space around Gaza, controlling the movement of people and goods in and out of the Strip.                                                                      
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Jonathan Cook, writing at middleeasteye.net, notes:

The West’s hypocrisy over Palestinian fighters killing and wounding hundreds of Israelis and holding dozens more hostage in communities surrounding and inside besieged Gaza is stark indeed.

This is the first time Palestinians, caged in the coastal enclave, have managed to inflict a significant strike against Israel vaguely comparable to the savagery Palestinians in Gaza have faced repeatedly since they were entombed in a cage more than 15 years ago, when Israel began its blockade by land, sea and air in 2007.

Western media are calling the jailbreak and attack by Palestinians from Gaza “unprecedented” – and the most dismal intelligence failing by Israel since it was caught off-guard during the Yom Kippur War exactly 50 years ago.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Hamas, which nominally runs the open-air prison of Gaza, of starting “a cruel and evil war.” But the truth is that the Palestinians have “started” nothing. They have managed, after so much struggle, to find a way to hurt their tormentor. 

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According to Lawrence Richard, writing at Fox News:

More Democrats in the United States support Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank than Israel, the closest U.S. ally in the Middle East, according to a 2023 poll.

Democratic sympathies for Palestinians has increased over the last decade, and a Gallup poll published in March 2023 found their affinity toward the Palestinians finally eclipsed their support of Israel, 49% to 38%.

The attitudes from March reflected a continued decline in Israeli support, from 40% to 38% and an 11-point surge of support for Palestinian people, from 38% to 49%.

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The above excerpts are just a few samples of honest and fair reporting on the current crisis. The excerpts link to articles which are good information to give to non-Muslim Americans with whom you get in conversation about what is going on now in Palestine. For those American non-Muslims who are open to learning about the conflict, and are willing to dig deeper, a good site to guide them to is https://ifamericansknew.org/.

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