June 13, 2024
Italy accuses Israel of overdoing it in Rafah, but it does nothing to stop pro-Hamas preachers on its soil
Europe News Opinion Politics

Italy accuses Israel of overdoing it in Rafah, but it does nothing to stop pro-Hamas preachers on its soil

by Giovanni Giacalone

I have the impression that Israel is sowing hatred that will involve children and grandchildren”.

These are the absurd words coming from the Italian Defense Minister, Guido Crosetto, who also added on SkyTg24:

Hamas is one thing, the Palestinian people are another. They had to discern between the two things and make a more courageous choice from a democratic point of view“.

And again: “We are convinced that Israel had to resolve the problem with Hamas – he added -, but from day one we said that this thing needed to be approached differently. All states agreed that Israel had to stop in Rafah. We were not listened to and now we look at the situation with desperation”.

Such statements should be placed next to the ones released in April 2024 by Italian foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, immediately after Iran’s attack against Israel with over 300 drones and missiles:

The Iranians have assured us that our Italian soldiers in the area will be respected…The Italian contingent in Lebanon is under the aegis of the UN, it is in a condition to be protected, I don’t think there are any dangers either for the Italian soldiers or for the Italian citizens in Israel and Iran”.

And again, as to the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, the minister explained how he was assured that “only ships that bring weapons to Israel will be attacked“. Let’s recall that the European anti-Houthi mission “Aspides” in the Red Sea is led by Italy and Greece. (The issue was already discussed here).

Going back to Crosetto, it is evident that his words are out of place, both, realistically, and from a counter-terrorism perspective.

First of all, Israel has been operating from the very beginning of the conflict to safeguard Palestinian civilians in Gaza through humanitarian corridors and preventive warnings to the population, before attacks. It is important to recall that the IDF accompanied civilians out of the areas in northern Gaza while Hamas terrorists were trying to prevent them from fleeing in order to use them as human shields.

A war is indeed a war, and unfortunately it is inevitable that civilians are killed. It’s an immense tragedy, it’s the tragedy of war. The Italians operated in Afghanistan and Iraq, even if in “peacekeeping missions” (whatever that means), they should know.

It is yet unclear what Crosetto means with “a more courageous choice from a democratic point of view”, as if Israel was not a democratic country.

Italy is indeed so “democratic” that individuals such as Palestinian preacher Mohammad Hannoun are allowed to publish content glorifying Hamas bombmaker and terror mastermind Yahya Ayyash. He is allowed to call out, from the stage of a demonstration in front of Milan’s Central Station, on all Arab people to drive out all Israeli embassies, close them and turn them into centers for resistance. On October 10th 2023, Hannoun also defined the October 7th massacre as “self-defense”, such claims were made in an interview with the Italian State TV Rai3.

In the meantime, another preacher, Pakistani citizen Zulfiqar Khan, has been going on for months with violent propaganda, all in public, from the pulpit of his Bologna-based Islamic center and on social media, going as far as to advance DNA theories on how Israelis are not Semites and even stating, during a sermon on “the history of terrorism” released on May 26th 2024 from the Nonantola Islamic Center:

This little warrior, a group of people called Hamas. They made it clear to the world that these are cowards (Israel, Zionists), they can’t do anything against men, they can only go against children, against women, against civilians.” (12.58)

We have seen, so many brothers are afraid to say that Hamas is a sincere group, mujahideen, because they had bombed all the Muslims in Europe that I must necessarily say that Hamas is a terrorist organization. They tried with me even from 7/10 onwards, we always had this position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. They are defending their territory.” (32:47)

We thank Allah sws through these Hamas mujahideen warriors who have discovered this reality, this truth, that these (Israelis, Americans) are terrorists, they are murderers…” (53:54)

Is this the so-called “democratic point of view”? Because if it is? Then it has nothing to do with democracy, nor with free speech.

Another thing that is not clear concerns the “different approach” suggested by Crosetto to “resolve the problem with Hamas”. What would that be?

From an operational perspective, we can surely agree that this campaign to eradicate Hamas is taking too long and with many inconceivable factors. The continuous pauses, the retreat from previously cleared areas in the center and the north of Gaza that allowed Hamas to regroup, the fact that Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif are still at large. Netanyahu had been repeatedly stating for months “We will enter Rafah”, before initiating an offensive just on the eastern part of the city, and that can also be questionable, because it is not wise to warn the enemy before attacking.

Many do believe that Netanyahu’s decisions are causing the war to last excessively.

Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, already told Netanyahu to “quickly finish the job” and move on to the aftermath.

Indeed, it is also true that the Biden administration and the international community have been attempting to slow down Israel’s war.

The impression is that many in the West are worried about the potential eradication of Hamas, and it is important to ponder very carefully on this. After all, Hamas does have far more support in the West, than in the Middle East and it could very well be that the European leaderships are worried about a potential retaliation by Islamist extremists and terrorists.

However, it is not with tolerance and compliance, in the hope of dissuasion, that terrorism is eradicated. On the contrary, it requires aggressive measures such as the ones taken against ISIS. Unfortunately, it seems that with Hamas, things are applied differently.

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