Social media is saturated with pro-Hamas propaganda accusing Israel of every possible atrocity including killing Arab Muslims just for fun. In reality, much like us, Israel bends over backward to do just the opposite.
While the head of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, is still examining the proposal for a hostage deal formulated at the Paris summit, Israel’s News 13 reported that members of his family are receiving life-saving medical treatment at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheba.
Several of Haniyeh’s sisters are Israeli citizens through marriage to Bedouins and live in Tel Sheva in the Negev. In recent days, one of Haniyeh’s nieces gave birth to a baby in Soroka hospital. The baby was born prematurely and has since been hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit. The medical staff at the hospital have been working to save his life.
As the story goes on to document, multiple Haniyeh family members have been treated in Israeli hospitals.
While some Haniyeh family members were transferred out of Gaza for treatment in the past, this specific niece is apparently from the side of the family that married into a Bedouin clan and has members, including one of Haniyeh’s nephews, who served in the Israeli Army.
Like most things in the Arab world, this comes down to tribalism. Historically certain Arab clans chose to make their peace with Israel while others waged war against it. Hamas is at least partly made up of tribal enterprises as well as its overall characteristic as a Muslim Brotherhood organization. What that means is that the difference between being in Hamas or a Muslim Bedouin serving in the IDF is which family you belong to or, if you’re a woman, marry into.
In a society where tribalism or ideology are everything, compassion or humanity buys you nothing. That’s why Israel’s efforts to provide medical care to Arab Muslims have won it zero points from either Arab Muslims or from the pro-terrorist Left.
There’s no common humanity or set of values, just a line. The Islamist or leftist side of the line is purely ideological. Either you’re in their movement, an ally or an enemy. There’s no middle ground there.
And the tribal metric isn’t just about being an Arab Muslim, but the right kind. Bedouins were massacred and kidnapped on Oct 7. Some have declared blood feuds while others have family ties to those in Gaza.
It’s not that the situation isn’t black and white, it’s that the black and white tones aren’t those portrayed in the media.
In a tribal society, you can’t win by playing by Western rules. That’s the painful lesson we learned in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a lesson that Israel urgently needs to learn.