“I feel bad for the Palestinian civilians.” I hear this a lot. And indeed there are some I do feel bad for, but most of them no longer get my sympathy. Every terrible condition or atrocity that the Palestinian people suffered, and will suffer is primarily the fault of Hamas. Hamas oppresses its own people. This, under normal conditions, would be sad, but then I realized that these people voted Hamas in back in 2006, and continue to support Hamas today.
Wikipedia says that the vote had about a 75% turnout, and of those who voted, about 44.45% voted for Hamas, giving them the majority and control of the government. Now that leaves 56% against Hamas, surely that means that they don’t all like Hamas. Well, in that election Fatah received 41.43% of the votes, and PFLP received about 4.25%. All three of the top groups totaled 90.13% of the vote. All three of these groups are militant extremist groups. So over 90% of voters voted for a militant extremist group, they just split on which one. It would be like saying that ISIS only got 44% of the vote, and Al Qaeda the other 41%, and the Taliban the other 4%. Effectively, they are all evil and we are splitting hairs to say otherwise.
As recently as September of 2023, Palestinians were polled. If the Gaza Strip had to vote again, Hamas would win with 44% and Fateh would get 32%. So, it seems like almost nothing has changed. At least 76% would still pick a militant group. Which is unsurprising because, the same poll found that 58% supported “armed confrontations and intifada” to achieve what they want. Only 20% support negotiations.
So the idea that Hamas is going against what the Palestinians want is bunk. They, despite their miserable conditions, support Hamas and their terrorism.
That is why it is hard for me to feel bad for them, this is how they want their lives to be; at war, poor, and effectively all their resources going to support terrorism.
Clearly, not every Palestinian is capture in those polls, nor, as the polls showed, did everyone share this view. However, the clear majority does. I feel bad for that small number of Palestinians who are truly stuck because their Arab neighbors wont take them in, while at home they are brutalized by a dictatorial terrorist group. But as for the Palestinians at large, no, it is difficult to feel bad for a people that actively wants what they are getting.