Agreed: Free Palestine—From Hamas

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Michael L. Brown

After his winning bout in a major combat sports event last Saturday night, UFC fighter Bassil Hafez said in an interview, “There is something I wanna say. I have been having it in my heart for a long time. I don’t support genocide. I don’t support innocent women and children being killed for war and for money and power. We are all God’s children and we all deserve a fair chance in life. Free Palestine.”

While Hafez didn’t mention Israel by name, he gave a clear message: Israel is committing genocide. Israel (with assistance from the U.S.?) is killing “innocent women and children … for war and for money and power.” Israel is not giving the Palestinians “a fair chance in life.” Palestine must be free from murderous, tyrannical Israel.

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Of course, I share his sentiments that “we are all God’s children” (in that we are all His creation; see Acts 17:28), that everyone deserves a fair chance at life and that it is tragic that innocent women and children are dying in Gaza.

And given Hafez’s ethnic background, we might expect him to utter those words. As the Essentially Sports website says, “While Bassil was born in America and holds an American nationality, he comes from a mixed Arab ethnic background. His mother was Syrian Arab, while his father was also Arab, hailing from Egypt.”

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No wonder, then, as a compassionate man who “is very proud of his mixed Arab cultural heritage,” he used his platform via live national TV to share his thoughts.

The tragic truth is that innocent women and children would not be dying in Gaza except for Hamas. And, as outlandish as the genocide charge is, if not for Hamas, Israel would not be waging war in Gaza right now at all. Those facts remain undeniable.

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