The George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations Statement on China’s Position on the Israel/Hamas Conflict

October 20, 2023


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On October 7, 2023, militants belonging to the terrorist group Hamas entered Israel and willfully and systematically massacred some 1,400 people – including infants, toddlers and children, and overwhelmingly civilians – hailing from Israel and dozens of other countries; and kidnapped more than 200 individuals – again, including infants and children – and moved them out of Israel.  Acts of such savagery, depravity and inhumanity demand clear and unqualified condemnation.  To date, China’s official public statements on these developments, which generically deplore the tragic loss of civilian lives on all sides but make no specific mention of the barbarism Hamas perpetrated on October 7, lack the moral clarity for which this moment urgently calls and suggest a positing on China’s part of moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas – not Israel and Palestine, but Israel and the terrorist group Hamas – that is absolutely unmerited, inappropriate and indefensible.  Hamas is not the Palestinian Authority and it is not “Palestine”; it is a terrorist group that adamantly opposes a two-state solution and, indeed, that is committed to the annihilation of the State of Israel and to the intentional, targeted killing of innocent Israelis, Jews and others.  One can support a two-state solution, as the United States, China and much of the world do, and still condemn Hamas by name for the sickening, murderous violence it perpetrated on October 7.  Moral clarity was a hallmark of the presidency of George H. W. Bush.  We urge the Chinese government to view this as a moment for moral clarity and to take a strong and unequivocal public stand, like so much of the rest of the world has, emphatically and categorically condemning Hamas’ painstakingly planned, intentional and targeted murder, kidnapping and brutalization of so many children, women and men.