Daniel Ben Abraham
The opposite of war is nuance

The End of Moral Equivalence With Israel

As the count of murdered families, women, and children grows to over 1400 Jewish souls lost, with over 220 more still being held hostage, much of the world stunningly supports the Palestinians, or appeals to “both sides.” But the question of whether there is moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians is simple to answer for any human being. The rest of the conflict is not much harder.

Some say one man’s “terrorist” is another man’s “freedom fighter”, but the American colonists during the Revolutionary War never sent soldiers back to great Britain to kill the families of the British Redcoats fighting in America. Humanity has spent centuries developing a moral code of military conduct from Hague to Geneva Conventions, to understandings and norms on our path toward being more civilized. If “terrorism” means anything, it is purposely targeting innocent civilians, without any military objective. Intentionally increasing the suffering of people you’ve never met, without even serving one’s purported grievance, other than continuing the conflict for its own sake, is as evil as man can become.

Many in Europe are likewise slow to understand, as their warm welcoming European smiles are met with the horrors of London bombings, Madrid train bombings, Nice truck ramming, Paris attacks, Manchester bombing, London Bridge attack, Barcelona, Berlin Christmas market, and the list goes on. No country that enjoys peace and prosperity is immune anywhere in the world, though some cannot see they are next. History proves that even if we gave terrorists what they claim to want, they would increase terrorism anyway when they decide they want more. To side with Israel, the world merely need to look ahead at its own future. 

Many raise as purported justification for Hamas’ inhumane acts, the Israeli “occupation”, “colonization”, “genocide of the Palestinians”, and “apartheid.” Such highly emotional trigger words conditioned into our moral consciousness from other points in history are now used to manipulate the world into anger and irrationality against Israel. The hope is to distract the world from mathematical reality, that Israel is only approximately eight thousand four hundred (8,400) square miles, in a Middle East that is 2.7 million (2,700,000) square miles. Meaning, 475,000,000 Arabs already control 99.6% of the land in the Middle East, and the Israel dispute is over the last remaining 0.4% for only 6 million Jews, in a tiny strip of land that is barely 10 miles wide at some points.

The math is important because the Palestinians are Arabs. “Palestinians” are similar in language, culture, faith, identity, and cultural goals to other Arab Muslims like in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt, and can in 22 other Arab countries enjoy their food, culture, language throughout the 99.6% of the Middle East they already control. The dispute then, is actually between Arab hegemony, or the last remaining 0.4% for Jews needed for Jewish survival, proven by thousands of years of Jewish persecution across the globe. 

We must also understand that the conflict is artificial. Iranian funding, and ideological power dynamics place the interests of Iran and the broader “Arab cause” above the Palestinians, who are prevented from acting in even their own interests. The Palestinian territories don’t have elections, and when Gaza did, they voted in Hamas, who cancelled all future elections. Leadership accountability to the population is nonexistent. Hamas has never helped the Palestinians, but only Iran to the detriment of the Palestinians, and yet there is no other alternative. Six Arab countries have already made peace with Israel, and with Sunni Saudi talks currently ongoing in the disinterest of Shiite Iran, the terrorism and suffering of the mostly Sunni Palestinians is induced by outside agenda. Clearly, the recent Chinese-brokered Saudi-Iran peace deal signed this March needs some refinement. 

The conflict is also fueled by ignorance of a history that only one side knows. The entire world recently renaming the ancient land of Judea in all our Bibles to something as uncreative as the “West Bank” proves it is intentional. If the name Judea sounds awfully Jewish, that’s because it is, going back over 3000 years like the Jewish capital, Jerusalem.

The “occupation” is also a false narrative. There is no occupation in Gaza, as Israel withdrew completely under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005, and Hamas took over. Palestinians are free to travel south through Egypt anywhere they like, and Gaza has received signifiant economic investment. The problem is, when Israel relaxes border security it controls, Hamas brings in weapons to attack Israel with, as if enjoying forcing Israel to tighten restrictions further. Those who want more of Israel miss that this keeps happening every time they do.

But the question of Palestinian statehood is also a falsity, requiring we first ask some fundamental questions to determine whether they are a “people” and a “nation,” because you cannot fabricate a nation from political pawns, or a dozen, separate, outside-funded terrorist groups.

When you ask “Palestinians” the meaning and origin of the name of their own people, they oddly stare like a deer in headlights. They have no idea other than believing they have simply always been called “Palestinians.” But before 1967, they were simply “Arabs”, and the “Palestinians” were actually the Jews living there. In fact, the Roman Emperor Hadrian named the land “Palestina” as an ongoing punishment against the Jews in the year 132 CE, after the Romans slaughtered half a million Jews. The Romans destroyed the Second Jewish Temple in the year 70 CE, said no Jews were to set foot in the land, and then re-named it after the Jews’ ancient enemies from centuries prior, the “Philistines.” The actual Philistines, who sailed over from Crete, were of course neither Arab nor Muslim. Palestinians actually say their name with an “f”, “falastin”, because there is no letter “P” sound in Arabic. The original word “Philistine” is not Arabic at all, but from a Hebrew word, for those who arrived from the Greek islands, whom the Hebrews called “Plishtim” (“פלישתים”), which means “invaders”. Not only does the Jewish word for invader prove the Jews were there first. One must ask, why would these Arab Muslim people want to name their would-be Arab Muslim nation after non-Arab, non-Muslim, Greek sailors, let alone based on the Hebrew word for them? 

Terrorists make us angry so we fail to ask such rational questions.

And the important prerequisite questions continue. Do they have a unique culture and identity separate and distinct from other Arab Muslim cultures? Do they have completely independent interests, or are they intertwined with those of the larger Arab and Muslim world? Are they able to deter outside influence from other nations and ideologies? Do they have one set of common interests as a unified people? Are they able to pursue those interests as a unified people? Are they a unified people with a singular ideology that supersedes their divisions? Are they able to control their own terrorist factions? Do most of their leaders support separate individual groups and factions, or a single state ideology? And if so, is that goal to live in peace with Israel, or destroy Israel? Can they implement an education system that teaches acceptance of Israel? Do they have a leadership structure that speaks for all of them and their interests? Can they agree on and accept their own proposed borders? Sadly, the answer to these questions is “no.” 

The Palestinians have been betrayed by Hamas, and continue to support Hamas. They have been betrayed by Iran, and have been unable to sever their external influence. They have been unable to agree on what they want, negotiate in their own interests, or even counteroffer Israel’s peace proposals. They have been betrayed by the Arab ideology that first waged war to destroy the Jewish state the day after its founding, and remain pawns of the same ideology today, to their own self-inflicted suffering. The adage, “a people get the government they deserve” is a principle of moral responsibility; not perfect, but the alternatives only get worse. 

The Arabs who turned the Palestinians against Israel cause suffering because they actually turn against Islam. The “Naqba” or “disaster”, when the Jewish state prevailed in 1948 over the Arab armies that attacked her, was because Arab ideology turned against the language of their own Quran, which explicitly gives the land of Israel to the Jewish people as does the Bible and Torah. As the Quran states, “And [remember] when Moses said to his people: ‘O my people, call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.'” [Qur’an 5:20-21]  Arab anti-Semitic ideology supports neither the Palestinians nor the Quran, which states unequivocally, “And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land” [Qur’an 17:104] All Islamic countries and groups need to do, is have the courage to follow the plain language of the Qur’an instead of those like Hamas who go against it. And that may be their best reason for releasing the hostages too.

Thus, it is clear that the dispute is not between religions, as all major religions’ holy scriptures proclaim this land belongs to the Jews. The dispute is between the extremist ideologies that harm their own populations, and the rest of humanity. And the struggle, for the world to understand that we are all on the same side, against the terrorists, who are on nobody’s side.

About the Author
Daniel was born in Budapest, Hungary, to the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, and grew up in New York City. Daniel obtained his Bachelor's degree from Penn State University, has a Juris Doctorate with a specialization in public international law. He is the author of several books and articles, including The PeaceMatrix™, about a theoretical new system for solving all human conflicts. Daniel's approaches to the challenges of anti-Semitism, terrorism, and Israeli and international peace and security combine understandings of psychology, philosophy, law, Judaism and spirituality, and metaphysics.