Nathan Lopes Cardozo

The war between Israel and Hamas

When mankind ceased to heed the words of the Hebrew Prophets, it invented hypocrisy

There is a Midrash that describes what happened during the building of the Tower of Babel.[1] God, and the 70 angels that surround the Throne of Glory descended and confused the people’s speech, dividing them into 70 separate nations, each with its own language. God appointed a guardian angel, also known as a sar (prince), over each nation.

I interpret these princes as symbolizing the various national ideologies and the contributions they can make for the betterment of mankind. If the princes and their nations live up to their tasks, they will ascend the ladder toward God and be celebrated in the annals of history. But if they fail and turn into despots and dictators, using their power to further inflate their egos with deceit and delusions of imaginary omnipotence, they will fall.

When these princes forget who they are and what their function is, they flaunt their arrogance, each of them imagining that he is the supreme master.

Eventually the hand of their Master subdues these nations—a lesson learned by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and many others on their way out of history.

One sign that a nation and its guardian angel have lost their sense of mission is when they turn against those who remind them of it. One nation in particular begins to irritate them more than any other. It is the Jewish nation dispersed among them that causes great trouble with their moral demands and teachings. This peculiar people is on a mission from heaven to teach the world that each human being is held responsible for his deeds; a people whose teachings oppose all the egotism, illusions, and deceits that these countries have by now embraced.

As a result, these countries call for the destruction of this annoying nation. Its voice, reflecting the One Above, has to be silenced so that the uncertainty of these countries’ conscience and the reality of their guilt can be obliterated. Resisting their own destiny, they need to destroy those who remind them of what they used to be.

The projection of guilt

But how can they accomplish this goal and not feel guilty about it? There is only one way, and that is to delegitimize the Jewish nation by proving to the world that the Jews themselves are no better—and in fact are even worse—than those very nations that seek destroyed their own moral foundations. Only if it can be proven that the Jews are as immoral and also guilty of massacres and genocide, can this voice of morality be silenced.

So they look for a Catch-22. How can they trap the Jews in an impossible situation such that no matter how they respond they will be found guilty? They concluded that nothing could be more gratifying than forcing the Jews into a struggle with another people against whom they would have to defend themselves in order to survive.

But it could not be just another people; it had to be a perceived underdog, and conditions had to be created so that the Jews would have no choice but to take up their weapons out of pure self-defense and fight those so-called defenseless people. And if such a defenseless people could not be found, well, then, it would have to be artificially created.

The catch-22 of eternal conflict

And so it was. The world fell for this plan, hook, line, and sinker, and consequently lost its common sense and moral fiber.

In fact, it turned bizarre. With a few significant exceptions, the world’s governments, media, and the UN bureaucrats all became inhabitants of an Orwellian universe. Instead of working to resettle the peoples made homeless by war—as had been done in all previous territorial conflicts—they paid to have the Arabs who fled the fledgling state of Israel made into permanent refugees. They and their children unto the thousandth generation! They are not to be allowed to settle permanently anywhere in the Arab world. Instead, a special UN organization was set up to pay them to settle in refugee camps and to have large families, who could then be fed on a steady diet of hatred and propaganda. It was the perfect recipe for permanent conflict!

And so, the world inverted victim and aggressor, and began to rewrite history with one goal in mind: to delegitimize biblical morality as carried through history by the Jews.

Asymmetry and “disproportionality”

Today, thousands of rockets are indiscriminately fired at cities in Israel, every one of them designed to kill, or at least maim. Nearly nine million people are forced to sit in shelters, their lives put on hold, their economy destroyed, while a large part of the world—foremost the media—accuses this small nation of responding “disproportionately” to its enemy. The media claims that Israel deliberately kills children in Gaza, when in fact the Israeli army warns citizens time after time—via leaflets, radio, and even phone calls!—to evacuate their homes so as not to be harmed.

The insane international outcry is that there is disproportion in this war. And indeed there is:

  • Hamas deliberately tries to create as many civilian casualties on both sides, while Israel deliberately tries to minimize civilian casualties on both sides.
  • Israel has in the past sent ground forces into Gaza in order to prevent the loss of Palestinians lives, paying the heavy price of exposing its soldiers to mortal danger, while Hamas deliberately hides its fighters, rockets and entire infrastructure among Palestinian civilians to ensure that as many of its own people as possible are killed.
  • Israeli spends millions of dollars to keep its people safe from the thousands of rockets shot at them by Hamas rockets; Hamas uses millions of dollars in international aid to build rockets and underground tunnels to store them in. These tunnels now endanger much of Gaza’s above-ground infrastructure with collapse.

No other modern army does what Israel’s does to minimize civilian casualties on the other side. And yet, the international community does nothing but speak of Israel’s atrocities, some even comparing them to the Nazis in the Holocaust. This is antisemitism of the highest order.

The deeper roots of antisemitism

This craziness, however, emanates from a deeper place. It is unrecognized and latent hatred against biblical moral values. What makes the Western world and its media turn against Israel in the blink of an eye, when it is simply trying to defend itself? And why does that same world remain silent when hundreds of thousands of Muslims are being killed and tortured by their own people in Syria, Iran and Iraq?

It the fault of one man: Jesus. The world is still unable to forgive the People of Israel for having given them this man and, through him, Christianity. It was Jesus who, deeply influenced by the moral tradition of Judaism, brought them a taste of Israel’s ethics, and it is against this morality that they rebel. It is the Jew Jesus whom they hate. They spit on the Jews not because the Jews are Jesus killers, but because they are Jesus givers. This is the root of much of Western antisemitism. A medieval poet once wrote, “To the eye of enmity virtue appears the ugliest blemish.”[2]

As we Jews watch this bizarre play, we can only smile at the artificial game, which, paradoxically, once again proves the uniqueness of our people. The double standards used only against the Jews; the total lack of integrity; and the complete absence of any logic no longer surprise us. It is part and parcel of the Jewish experience. Still, “The multitude of the sick shall not make us deny the existence of health.”[3]

After all, as Olive Schreiner once wrote: “The study of history of Europe during the past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson: That the nations which received and in any way dealt fairly and mercifully with the Jew have prospered; and that the nations that have tortured and oppressed him have written out their own curse.”[4]

It is time for the nations of the world to realize that if they deny Israel’s right to survive, they will set the stage for a Holocaust. This time, however, it will consume the gentiles. And not even their guardian angels will help them.


[1] Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer, chapter 24.

[2] Sa’di. The Gulistan of Sa’di: The “Rose Garden”.

[3] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays and English Traits (Cosmo Publications, 2010) p. 290.

[4] Olive Schreiner, South African novelist, quoted by Chief Rabbi J.H. Hertz, A Book of Jewish Thoughts (Oxford University Press, 1966) p.180

About the Author
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo is the Founder and Dean of the David Cardozo Academy and the Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu in Jerusalem. A sought-after lecturer on the international stage for both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, Rabbi Cardozo is the author of 13 books and numerous articles in both English and Hebrew. Rabbi Cardozo heads a Think Tank focused on finding new Halachic and philosophical approaches to dealing with the crisis of religion and identity amongst Jews and the Jewish State of Israel. Hailing from the Netherlands, Rabbi Cardozo is known for his original and often fearlessly controversial insights into Judaism. His ideas are widely debated on an international level on social media, blogs, books and other forums.
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