Aaron Menche

Will the Real Aggressors Please Stand Up

Since the war began, we are constantly bombarded with the idea that Israel is the aggressor. After all, it is the stronger, wealthier party. This is coupled with the theory that Israel is a colonizing nation, with no connection to the land it possesses — land supposedly stolen from the blameless Palestinians. This theory discards history entirely. It’s time to set the record straight.

One of the things that has kept the Jewish people in existence for over three millennia is the fact that we hold on to our history. Whether it’s the Torah, Josephus, the Talmud, or a myriad of others, the Jews have a continuous recorded history that goes back over three thousand years. These documents testify our connection to the land which is older than anyone’s.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in whichmost people are unfamiliar with history, and if they know any history at all, it only spans the previous few months. This, coupled with the rise of social media, has allowed the enemies of free societies to gain the hearts and minds of young people worldwide.

I do not have anyone in my family with these views and I wonder what this current generation thinks about the Nazis. Are the Nazis good or bad? Was communism good or bad? ISIS, Al Qaeda — good or bad? Unfortunately, it seems that Generation Z thinks none of these groups are too bad. How else can you explain the attitudes of today’s young people who glorify Hamas and idolize Osama Bin Laden?

Maybe it’s just me, but if I knew absolutely nothing about history and I looked at the sides of the conflict, it would give me all the information I would need to see whose side I should be on. One side is aligned with Iran, Syria, North Korea, Russia, and ISIS — authoritarian regimes with no care for human rights or the welfare of their own people. The other side is aligned with most of the western world — those who believe in democracy and freedom. Is this really that hard to figure out? Here’s a thought exercise: if you had to choose where to live, would it be somewhere in the former or latter group?

It would also help if people knew about history. I think that other than Neo-Nazis, most people think the Nazis were bad. The same goes for Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Russia. Yet we see people all over the world supporting Hamas whose support comes from those countries. A good example of this was the city council meeting in Oakland, California, last week where, one after another, people got up to defend Hamas and blame October 7th on Israel, quite literally saying that Israel committed the atrocities themselves. One person got up to declare that, as an Arab American, he is offended by people saying Hamas is a terrorist organization. ( Somehow, Hamas has become the face of oppressed people everywhere.

The whole idea that the stronger party is always the aggressor is not just overly simplistic but historically incorrect. Here’s a story to illustrate the point. Once upon a time, there was a country that started a war. The purpose of the war was to eradicate everyone who was not like them. These people lost the war, and as a result, millions of them were displaced from countries they had lived in for hundreds of years, never to return. Sounds familiar, right? It should. It’s what happened to the Germans as a result of World War Two. Millions of ethnic Germans were thrown out of countries all over Europe. In most cases, those Germans had been living in these areas for hundreds of years, but they were still thrown out. Why? Because they were the aggressors. Does anyone say that they are the victims?

If this story sounds familiar, it’s because the same thing happened to the Palestinians. People say that when Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948, they were immediately attacked by five Arab armies (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon), starting the War of Independence. That’s true, but the war really started in November of 1947 after the UN vote on the partition of Palestine. Not only did the Palestinians reject the partition outright, but they then started a war with the Jews. The express goal of this war was wiping the Jews out from river to sea. Essentially a continuation of the Nazi dream. They started the war and lost the war. They were the aggressors by any definition.

Instead of relocating and assimilating into the places they ended up in, the Arab world kept them as perpetual refugees. As time went on, the world seems to have forgotten the history. The aggressors of this conflict, over time and savvy PR, turned themselves into the victims and turned the victims into aggressors.

Does time change the fact that the Palestinians started the war in 1947? Does time negate the fact that they have never made a move to accept any peace agreement placed in front of them for the last 75 years? These issues seem very distant, so for those who don’t know any history more than a few months back, how about the fact that while the world is insisting on a ceasefire, condemning Israel to live next to a terrorist state forever, the Palestinians keep breaking the ceasefires as they did on October 7th and again this past week.

Yes, Israel is the stronger, richer, more technologically advanced of the two. Does that make the Palestinians the victims? There could be nothing further from reality. They are the aggressors that were defeated again and again because of their aggression. They were offered peace and they rejected it. If given the chance, they would try to wipe us all out again. They have recently made this clear. The world may have forgotten history. They may not even care but the Jewish people always remember. We cannot afford to forget.

About the Author
Aaron Menche has a dual major in Political science and Near Eastern studies and started his masters in Near Eastern studies but, then life got in the way. After raising a family in NYC, he made Aliyah 7 years ago. He is currently waiting for good sushi and overnight Amazon to come to Israel.
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