HAMAS vs Israel – Understanding the Conflict

Contents

1     Introduction. 1

2     The Ethical Equation – a Comparison with Ukraine. 1

3     The Big Questions and Some Short Answers. 4

3.1     Is Modern Israel an adjunct of American Imperialism?. 4

3.2     What about the Palestinian ‘Nakba’?. 4

3.3     Is Israel an “Apartheid” State?. 5

4     The Question of the Legitimacy of a Jewish State. 7

4.1     Overview.. 7

4.2     America, The Jews, and the Emergence of Political Zionism.. 7

4.3     The UN-Resolution for the Partition of Palestine. 13

5     The Existential Struggle of the Nation. 18

6     The International Response to HAMAS.. 21

7     Deconstructing the Present-Day UN-Response. 22

8     To The Present Day – Growing Peace with Israel 26

9     To The Present Day – Destroying the Peace with Israel 27

10       Conclusion. 29

Further Reading and Watching. 31

Appendix – The Christian Ethical Complication. 32

Notes and References

(A PDF version of the original article (with footnotes rather than endnotes) is found here.  This will be of more use for scholars.)

1      Introduction

In this essay we undertake the following tasks:

  1. Answer some basic questions regarding the ethical basis for HAMAS’ assault on Israel as articulated by HAMAS itself and how this has been presented by its apologists in the West, particularly in its framing and justification in terms developed within Western Marxist Critical Theory.
  2. Briefly visit specific questions that have arisen out of that general critique before considering them in a more academic manner.
  3. Consider more completely the relationship between America and the Jews to understand and assess the accusation that Israel is an expression of American imperialism; we explore how the emergence of political Zionism might be seen as a project developed most coherently in America and was made possible in actuality by the political support from America.
  4. Consider the role of the UN in mandating the formation of the State of Israel but its subsequent reversal of policy of supporting a Jewish homeland and its consistent opposition to the right of Israel to defend itself against aggression and to secure itself with realistic borders to ensure its inner security.
  5. To understand why HAMAS attacked at this time and what their immediate goals were.
  6. Posit that the Western support for HAMAS is indicative of its existential crisis caused by an erosion of its core values by a multiculturalism that allows traditional liberal values such as tolerance and free speech to be abused by radicalised members of Moslem communities. This militates against assimilation and integration into Western culture and coupled with recent patterns of large-scale Moslem immigration permits extremists to enter Western countries and to establish radical centres destructive to that same Western culture.
  7. As an appendix, we consider the specific Christian ethical complications that arise when seeking to support Israel and its right to a homeland in line with the broader biblical injunctions and Christian ethics.

In short, we are trying to address the lack of in-depth knowledge of the conflict which has led to so much misinformed and misplaced support for HAMAS in the West.

2      The Ethical Equation – a Comparison with Ukraine

The conflict that erupted when HAMAS attacked Israeli communities understandably grabbed our attention much as when Russia attacked Ukraine.  It seemed unequivocal to those in the West that Ukraine was the victim of Russian aggression, and it was morally incumbent upon the West to support Ukraine.  Decoding this into our modern parlance, Putin was the imperial aggressor and Zelensky was the saintly oppressed seeking liberty from the tyrant. This is the moral equation borrowed from the Marxist “Critical Theorists” of the West and is perspicuous in its simplicity and its application, whoever is conceived of as the “oppressor” may be resisted by “any means necessary” by the “oppressed” – and as all means are necessary, they are therefore permissible; no action of the oppressed is to be considered immoral because the moral scales are weighted irrevocably on the side of liberty and freedom.  This noble “end” justifies all “means”.

Thus, it is clear that for millions across the Western world, this equation is emphatically convincing, including to those in the finest educational institutions of Oxford, Cambridge, Berlin, Harvard, Stanford and Yale; intelligent and articulate examples of Western humanity who side with HAMAS as part of a wider assault against the West, its institutions, its imperial history (for which it must now be made to make reparations), and its capitalism.  From “Queers for Palestine” [1] to The View,[2] it is every “liberal’s” [3] sacred duty to support HAMAS, with every question that might be asked answered by our simple piece of moral arithmetic, the actions of the oppressed are self-justifying as they seek liberty from the oppressor.

However, for the more circumspect there will be plenty of moral ambiguity [4] that will creep into any analysis of the Ukraine-Russia conflict when one gets armed with the “facts” which facilitate a better understanding of the conflict.  Lest I be misunderstood, that most certainly does not mean we should not help the displaced Ukrainian people in any way that we can but rather that Zelensky’s saintly garments are seen to be not so saintly on close examination and we might even be shocked as to the inevitability of Putin attacking a country acknowledged to be one of the most corrupt in the world, facilitating espionage and other intelligence operations against Russia by its most aggressive enemies.  The power dynasties of American politics laundered their millions through Ukraine, the CIA probably established rendition sites there and various other shadowy intelligence agencies built chemical and biological warfare facilities along the border with Russia, all protected by the most fanatical of neo-Nazis.[5]  That does not necessarily justify Russia’s invasion or its actions (other than in the mind of the Russians), but it certainly makes the West and two “incompetent” Ukrainian presidents [6] more responsible for the inevitability of them.

Similarly, what might seem so unequivocal with respect to Israel-HAMAS for those on either side of the barricade might be loosened by considering the “facts” of the conflict and what brought about the conflict.  However, in this case, unlike in the Ukrainian conflict, the West more generally has a problem with which side are the saints; there is no near homogeneous rubric for the lay people to follow and send in their charitable donations.  The narratives of either side are not difficult to discern though. In one case, the “oppressed” are the Palestinians and the Israelis are the imperial aggressors (an agent of US-imperialism); thus, resistance by HAMAS is the righteous cause with anything and everything HAMAS has done to throw off their chains justified.

As we hop over the fence, October 7th was the darkest day for the Jewish nation since the Holocaust and the righteous cause is to fight the savagery and brutality of an unhinged enemy intent, in the words of its own charter, on global genocide of all Jews.[7]  For Israel, we will obliterate HAMAS by killing every last one of them and then we can talk peace with Gaza.  You cannot reason with savages.  The Israelis also have the clear advantage that in the eyes of the biblically literate Christian premillennialists, they are the Israel of scripture and God is on their side.  It is the sacred duty of every bible believing Christian to support our brothers and sisters in their struggle for the right to exist.[8]

3      The Big Questions and Some Short Answers

In this section we ask those questions that have formed the basis of the Western Marxist critique of Israel that has led to the mass demonstrations of support for HAMAS.

3.1     Is Modern Israel an adjunct of American Imperialism?

We consider this issue more broadly at great length in the subsequent section on the relationship between America, the Jews and Zionism.[9]  However, our short answer is a little bit surprising, even if modern Israel is/was an outgrowth of American imperialist aspirations (however ridiculous or plausible that objectively might appear to be), you can take your pick amongst any number of Arab nations of the Arab League and the Russia/Iran axis, as to which imperialist actor you would now like to follow and who would want to “colonise” (economically at the very least) a “free” Palestine and dominate the region.  In other words, this is an enormous non-sequitur – the “Middle East” has always been and will always be for this age, an arena of competing imperialist interests be they Arab, American, Chinese, or Russian, allied with regional national interests.  It is just too oil-rich an area to be otherwise and corrupt people and governments form nefarious alliances regardless of their speeches and declarations of intent at the UNSC.

3.2     What about the Palestinian ‘Nakba’?

We should also consider the founding myth [10] of the Palestinian aspiration for their own state out of their own Nakba (an Arabic word translated “catastrophe”).  It is true that around 700000 residents of what was to become Israel relocated or “fled” to what are now called the “refugee” camps of Gaza, leaving their properties, businesses, and farms.  Was this in response to the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestine by the violence of the Jews after their declaration of independence?  Did the Jews “drive out” these communities with violence and aggression?

Again, our answer offers a strange symmetry, around 600000 Jews were expelled from the surrounding Arab nations, leaving their properties, businesses, and farms once Israel had declared independence; it was by the admission of the Arab nations themselves at the time most definitely and intentionally a text-book example of “ethnic cleansing”.[11]  It is further estimated that in total, 900000 Jews were evicted from the Arab nations to which they had emigrated after the pogroms of the 18th and 19th centuries in the period 1920-1970 simply because they were Jews.  Colonial powers and local police were complicit with the looting and violence, happy that the Jews could be expelled and plundered.[12]  It was estimated that Jews expelled from the Arab world were disenfranchised of $250bn worth of property.  They were evicted simply because they were Jews, no other reason.  Those communities had been in those nations for generations and became refugees to the new state of Israel.

There is also a specifically Arab dimension to that question – many Palestinians “fled” in response to the invasion of the Arab armies after the declaration of Independence on the understanding that those same armies would clear the land of the Jews and allow them to return.  The Arab Higher Committee had ordered the “evacuation” of “several dozen villages” and the removal of dependents from “dozens more” so that the armies could advance unhindered.[13]  Yet, those mature and seasoned armies could not defeat the fledgling IDF despite an arms embargo supported by most Western nations (including the US [14] ) and after nearly two years of conflict, an armistice agreement was signed signalling a de facto recognition of Israel by those same Arab nations.  None of those Arab nations would (and still do not) open their borders to receive those refugees to whom they had promised liberation.[15]  The Israeli position was, and remains, that final borders could only be the result of Peace negotiations.

3.3     Is Israel an “Apartheid” State?

Another question for us is the designation of Israel as an “apartheid” state.  We need only to consider the emotive content of that moniker [16] and the contemptuous slur that attaches to such a designation.  The native black Africans were bottom of the racial pile, lined up behind Indians, Coloureds, and the Whites.  They had no representation in parliament and the land, historically theirs was taken by force.  The accusation clearly is that Israel is guilty of those very same sins.  Of all the accusations, this is objectively the most unsupportable.

Israel is a multicultural and a multiracial nation by constitution, ethnicity, and the rule of law.  Internal to Israel, Arabs serve in the judiciary and the IDF and some of the most heroic resistance against the Oct 7th incursion was by Arab soldiers in the IDF who fooled the HAMAS insurgents that they were comrades and managed to kill them before they massacred civilians.  It was an Arab judge who sentenced the disgraced 8th President of Israel to 7 years in prison.  The Arab population of Israel has increased from 12% in 1950 to over 21% today; with Israel granting citizenship to Arabs from other nations that had married Israeli Arabs and to Jordanian Arabs of East Jerusalem.  So, prima facie, it would seem impossible to sustain the accusation that Israel is an “apartheid” state.  Arab Muslim Sophia Salma Khalifa who grew up in Israel argues this particularly powerfully in an interview.

However, it absolutely should be acknowledged that Netanyahu in the last decade with extreme controversy had sought to declare Israel more formally as a “Jewish” state, which was considered by some Arabic Knesset members as apartheid in character and intent.  The Israeli parliament passed a law in July 2018 (62-55, with 2 abstentions) that might be considered to its advocates as formalising Israel as a “Jewish” state and elevating Jewish identity within Israel as apartheid era laws had done in South Africa.  However, this seemed more akin to Netanyahu’s struggle against corruption allegations and his struggling to form a working coalition with extreme religious Jewish political parties who would probably concur with some idea of Jewish racial superiority,[17] than a fundamental shift to a proto-apartheid State.  The narrowness of the vote also indicates the unpalatability of the law for many citizens of Israel.

It also met with a vigorous riposte from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin who reiterated on Twitter that Israel “has complete equality of rights for all its citizens,” adding, “There are no first-class citizens, and there are no second-class voters. We are all equal in the voting booth. We are all represented at the Knesset.”  Rivlin did not refer to Netanyahu directly but certainly had him in mind, saying in a tweet, “Recently, when political thinking is turning all reason on its head, we hear entirely unacceptable remarks about the Arab citizens of Israel.”  It should also be noted Arabic has remained an official language and Arab members of parliament have not been politically disadvantaged; each Israeli has full voting rights and equal rights before the law.  There is no homogeneous “Jewish” identity, the politics and tensions of Israel are famous for their contention and diversity.

Perhaps most significantly, functionally, Israel is the only democracy of the Middle East which is known for its autocratic familial dynasties that were often established in their modern form with Western imperialist help.  It is not difficult to find the testimony [18] of Arabs living in Israel who are glad they are living in Israel or who grew up in Israel.

4      The Question of the Legitimacy of a Jewish State

4.1     Overview

One of the basic objections to the modern State of Israel is that it has no legitimacy.  However, by considering the “Jewish problem” in its historical context and the eventual solution to the “problem” that Zionism offered, we can understand the claim for the reformation of a state of Israel as equally as legitimate as the reformation of other states in the region and equivalent to the other political changes in the relations of states in the Middle East in the opening half of the 20th century.  In other words, we seek to establish the de jure basis for the nation of Israel in light of the de facto emigration to the Holy Land of Jews after the pogroms of the 19th century and the Holocaust of WWII.

We want to explore in the next two sections the pivotal role that the “New World” of the American republic played in the emergence and the support of political Zionism, considering both its theological and political background.  This should reinforce our conclusion that Zionism is not an expression or outworking of American imperialism, though we do consider that the wider global imperialisms of the European nations and the world wars certainly affected the political processes of the region; but rather we argue the Zionist vision persisted and was strengthened because of the work of influential Jewish Americans and the ethical force that originated in the Christian principles undergirding the civic practice of the American republic and the moral and theological sense of some important American presidents.  It was the uniqueness of the American republic borne out of the quest for liberty, that allowed the Zionist vision to incubate in the League of Nations era.  This was then combined with the political and moral imperatives flowing in the wake of the Holocaust of WWII, which eventually led to pressure within the newly formed United Nations to formulate a resolution creating a Jewish homeland.

4.2     America, The Jews, and the Emergence of Political Zionism

The relationship between America and the Jews is almost as old as the country itself.  Jews had arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654 (which became New York in 1674) [19] from a Dutch East Indies base of Recife in South America after the Portuguese had recaptured it from the Dutch.  The Dutch had adopted a relatively enlightened attitude to the Jews in contrast to the pogroms and persecution common throughout the rest of Europe, they advocated religious tolerance and worked with the Jewish merchants.

This was principally because the Dutch were enduring their own struggle for independence, suffering at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition in standing for religious freedom against the Papists and their Spanish allies.[20]  Such was the appreciation of the Dutch for the five Jews that were their partners in commerce in Recife that when Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch colonial governor of New Amsterdam, sought to turn these refugees away (because they were Jewish) he was overruled by the directors of the Dutch West India Company in Amsterdam.  Two other Jews had previously come directly from Amsterdam in association with the trading company which was quite possibly how there was such an intervention.

The first synagogue incorporated in North America was in 1763 (Recife still has the first synagogue of the Americas) and in 1790 they asked the first president of the United States, General George Washington, to address them as “to what it means to be an American”.  Washington was famous for his advocation of pluralism in the matters of religion as well as most aspects of civic life and he emphasised to them the idea of one nation coming together, and that people should be loyal and patriotic defenders of the new republic without denying their own ethnic uniqueness.

The Jewish presence in the United States increased enormously during the 1880s when Russia and Eastern Europe engaged in a systematic and brutal campaign that led to the expulsion and fleeing of 1.8 million Jews, around 1.3 million of those arrived in the US with others going to South Africa, Australia, and South America.  This fleeing was of necessity, this was a struggle for the very existence of the Jews as an ethnic group [21] for the Tsarist policies explicitly aimed at the eradication of a distinctively Jewish consciousness.[22]  Thus, this was also the time of the first major migration back to the historic homeland but it must be noted that there was already a substantial Jewish presence, estimated at about 10000 because of the previous migration of prominent Rabbis since the 11th century and their founding of religious communities in anticipation of the return of the Messiah.[23]  This is recognised even by Aljazeera today in their otherwise revisionist account of the Palestinian Nakba.  Here the writer referred to them in the following way:

“the community of Palestinian Jews, known as the Yishuv, amounted to three percent of the total population. In contrast to the Zionist Jews who would arrive in Palestine later, the original Yishuv did not aspire to build a modern Jewish state in Palestine.” [24]

If nothing else, this demonstrates the continuing presence of Jews in the Holy Land contrary to the common perception that the sacking of Rome in AD70 had dispersed the Jews in their entirety and “then, 1,800 years later, suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back”.[25]  Importantly, Aljazeera also confirms just how few people there were living in the land, with estimates of around 250000 prior to the first major migration of this period.

Further, what was significant with this new wave of emigration was that Zionism was becoming a political, rather than a religious movement.  For example, one of the most significant developments in modern Zionism was to occur in 1891 when 400 US political officials, including mayors [26] and a future president called on Europe to address the persecution of the Jews particularly in Russia and Eastern Europe by making provision for a Jewish homeland.  This, although motivated by a strong religious commitment in one of its principal organisers (see below), was a signed political declaration, which although it was largely ignored in Europe, seems to have influenced the predominantly secular Jew Theodor Herzl in framing his proposal for a Jewish State in Der Judenstaat published in 1896 which is generally acknowledged as the beginning of the modern Zionist movement, at least as far as the Jewish State itself is concerned.[27]  There is not a formal acknowledgment of this link by Herzl but it seems to be a reasonable and plausible inference because Herzl used identical language to that declaration.

As indicated, it was of major significance that it was made as a political declaration, but the theological background nevertheless remains important.  It is arguable that the Reverend William E Blackstone (W.E.B) with his dispensational premillennialism was more significant with regards to the birth of modern Zionism as his work predated Herzl but as a Christian minister, was not acceptable to either the secular or the religious Jews.[28]  Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jew to serve in the United States Supreme Court (1917) and arguably the single most important figure in establishing the Zionist vision in the US, was allegedly [29] of that opinion:

“Mr. Brandeis is perfectly infatuated with the work that you have done along the lines of Zionism. It would have done your heart good to have heard him assert what a valuable contribution to the cause your document is. In fact, he agrees with me that you are the Father of Zionism, as your work antedates Herzl”.[30]

Thus, the strong and enduring connection between “Christian Zionism” and its support for the Jewish state grew from the 1860s onwards, as Blackstone employed the dispensational premillennialism of John Nelson Darby and D L Moody [31] which had as one of its distinctives a restorationist moniker at its centre.  As in early Jewish Messianism, the restoration of a Jewish state in the Holy Land was seen to be a precondition for and a sign of the Messiah’s return.  With their pessimistic cultural perspective and their characteristic newspaper exegesis heralding “the signs of the times” (with Darwinism seen as evidence of the “Great Apostasy” [32]), this brand of evangelicalism rapidly solidified in the Fundamentalist movement that emerged directly from these Niagara Prophecy conferences in the two decades following the inaugural 1878 meeting. As part of the process of the consolidation of this new evangelicalism, it was to be the publication of the Scofield reference bible in 1909 popularising the restorationist position that ensured that by the early 1920s, Christian Zionism was the default position of the Pentecostal and Fundamentalist movements and has remained so in the successor movements.[33]

However, there was a political awareness and a corresponding commitment to political change amongst the early restorationist thinkers which was in stark contrast to the later Fundamentalists and Pentecostals who became their putative successors.  The 1878 conference had discussed the Berlin Treaty, where the Balkan countries had been returned to their original owners after the occupation by an empire power.  The Ottoman empire was collapsing in Europe and the end of its rule over the Holy Land was imminent and this was seen as an opportunity for the reformation of a Jewish state in their ancient homeland as a final solution to antisemitism and the “Jewish problem”.  Blackstone’s 1891 memorial was re-presented to two different presidents in Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, but the Zionist cause had lost its potential for political advantage by Roosevelt [34] and it was to be Wilson’s appointee to the Supreme Court, the Jew prodigy Brandeis that radically changed the Zionist consciousness within American Jewry; he toured and lectured, making it possible for a Jew to be considered both a loyal American but standing in support of Zionist goals.

The British dimension was also significant in this early period of the growth of Zionism.  With tacit American agreement,[35] the British, poised to become the major imperialist power in the Middle East, had made the Balfour declaration in 1917 whose stated purpose was a homeland for the Jewish people in what was now becoming known politically as Palestine.[36]  Thus, following WWI and the establishment of the League of Nations by Woodrow Wilson, the British were in tight control of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, France the controlling power in Syria and Lebanon.  However, the same declaration also contained the clause, “Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” and with tensions beginning to emerge between the different regional powers and parties to the discussions, very little was done concretely to advance the resolution until after WWII.[37]

Notwithstanding, what was particularly significant and relevant for us was that throughout the 1920s, the League of Nations was recognising the statehood of the Arab nations (Saudi Arabia was established with imperialist agreement in 1932) and this gave Woodrow Wilson the moral authority to push for equity for the Jews after more than a decade of no progress with moving a possible state forward.  Blackstone had been advised by Brandeis “that the time was not right” to push Wilson but after a series of delays, Blackstone had approached Wilson directly via another close aide and had presented to Wilson.  However, Brandeis’ reading of the politics did seem more astute than Blackstone’s, as Wilson explained to Blackstone that he was deferring to the strategy of Brandeis to achieve the Zionist goals.[38]

The consensus seems to have been that Wilson was morally and spiritually committed to statehood for the Jews but did not see a pragmatic utility in pushing it politically during his presidency, not believing it would be successful in the current climate of the League of Nations.  This became all the more the case when Wilson was replaced by Roosevelt in 1933, who was sympathetic to national socialism and held antipathy towards the Jews, and it was only Brandeis’ aforementioned work in the background that strengthened American commitment to Zionism in the succeeding decades owing to Brandeis’ position and esteem.

4.3     The UN-Resolution for the Partition of Palestine

Following the Jewish experience during WWII in which 1/3rd of world Jewry was destroyed and the massive displacement that resulted at the end of the war of European Jewry (who either could not or did not want [39] to return to the nations from which they were deported to the Concentration camps), there was created amongst the Jews a strong desire to return to their historic homeland.  The refusal of the British to allow anything more than minimal immigration to Palestine meant that immigrants were being intercepted on an enormous scale and kept in what amounted to similar conditions to the prison camps from which they had just escaped.  Surveys by the British asked the immigrants in the camps where would they like to go if their historic homeland was unavailable, and they were frequently met with the answer “the graveyard” or “the crematorium”.  This offended the moral sensibility of the new American president Harry S Truman, who was far more concerned with the welfare of the Jews than his predecessor Roosevelt and he was concerned to ensure what was just and proper for the Jewish people in light of the privileges granted to and the agreements with [40] the surrounding Arab nations by the retiring imperial powers of the Middle East.

Pressure was brought in the newly formed United Nations which culminated in a tripartite resolution on the 29th November 1947 which was a detailed, comprehensive and complex resolution [41] which mandated the creation of independent Jewish and Arab states.[42]  This was despite the opposition that coalesced in the surrounding (and competing amongst themselves) Arab nations about granting the Jews any homeland at all and the direct subterfuge of the British to prevent it happening in actuality even though it had been mandated by the UN. In particular, the Jordanian forces were British officered and armed against the Jews whilst the British simultaneously denied to the interim Jewish government the right to purchase arms and other military equipment for securing their borders after the handover.  The Jordanian Hashemite Kingdom had been allowed to annexe and blockade Jerusalem in the closing weeks of British rule, effectively isolating the city in the weeks before the handover.

The British were being very shrewd in their politicking, they understood that “without Jerusalem, there was no state of Israel”,[43] it was the symbolic and religious heart of Israel; without a Jerusalem to fight for, they believed the Jewish people would abandon their hopes of and struggle for statehood.[44]  The unofficial Jewish militia aided by US Colonel Michael Marcus,[45] a veteran of clearing out the death camps at the end of WWII and responsible for the legal proceedings regarding the Nuremburg trials, broke the blockade to preserve the Jewish presence and right to West Jerusalem – the partition lines were to be frozen according to the status quo on the ground on the day of the termination of the British mandate.

The imperial powers were far more concerned with military alliances with the Arab nations previously under their control than with honouring the resolution, which resulted in an attempted walk back in the general assembly of the substance of the resolution.[46]  However, with the blockade of Jerusalem broken, it ensured that Israel could declare independence at the termination of the British mandate under the terms of the original resolution and maintain they had a defensible right to do so.  It was on this basis that the proto government of the Jewish community declared their statehood on the day of the termination of the British mandate:

“The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable.

This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign State.

ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE’S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF Israel…”

There then occurred the most significant event in the history of the nation.  Within a few minutes, the United States had recognised the new State of Israel.  This was followed by the USSR within three days which basically ensured the de facto survival of the State despite the political opposition which has continued right up to the present day.  It also gained full UN membership on May 11, 1949, cementing its de jure legitimacy, and is currently recognised by 165 of the 193 UN member countries.  It is of note that a significant number of countries once recognised Israel but no longer do so and that some Arab nations that initially refused to recognise Israel now do so.  In some of the former, this is to do with communist type insurgencies, there is a peculiar affinity between violent communist revolutionaries and violent Islamic revolutionaries deriving from Lenin’s original analysis of the Islamic prerogative.[47]

Continued support for Israel by the US is equally permeated by myth and reality.  It is true that the US has prevented the anti-Israel movement within the UN of achieving their goals.  It is truly remarkable that over half of all UN resolutions (under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have condemned Israel.  As Chuck Missler once noted, “there are other problems in the world other than Israel”; the amount of time spent passing resolutions against Israel is totally disproportionate indicating a deep and systemic bias against Israel.

It is also true that the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a number of resolutions stating that Israel’s strategic relationship with the United States, a superpower and permanent member of the Security Council with veto power, encourages the former to pursue aggressive and expansionist policies and practices in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.  The 9th Emergency Session of the UNGA was convened at the request of the UNSC when the United States blocked all efforts to adopt sanctions against Israel.  The United States responded to the frequent criticism from United Nations organs by adopting the Negroponte doctrine of opposing any UNSC resolutions criticizing Israel that did not also denounce Palestinian militant activity.

It does seem beyond dispute that the US has remained the strongest ally of Israel and most importantly has prevented active military intervention against Israel by a UN-mandated force or the imposition of “sanctions” for alleged abuses against the Palestinian people.  It is of note that the EU block despite its official support for Israel in most cases sends at least €750m to the Palestinian Authority to “protect its interests”.  As Aljazeera puts it:

“Many now view Abbas’s government as authoritarian, propped up by the likes of the EU and other deeply invested donors who have thrown billions of dollars into keeping his sinking ship afloat. The administration is viewed as irredeemably corrupt – PA bigwigs enjoy VIP status and lifestyles, with travel privileges not afforded to the rest of the population. Its reputation sunk to new lows when Abbas called off elections in 2021, fearing Fatah would be trounced in the poll. Protests erupted after Nizar Banat, an independent candidate, was arrested, and later died in police custody”.[48]

It should be expected that other countries do the same as the voting records of the UNSC and UNHCR demonstrate.  However, the US has also supported Israel in the six (and now the seventh) major conflict both on the wider world media stage and the UN.  Most significantly, Trump strongly supported the Abraham accords of 2020 which led the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan to normalise relations with Israel.  This was perhaps the most dramatic shift in relations since the foundation of Israel and recovered the momentum of the period which had first emerged when Jordan had normalised relations earlier in 1994 in response to the Oslo accords [49] when Israel had agreed to the foundation of the Palestinian National Authority as a self-governing “interim administration” in the West Bank and Gaza.  It also was the backdrop to the active discussion Israel was in with Saudi Arabia to normalise relations which would be a major turning point for the balance of power in the Middle East.

However, it is easy to overplay the US support, particularly in recent years when the US courted Iran, international groups of nations [50] gave (and continue to give) large grants to the extreme Palestinian regimes and support for Israel is made “conditional” on certain undertakings regarding statehood for the “Palestinians” and unsettling “occupied” territories.  The repeated pushing during previous conflicts of Israel into premature “cease-fires” for “humanitarian purposes” has prevented Israel from being anything but reactive to aggression over the last 20 years in addition to the major conflicts.  It should also be noted that the “interests” of the EU we noted above might also be considered to coincide with the wider Western interests, including centrally the US (who under Clinton oversaw the Oslo accords), once viewing Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen) as relatively moderate and pragmatic.[51]  Those “interests” were strong enough in the present conflict for the EU to rescind within hours the declaration they were to cease sending the financial support to the “region”, which is slightly obfuscated reference to both their financial support for the PA and HAMAS,[52] the rival Palestinian faction in control of the Gaza strip.  That is, with this in view, we should remind ourselves of our own naivety and culpability for the attack on Israel.

Hundreds of billions in “aid” has been sent to Gaza which was appropriated by HAMAS over decades to build a network of underground tunnels and to stockpile weapons.  Over 10000 rockets were fired into Israel in a 24-hour period on Oct 7th.  What should have reached the people to build schools, roads and power infrastructure has become part of the massive personal fortunes of the leadership of HAMAS.  HAMAS intentionally destroyed the economic infrastructure that was left in Gaza when the Jewish settlers were evicted in 2006 as part of the agreement with the PA which would have guaranteed the Gazans an independent income; they intentionally kept their population impoverished for political advantage and to create within their own people a strong antipathy towards Israel.[53]  They were happy to use their own people as human shields and to sacrifice them as future suicide bombers and expendable soldiers.  We will consider HAMAS in more detail shortly as we deal with the context of the current conflict.

5      The Existential Struggle of the Nation

Despite having the backing of the tripartite resolution of the UNGA of 29th November 1947 for the partition of Palestine, Israel within hours of its declaration of independence was attacked by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan supported by a broad Arab coalition known as the “Arab League”.[54]  The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem declared an Islamic Holy War against the Jews, the holy men of Al-Azhar University in Cairo called on the Muslim world to proclaim a Jihad (Holy War) against the Jews and King Abdulaziz Al-Saud (the first king and absolute monarch of Saudi Arabi founded in 1932) declared “there are fifty million Arabs and one million Jews, what if we lose 10 million Arabs to destroy the Jews? [It would be worth it]”.  This was to be the Israeli war of independence and the basis of the legend of the Palestinian “Nakba” (catastrophe) which was the alleged “ethnic cleansing of Palestine”.  Aljazeera paints a graphic picture for us of the Zionist brutality of this period:

“Every year on May 15, Palestinians around the world, numbering about 12.4 million, mark the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the near-total destruction of Palestinian society in 1948…On that day, the State of Israel came into being. The creation of Israel was a violent process that entailed the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland to establish a Jewish-majority state, as per the aspirations of the Zionist movement.” [55]

This account provided for us by Aljazeera is informative if not for the misinformation and misrepresentation which has rewritten history and created the false metanarrative around the “Palestinian problem” which is apparently entirely the responsibility of Israel, and, if we are to believe the political spokesman for HAMAS, Ghazi Hamad, would be solved by obliterating Israel.  Ghazi makes this clear that this is by any and all means necessary:

“…We are a nation of martyrs and we’re proud to sacrifice martyrs…I am talking about all the Palestinian lands.  Does that mean the annihilation of Israel? – Yes, of course.  The existence of Israel is illogical.  We are the victims of the occupation.  Period.  Therefore, nobody should blame us for the things we do.”

Now, to ensure there is no ambiguity as to what Ghazi means, he spells it out for us so that we know exactly what his logic entails.  He wants to appeal to logic by calling the existence of Israel “illogical” and “the existence of Israel is what causes all that pain, blood, and tears”.  We must believe that he believes that removing Israel will usher in an era of peace where the Arab brotherhood welcomes Palestine into the fold; of course, that would entail a second civil war between Fatah, other PLO factions and HAMAS to decide who will rule this New Jerusalem but let us forget that little detail.  Ghazi is prepared to spell out what he means by “for the things we do”:

“On October 7 [the day of the brutal attack on Israel], October 10, October 1000000 – everything we do is justified”.[56] [Emphasis added]

That is, if we manage to kill a million Jews to liberate the land, that is what we must do.  So just what does HAMAS believe is justifiable, just what is morally equivalent to the “pain, blood, and tears” of the occupation.  Well, let us enumerate:

  1. HAMAS’ military infrastructure, as in missile launchers and heavy weaponry is embedded in residential areas and children’s play areas.
  2. Other missile launch sites are the top of public buildings, with other hospitals being a particular favourite.
  3. HAMAS’ military headquarters is situated directly underneath the largest hospital in Gaza; this is now verified by the US.
  4. HAMAS on the Oct 7 attack, made absolutely no distinction between military and civilian targets. If you were in a car driving along the road, your car would be riddled with bullets until you stopped and if you happened to be still alive, you would be shot – this would all be streamed live.
  5. Hostages were taken from special need schools, retirement homes and included pregnant mothers and babies. These were for the express purpose to be exchanged for Palestinian fighters in Israeli jails.
  6. Women and children were taken as additional prisoners but not generally for the purpose of ransom. The women were to be “raped and dirtied” before being killed.  Children were to be abused publicly by other indoctrinated children and this too was to be streamed for the express purpose of terrorising the enemy.
  7. The rape and murder experience was to be enhanced by taking the “ISIS” designer amphetamine drug Captagon, it helps enhance the rape experience so much that you break the pelvic bones of those females you rape – mothers, daughters and grandmothers,[57] whilst the family watches and before you kill both them and the parents, all captured on bodycams for posterity and to terrorise your enemies, “you’re next”.
  8. “Enhanced rape” also included killing during the rape, cutting off parts of the body/genitals and multiple rape before execution.[58]
  9. Have a problem with Israeli soldiers attempting to take back the kibbutz or village you have just overrun? Tie up all the teenagers in a single room and chuck in a hand grenade – problem solved and let them pick up the pieces.
  10. Babies in pregnant women? Cut the women open and behead the babies, we do not want them growing up to oppress us.
  11. Babies in cribs? Burn them alive or behead them – whatever so Allah has ordained for the offspring of the infidel.
  12. Fancy cooked baby? Heat up the oven, back to Auschwitz; symbiotic with what they were chanting on the streets of the US and Europe, “gas the Jews”.
  13. The oppressors need to feel your pain – cut off their limbs, cut off their genitals, cut off their hands and then shoot them. But be sure to WhatsApp it home, “Father and Mother, I have killed ten Jews with these hands! You should be proud of your son!”
  14. Let them scream as much as you have screamed – tie their hands behind their back and burn them slow until the bodies are charcoal.
  15. Feel free to break every aspect of the Geneva convention by using ambulances to transport your fighters but insist that Israel follow “international law” and grant a ceasefire immediately.
  16. Israel has 40 ambulances, let us destroy 11 of them and make sure you get the first responders for extra bonus points.
  17. God Is Great and we do this in the name of our God – He has ordained this, and He approves of it. Our Holy Book tells us to fight and fight we do.

So, what is the response of the educated and civilised West to the HAMAS manifesto and this practical exposition?  Do we have some difficulties with the details of the execution of the programme or the logic of Ghazi that we have just enumerated above?

6      The International Response to HAMAS

Well, surprisingly little.  Most capitals and large cities around Europe and the US have seen demonstrations as large as 300000 (in Berlin), 100000 in London.  Hezbollah has been on television congratulating the demonstrators in the West for endorsing the Islamic way of resistance through annihilation.  The streets of London have been ringing with the chant of “an Intifada from London to Gaza” [59] which is a call to all Moslems to Islamic revolution across the West.  The Ivy League campuses of Harvard generated condemnation of Israel and the holding of them responsible for the death of 1400 of their own citizens in one day and the kidnap of 265 others by no less than 35 student organisations. The declarations by the demonstrators are clear:

  1. Free Palestine – by this we mean “from the River to the Sea”, the complete destruction of the State of Israel and a denial of the right of the Jewish people to have any right to land in their historic homeland.
  2. Wisconsin students got it right as they sang, “glory to the murders, resistance by any means necessary.” That is, we have an absolute moral right to be absolutely immoral, our ends justify the means absolutely.  You are the oppressor, we are the oppressed, our resistance by any means necessary is thus moral and justified.
  3. Oxford University Union lined up to debate Ben Shapiro to justify that it was illegitimate that Israel should exist, and the State should be completely destroyed. Cambridge obliged likewise.

What about the messages from our politicians and our public servants?

  1. The leader of the British Labour Party and the Vice President of the US both agree that “Islamophobia” is the priority to deal with at this time, not the blatant and violent Anti-Semitism advocated by the demonstrators as they call for “Jihad” on the streets. After all, there is an election soon and we do not want to alienate Moslem voters after we worked so hard to get them onside and have worked so hard to be “inclusive”.
  2. The London police will arrest you for racially aggravated assault should you object to Palestinian flags or should you want to demonstrate your support for Israel, but feel free to call for the genocide of the Jews.
  3. The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police announced decisions to arrest for “chanting Jihad” will be “contextual” but make sure you do not misgender in any context, you will be arrested for hate-speech.
  4. The three college Presidents of the Ivy League schools in the US argued testified before congress that chants for “Jihad”, “Intifada” and “From the River to the Sea” were “not necessarily” intimidation or hate speech against Jewish students. Even calls for the “genocide” of Jewish people would require “context”. [60]

Now, right at the beginning of this study we understood that this embrace of the “Palestinian struggle” is conceived of as a just one and we must identify with the oppressed against the oppressor whilst asking virtually no meaningful questions.  We demurred and indeed asked those questions.  However, the leader of the UN disagrees with us and substantively reaffirms the justice equation, he made that clear – over 55 years of injustice and occupation by Israel of the Palestinian lands; HAMAS have been a little bit naughty, but who can blame them?  (My paraphrase).  However, therein lies the problem and it is utterly incomprehensible that the leader of the organisation that granted the right of the Jewish people to establish their homeland is so ignorant of the political background we worked through earlier in the essay and what has transpired since the resolution of 1947.

7      Deconstructing the Present-Day UN-Response

Firstly, Palestinian nationalism was virtually unknown as a political movement before WWI and never became a serious political movement, even amongst the PLO until after the 1967 “Six Day War”.  It was a political response (and later an ideological, religious response) to the utter humiliation of three Arab armies that Israel had defeated after being attacked which enlarged Israeli territory four times its original size and its territory now encompassed the land that would have been the Palestinian state if the Arabs had allowed the partition to take place.  In other words, it was the dual failure of the Arab nations to implement the resolution and their failed pre-emptive attack that focussed the new PLO demands for the recovery of the land that had been lost.

In particular, the leader of the pan-Arab secular movement, Egyptian General Nasser, who had been driving the conflict since the Suez crisis, was damaged irreversibly by the crushing defeat which ultimately discredited his pan-Arabian secular ideology and reopened the door for a revolutionary ideology which was a synthesis of Islamic fundamentalism and communist revolutionary ideology.  The USSR had become a regional power by allying itself against the West and with the Arabs, supplying arms to Egypt during the Suez crisis.  The PLO understood that salvation for the “Palestinian Arabs” would not be coming from military action by the surrounding Arab nations, it would require direct action by the displaced themselves.

Second, “Palestine” did not exist in history as any type of independent political or state entity, subsequent to the Roman destruction of historic Israel in AD70 and the further dispersal of Jewish communities in AD134.  The Romans named it as a province after the Philistine tribe, but the land was only sparsely populated with both Jews, Arabs, and Moslems until the early 1800s.  Even in the 1880s when Jews began to return from the pogroms and persecution in Russia there were barely 250000 inhabitants, most of who spoke Arabic but who did not have a separate national identity.  That is, Palestinian “Arabs” did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:

“We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.”

Similarly, when the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said, “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not”.  Palestine is never explicitly mentioned in the Koran, rather the region is called “the holy land” (al-Arad al-Muqaddash).

We can strengthen this position by considering that in 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: “There is no such country [as Palestine]! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.”  The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations submitted a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947 that said, “Palestine was part of the Province of Syria” and that, “politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity”.  A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO (1964-1967), told the Security Council: “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria”.

Thirdly, it was recognised universally within the UN in 1948 shortly after the initial resolution that mandated the creation of the partitioned state of Palestine that it was the Arab nations, and not Israel that were not complying with the terms of the resolution.  The UN Palestine Commission was prevented by the Arabs and the British [61] of entering Palestine to implement the resolution.  This is even documented within the official Security Council archive:

“Powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein.”[62]

It was also freely admitted by the Arabs at that time:

“The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.” [63]

The intention of the Arabs to destroy Israel in its entirety, regardless of the resolution, could not have been clearer.  Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, put it this way:

“It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.” [64]

It was indeed brutal.  Jordan’s King Abdullah was to besiege the Old City of Jerusalem and the Jews surrendered after 150 days of fighting and an eleven-day siege:

“Al Quds was purged of Jews and for the first time in 1000 years no Jews remained there.” He added, “I have seen in this defeat of the Jews the heaviest blow rendered upon them, especially in terms of morale, since they were evicted from the Western Wall and from the Jewish Quarter, for the first time in 15 generations.” [65]

It is significant that it was from Jordan and not from Syria that the strongest support for the war had come.  The British had installed a non-representative dynasty in Jordan.  We have already seen that historically the region had been considered part of Syria.  This indicated that there was no independent “Palestinian Arab” demand for a separate State, this was to follow much later:

“The Palestinian Arabs had at present no will of their own. Neither have they ever developed any specifically Palestinian nationalism. The demand for a separate Arab state in Palestine is consequently relatively weak. It would seem as though in existing circumstances most of the Palestinian Arabs would be quite content to be incorporated in Transjordan.” [66]

It was rather that Israel would not be permitted on any basis despite Israel’s de facto borders being set initially to the armistice lines as Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria conceded to Israel between Feb 1949 to July 1949.  Notably, Ben Gurion refused to declare these political or territorial borders, stating that final borders could only be the result of peace treaties which needed to include a de jure recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

This pattern has been repeated again and again in recent history.  Israel has been attacked, has emerged the victor and has expanded its territory with a view to consolidating its internal security and its borders.  Ignoble alliances formed within the wider context of the Cold War invaded the security council and isolated Israel.  The UN no longer became a vehicle for peace but a vehicle of political molestation of Israel and a voice for a newly articulated Palestinian nationalism.  Their own resolutions and reports of the committees regarding Arab aggression were filed away and the Cold War dynamic seeking control of the Middle East with its strategic resources of oil, were played out in the politicking.

It is of note that despite the anti-Israel rhetoric, there was no willingness amongst the surrounding Arab nations to grant the displaced Arabs an independent homeland or to receive them as refugees, to grant them land and property.  It was this realisation that the first leader of the PLO understood as the imperative for a distinctively Palestinian solution (for other Arab nations, especially Syria and Jordan, wanted the land for themselves after the departing imperial powers had already gifted them large areas of “Palestine”) and considered themselves to have a legitimate claim over it.  Thus, the post-1967 narrative has been built on a demonisation of Israel and the rewriting of history in casting the Palestinians as victims of Israeli aggression rather than Israel defending itself against repeated Arab aggression.[67]

8      To The Present Day – Growing Peace with Israel

However, outside the West Bank and Gaza the nationalistic Palestinian narrative had been becoming less compelling for most of the surrounding nations.  It is of note that the Arab response to HAMAS’ assault has been particularly restrained.  Despite a sizable gathering of Arab and Islamic nations in Saudi, the final communique was “vague and weak” leading Aljazeera to comment that it was notable who did not attend from within the Arab and Muslim world, and the vast differences in opinion amongst those that did attend.  They declared the final communique of the condemnation of Israel and the rejection that the war was “self-defence” was more for public consumption than a plan of action.[68]  Similarly, King Abdullah of Jordan focussed on the Palestinian civilians [69] rather than endorsing any of the actions of HAMAS.  It was also notable that a Saudi prince was public in his defence of Israel and others with governmental roles have been prepared to condemn HAMAS.[70]

That is, there are other countries in the Middle East and Israel has not caused the problems between them that are centuries old.  Rather, Israel is merely a convenient item to promote wider sectarian interests amongst the various Arab factions, centred most obviously in the present day around Shi’i Iran and in opposition to Sunni Saudi Arabia.  For example, the Iran-Iraq war which lasted eight years demonstrated the deep divide in the Arab world between Sunni Islam and Shi’ite Islam.  After the Islamic revolution in Iran of 1979, Iran has been the sponsor of Shi’i insurgency throughout the Arab nations, building Hezbollah in Lebanon, and sponsoring the Houthi rebels in Yemen.  Its antipathy is directed against the Sunni ideology of the Saudis which it views as corrupt and degenerate.

Palestinian politics is different.  The Fatah faction that controls the PA still have an active military wing but lacks the strong financial backing of Iran.  The characterisation made in Aljazeera which compares the Palestinian Authority as merely as adjunct of Israeli power and subject to it is just inaccurate, they are under threat from Iran just as Israel is.  If they are not fighting with the Israelis, they would fight with their radical Shi’ite enemies as happened in the brief civil war between Fatah and HAMAS when the Gazans elected HAMAS in 2007.[71]  In such a complex security situation, Israel has a legitimate right to protect its people and the weakness of the PA, especially with respect to HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and other Iranian sponsored groups allied now with ISIS and Al Qaeda, requires Israel act unilaterally but this is not necessarily because it wants to, it must act unilaterally in order to survive.[72]  Thus, Israel has no significance in these religious regional conflicts which reflect a fundamental difference in Islamic ideology and identity other than when worked as an adjunct to a Fundamentalist form of Islam that views the Jews as rejected by Allah and subject to divine wrath.

Yet in pragmatic terms, Israel’s resilience has meant that many Arab nations wanted to find a way of making peace with Israel.  There was not a fundamental antipathy amongst the Arab populace to Israel, nor amongst the Israelis to Arabs more generally.   We have already seen that Israel is not an “apartheid” State.  It is multicultural and multiethnic.  Israel also opens its borders to workers and provides food, power, and trade to its neighbours, including the Palestinian Authority.[73]  There was clearly an appetite for reconciliation with Israel shown most dramatically with the trade between the nations, Israelis holidaying in Arab regions, attending Arab restaurants and quarters.  All this wider cultural “good will” between Arab and Israeli was what was leveraged doing the Abraham Accords. It is within the context of this good will and political progress that the HAMAS attack must be understood.  For Iran, the Accords diminish its power and influence in the region and the more Arab nations recognise Israel, even if in just a de facto manner, the more pressure there is for the “Palestinian” Arabs to negotiate and come to a settlement with Israel.

9      To The Present Day – Destroying the Peace with Israel

In this context, the aim of HAMAS was understandable as a desperate move to reverse this normalisation of relations with Israel in the wider Arab world and its methodology straightforward – execute an attack against Israel that was so brutal and callous, that Israel would strike with maximum force and vengeance.  The hope was Israel would depart from its characteristic restraint during military operations; that is, the going out of its way to warn civilians and to minimise civilian casualties and exact a bloody and fierce retribution because HAMAS was embedded by design in civilian areas.  To this end, HAMAS actively prevented its citizens from evacuating and were more than happy to put them in harm’s way for propaganda purposes and as an issue of military strategy. It is notable that the elite leaders of HAMAS, evacuated rapidly to Qatar rather than embrace the martyrdom that they advocated on Lebanese television and in commanding their citizens not to flee the fighting in response to Israeli warnings.

HAMAS desired not just the Arab world to be united against Israel but the entire apparatus of the UN and the Muslim immigrants that now permeate most Western nations.  The leader of Hezbollah could not contain his glee on Lebanese TV as he saw the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on European and American city streets.   The West in its drive for “inclusiveness” and “tolerance” is particularly morally weak at this point in history, both academia and mainstream media are predominantly Statist and neo-Marxist in outlook (think anti-Imperialism, anti-Capitalist, critical-race theory, identity politics, ‘Green’ environmentalism).  The WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) is an anathema that must be purged from the Earth in Holy Fire along with those other sinners, the MAGA republicans and all ‘Far-Right’ dissidents.  By ‘Far Right’ we mean what 10 years ago would have been called the consensus centre.

HAMAS indeed executed and documented, celebrated the extermination of entire Jewish communities, which as noted by one Jewish commentator is worse than the Nazis who committed atrocities but sought to cover them up to the rest of the world, knowing they were morally repugnant to the vast majority of the West.[74]  It is this unacceptable violence and ethnic cleansing that was celebrated on American college campuses, “glory to the murders, resistance by any means necessary”.  Similarly, in London and Berlin where 300000 chanted “from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free”, “Intifada from London to Gaza” and “gas the Jews”; we appreciate that HAMAS is an internationalist revolutionary organisation, and that the “Palestinian question” is a convenient launching pad, nothing more.[75]

HAMAS is happy to exploit the liberal values that permit protest and free speech but have no intention to reciprocate it in their own revolution and particularly not in Gaza; it is just a means to an end of amplifying their message through influential Western institutions on the back of Western weakness.  Similarly, it is an exploitation of the destructive effect on the West’s moral centre in the wake of mass immigration, legal and illegal into the West from Muslim countries.  There is no reciprocal respect in Islam for religious pluralism, Muslims have no reticence of agitating for their own customs, rights and beliefs once they are a significant population group or a majority population group within a region.

As a case study, the British city of Birmingham has had various controversies regarding the agitation of Moslems in educational settings imposing or demanding an Islamic curriculum and self-censorship of materials considered controversial to Moslems within mainstream schools has been reported in North Yorkshire which has a high Moslem concentration.[76]  Cities like Bradford were represented by an MP who openly supported ISIS in the early days of their caliphate, and it was estimated at least 250 000 British Moslems went to fight for ISIS.[77]  When after the Paris attacks France gave attention to the communities from which the Moslem “extremists” came, it is notable that significant numbers migrated to Birmingham in response and were happy to be interviewed on British TV declaring “I am so happy here, I can live as a Moslem”.

By “living as a Moslem” they mean living under Sharia Law and according to Islamic custom, not British jurisprudence.  Despite the facile accusations of “racism” when this is pointed out, some mainstream politicians (including the children of immigrants) are being public in their declarations that the “multiculturalism” which permits these kind of parallel communities, rather than some expectation of integration into the host nation’s values and cultures (as would have been the expectation of General Washington as he spoke to the Jews) has been a catastrophic failure.  The open support for the barbaric and brutal HAMAS demonstrates the depth of the bankruptcy of that ideology.

10   Conclusion

So, in summary, and as a final piece of analysis, we can conclude that to characterise the existence of Israel as some kind of American Imperialist plot, or even some wider “Western” Imperialist plot is a peculiar blend of internationalist revolutionary Marxist rhetoric and internationalist revolutionary Islamic rhetoric.  In Lenin, both programmes were seen as struggles of the “oppressed” against their oppressor and it should be of no surprise that the USSR quickly retreated from its support of the UN-resolution to forge its own alliances with revolutionary Islamic movements, particularly in Iran.  As the Cold War intensified so did the surreptitious activity of both West and East in advancing their own interests at the expense of supporting Israel’s right to exist.

We learnt that the UN was appropriated and taken over procedurally by those hostile to the US first and the US support of Israel as an extension of that.  The US support, patchy and unreliable and by no means unconditional, is more an expression of the wider conflicts of interest and vying for influence between the major nation blocs within the oil-rich Middle East than as a matter of principle or loyalty to Israel.  However, it would be disingenuous to discount that dimension entirely, individual American presidents have given strong and direct support to the initiatives that support Israel’s right to exist but also to promote the wider peace and stability in the region.

We also concluded that the weakness of the Western response is an alarming indication of the moral weakness and lack of confidence to defend its own liberal and democratic values.  The Leninist revolutionary ideology has had a fresh coat of paint with the reformulations offered by the Critical Theorists of the Western universities who have openly advocated for Marxism in most of the major universities of the West since the early 1960s.  The liberal public and university reactions to HAMAS is indicative of how comprehensively this more intellectually respectable formulation of Marxism has been imbibed.  This Marxism dovetails, as it did historically in the formulations of Lenin as he worked with the early Islamic revolutionaries, with modern internationalist Islamic revolutionary ideology.  We saw that it seeks to leverage the presence of Moslem immigrants in the West who might even have become displaced from their own nations because of their radicalism but then claimed “political asylum”, gaining access to the West.[78]

Thus, in final conclusion, it is not in doubt that the West sits at an inflection point and at a time of existential crisis.  It is on the one hand drifting towards totalitarian censorship of free speech in the name of “Hate Speech” whilst simultaneously tolerating extreme hate speech by those apparently the victims of “hate speech”.  They are protecting those who are working for its destruction.  Unless there is a recollection of sanity in discourse and an intellectual effort to deconstruct the Marxist narratives of identity politics, what has happened in Israel will become just as likely to happen in the West.

Further Reading and Watching

Bard, M. The Palestinian Refugees: History & Overview. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/history-and-overview-of-the-palestinian-refugees

Macneil, M. (2016).  https://planetmacneil.org/blog/dominion-theology-its-origin-development-and-place-in-christian-thinking/ (MA Dissertation)

Sachar, H. M. (2007 (1976)). From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time (3rd, Revised and Updated ed.). New York: Random House.

Yousef, Mosab Hassan. (2011). Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue and Unthinkable Choices. Authentic Media.

Arab Muslim Sophia Salma Khalifa, https://www.prageru.com/video/arab-muslim-speaks-about-her-life-in-israel gives probably the most articulate account I have heard of the false narrative surrounding Israel as an “apartheid State”.

The son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpnvUIcvNUE offers a unique and highly personal insight into the brutality of HAMAS and directly challenges his University of Michigan audience over their call on a vote to condemn Israel.

Appendix – The Christian Ethical Complication

“…The Israelis also have the clear advantage that in the eyes of the biblically literate Christian premillennialists, they are the Israel of scripture and God is on their side.  It is the sacred duty of every bible believing Christian to support our brothers and sisters in their struggle for the right to exist.” [79]

Where this becomes contentious is because there are biblical scholars who are otherwise evangelical and non-denominational who argue that it is extremely difficult to conclude that the Israel of today is “biblical” Israel in the sense of just how a “Jew” is defined and what is the relation of the Jew to Israel.  If, as Paul was to write, not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel” [80] and lest we should misunderstand his argument, he proceeds to discuss the true seed of Abraham as Israel being the children of the promise rather than the natural descendants, there are legitimate discussions to be had.

Still more difficult is the relationship of Israel to any land.  This we might recognise as the argument of Reformed theology that argues for a “replacement” theology that has already dismissed modern Israel as significant in any prophetic manner.  It is an argument that has significant scriptural support.  The irascible tone of Paul in Galatians ends with this injunction: 15 For aneither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.  16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”  Here “Israel” is polemically phrased and unequivocally associated with the people of God generally, and not the ethnically “Jewish”.  That is the point of the argument made throughout the Book of Galatians, God’s people are those that have faith in the atoning work of Christ, not by membership of an ethnic group or descent from it.

Notwithstanding, such a viewpoint as advocating a complete abandoning of God of Israel seems mistaken as Jesus seemed to indirectly acknowledge a time of the restoration of a physical kingdom to Israel [81] and the eventual climax of Paul’s demanding and complex argument of the pericope of Romans [82] dealing specifically with this very same Israel-Jewish question, certainly prefigures a national and spiritual reformation for a physical Israel [83] conceived of as a particular ethnic group:

“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in;  26 and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”  27 “And this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”  28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  (Rom 11:25-28; emphasis added)

The verse we have emphasised indicates the paradoxical distinction that must be acknowledged by believers if they are to be faithful to the whole of scripture.  The Jews as an ethnic group are both the enemies of the gospel and yet are still chosen by God.  In this regard, it is perhaps of note that “messianic Jews” are formally denied the right of Aliyah [84] and are in that sense the most discriminated against by the state of Israel.  It is of note that this was a contrary view to that of Ben Gurion, the first Primeminister, who argued that a Jew should be anyone that considers themselves to be one and it was an innovation of the orthodox religious Jews whose explicit intention was to deny the recognition of Messianic Jews.[85]

This should give us pause for thought when Christian groups advocate for “Aliyah”, any restoration of Israel must be in line with the ethical principles of scripture as a whole; God does not subvert his own Law and character.  Thus, it is also not helpful when rather crassly it is argued “God gave the land to the Jews” and that settles it and justifies anything that Israel decides politically or socially it should do.  The gospel is to be preached and demonstrated to all nations; the gospel does not advance at the expense of other nations.  It is in this respect that it is quite remarkable that it is reported that hundreds of Gazans are meeting Jesus in their dreams during the current conflict and are asking ‘Who is this Jesus?’.  Let us not be too busy with facilitating Aliyah to miss gathering in the harvest of Gaza.  The dispensation of the gospel demands we are as equally concerned with the salvation of the Gazans as we are the Jews.  Similarly, the scriptural injunction, “I will bless those that bless you, and curse those who curse you” [86] does not exempt Israel from the requirements to walk according to the principles of the Law of God or permit us as Christian believers to exempt them from the preaching of the gospel and the challenge it makes to repent.

Our ethical and political situation is not theocratic, the Son of God is not yet sitting on the throne in Jerusalem or riding on His white horse directing a military campaign against his enemies, though we can concur this is a legitimate inference from scripture for a future age.[87]  Thus, for us now, it cannot not mean the Jews might unilaterally appropriate land they do not own citing a divine mandate or evict those that are there using that same mandate.  This is as crude as HAMAS justifying its genocide and brutality with its victimhood.  This is not the dispensation of the divinely directed conquest of ancient Canaan and it is a basic error to behave intellectually as if it was.  This is not to deny Israel’s right to defend itself and to widen its territory and de facto borders in response to the aggression of its neighbours; but a lasting peace will be a negotiated peace, as Israel itself has demonstrated it is all too aware.

Rather, we are to prefer to live at peace with our neighbours and those without the faith.  Christian premillennialists can be very naïve and ignorant on this point and to be very blunt, modern Israel for virtually its entire existence has demonstrated more wisdom than the premillennialists in its politics and has conducted itself in the pluralistic manner honouring these wider scriptural principles rather than asserting a crude divine prerogative.  Ancient Israel was not a monocultural bloc (a “mixed multitude” [88] joined them in the exodus from Egypt) and it is a mistake to consider modern Israel would be for the ethnically Jewish alone.

Thus, to understand our problem we see it is far more nuanced than it might seem.  There are many verses of scripture which rather ironically agree ethically with the Qur’anic injunction, “all the sons of Abraham should live in peace” [89] but we can nevertheless recognise the biblical qualification “as much as it depends on you”.  Sometimes people really do not want to live at peace with one another and we have a legitimate, scriptural right to defend our nation, ourselves, and our property.  This is a principle that must be applied to understand the current conflict.

Notes and References

[1] However, as one Arab Muslim commentator made the ironic point, do not try to be queer in Palestine or you would be executed or stoned publicly for your efforts.

[2] This is an “all-American” style talk show (though many of its guests have a contempt for that very same America) that has run for 27-seasons on ABC.  One of the hosts, Whoopi Goldberg (who once claimed she had chosen her stage name to honour a Jewish ancestor), was infamously “suspended” in 2022 for arguing that the Holocaust was “white on white” violence and that there was no racial dimension to it.  This displays a shocking level of ignorance both of the obviously non-White Jews around the world and the other minority groups, white and non-white, that were targeted as part of the Holocaust.

[3] We have a problem of nomenclature here depending which side of the Atlantic you are on.  The British “liberal”, often spelt “Liberal” (with the capital “L”) is a noble creature of yester-year that took civilisation to the heathen and was to usher in the Promised Land of Christendom (suitably reinterpreted for the age of science) through legislation.  The World Wars drove this postmillennialist creature to near extinction.  The American “liberal” or “progressive” is equated with the European “neo-Marxist” or, as is more fashionably redesignated in recent scholarship, the “Critical Theorist” – one who has taken the “critical” methodology of Marxism and applied it outside the constraints of economic relations to a wider critique of power relations between identities in society.  This difference arose primarily because of a cultural antipathy to Statism in the early American psyche and more specifically after the conflicts with Communism during the McCarthy era in the US, it was seriously bad for your health to be known as a “Marxist” or a “Socialist”, so most academic Marxists hid behind the labels of the “liberal” or the “progressive”.  Only in the post-Trump era have some openly embraced the label “socialist” and even then, it must be prefixed with “democratic” to be more publicly acceptable.

[4] As I undertook here:  https://planetmacneil.org/blog/corruption-in-ukraine-as-reported-by-the-new-york-times/ and here:  https://planetmacneil.org/blog/ukraine-what-we-do-not-hear-about/ .

[5] One clip shows a Ukrainian crew remonstrating with their comrades to hide their swastika armbands as it would be bad optics for the evening news around the rest of the world, which was to present them as the heroes of the frontline against Russian aggression.  Aljazeera did an interesting piece on the neo-Nazi brigades in https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/1/who-are-the-azov-regiment .  The tension in this article is evident and Aljazeera’s characteristic anti-Jewish tone is missing – though many extreme Arab leaders express admiration for Hitler and his crusade against the Jews, it is not lost on these authors that these are white supremacists, and contempt for the “Semites” in this case includes the Muslims and the Arabs.  Similarly, a pre-war piece in The Nation (an American “progressive” magazine, left-leaning but with a good journalistic pedigree) also demonstrates the “state of the rot” at the heart of Ukraine, enumerating in exquisite detail the neo-Nazi ideology at the heart of its government and its culture, https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/neo-nazis-far-right-ukraine/ .

[6] My workplace has a Ukrainian office and at the beginning of the conflict the leader of the office was interviewed (as you would expect).  He made what I thought at the time were profoundly important comments that were never picked up on in the interview or subsequent to it.  He said that the previous two presidents did absolutely nothing to reduce tensions with Russia or to resolve the internal difficulties in the country.  He has also never mentioned it since in subsequent interviews and understandably so, as it runs against the grain of Western sentiment.

[7] We might add to that and “all who refuse to convert” at the first invitation of the worldwide Islamic revolution.

[8] We consider this “sacred duty” specifically in an appendix as the main body of the essay is of a general nature rather than arguing from a specific theological presupposition.

[9] That is, there is something empathetic in the American psyche of the period surrounding the creation of the Constitution which provides a hermeneutic lens through which to view the pathos of the relationship.  The early American story was one of liberty and freeing itself from the imperialist tyranny; that it as the strongest nation in the world now supports the world’s most vulnerable nation, even if that is only through the Negroponte doctrine at the UN whilst aiding and abetting Israel’s enemies behind closed door sessions, should be pause for thought.

[10] Here the word “myth” is not used in the pejorative sense of something which is a falsehood but rather in the sense of a foundational story which has dimensions beyond factuality and empirical evidence.

[11] For those of us who remember the collapse of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian conflict, the parallels are clear.

[12] Tulshinski, E. ‚ “Population exchanges in history – analysis”.  https://frontline.news/post/population-exchanges-in-history-analysis , accessed 21/12/2023.

[13] Comprehensively discussed by Mitchell Bard, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/history-and-overview-of-the-palestinian-refugees

[14] The official policy of the US State Department differed however from important military figures who helped Israel acquire weapons in an unofficial capacity as private citizens.

[15] Whilst Jordan is predominantly Palestinian Arab (though its ruling clan were imported by the British) its support for “Palestine” is vocal but not extending to the mass immigration of “refugees”.  Egypt quickly closed its borders to Gaza, only reopening after international pressure.

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid

[17] However, rather paradoxically, some of those extreme religious political parties are actually anti-Zionist in its conventional sense because they view the present state of Israel as a secular state and not the biblical Israel.  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iranian president 2006 – 2013) (in)famously and very publicly invited them to a conference strategizing as to how to dismantle the state of Israel.

[18] For example, https://www.prageru.com/video/arab-muslim-speaks-about-her-life-in-israel and https://www.prageru.com/video/a-muslim-arab-israeli-speaks-about-hamas .

[19]  New Amsterdam was then a Dutch colony founded around 1609, but which was to become New York in 1674 when it was finally ceded to the English after a series of conflicts and broken treaties.

[20] The Dutch War of Independence actually ran from 1568 – 1648 where the tiny Dutch republic attempted to free itself from the Spanish Empire, see https://dutchreview.com/culture/history/dutch-eighty-years-war-of-independence-explained/ for an easy to read account.  They ceded from Spain officially in 1581 but had to struggle to maintain their independence.  This period involved other famous figures of European history such as Wiliam of Orange (the Oranges were the most influential nobles and military leaders in the Netherlands and William was an influential Protestant reformer and politician who had a substantial influence and role in English and Irish politics whilst in exile from the Netherlands – the ‘Orange order’ of Northern Ireland owes its name to him), Queen Elizabeth I (who sent assistance to the Dutch during a Spanish siege), Spanish King Philip and his sons (the Philippines are named after this Philip) and the French Duke of Anjou (short-lived constitutional monarch of the North Netherlands at William’s invitation which later became Belgium).

During a siege by the Spanish in which they destroyed the Dykes of reclaimed land and attempted to drown the inhabitants (around 17% of the Netherlands is reclaimed land which the Dutch had been reclaiming since 1300), the Dutch sent a message to the Spanish that they would rather eat rats, drown, and die than cede their land back to the Pope.  At this time the Spanish were the Pope’s military proxy for doing his bidding throughout Europe which basically meant violently dealing with Protestant “heresy”.  For several centuries, the Pope was to give his favoured monarch the honorific title of ‘Holy Roman Emperor’.  Combined with the fanatical zeal of the Jesuits (themselves founded by soldier turned mystic Ignatius Loyola in 1540), this was the Pope’s personal military and political apparatus to enforce his hegemony across the monarchs of Europe and to ensure large amounts of their wealth flowed towards Rome.  The emphasis here is on the personal – the Jesuits were not subject to the authority of the clergy by order of the Pope, thus enabling the Pope to ignore the somewhat moderating influence or active resistance of the wider clergy regarding his military and political excesses.  In fact, at the height of their power during the Inquisition, the Jesuits were sometimes turned against the clergy to ensure they stayed submissive to the Pope’s will.

In short, the role of and struggle for Protestant “free thought” should not be underestimated (as it often is) in driving the conflicts of Europe during this period and in providing the rationale for the expansion into the “New World”.  The quest was not just for religious freedom or a “better life” but the desire to be a covenant people of God; this was the spiritual context of the original struggle for freedom that drove the settlers of the Jamestown and Boston colonies.

[21] The Russian and Eastern European Jews were known as the “OstJuden”.  They had lived in geographically concentrated areas and autonomous communities often in “primitive” conditions both socio-economically and under parochial religious tutelage, reviled by both government and peasantry alike.  However, during the early 19th century, Tsar Alexander II had adopted a progressive policy towards the Jews reversing the systematic discrimination of his father and this led to what was known as the “Haskalah” or Jewish Enlightenment which led to a period of secularisation and modernisation in Jewish culture, with the emergence of a Jewish bourgeoisie far less committed to a distinctive national identity or homeland.

However, Alexander III reversed this and characterised the “revolutionary” activity within his country (which had led to the assassination of his father) as a “Jewish plot”; he imposed far harsher restrictions leading to a forcing of the vast majority of Eastern Jews into penury.  In contrast, the “Western” European Jews were considered the “elite” of the Jews and many Western nations, following Bonaparte, attempted to gain binding commitments from the Jews to renounce their communal autonomy (which included de facto self-government) and their desire for an independent nation in the Holy Land (often romanticised in literature as ‘Zion’).  Substantial commitments of this kind were made by the Sanhedrin, and the Western secular Jew had the basic mindset of becoming fully integrated as nationals of the country in which they were in.  See Sachar (2007), Pt.1 for a readable account of this period.

[22] Konstantin Pobedonostsev, the tsar’s closest adviser, prophesied in 1894, “one-third will die out, one-third will leave the country, and one-third will be completely dissolved in the surrounding population.”, see Sachar (2007), loc.

[23] Messianic tradition frequently incorporated the belief that the Jews were to be “regathered” into the Holy Land before the return of the Messiah, but this was very much seen as a divine prerogative.  This became somewhat secularised and although sometimes still seen as a prerequisite of the return of the Messiah, some of the earliest proto-Zionist writers of the 19th century believed it was something the Jews themselves should do to indicate their readiness.  Eventually, with the eloquent rejection by proto-Zionists such as Smolenskin of the secular modernism of the extremists of the Haskalah that advocated “modernising” and “integrating” into the host nation (i.e., abandoning an ancestral ‘Jewish’ identity), began to advocate for a political Zionism.  This was given full expression in Herzl who we consider very shortly, who is generally recognised as the “father of modern Zionism”.  His portrait was on the platform behind the delegates to the conference that declared the formation of the State of Israel.

[24] https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2017/5/23/the-nakba-did-not-start-or-end-in-1948.

[25] https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-claim-to-the-land-of-israel.

[26] Which in US culture are not ceremonial but the most powerful local figure in a city or town.

[27] https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/theodor-herzl/.

[28] For example, Ben Gurion’s (David Ben Gurion was the first defence and Primeminister of Israel) article on Herzl, though mentioning other significant figures in Zionist history, makes no mention of the declaration or of Blackstone, see https://www.britannica.com/topic/David-Ben-Gurion-on-Theodor-Herzl-2215526 .

[29] The relationship between Brandeis and Blackstone is contested but was at least respectful.  They most certainly cooperated and corresponded but approached the issue from distinct positions, Brandeis as a Jewish politician and jurist, Blackstone as a Christian restorationist.  See also n19.

[30] Nathan Straus, May 16, 1916, to Rev. William E. Blackstone, Blackstone papers, Wheaton College, Il.

[31] There is some evidence that the position originates in two distinct places with Irving and Darby around the 1820s; it has been argued that Irving had influenced Darby, but Irving was later to be perceived as heretical and Darby does not acknowledge that link.  Most notably though, it was not a position that had been held historically in the church, even during the premillennial chiliast period of the early church.

As the position has as its other focus the “rapture” doctrine which in itself is a questionable modern doctrinal innovation, and still others debate whether modern Israel is in fact biblical Israel, there is plenty more to consider from a theological perspective.  What is undeniable though, is that Scofield’s popularising of the position with his reference bible of 1909 popularised and cemented the position in the evangelical consciousness.  See Macneil (2016), §2.4 for more background on these issues and there is a specific appendix added to this essay that discusses other relevant issues to a Christian viewpoint.

[32] Most probably a reference to 2Th 2:3. 1Tim 4:1 expresses a similar thought.

[33] In contrast, to premillennial dispensationalism, it should also be noted that mainline and Reformational denominations have historically been amillennial with a replacement theology.  It is of note then that the “charismatic revivals” that have punctuated mainline denominational churches (which phenomenologically was the “Pentecostal experience”) and the “house churches” that emerged from them, tended to maintain a replacement theology and some of their publications agitated for that position.  Restorationism plays no role in their theology although there are some ambiguities in practice as to what the relationship of the church to modern Israel should be; the second Blackstone memorial statement of 1917 had support from the Presbyterian church which theologically would make no sense but is perhaps explained on a humanitarian basis.

[34] Roosevelt was also sympathetic to “national socialism” in both the formal sense with his New Deal and in the distinctly anti-Semitic sense alongside some other major industrialists such as Henry Ford.  Thus, he cared little for religious matters and even less for the Jews, repeating many common tropes, see https://brandeiscenter.com/the-truth-about-fdr-and-the-jews/ .

[35] The British Primeminister, David Lloyd-George, would not sign the declaration until he had attained American support.  This was despite the American president saying he would not support it publicly to avoid compromising emerging “American” influence and interests within the region and the League of Nations.  As has been noted by some historians, even before the ink was dry on the declaration, the British commitment to it was questionable.  However, the declaration was a significant milestone in the recognition of the Jews as a distinct ethnic group with a shared national identity which culminated in the UN resolution of 1947; modern Israeli leaders do recognise it as such.

[36] Historically, the term “Palestine” was related to the region once inhabited by the Philistines (what is called today the ‘West Bank’), but which had been subsumed into ancient Israel.  After the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70, the Romans renamed what was once Israel in an attempt to completely destroy the Jewish sense of nationhood, picking the nearest tribal term which would be Filastin (a Latinisation of the biblical “Philistine”).  The Arabic word for the region was combined with this to give us the modern term “Palestine”.  The derivation is not certain but is probable.

[37] In fact, some commentators noted “the Jews had already been betrayed before the ink was dry on the declaration”.  Oil was discovered first in Persia in 1909 and the British were the prime movers in exploiting it and manipulating the politics of the region, sponsoring a coup d’etat to ensure a leader friendly to “Western interests”.

[38] The ambivalence and sometimes total ignoring of the role of Blackstone in academic biography of Brandeis is perhaps explained by this; whilst both men were politically astute and on friendly terms, there was a difference in faith and motivation.  Brandeis was very close to the American political elite and understood their lack of stomach for any advocation for a state of Israel.  Academic biographers were uncomfortable with the religious dimension of Blackstone’s restorationism which was to characterise “fundamentalism” and choose to ignore him despite the extant correspondence between them.

[39] It remains an uncomfortable fact of history that many of the European nations tacitly agreed with the Nazi policies towards the Jews.  A personal friend of mine whose family was Polish and who were displaced during the war, would tell me how his mum would often express prejudice against the Jews, despite their own immigrant status. That is, there was enormous prejudice against the Jews in many Eastern European countries, even those which had been invaded and subjugated by the Nazis.

Worse still, when the US and the Allies had opportunity to bomb the railway lines taking the Jews to the camps, they concentrated instead on the adjacent fabrication plants, never running a single targeted raid on any camp (apparently there was a single raid committed in error by a pilot who had got confused over his target location).

[40] The British, in particular, were less than subtle with their politicking, signing Peace Treaties with Egypt and Transjordan which were activated after the Israeli Declaration of Independence to permit hostile British military action in Palestine.  The IDF shot down two different British aircraft.

[41] Available at:  https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/038/88/PDF/NR003888.pdf?OpenElement

[42] What was particular interesting in the resolution was there was nevertheless to be a common economic and development policy for the region, and a specific governorship of Jerusalem by the UN to be called the “Economic Union of Palestine”.

[43] This is a line put in the mouth of the first Defence Minister (who became the Primeminister), David Ben Gurion in the dramatization of the founding of the State of Israel, the film To Cast A Giant Shadow (1966) which though “Hollywoodized” in parts, nevertheless seems to capture the historical events well.

[44] Most of the folk songs of those fleeing Europe, the concentration camps and then the immigration internment camps after WWII, would begin with “next year in Jerusalem”.

[45] Marcus had done this on an unofficially ‘sanctioned’ basis as an independent citizen after being approached by David Ben-Gurion, the unofficial Minister of Defence of the government in waiting.  The US State-Department had adopted (like most of other major nations) a pro-Arab posture seeing their national interest best served by being on friendly relations with the oil rich Arab nations and seeing no political advantage to supporting the creation of a homeland for the Jews.

However, there were other highly influential military figures who had witnessed with Marcus firsthand the camps and wanted to support the creation of the state of Israel as a homeland.  Ben Gurion had requested Marcus find an “advisor” for coordinating their disparate militias; eventually he personally made a series of recommendations to unify the militias who frequently had enmity toward each other and was finally offered the position of commander of the army when to his surprise the leaders of the various factions accepted his recommendations, see https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/mickey-marcus .

[46] This period was captured in the 1966 Hollywood film ‘Cast a Giant Shadow’ and it remains one of the most compelling biopics ever produced of the struggle between the stated policy of the Allied nations to grant the Jews a home and their behind the scenes intrigue and duplicity siding with the Arabs against them.  Just what defined “national interest” of the parties at the expense of the moral position regarding the Jewish right to a homeland, remains supremely significant today; the region was to become one of the chief exporters of oil after WWII.

[47] Seen most dramatically in the current (2023) war when Hamas almost immediately sent a delegation to Russia.  An interesting discussion is found on https://www.workersliberty.org/node/1864, the author starts the discussion with the historical links of the Bolsheviks with Islamic struggles for national liberation, equating these struggles with socialist revolution. Lenin explicitly made the connection at the 2nd All-Russian Congress of Muslim Communist Organisations (in 1919).  This was also the equation made by Mir-Said (Mirza) Sultan-Galiev in 1918 and clearly indicates what today we would call the neo-Marxist “identification with the oppressed against their oppressor” which is also the moral justification for every kind of moral atrocity that Hamas committed – their actions were “resistance” and were therefore legitimate.

This was exactly the equation made the political spokesperson for HAMAS political bureau on Lebanese TV, “[Therefore] no one can condemn us for what we do”.  This was all in the context of martyrdom, civilian casualties, and the programme of “millions more [deaths of the Jews]”.  Byrne wants to argue that the Radical Left’s willingness to unite the two is “intellectually garbled” for it is “self-contradictory” but as he also notes, the “anti-imperialist” Left have embraced this equation in their practice even if they cannot give a coherent account of the equation.  The point is radical Islam and Communists will indeed unite towards the common goal of international revolution and then after the fact turn their weapons on each other.

[48] See https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/11/what-is-the-palestinian-authority-and-how-is-it-viewed-by-palestinians .

[49] Which in themselves was the Israeli response to the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence

[50] The EU for example gives €750m to the Palestinian authorities of the PLO and Hamas to “protect its interests” in the region.

[51] Perhaps the peak of this hope was seen when a previous Israeli Primeminister, Shimon Peres, met him at the Pope’s invitation, see https://images.app.goo.gl/tWwsdKr9zB22SFvj7 and https://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/08/world/europe/pope-abbas-peres/index.html .  I remember thinking at the time, here were two old men tired of a life of bloodshed of each other’s people.

[52] It is of note that Aljazeera though happy to accuse the PA, conveniently ignore the now billionaire status of the top three leaders (and retired leaders) of HAMAS, see https://www.youtube.com/shorts/Y0mtr5Dhi5Q .

[53] This is expressed in a supremely articulate fashion by Arab Muslim Sophia Salma Khalifa who grew up as an Arab Muslim in Israel.  Though she now lives in America (a graduate of Stanford Law school) her father was the first Bedouin Arab Colonel in the IDF and her sister is still in the IDF.

[54] The “Arab League” in membership is a subset of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  Although the League still exists today, the OIC is the more active and influential body.

[55] https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2017/5/23/the-nakba-did-not-start-or-end-in-1948.

[56] From Ghazi’s interview on the Lebanese broadcaster LBC, translated by Memri TV.  This excerpt is also featured on Flashpointhttps://youtu.be/MatEWV7Dsik?si=xTE-3v3o34D9Rd1C

[57] Now admitted in the mainstream media (better late than never):  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-67629181 .  In the history of disturbing articles, this is probably near the top.

[58] These gruesome stories were volunteered during Israeli interrogation of captured HAMAS soldiers and then confirmed using their ‘bodycam’ footage.  Most of the footage was not released but worldwide journalists were invited to private screenings.

[59] “Intifada” is a Latinisation of the Arabic word for rebellion and struggle against the oppressors.  It is associated most strongly with the symbolism of the 1987-1993 struggles within the Palestinian refugee camps and their clashes with the Israelis.  The 1994 Oslo accords were considered the termination point when the Palestinian Authority came into being.

[60] See https://youtu.be/IYovGs4CiLY .  It is of note that the President of Penn resigned in the wake of the public backlash and the loss of over $100m endowment from one of its donors.  Harvard, with a rather larger donor base, voted to keep their president despite other unrelated scandals over her academic fitness coming to light.

[61]  At the end of 1948 and the beginning of 1949, British RAF planes flew with Egyptian squadrons over the Israel-Egypt border. Britain had “peace treaties” with both Jordan and Egypt, it considered invoking them if Israel attacked either nation).  On January 7, 1949, Israeli planes shot down four British aircraft (Howard Sachar, A History of Israel, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 322).  Sachar’s History was revised in 2007.  Kindle editions are the newer edition.

[62] Security Council Official Records, Special Supplement, (1948), p. 20.

[63] Security Council Official Records, S/Agenda/58, (April 16, 1948), p. 19.

[64] “Interview with Abd al-Rahman Azzam Pasha,” Akhbar al-Yom (Egypt), (October 11, 1947); translated by R. Green.

[65] Maoz Azaryahu and Arnon Golan, “Photography, Memory, and Ethnic Cleansing: The Fate of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, 1948 – John Phillips’ Pictorial Record,” Israel Studies, Vol. 17, No. 5, (Summer 2012), pp. 62- 76.

[66] Folke Bernadotte, To Jerusalem, (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1951), p. 113.  This was the memoir of the architect of the “Bernadotte Plan” which the UN had sent to Palestine to try and negotiate a settlement.

[67] This is seen most dramatically in Ahmad Shuqayri’s “The Palestinian Refugees” (1958), p.9ff.  He utterly ignores the immediate attacks of the surrounding Arab armies.  There is a denial of any responsibility of attacks by Arab armies that forced Israel to defend itself.

[68] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/11/saudi-arabia-to-host-arab-islamic-summit-to-unify-efforts-on-gaza

[69] Over 96% of Jordan’s population self-identify as “Palestinian Arabs”.  It is of note that the rulers are of a different tribe, installed by the British.

[70] A garbled but informative article is found here:  https://www.wionews.com/world/saudi-prince-condemns-hamas-and-israel-for-war-over-gaza-strip-649550.  The “crown Prince” was also prepared to condemn HAMAS:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/10/20/powerful-saudi-prince-breaks-ranks-condemn-hamas/

[71] There have been no elections since that date.  Rather ironically, an announcement was made that HAMAS was ready to hold elections just days before they launched the strike on Israel, see https://www.newarab.com/news/after-18-years-hamas-ready-municipal-elections-gaza.  In other words, they had no intention of holding elections in Gaza.

[72] In a personal conversation I had with a retired colonel from the IDF (who had served during the 1960s and 1970s) he said it this way, “we fought for the right to exist out of necessity, not because we wanted to”.  What was particularly poignant to me about his testimony was that he was now married to a Moslem African and lives in a Moslem nation.  I have never met a man who had less animosity to his “enemies” and had dedicated the rest of his life to creating a social enterprise that feeds the poor in any nation.

[73] Israel had just issued 15000 extra work permits for Gazans but it transpired that some of them had been exploited by HAMAS to insert insurgents into Israel who later orchestrated attacks on civilians.

[74] See the discussion on Piers-Morgan Uncensored, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YojEgpERWwc

[75] This point is eloquently and powerfully made by the son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpnvUIcvNUE.  He defected from the terrorist group in the late 1990s and secretly worked with Israel’s security services to expose and prevent several Hamas terrorist attacks. He later became a Christian and wrote a 2010 autobiography titled Son of Hamas.

[76] https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/19188778.dfe-accused-amplifying-divisions-batley-grammar-school-controversy/.  This school has been at the centre of other controversies.

[77] During this period, I was working on a contract at a college where three of the IT staff were ex-military and had served in Iraq.  Being otherwise totally ordinary, I was shocked by their open contempt for British Moslems and their support for what would be called the “extreme right” policies.  On digging a bit deeper, they had been involved in multiple military exchanges and operations, taking fire and finally making an area safe only to find those firing on them suddenly threw up their hands at the point of capture to say “I’m from Burnley, I’m from Blackburn, I’m from Bradford”.  This, was not an uncommon occurrence and as one of them colourfully stated, “really p****** you off.”  British Moslems fighting for ISIS killing British soldiers.

[78] One notable case here was the Manchester bombings of 2017.  The family had left Libya in 2006 because of political persecution as fighting members of an extremist Islamic group, had successfully claimed political asylum in the UK despite of that, and the parents had returned to Libya just a month before the bombings, strongly suggesting they were aware of the intentions of their sons.  The sons remained behind and executed the bombings as Islamic extremists, with one son extradited from Libya (now serving 55-yrs in jail) but with another managing to fly out of the UK despite being questioned by police the day before and after avoiding a scheduled appearance at the enquiry.

[79] This is a specialised argument from the end of §2.

[80] Rom 9:6.

[81] Acts 1: 6-7.

[82] Romans chapters 9-11 are generally accepted to form a self-contained discussion of the relationship of the ethnic Jews and Israel to the spiritual Israel of the Church.

[83] There is an interesting discussion possible as to regarding the distinction within the biblical texts between the use of “Jacob” and “Israel”, we know Jacob was Israel’s name before he was renamed.  Some uses of “Jacob” may be referring to an Israel which needs redeeming from its apostate state.  Other verses seem to use the term interchangeably whilst other prophets use Israel when Israel was in the apostate state.  Unfortunately, this is oblique to our purposes for this essay, but is an issue that needs addressing as some commentators try to make a lot of this distinction.

[84] The right of return enacted by the parliament in 1950 and amended in 1970 to exclude those who converted from Judaism; with a Supreme Court ruling of 1989 that explicitly excluded messianic Jews as eligible for Aliyah.

[85] See https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/diaspora-affairs-will-israel-ever-accept-messianic-jews-518129 .

[86] Gen 12:3.

[87] Rev 19:11.

[88] Ex 12:38. The ethnic diversity did cause some problems and the biblical writers were not immune from pinpointing the problems caused and the Law of God did make a distinction between the citizen and the “foreigner” dwelling in Israel.  Although the foreigner was not required to convert, they were not permitted to build altars to foreign gods or in any other way to publicly oppose the worship or subvert the law code of Israel.  In return, they enjoyed the full rights and protection of the native-born citizen. There is a whole lesson on the proper practice of immigration here.

[89] This is probably drawn most immediately from Surah 60-9-10.  Muhammed first appealed to both Jews and Christians that he was the next in the prophetic succession after Jesus and that they should join him.  Early writings of Islam often appealed for a unity amongst all the Semitic peoples, and it was only in reaction to his rejection that the appeal to violence eventually emerged.  Extra-Koranic writings in particular explicitly advocated conquest by the sword and a “convert or die” methodology which is characteristic of radical Islam around the world today as well as medieval forms of Catholicism.  In some senses, medieval Catholicism is strikingly similar to Islam in the practice of the religion.

More broadly, there is a tension in the Qu’ran (as perhaps also in passages within the Hebrew and Christian scriptures) of the relationship with the unbelievers.  That is, it would be mistaken on the basis of 2Co 6:14-18 to renounce relationships with unbelievers; context and the whole of scripture must be reconciled to come to a conclusion.  We should at least be prepared to grant that the Qu’ran should be considered equally as fairly regardless of the poor advert radical Islam is for it; a simple account from the Islamic perspective is found at:  https://www.alislam.org/articles/is-it-true-that-quran-says-to-not-take-jews-christians-for-friends/ .

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