During the recent renewal of hostilities in the Middle-East, I could not help noticing that most "well informed" Canadians actually know next to nothing about the causes of war between Jews & Arabs in Israel. I have therefore compiled a short summary of salient facts that everyone should know before commenting publicly, let alone choosing sides.
First of all, it is essential for us to understand that the war in Gaza is part of a global conflict between an alliance of militant Islam and Marxists on one side, and Judea-Christian Western Civilization on the other.
Until 1964, the word "Palestinian" rarely described Arabs who once lived in Israel. That was when Soviet KGB agents created and funded a terrorist group known as the Palestinian Liberation Front or PLO. Its leader, Yasser Arafat, was born and raised in nearby Egypt. The PLO was as artificial as other effective and deadly Soviet groups used during the Cold War to infiltrate Algeria, South Africa, Kenya, Vietnam, and of course Cuba. During that time, the KGB even gave money, weapons, and training to the IRA in Ireland.
Palestine was never an Arab nation. Until the Roman Empire crushed a Hebrew revolt there in the year 132, the territory was known as Israel, Judah, or Judea. The Romans renamed the province 'Palestine' to punish the Jews. The Arabs and Turks kept the name when they conquered and occupied the province. However, they ruled it from distant Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, or Istanbul.
Israel or Palestine was ruined and laid to waste after the Hebrew revolt. The Arabs and Turks did little to rebuild its cities or irrigation canals. The goats and camels of Arab nomads or Bedouins stripped the land of trees, foliage, and even topsoil. Once rich farmland became malaria-ridden swamp or arid wilderness. Less than 10% of the previous population remained to suffer through this aftermath, but many of them were Jews.
By the mid-19th century, Jews from Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East began to migrate back to the region. They bought land from Arab and Turkish absentee owners who had no desire to live there. For the next 90 years, Jews painstakingly restored cities, roads, and irrigation canals in the Holy Land. They drained swamps, watered deserts, planting trees and crops. As Jews made the land verdant and prosperous again, thousands of Arabs from Egypt, Syria, and other neighbouring countries emigrated there to reap the benefits of Jewish revitalization.
After the Great War, Britain and France carved new nations out of the vanquished Ottoman (Turkish) Empire. In 1920, they created Lebanon for persecuted Christians. In 1921, they divided the Turkish province of Palestine. Eastern or "Transjordan" Palestine became an Arab kingdom. Palestine west of the Jordan River was set aside for Jewish settlement. More Jews bought vacant land and moved there. Their prosperity encouraged more Arabs to follow their example. By 1948, there were roughly one million Arabs, 600,000 Jews, and 160,000 Christians living in that part of Palestine.
In 1947, Britain reluctantly granted Indian independence. British India was mostly Hindu but also had a sizable Muslim minority. To avoid civil war, Britain permitted certain regions to form the new Muslim majority nation of Pakistan, including what is now known as Bangladesh. Millions of Muslims in Hindu India moved to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Everyone who moved permanently settled in their new country. There were no refugees or camps. Nor did anyone claim a "right of return".
In 1948, the UN equally divided the "Jewish National Home" portion of Palestine between the Jews and Arabs. The Jews accepted what they were given as their State of Israel. The Arabs rejected statehood and instead invaded Israel-with the help of armies from five neighbouring Arab nations. After a year of bitter civil war, the Jews gained control of roughly 75% of Western Palestine. In 1949, a cease-fire agreement was struck. The lines where the fighting stopped became the "Green Line" borders of Israel.
Both during and post 1948, there was a population transfer for Israel much like what had occurred in India. Roughly 700,000 Arabs moved from mostly Jewish Israel to Arab Palestine and other Arab countries. Roughly 700,000 Jews left Arab Palestine and other Arab countries and moved to Jewish Israel.
The original 1948 'partition' boundaries between Jews and Arabs could work only if there were peace and cooperation between them. When the Arabs chose war, Jews needed a nation with defensible borders. In 1939, Germany easily rolled through Poland and Czechoslovakia. That was partly since the borders of those countries were nearly impossible to defend. When Germany was ultimately defeated in 1945, the UN took land from what had been pre-war Germany so that Poland and Czechoslovakia would have defensible borders. The Germans who lived there had to move to a reduced Germany. That was the price paid for invading its neighbours.
Islam was spawned as an aggressive warrior religion 14 centuries ago. In just 50 years, Mohammed and his followers destroyed and occupied the once powerful Persian Empire. They also took over most of the Greek Byzantine Empire. Then they won North Africa and Spain away from the remnants of Roman rule. Their Koran, or holy book of Islam, has many contradictions and is sometimes incomprehensible. However, it clearly declares Mohammed God's faithful prophet and that his words (Hadith) and deeds (sunna) must be obeyed. Many Muslim scholars teach that Mohammed allowed peace and respect for non-believers-but three influential sects do not.
The Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, the Deoband School in India that inspired the Taliban, and the ayatollahs of Iran are behind most attacks and murders of Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists today. A coherent and percussive public information campaign is sorely needed to push back against them.
Communists worked closely with militant Muslims for many years. At first blush, this appears odd. Militant Islam seems opposed to the atheism of Marxist political and economic ideology. However, most communists abandoned such theory soon after Lenin seized control of Russia in 1918. Leninists astutely observed that Marxism was both impractical and unpopular. They therefore replaced it with Marxist-Leninism. This was faith only in an elite "revolutionary vanguard" that had to keep and expand its power "by any means necessary." This included propaganda, bribes, bullying, political manipulation, arresting dissidents, and murdering opponents. In 1919, Lenin formed the Communist International to expand his power worldwide. In 1920, he invited and recruited Islamists to a congress in Baku that was featured in the 1981 Hollywood movie "Reds", starring Warren Beatty. We need to again recognize and fight the global evils of communism.
Israel and the West have made many strategic and tactical military errors over the past 40 years. This involves abandonment and betrayal of countless friends and allies, including: most of the people of Iran who love both the West and Israel; pro-American Shias in Iraq like Ayatollah Sayyid Abdul Majid Al-Khoei, who was murdered 20 years ago; Christian and Shia allies in Lebanon; and thousands of Arabs in Gaza who risked their lives to warn Jews of planned attacks.
This must all be repented and changed. As prominent Zionist Max Nordau once observed:
"Logic is a Greek art, and Jews cannot tolerate it. The Jews learn not by way of reason but from catastrophes."
Although the circumstances have changed greatly since those words were penned, their wisdom as applied to Israel remains apt.
In rejecting the 1947 UN partition plan, Arab countries were convinced that they could claim the entire territory by military triumph using British weaponry and tactical guidance. If not for Stalin, who supplied the Jews with weapons via Czechoslovakia and dispatched hundreds of seasoned Soviet officers and generals of Jewish heritage to Palestine, all of whom played a pivotal role in the formation, organization, and leadership of the Israeli army-including the Air Force-Israel would not exist today.
In subsequent years, however (1956, 1967, & 1973), after each decisive victory, Israel crawled back to the humiliated enemies, begging them for reconciliation and offering captured lands as concessions for peace and recognition of the State of Israel. The process was called "land for peace" and has resulted in neither. Despite these failed compromises and the ever present threat of sudden annihilation, Jews have fallen prey to the siren song of the illusion that peace can be purchased. Much blood has been spilled in pursuit of this noble dream.
In 1993, Israel singed the Oslo Accords and accepted a new advanced form of 'land for peace', known as the Two-State Solution. Widely supported by the West, it was ironically a revival of the very concept rejected by the Arabs in 1947. By and large, Israel had not learned the lessons of its bloody past.
In 2005, Israel surrendered control of the strategically vital territory called Gaza to the Palestinians. This was to be an incremental step toward realization of the Two-State Solution. Regrettably, this produced a terrorist enclave close to Israel under the direct control of Hamas militants. This enclave has been shamefully sustained through donations from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, with Israel providing essential utilities such as electricity, water, food and humanitarian aid to its enemy.
Content with the prevailing scenario, Hamas portrays itself as a victim of Israeli occupation, leveraging this image to gather moral and financial support from around the world. Hamas leaders have small incentive to establish a state and to thereby assume responsibility for the well being of their people. In recent days, these same people, including children, have been used as human shields and explosive devices. The stated objective of Hamas is to destroy Israel via perpetual violent confrontation.
Fortunately, Hamas has run out of time. A new era, characterized by political, economic, and philosophical transformation, has dawned in the Middle East. President Trump's ABRAHAM Accord ushered in a fundamental change in relations between Arabs and Israel. The dynamics have shifted; it is no longer a binary conflict between Arabs and Jews. Instead, it has evolved into a coalition of Sunni Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the UAE, aligning with Israel to counter the existential threat of nuclear Shia Iran. The focus has thus diverged away from Palestinian rights to fostering cooperation against the common peril. In this new landscape, the Palestinian issue has become an obstacle to the emerging reality.
Against this backdrop, the latest attack by Hamas must be viewed as its death throes-a last ditch attempt to remain relevant. There were no calls by the Saudis or other Sunni seats for an immediate ceasefire, no threats of oil embargo, and no customary condemnation of Israel. Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman did issue a weak statement supporting Palestinians, but it was lip service compared to what we might have come to expect.
The rest of the world is obviously pre-occupied with other concerns. Russia is deeply involved in Ukraine, has no interest in taking sides now, and sees itself as a net beneficiary since U.S. military aid to Ukraine will be redirected to Israel. The Biden Administration is presumably quite happy to get involved on Israel's side, if only to deflect public attention away from the looming Ukranian collapse.
The world political environment, particularly in the Middle East, is more favourable than ever to Israel. It is therefore time that they follow the teachings of the father of modern terrorism, Vladimir Lenin, and simply eradicate Hamas. Lenin both perpetrated terror and received it. He taught that "terror can be conquered only with greater terror."
Time is of the essence. It will not be long before mass media shows Palestinian children dying from dehydration and starvation. Public opinion will inevitably shift against Israel. It will be demonized and the West will reverse its posture of support for Israel, demanding a cease fire, access to humanitarian aid, negotiations, exchanges of prisoners, and the like.
Meanwhile, the left, including many Israelis, will ignore the atrocities that Hamas committed and begin shedding crocodile tears over innocent Palestinian civilians-especially children-caught in the middle of a war zone. Israeli PM Gold Meir once described the liberal Jewish attitude toward Arabs thusly:
"We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us."
This dream is unlikely to materialize any time soon. Generations of Palestinians have been raised upon the conviction that Israel is an illegitimate usurper of Muslim lands. Consequently, before condemning Israeli attacks on civilians, we must remind ourselves that so-called Gaza's civilians are parents, sisters, and children of Hamas members. They hate the Jews so much that they produce children for the sole purpose of blowing themselves up to kill Jewish kids.
We must therefore entertain no qualms about 'innocent' Palestinian women and children being killed as collateral damage in the eradication of Hamas. The primal law of superior force shall prevail, and the threat from Hamas extirpated permanently.
Meanwhile, in their rush to support Hamas, leftists have exposed the sociopathy behind their heinous politics.
It is said that hypocrisy is the tribute which vice pays to virtue. In other words, a hypocrite knows that virtuous principles have value, so they hide behind virtuous words even as they engage in contradictory behaviour.
So what do we call it when people abandon their principles out of sheer political opportunism? I call that cultural and political sociopathy.
The sadistic raid by Hamas on Israel has exposed to many of us the sociopathy that guides leftist politics. Leftists have fixed values; it is just that they are quite different from ours. We cherish objective truth, the virtue of Biblical faith and morals, the nuclear family, and civil liberties. They are anti-freedom, anti-Biblical, anti-Semitic, anti-white, hostile to the traditional family, and sanctify sexual deviance in all of its rainbow coloured varieties.
Since these values represent political goals, they will say and do anything to achieve them. This means that if they need to contradict everything they said and did yesterday, then so be it. It is not hypocrisy, or cognitive dissonance, or something for which they can ever apologize. It is just practical politics and, just as Winston Smith did in Orwell's "1984", they will memory hole any values and facts impeding today's imperatives. This will sound familiar to anyone unfortunate enough to have been exposed to malignant narcissists, sociopaths, or psychopaths. One of their secrets of success is to only value and serve personal, immediate needs. Nothing-reality, truth, loyalty, love, decency, or morality-can get in the way of that. They lie with fluency and gaslight expertly.
The sadistic Hamas has the one virtue of revealing to many on the left-and to Jews especially-that they have been part of a sociopathic cult. Perhaps it will bestir some of them to leave that cult in order to embrace real truth and virtue?
Sadly, for those who have studied Jewish history, such suffering is not a novel occurrence. In late 1914, S. Ansky, the influential Jewish-Russian journalist, playwright, and politician, received a commission to organize desperately needed relief for Jews on the borderlands, caught between the warring armies of Russia, Germany, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Thus began a four-year journey through the 'Pale of Settlement' where Jews had long been restricted by the Russian Czars. In Ansky's daily chronicles, edited and translated by Joachim Newgroschel, we learn of the devastation and slaughter committed against Jews during the Great War.
It was a campaign of brutalization by the Russian army that involved wholesale expulsions and massacres, despite the presence of half a million Jews serving in the Czar's army. Approximately 600,000 Jews were deported from their homes during that period. Ansky provides a catalogue of barbarism: commonplace rape and plunder; expulsions of whole villages, and towns; scorched-earth withdrawals; humiliations, lynchings, kidnappings, torture; and even massacres.
In essence, Ansky witnessed the complete breakdown of civilization amid a wasteland of rubble, famine, hollowed-out, half-collapsed buildings, people missing limbs, and tribes of orphans. it was open season on Jews. It was also a turning point for those Jews who had what Neugroschel calls "the affliction of the assimilated modern Jew", who is never quite at home either in the secular world or among the Orthodox.
Remember that Israel was not an established state at that time. Other than in the hearts of the Jews, there was no Jewish homeland even though Jews had lived in the Land of Israel from time immemorial. Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups are the modern embodiment of this loathing of Jews, with the deadly religious component of radical Islam. Their ultimate goal is to eradicate worldwide Jewry and so naturally, their first target is Israel.
Gaza was returned to the Palestinians in 2006; yet few subjects have been so thoroughly falsified as the history of the West Bank and Gaza. Instead of creating the Monaco of the Middle-East, Islamic jihadists built a launching pad to misery for Israelis and Gazans alike. Women in Western countries are now raped with impunity by Muslim migrants. This is but one of the gifts of multiculturalism, which has placed WOKE values above moral decency and law. As Ansky related:
"When the Russian army passed through many towns and villages, especially when there were Cossacks, bloody Pogroms took place. The soldiers torched and demolished whole neighbourhoods, looted the Jewish homes and shops, killed dozens of people for no reason, took revenge on the rest, inflicted the worst humiliation on the them, raped women, injured children. One Cossack boasted that he grabbed a boy and ripped off both his side locks, along with some skin. A Russian officer talked about seeing Cossacks 'playing with a Jewish two-year-old: one of them tossed the child aloft, and the others caught him on their swords.' Afterwards, it was easy to believe the German newspapers when they wrote that the Cossacks hacked off people's arms and legs and burned victims alive."
We are still seeing this same mentality displayed in Israel today. It is the sole reason why Israel must completely and irrevocably destroy those who seek its extinction. It is a clear cut genocidal threat. No more will Israelis heed the UN telling them to back up or to handle things proportionately-to stop defending their land and its people.
Jewish history encompasses "an eternity of sadness" over the lost lives, indescribable psychotic hatred of their enemies, and the forever lost opportunities of joy, happiness, and human flourishing.
Ansky noted that:
"Liberals began to sow indifference toward the Jewish plight. Liberals listened more attentively to all sorts of derogatory stories and eventually began to repeat them in their private conversations and even in their articles."
Fast forward to modern times, and then ask: where are all of the 'liberal' organizations? Where is the concern for Jewish bloodshed? How much misinformation and outright lies will the CBC, BBC, MSNBC, and CNN disseminate while covering their eyes from decapitated Jewish babes murdered in their cribs?
Ansky described the generations mowed down "symbolized by a bride and groom killed just before their union, and so unable to continue their family and their tradition. The couple was like a tree chopped down just as it began to blossom."
Will the liberals who supported BLM now fully understand the intent of this hate-filled group, which fully supports Hamas?
Will the naive liberal crowd and with it much of Western Jewry awaken from its stupor and acknowledge the real enemy?
In the wake of the barbaric attack on Israel, many of us were shocked, angered, and disgusted to see WOKE organizations express anything other than condemnation for Hamas. On campuses and in our communities, students and organizations like BLM and CUPE have expressed support for butchery. Meanwhile, all too many campus leaders, formerly so quick to condemn even the hint of racism, can barely muster even mild condemnation of such savagery. Many of us find ourselves shaking our heads in dismay.
From whence does such blindness come? From the left, of course. But why are so many people who self-identify as crusaders for social justice so horribly misguided?
The answer is complicated. One key part of the story is the way that civil liberties, which began as a cause, became an ideology. Eventually, that religion metastasized into "anti-racism," a radical legal doctrine that scholars like John McWhorter say is nothing less than a new secular religion. The once noble cause of civil rights changed. No longer merely about ending specific acts of discrimination in voting, employment, and public accommodations, it became a crusade to rectify historical wrongs and the lingering legacy of institutional racism.
The WOKE movement's larger hope is to fundamentally transform the West and the entire world. The historical record is a sad one, full of barbarism, tragedy, and savagery. We can hardly blame those who dare to wish for a future less bloody than our shared past. But if the dark side of humanity is due to the inescapable contradictions in the sinful human condition, such idealism always tends to bleed into misanthropy.
There is a deep and timeless moral lesson in the story of the Archangel Lucifer's fall from grace. Today's WOKE mob combines the hatred of racial prejudice with a radical desire for a Utopian paradise on earth; and the Jews stand directly in the way of that project. This is hardly a novel turn in history. Many call the Holocaust the Nazi's "Final Solution"; but Adolf Hitler himself called it "The Final Solution To The Jewish Question." Like modern progressives, Hitler hoped for a better future:
"I believe in a conclusive understanding among people which will come sooner or later. There is no point in bringing about cooperation among nations, based upon permanent understanding, until this Jewish fission-fungus of peoples has been removed."
Karl Marx wrote similarly in his anti-Semitic tirade entitled "The Jewish Question". Marx said that progress would not take place until Jews stopped being Jews. The Hamas Charter expresses a familiar tone in its own Muslim version of this Jewish genocide.
To allow religious and ethnic diversity is to license a world in which tragic divisions and choices remain fundamental to politics, with the terrible consequences they necessarily entail. To recognize the necessity of a Jewish Israel is to reject comprehensive progress through merely human (rather than divine) means. Instead of admitting this, many leftists choose to shoot the messenger or, as in this case, to back those who will do so fervently. And back them they did, even as Hamas displayed their war trophies before the cameras and the world-battered bodies, captured women, and kidnapped babies held as human shields, beheaded, and even burned alive.
In the meantime, doing everything it can to minimize civilian casualties, Israel is targeting and killing leaders of the genocidal terrorist group Hamas-at least those who have not yet fled to glamorous Qatar villas. They have arrested Hamas members by the hundreds in the West Bank and in Gaza eliminated two key officers of the organization. Obscenely, Hamas filmed and released some crude Pallywood propaganda, which globally exposed their crimes against Israel.
Ultimately, there is a theological issue almost invisibly intertwined within geopolitics. Israel stakes its Biblical claim of a right to the land, based upon the eternal promise of God to provide Jews with a homeland to protect them. Many Christians share such an understanding. Destroying Israel and killing Jews is an attempt to prove that the God of Israel is not sovereign. We must never forget that for the Middle-East, the underlying spiritual battle is always more important than the superficial political one-no matter how many human lives are destroyed along the way.