Guest Viewpoints

Why Israel (Ally of Greece) Has a Moral Duty to the Palestinians

June 2, 2021
By Dimitris Eleas

On the flag of Israel is found the six-pointed Star of David, consisting of two intertwined triangles. Does this blue sacred star – mainly during the eleven days of May – "symbolize the destruction of the Palestinians" in the Gaza Strip? 

Much has happened since 1948, when the state of Israel was rightly founded. The state of Israel is slowly building a powerful war machine, and thus, it managed to claim and gain enough territory. In military terms, there is constant war readiness on one side, and on the other side, as the Six Day War in 1967 showed us, "one of the most important military victories in History" (Max Hastings, 2007), the Israeli armed forces – like a giant lobster– have become more powerful than all the Arab armies put together.

This tremendous military power leads to arrogance and conceit even among the wise Jews. But why is this happening? Why is this happening, even though the Jews have historically suffered and Israel is a modern democratic state that we all admire?

Maybe we need to go back to Poland. Why there? Poland is now a place of pilgrimage for Jews from around the world. If one is lucky enough to ask several tourist guides in Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz: "What do the Jews themselves who come here say about what happened not long ago?" they will answer back – being for sure terrified – with questions like: "Why were so many killed so easily?" "why didn't they rise up before it was too late?", "why didn't they take up arms to defend themselves?" (From my research and discussions in Poland, for a book related to the Holocaust, 2010-2012.) These reasonable questions of Jewish visitors in Poland are transformed in Israel into a Great Obsession. They see danger everywhere.

Thus, the Israelis today, unwittingly, "destroy an entire people," leading them to the edge of the precipice and the abyss, and tearing them down. In the not-so-distant past, as in 2014, the images that were coming out of the Gaza Strip in those days, of course, were breaking every human heart. Why this? Because they were really harsh images with dead children, bloodshed, blood-stained soil, slaughtered animals, and images of biblical destruction. At the same time, back then, an unprecedented 87% according to CNN of Jewish "civilians-trained-as-soldiers" supported the operations in Gaza to destroy Hamas and eliminate the tunnels. The "same story" goes on now, in less than a decade later.

One of the few well-known journalists in Israel to oppose the war is Gideon Levy. The Palestinian people, on the other hand, the Palestinian leaders, the Hamas leaders and the other Arab leaders, are not at all innocent. They have huge responsibilities for this mess and for the fact that no solution has been found for so many decades. "[The Arabs] present themselves as History’s eternal victims" (Cornelius Castoriadis, 1991).

The Gaza Strip, without exaggeration, is "the first concentration camp of the 21st century." The West Bank follows closely. This must change, because this situation, first of all, humiliates the living Jews and then nullifies their important historical course over the centuries, which contributed a multitude of achievements in science, in literature, and the arts. The world wouldn’t be the same place without the Jewish contribution, without the Jews. The names I list here are ‘borrowed’ from history, names such as: Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, Sergei Eisenstein, Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Hannah Arendt, Karl Popper, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Stefan Zweig, Anna Frank, David Ben-Gurion, the Frankfurt School, Philip Roth, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, etc.

Israel has a moral duty to the Palestinians to treat them as humanely as possible, with civilization and for sure, to help them. The Jews are wise, but the state of Israel is inspired by the logic of times that today we would tend to consider permanently obsolete, as it is dominated by primitive instincts and obsessions. The state of Israel, as it behaves, "serves and at the same time harms" the interests of the Jews.

It is first up to the Jews to judge the degree of civilization of both peoples, Jews and Palestinians. "Unfortunately," the Jews have the greatest responsibility towards humanity. But in the narrow geographical context, humanity is Palestine, Israel's neighbor. Shouldn't they find a way to start to coexist? Why not as a federal state somehow?

Otherwise, History will be rewritten for the good, wise and the sympathetic Jews, "the grandchildren of Moses," and this time it will write about them – in no flattering words. We should never forget the statement of the fourth Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir: "After what the Nazis did to us, we can do whatever we want," (Levy, 2014). No! It shouldn’t be like that. So, it's time for all this sad situation to change rapidly, not only for now, but forever. And the future of Israel – and Palestine – cannot be linked with the future of just one politician: Benjamin Netanyahu. The future must be linked to the colossal moral duty that derives from the past of the Jews. And the challenge for today’s Israel is to deliver it to both, the Israelis and the Palestinians, in order to leave in peace and harmony.  

Dimitris Eleas is a New York City-based writer, independent researcher and political activist. His writings have appeared in books, journals and newspapers. You can contact him via his e-mail: [email protected].


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