Humanity mourns! Israel mourns. Palestinian territories mourn. Why? It is a very long story! “Pro-Israel? Pro-Palestine? You can be both” was the title of an article at The Harvard Crimson, some time ago. It can’t be exactly like that.
Much has happened since 1948, when the state of Israel was founded. The Holocaust played a big role, in order all the big winners of the WWII, including the USSR, to support its creation. However, Hannah Arendt, will make ominous predictions in 1947 about the impending state of Israel shortly before its establishment, prophetically writing, that in that state “political thought will center on military strategy.” 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 Defense Forces (IDF) have become more powerful than many 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 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?” Pain in pain-land.By the way, they took up arms and fought where they could. (Those were the notes I kept, from my discussions in Poland, for a book related to the Holocaust, between the years 2010-12. It is still in progress.) 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 and in 2021, 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, in 2014, 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. The same terrifying images come out now, not only from Gaza this time, but came out from Israel too, which was “under an attack”.
One of the few well-known journalists in Israel who has opposed the previous wars is Gideon Levy. He sees this new war as a result of the “Gaza is a cage.” 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 many decades.
On the other side, the Gaza Strip, without exaggeration, is ‘the first concentration camp of the 21st century.’ The 16-year-old siege is an impossible situation. The West Bank follows closely. This must change, because this situation, first of all, humiliates the living Jews, for sure the Israelis too, 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. The names such as: Jesus, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, Anna Frank, etc.
Thus, 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’. “Swords of Iron” is the chosen name by IDF for the ongoing large-scale operation. The state of Israel, as it behaves, ‘serves and at the same time harms’ the interests of the Jews. Why do I say this? It is ‘Great Obsession’ the fact that they don’t want a Palestinian state to exist. The IDF shows obsession to level Gaza.
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? Is constant blood better? Sadly, the “Netanyahu Doctrine” is against the creation of a Palestinian state.
Otherwise, History will be rewritten for the 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,” (Gideon Levy, 2014). No! It shouldn’t be like that. So, it’s time for all this painful situation to change rapidly. Benjamin Netanyahu, is the one who said “We are at war and we will win it.” However, can Israel ever win the war if it doesn’t want a Palestinian state to exist?
As a conclusion, the future must be linked to the colossal moral obligation that derives from the past of the Jews. A moral obligation that will acknowledge that the Palestinians have rights on this land too. And, the challenge for today’s Israel – as the strongest part from the two – is to deliver it to both, the Israelis and the Palestinians. Peace, now! Two States now, and the UN Headquarters to move from New York to Jerusalem or Gaza for ten years to safeguard the process. And, a new Marshall Plan for the new state of Palestine. Because what is happening at the moment, it shows that ordinary people will pay price for the Oct. 7 barbaric attack on Israel. Let’s hope that this new war will end soon, in this historic land, the Holy Land, that even God mourns.
Dimitris Eleas was born in Athens. He is a New York-based writer, independent researcher, and political activist. (Dimitris lived between London and Warsaw for a period of two years, 2010-12, researching for a manuscript―in honouring the Jews―about the centuries of antisemitism, on WWII, and especially the Holocaust). He has published a few books in Athens. His articles, essays, letters, and literary texts have also appeared in the foremost journals, newspapers and news sites, like: The Foreign Affairs [–Hellenic Edition], Time Magazine, Dissident Voice, To Vima tis Kyriakis [Greece’s foremost newspaper], The Books’ Journal, Τa Nea, LiFO.gr, SLpress.gr, Τhe National Herald, and more. You can contact him via his e-mail: [email protected].
Comment by George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent at the Vienna International Center (U.N.), is now retired in Vienna, Austria. Nov. 30, 2023, 02;09 am CET
“The author not originating in Elea, needs to be congratulated for his “non-Eleatic” proposal reflecting his “Athenian” wisdom because he is explicitly asking for a fundamental change in the Middle East which a stubborn “Eleatic School “adherent of the Parmenidean club would sulkily wont to oppose. We know only too well that the Israeli PM wants the current status quo of No-Palestine, that Israel should dominate Palestinians sans freedom and keep them under his thumb. Apparently, change can come only if someone else takes Netanyahu’s position, something a good part of Israel might want. Again, will the American Military-Industrial Complex allow for a 2 State solution, because a peaceful coexistence of two states under U.N. control (Peace-Keeping Forces) will not bring it any revenue and its neocon lobbyists in the U.S. Congress might battle against any Peace solution in the Middle-East. This also reminds me of what Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs revealed of the veiled aspect of U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine a few months ago, that the USG (govt.) does not want peace in Ukraine. That is possibly true now for Israel as well.
Nevertheless, this fleshy idea of EU membership of both warring States has a charming genuine novelty and must be welcomed. My only apprehension is, will all the EU Member States approve of it? Will a few recoil to utter, “O for Heaven’s sake please don’t bring another live hot plate into our kitchen. We already have enough burning going on.” But international pressure could change that. The other change needed is that Pres. Biden is powerless being heckled by the neocons. It looks as though a new American president of the type of Robert Kennedy Jr. should arrive at the scene to make things work positively right.”