The Tale of Two Hybrid Nations, Israel and Singapore: One Chose the Road to Hell, the Other, Peaceful Engagement

Israel Singapore

In this article I wish to narrate in terms of their approaches to their neighbours the contrasts between two countries – Israel and Singapore and argue that while one, while Israel chose hostility, cruelty and occupation as its strategy to exist, Singapore, chose peaceful engagements with its giant neighbours as its path to peace, security and prosperity.

Israel’s “Road to Hell”

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel, a colonial construction has consistently pursued hostility towards its neighbours and occupation of the land of its immediate neighbour, Palestine as its strategy to secure itself as a state in the Middle East.

Since the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, 2023, that resulted in deaths of 1500 Israelis and abduction of 250 Israeli hostages, Israel went on a revenge mission that has surpassed all human imagination of cruelty and destruction.

Indeed, the world has been watching with horror the last five months the genocide of Israel against the Palestinians that have killed and maimed thousands till now more that 35000 that include old men, women, and children and counting. Despite visible outcry internationally, the marauding Israeli Defence Forces, under orders of equally inhuman Netanyahu government and with the active support of morally depraved allies, the United States, UK, Germany, France and a few others Israel continues with its killing mission, undeterred.

The Gaza Strip itself has been bombed mercilessly and turned into a pile of rubbles with civic amenities such as water, electricity, gas, schools, hospitals, and infrastructures razed to the ground.

Of late, the Israelis have started to use starvation and total ban on food supply to the beleaguered and foodless people of Gaza as yet another cruel arsenal in their genocidal mission, to punish the Gazans.

The carnage is showing no signs of abatement even though the ICJ has issued a clear ruling, after hearing long and arduous legal arguments from both, Israel, defending its culpability on one hand and South Africa, bringing before the world’s highest court of justice Israel’s blood lust  of annihilation of an entire nation, the Palestinians, on the other. Indeed, South argued with evidence That “… there was enough evidence of a genocidal intent by Israel on the Gaza Strip and it should protect the Palestinians from the risk of genocide by ensuring sufficient assistance and enabling basic services”.

As is its wont Israel rubbished the ICJ ruling and continued with its killing spree with the sole objective of exterminating the Palestinian population and forcing them out of Gaza. All of these are happening in broad daylight under the very watchful eyes and direct support of the  so-called human rights champions, who continue to supply arms to Israel’s killing mission and at the same time, relentlessly lecture the world to follow international rules. To the West, the Palestinians didn’t count as human beings, and they were fair games for hunting down.

With more than 35000 Palestinians dead and counting and a whole city razed to the ground and more than a million made uprooted from their homes, can Israel claim that it is more secure than before and on a path of stability and prosperity? The answer is anything but clear.

Singapore’s Peaceful Engagement

Now I want to bring into perspective the Singapore story. Singapore, like Israel, is also a hybrid country, populated by mostly Chinese migrants, that came into being in 1965 due to certain political anomalies of the time between Singapore and the Malay Federation.  The separation was neither smooth nor without bloodletting. But soon sanity returned to the leadership of the two countries who worked hard to control the situation. Since then the two countries never got entangled in any armed conflict, though there have been considerable social, political, security, and economic tensions between them. Having lived in Singapore for a little over four years I have observed how Singapore built    a relationship of trust, understanding, empathy, and mutual respect with its neighbouring countries regardless of their religious, social, political, and economic matrix through constant dialogue and regular interactions to settle any disputes. The great political thinker and strategist of our time Mr. Lee Quan Yew, who fathered the birth of Singapore and single-handedly nurtured its growth and prosperity to transform it from a sleepy regional port to the level of one of  the most modern, prosperous, and richest countries in the world within a short span of 30 years, strictly followed two sacrosanct and ironclad state policies. He was conscious of Singapore’s complex geographical reality, being surrounded by big Muslim nations, though not outright inimical but with mixed feelings. So, as Singapore was becoming rich, being aware that the new wealth status of the country was likely to breed jealousy among its neighbours , he consciously constructed  a policy of “rich thy neighbours ”- meaning,  as you grow also pull your neighbour along , averting any potential misstep. Second, he also concurrently  built the Singapore armed forces into a regional formidable force, by implementing an universal compulsory national conscription strategy and introducing a large swath of the latest arms and weapons including modernisation of air and naval power.  The philosophy behind such an ingenious move was aimed at creating a strong  deterrent for  the  potential invader – while it may not be eventually sustainable for the country to avert an invasion; it would be so costly for the invader that they would  lose all incentives for such an adventurism. The outcome of these proactive policies have engendered a conducive condition in the region for creating common good for all.

Singapore’s policy of peaceful and equitable engagement policy that was applied both within and across that the country has now emerged as one of the most stable, peaceful and inclusive nation in the world and its policy of inclusiveness has gone so far that in 2025 it elected as its President – a constitutional head – a woman who happens to be a Hijabi Muslim as well.

Whither Israel?

Time for Israel and more importantly its allies, especially the US to pause and ponder. They must acknowledge that Israel’s policy of intimidation, occupation, and murder of its neighbours to secure itself as a stable, secure, and prosperous nation has not worked. According to some, the murderous actions of Netanyahu has weakened the “political and moral fabric” of Israel.

Indeed, from the ICJ ruling, to persistent UN resolutions as well as worldwide condemnations of Israel’s genocide in Palestine has made it the most hated nation on earth and its allies, especially the US, the most despised.

The West’s, especially the US’ cowardly obsession or pitiable kowtowing to Israel emanates from two indivisible  factors – political financing by the AIPAC, a front for the Zionists, from the president down to a congressman, regardless of the party they belong, and an unfounded and imaginary strategic theory  that Israel serves as a democratic bastion and vital security partner of the US in the vast desert lands of despotic and barbarian Arab nations. Though the available evidence suggests the ground reality is quite opposite. It’s amazing to see how this small population of Jews has enslaved the entire American and major European governments, corporate world, media, and financial institutions including civil and academic societies, to comply with their agendas. Of course, there are a few sane and pragmatic voices, who have miserably failed to sway their nations to see the truth.

For decades Israel has used its holocaust card to cover all their crimes against humanity and violation of the international rules. It’s the only country that has ignored most of the UNSC resolutions- 27 in total.

I have always been bothered by a pertinent question, which is fraught with the risk that it might be construed as antisemitic or heretical by the Jews which is that we all know that the Jews have lived in Germany for centuries, and made great contributions to the economy, science, medicine, and other vital social sectors not only in Germany but to the greater world. Then, why were they hated so much by most of the Europeans, which Hitler took to the extreme which resulted in one of most heinous crimes on earth, the holocaust? What possessed Hitler, who himself becoming and quite rightly so, the most hated man on earth?

Isn’t it Israel doing the same thing to the Palestinians? Why do they hate the Palestinians so much?  

I dare to make an observation, if  a survey is taken in the Muslim world, you will find that anti-Jewish sentiments are less prevalent in those countries than in Europe and America. The Muslim rage emanates not from their inherent hatred against the Jews per se and this because and this is from the religious point of view which is that the prophet of the Jews, Moses (Peace be Upon Him) is also the prophet of the Muslims who has been mentioned in the Quran numerous times as one of Allah’s favourite prophets. It is Israel’s unremitting cruelties and injustices against the Palestinians that by association are also brewing resentments against the Jews which is most unfortunate and uncalled for. In other words, no other but Israel has caught itself in the quagmire of a sense of insecurity, rage, aggression, and furthering insecurity.

The Way Forward: Can Israel Learn from Singapore?

If Israel thinks that more murders in Palestine and more destruction of Gaza would deliver peace and stability in Israel, then they are dead wrong. Israel must take lessons from Singapore, a tiny nation which has since emerged as world’s richest and the most peaceful and stable nation. The secret to Singapore’s rise is its policy of peaceful engagement with neighbours and beyond.

 The problem with Israel is that as a colonial construct, Israel started to act like a colonial invader – they made intimidation, eviction, and uprooting the Palestinians and confiscating their ancestral lands their strategies to establish themselves as a nation. They came not as friends but as colonisers. 

Time has come for Israel to realise that it can’t pursue an aggressive policy against its neighbours for eternity. If indeed, the Israelis are true believe in their holy book, Torah, they should know the tyrants like Nimrud’s and Pharaohs, the worst of worst perpetrators of cruelties and injustices who saw themselves as Invincibles couldn’t save themselves from the wrath of the almighty.

The day of reckoning for Israel will surely come, if not in 10 years, maybe in 50 years or 100 years but it will come. They need to reflect what made their ancestry the stateless people for millennia.

I hope the present political dispensation of Israel will not bequeath their posterity with such a cursed future, being a prisoner of their ego and arrogance.

It’s never too late to start a new page for the next generations for the Israelis as well as for the Palestinians – explore the Singapore model and learn the way to live in mutual peace with neighbours and march to prosperity, together. This will make Israelis and the Palestinians live happily as neighbours and the world a better place.

Ashraf ud Doula is a Bangladeshi is a freedom fighter, former Secretary, and Ambassador of the Government of Bangladesh

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