Which side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should we consider as being “moral”, or more moral than the other?
by Shankface on September 12, 2016 - 8:05pm
The conflicts between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people is an extremely complex geopolitical one that dates back to the creation of Israel itself in 1948, on the land already occupied by the people of Palestine. At first, it was believed the two peoples could share the land and live together in harmony, but it was soon to be discovered that this was not the case, with the Israelis encroaching upon Palestinian land and relocating them, even going so far as to occupy territory of other countries. The debate concerning this conflict is intense and cannot be properly discussed in a small News Summary, but the article written by Ali A. Rizvi of Huffington post, “7 Things to Consider Before Choosing Sides in the Middle East Conflict, can definitely help shed some light up the situation by presenting both sides of the conflict.
The author begins the article stating that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a “tribal” one, by which he means that people pick sides without necessarily weighing the good and bad aspects of either position, which is unfortunate, because it leaves very little room for debate on the actual morality of each “point of view” of this dispute. Thankfully, Rizvi goes on to list seven misconceptions and facts that one should consider before choosing which side you support in the conflict. The first two points he makes concern the religion of the participants and religious roots of the quarrel, because yes, I agree with the author, religion has a big role to play and is a factor that divides the Israelis and Palestinians more than politics ever could. A very pertinent truth that the author points out is that Israel is criticized more than other, worse regimes that kill far more people ( 700 deaths in Gaza in the past 70 years versus thousands in Syria or Iraq) simply because it is jews killing muslims rather than muslims killing muslims.
The next two points discussed in the article are about civilian deaths within the conflict. The first is vague and is about Israeli killings of Palestinians, saying that it goes against their own interests and sparks world-wide disapproval when it happens. Furthermore, the author states that if Israel really wanted to, it has the resources to simply annihilate Palestine, yet seems, as the author puts it, “inefficient” at killing muslim civilians when compared to a force such as ISIS. When compared to point 4 of the article, in which Rizvi goes into extensive detail about Hamas (a Palestinian political/military/terrorist group) using their own people as “human shields” seems to be a tad biased, as there are atrocities committed by both sides. Furthermore, the article states that more Palestinians die than Israelis because their leaders “urge them to endure missile strikes” because it makes them look like victims to the international community. I disagree with this argument, and believe it is simply a reflection of the economic divide between the two groups ; Israel has more systems and better defence systems in place than Palestine could even hope for.
Points five and six of the article talk about the conflict specifically happening in Gaza and the author supports Israel, stating that when they “left” (for lack of a better term) the Gaza strip, Hamas didn’t take the opportunity to develop itself, instead investing in military infrastructure. Throughout these two arguments, the author seems to condemn Hamas and, though I agree that Hamas is not the most moral of groups, they certainly do not represent the majority of the Palestinian population, just as the Israeli administration does not reflect the values of every Israeli. In the final aspect of the article the author does talk a bit about the atrocities committed by Israel, yet continues to persecute Palestine by saying that “these things happen on both sides.”
Though it is presented to be unbiased, I believe that Ali A. Rizvi supports Israel in this conflict, as his arguments seemed to favor them and I got the feeling while reading his article that he was trying to demonize Palestine by associating them to Hamas and also by understating the many immoral actions made by Israel.
There are many moral issues present in the conflict between the people of Israel and Palestine, and I believe the main ones to look at are autonomy, sovereignty, order, unity and equality. Though both sides may breach some of these moral principles, I would say that someone who sees Israel as more moral would argue that they stand for order and unity because they actually have the resources required to keep the region stable and when you look at the middle eastern region, despite Israel’s conflicts, they are one of the wealthiest and most stable nations. Someone supporting Palestine would push the values of sovereignty, equality and autonomy as the palestinian people were settled in that area before the creation of the state of Israel and one could argue that they are repressed and even considered as segregated and second class citizens.
I personally believe that Palestine is the more moral of the two sides, not only because Israel “pushed” them out of their land, but also because Israel occupies the territory of other muslim countries and thus, in my opinion, cannot be considered as more moral because they are denigrating the sovereignty and autonomy of many people. What I find the most immoral, however, is that Israel has such an advantage over the palestinians what with its resources that I perceive them as bullies. I ask you now, dear readers, if you can even consider either side as being “moral”, seeing as both participants have done many horrible acts against each other.
- Zackary “Shankface” Bradley
If there are any problems, my news summary can also be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u4TwDDnjUrcFAw2usaiyi4FrB5AcmMH55bIx...