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Stop blaming the Jews

A general view shows the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem's Old City December 4, 2017.
A general view shows the Dome of the Rock and Jerusalem's Old City December 4, 2017. | REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

When Jews are attacked, people often ask: what did they do to provoke it? 

Hamas' latest terrorist attack against Israel has elicited that kind of reaction from some leftists, some conservatives, and sadly, some Christians.

On Saturday morning, Hamas infiltrated the Gaza-Israel barrier and killed over 700 Israelis (mostly civilians), wounded over 2,000 more, and kidnapped over 100 people.

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According to some people, the nation of Israel should primarily be blamed for that — not Hamas. They shamelessly repeated Hamas propaganda about Israel’s supposedly oppressive and terrorist actions against Palestinians. So-called conservatives joined leftists and used arguments from postcolonial theory (the global version of critical race theory) to make the claim that Palestinians were simply using violence to defend themselves from their colonial oppressors. 

In other words, according to these people, we should never blame the victim — unless the victim is the nation of Israel.

Whether it’s the Khmelnytsky Uprising, Soviet antisemitism, and especially the holocaust, history is filled with many examples of people blaming Jews for violence against them.

Just several months ago, Palestine’s president — Mahmoud Abbas — said: “They say that Hitler killed the Jews for being Jews, and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. No. It was clearly explained that they fought them because of their social role [extortionate money-lending] and not their religion.” 

People who defend the Palestinian government are defending people who defend Hitler and the Nazis. Think about that. There is a direct line between Abbas blaming Jews for the holocaust and people blaming Israel for the terrorist attacks against them.

Also, Abbas’ words are more troubling when you remember that he’s considered a moderate in Palestinian politics. After all, the most powerful political party in Palestine is Hamas: the terrorist group that carried out the attack on Saturday morning.

Peace without truth is impossible. So if people sincerely want peace for Palestinians and Israelis, they need to know the truth about the Palestinian government and the truth about the history of this conflict.

People seem to believe Palestine was a sovereign state in the early 20th century until Zionists supposedly invaded the land and forced them out of their homes. But that’s not true. Palestine has never been a nation. Before Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, there hadn’t been a sovereign nation in that land since a Jewish state called Judea. It was ruled by the Hasmonean dynasty over 2,000 years ago (decades before the birth of Christ).

The Roman Empire conquered Judea, and after the Roman-Jewish wars, most of the Jewish population was forced into exile across Europe, the Arab world, and North Africa. Judea was renamed Palestine, and centuries later, “Palestine” was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and after World War 1, the British Empire.

This means even after 2,000 years in exile, Jews are the only people to rightfully call the land of Israel their sovereign state.

The people we consider “Palestinians” today didn’t have nationalistic ambitions during the Ottoman Empire. They were simply Arabs living in Palestine under the authority of a friendly Empire. That changed when the British gained control of Palestine and issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which promised “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” 

Israel’s return to their ancestral land received support from the international community, especially after the Holocaust. The United Nations drafted the first of what is called a two-state solution in 1947. Their proposal would have established both Israel and Palestine as two independent sovereign nations. Israel accepted the proposal, but Palestine rejected it and with 7 Arab nations — they went to war with Israel. 

Inexplicably, Israel won the war and they gained more land than they would have under the UN proposal. Since then, the Palestinian government has rejected offers for peace. Israel, however, has made many concessions to appease the Palestinians — including famously giving up control of Gaza (the area Palestinians used for the attack on Saturday) in 2005. But Hamas immediately gained control of Gaza and established their headquarters (at a hospital) in the territory.

Hamas’ charter says:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it … [Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement … Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam … There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”

 The current leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, also says: “We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem.” 

Remember, Hamas is basically the federal government in Palestine. So people who defend the Palestinian government are defending jihad. When people suggest there’s moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas, they are saying self-defense is equal to jihad.

This begs the question: since Hamas and Al Qaeda make similar arguments about their enemies, do the people who make excuses for Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel also make excuses for Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks?

No, they don’t.

This is because some people are prone to blame the Jews. If you’re a Christian and this describes you — repent.

Stop repeating Hamas’ propaganda. Stop using the oppressor vs. the oppressed dynamic on Israel’s conflict with Hamas (postcolonial theory).

Stop blaming the Jews.

Originally published at Slow to Write. 

Samuel Sey is a Ghanaian-Canadian who lives in Brampton, a city just outside of Toronto. He is committed to addressing racial, cultural, and political issues with biblical theology, and always attempts to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

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