The attack on Israel

The attack on Israel 1On the morning of 7 October, the Palestinian listed terrorist organisation Hamas attacked southern Israel, starting from the Gaza Strip. Armed units entered Israeli territory, thousands of missiles were fired, and the Israeli air defence system was unable to shoot them all down. The violence against Israeli civilians was abhorred by many in the West and condemned by many politicians.

The attack took the Israelis by surprise, which is considered unusual as the Israeli intelligence service is one of the best in the world. The Hamas attack should have been preceded by extensive planning and logistics. The following day, the Israeli army responded with a heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip, and we are once again witnessing a full-blown war in the Middle East.

As usual, the political commentary is divided along ideological lines, with the left defending and even praising Hamas and the right defending Israel.

Israel, being a recognised and democratic country, has of course the right to defend its citizens and fight back against aggressors. While those who praise Hamas argue that Israel has exceeded its powers and is acting as an occupying power and conqueror even inside Palestinian territory, like the armed settlers in the West Bank who are escorted by the Israeli army. The Hamas attack is thus justified, and the Palestinian people have the right to fight back against the occupying power.

Furthermore, the Friends of Israel argue that Jews have lived in the area for thousands of years, and that it is actually the Arabs who are the occupiers, that the Israelis have the right to reclaim their territory based on historical claims. The Israelis do nothing to the Arabs that the Arabs have not done to them. Israel is the land of the Jewish people, pure and simple.

Whereas the Arabs in the area, who call themselves Palestinians (actually a pre-Arabic historical people) claim that they have de-facto right on their side; that they have been farming the fields for as long as anyone can remember and that the land is theirs.

You can also choose to support the different peoples on other more civilising grounds. Some people want to prevent the spread of Islam and choose to support Israel because it is a Western-oriented democratic country with more appreciated values. The Jewish presence in our culture has not always been frowned upon. In Austria-Hungary, large stately synagogues were built and many Jews were integrated into society. Since the fall of the wall, Hungary has resumed and built strong relations with Israel. It should not be forgotten that there were other views in Europe than those conveyed by the Third Reich. While many saw the Jews as deviants, they were still Europeans and potent bearers of civilisation. Muslims, on the other hand, have always been seen as more alien to our culture.

While critics focus on modern history, where wealthy Jews bought land in the British Mandate of Palestine, slowly expanding and ruthlessly occupying what would later become the state of Israel. And which since the 1960s has had the support of the United States, which also disgusts those who dislike the United States and Western imperialism.

In other words, an intractable conflict. What we should consider today is the inability of the Israeli intelligence service, which raises a number of questions. And the monetary support to Palestine (from countries like Sweden), should tax money really be sent to such regions? And also Hamas’s violence against the Israeli civilian population, there are laws even in war, and as far as possible civilians are avoided. We should not take our eyes off the Ukraine conflict either, now that attention is focused elsewhere.