As a guide to the perplexed, I have compiled a summary of the root causes of the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Gaza. I have tried to be as rational and objective as possible, adding only a bit of personal coloring where appropriate while making it clear which parts are objective and which are subjective. I believe this analysis may also prove useful in understanding the other conflicts involving Israel in the Middle East, such as the Lebanese-Hezbollah conflict, the Syrian conflict, and the Iranian-Ayatollah conflict. Without further ado, the Cliff Notes version. If you wish, you may read only the sixteen section titles.
Sixteen. Massive destruction of civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties in Gaza
Much of Gaza’s electricity, water, sewage, and other infrastructure have been devastated. Close to 2000 Gazans have been killed and many more wounded. Nobody besides Hamas really knows how many of the casualties are combatants (Hamas) and how many are non-combatants, although it may be safely assumed that old people, women, and children should be considered as non-combatants.
Subjective note: In a “normal” war, the number of combatant casualties should be significantly larger than the number of civilian casualties, which is the case on the Israeli side, 64:3. If, as Hamas claims, almost all the casualties are civilian, that would imply that Hamas hid underground in the safety of their tunnels and bunkers, while they left the civilians above ground to fend for themselves.
Fifteen. Massive rocket attack on Southern and Central regions of Israel and building a massive infrastructure of offensive tunnels rendering Israel’s border with Gaza ineffectual
Since 2001 Gaza has fired over 15,200 rockets into Israel. In 2014, 450 rockets were fired into Israel preceding Israel’s military response. Up to now, over 1000 rockets have been fired at Israel since the start of 2014.
After Hamas terrorists were seen coming out of piers on the Israeli side from tunnels extending underground from Gazan towns, Israel sought out and destroyed 32 separate attack tunnels with entrances underneath residential buildings, mosques, schools, and hospitals.
Fourteen. Naval, land, and air blockade of Gaza
Israel blocks all imports to and exports from Gaza, whether by land, sea, or air. Israel confiscates any military or dual-use (military-civilian) materials, letting through only items that only have civilian use (food, medicine, clothes, etc).
Subjective note: I agree with Hamas that a blockage constitutes a casus belli (an act of war), but following the Hamas declaration that they would destroy Israel and their apparent actions to do so, Israel believed that a blockade was not only justified, it was required.
Thirteen. Hamas charter calling for the destruction of Israel and massive armament and buildup of offensive military capacity to carry out the charter
Article 7 of the Hamas Charter, written in 1988, ends thus: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).” Read the whole charter in English at http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www.thejerusalemfund.org/carryover/documents/charter.html?chocaid=397.
Twelve. Massive number of Palestinians displaced to refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank from their homes in Israel
The War for the Independence of Israel in 1948 was a monumental catastrophe for the 700,000 Palestinians living in the newly declared state of Israel. The Arab nations surrounding Israel responded to the unanimous decision of the UN for partition of Palestine into the independent states of Jordan and Israel by immediately declaring war on Israel. The Arabs believed the Jews, still weak from barely surviving the Holocaust would be easy prey and called to Palestinians via radio broadcasts to leave their homes, cross the borders into the safety of the surrounding Arab countries, and after a quick and easy victory, they would return to live in the homes of the vanquished Jews. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, Israel somehow managed to survive against all odds and all military logic. In every ensuing conflict in the coming years, Israel grew stronger and the displaced Palestinians gazed longingly at their lost homeland from the refugee camps across the borders until today.
To be fair, Palestinians claim that they were forcibly expelled from their homes by Israelis or hoodwinked into leaving their homes by Israelis, rather than the Israeli version of history as I wrote that Arabs had broadcast over radio that they should leave and later return after an Arab victory.
Eleven. 5 Arab countries declare war on Israel and Israel fights for its existence
Ten. The UN calls for the creation of the states of Jordan and Israel from former British Palestinian mandate
Nine. Jews who survived the Holocaust seek refuge in Palestine under British UN mandate
Eight. German Nazis embark on the Final Solution to exterminate European Jews
Seven. Rampant unbridled antisemitism, pogroms, and persecution of Jews by Christians and Moslems throughout the Christian and Moslem world
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_antisemitism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_Arab_world.
Six. Eight Crusades and extensive persecution of Moslems by Christians throughout the Christian and Moslem world
See http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/the_crusades.htm and http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/archives/2005/christian-persecution-against-muslims/.
Five. Mohammed preaches a new religion based on Christianity and Judaism but calling into question the right of non-believers (Infidels) not to believe.
The Holy Quran (Koran) 9:29 states “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”
Quran 9:30 states “The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the son of Allah’; and the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the son of Allah.’ That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?”
For the whole book see http://quran.com/.
Four. Suspected Jewish involvement in the Roman crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth
Three. Jesus preaches a new religion based on Judaism but calling into question the legitimacy and authority of the Orthodox Jewish theology
Two. God promised the Jews the land of Canaan from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan
One. Abraham preaches monotheism and engenders the Jewish people
A numerical analysis of the root causes above shows that the first seven causes (1 – 7) are founded in religion, to be specific monotheism. This “trialectic religionism” (to coin a phrase) is probably responsible for this civilization destroying whirlwind of hatred.
In the last eight causes (9 – 16), Muslims are only capable of seeing the even-numbered events as sufficient causes, while Jews are only capable of seeing the odd-numbered events as sufficient causes. See my explanation for this interesting phenomenon in https://uncollectedworks.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/hypothetically-speaking/.
Event number eight is the only event that doesn’t fit the numerical analysis. The Holocaust was a black hole, a singleton that only Jews are capable of seeing as sufficient cause for everything that followed. Many Muslims believe the Holocaust was a fiction invented by the Jews for their gain (for example the state of Israel). Some Muslims call Israel Nazis in their treatment of Muslims (even though they don’t believe the Nazis did anything untoward to the Jews – subjective note: this demonstrates an inconsistency in their thought processes). Some Muslims say that if there were a Holocaust for the Jews, they (the Muslims) would show the world how it should be done.
Oh and one final explanation: why “on one foot”? A heathen asked Rabbi Hillel to teach him the entire Torah while he stands on one foot. Hillel answered him “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah while the rest is commentary.” I’m just saying that the roots of the Gazan conflict would fill volumes of books, supporting one side or another, while I thought it might be beneficial to some to see the pattern of causes and effects that seemed to have baffled most scholars and well-intentioned diplomats, and rendered the conflict intractable.
From my point of view I would first advise everybody to renounce religion, to look inward for their spirituality, if that is their predilection. Secondly, I would advise everyone to renounce history, in favor of their future. People who are guided only by their history will never escape it. If you want to study history, study your enemy’s history and you will see the limits of his capacity to act.
To free yourself of history, turn to the future.