The attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, 2023, was according to a majority of mainstream media 'unprovoked'. On the same day, Israeli PM B. Netanyahu declared war on Hamas and by implication on the entire Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip. One of the objectives of this paper is to learn if differences exist between various kinds of terrorist acts which would allow us to judge some being more just than others. Was the Hamas attack on Israel really 'unprovoked', when Israel during the last 75 years has abused and humiliated the Palestinians?
The Western world with the USA in the lead immediately declared that Israel has a right to defend itself. Such declaration suggests that the Palestinians must continue to accept abuse, humiliation, impoverishment, and killing of members of their community and entire families. The state of Israel is the engine behind a century of bloodshed against Palestinians in their proper homeland. The ongoing genocide in Gaza outdoes even the worst excesses of the Nakba, or catastrophe, which saw 750,000 Palestinians driven from their land in 1948 and 8,000 to 15,000 massacred by Zionist terrorist militias.1,2
Throughout this paper, we will understand terrorism as an act that applies inhuman violence to innocent individuals who may or may not have been involved in activities affecting those committing the terrorist act. Victims of terrorist attacks are not usually specifically selected based on their characteristics but are "chance" victims who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. An important goal of terrorism is for mass audiences to pay attention to the messages being conveyed, and to undergo a sense of terror and panic as a result of the terrorist attack. The terror invoked in individuals is further amplified by a process of identification with the victim, a fear that "it could have been me".
The Hamas attack of October 7 applied cruel measures to obtain a legitimate objective, viz—lasting peace between the two peoples. By provoking a non-proportionate response to the 'unprovoked' attack on Israel, Hamas called the attention of the international community to the injustices committed by Israel to the Palestinians over the last 75 years. One of the results of Israel's disproportionate response to Hamas has been demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of people in most large cities throughout the world. The right of the State of Israel to defend itself sounds more and more pitiful.
The Israeli government has shown images of mutilated bodies massacred by Hamas to justify its continuous revengeful bombardment of civilians in Gaza as if a significant difference exists between a violated and decapitated Israeli woman victim and a Palestinian child disfigured into nothingness by a bomb from an American made Israeli fighter plane or a person crushed live to death by an Israeli armored bulldozer? If numbers mean anything, then the terrible atrocities committed by Hamas are negligible compared to those committed by Israeli Defense Forces and illegal settlers over many decades in violation of hundreds of resolutions by the UN Security Council.
The strategy applied by Hamas resembles that which was adopted by Jewish terrorist groups leading up to the establishment of the State of Israel. Jewish terrorist groups provoked the British mandate holders of Palestine to react disproportionately to their attacks. All attempts made over the years with the support of mediation by the international community, be they Americans, Norwegians, or Arabs, to arrive at a peaceful solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem, have all been scrapped by the State of Israel, in disrespect to its key sponsors. For decades the Jewish state has encouraged settlement of Jews into occupied Palestinian land. It is also assumed here, that for a terrorist act to deserve justification eventually, it must contribute towards meeting one or more goals of the International Human Rights Declaration, especially Articles 1 and 2, which declare " All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” and ”no distinction shall be made based on the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty".
The presentation here is built on the conviction that future historians eventually will determine that the October 7 terrorist act proved justified because it advanced the promotion of justice for the Palestinian people and helped the Jewish people to obtain a respectable relationship with their neighbors.
From terrorism to international recognition
Some terrorist organizations have subsequently obtained a recognized status when it was obvious that their aim was a better world ruled by principles of equality, justice, and freedom. Examples of such former terrorist organizations are among others the African National Congress, which for years fought against white apartheid rule in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was declassified by the USA as a terrorist only in 2008 – 14 years after he had won the presidential election in South Africa. Mandela was categorized as a terrorist because of his fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa and particularly because of the sometimes violent demonstrations against the white rulers, especially after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. In an interview, Mandela would later say that the ANC’s armed struggle “was forced on us by the government.” The very same statement could have been made by Hamas. Nelson Mandela and F.W. De Clerk were awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for their contribution to the peaceful elimination of apartheid in South Africa. A comparable story could be told about Yassir Arafat who fought relentlessly for the freedom and dignity of the Palestinians as head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, PLO, which by the USA, and most Western European nations was considered as a terrorist organization. In 1994 Arafat was to share the Nobel Peace price with Israeli leaders Rabin and Perez for their efforts to build permanent peace between Palestinians and the State of Israel, following the signing of the Oslo agreement under the eyes of US President Clinton, who removed Yassir Arafat’s name from the terrorist list some days after the latter had renounced armed violence against the Israeli occupiers of Palestinian territories.
On the other hand, it seems unlikely that Osama Bin Laden's terrorist network would ever qualify for universal recognition and justification.
Zionist terrorists – pioneering terrorism in Palestine
Israel was built on the elimination of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland by Jewish terrorist groups. Terrorism as an instrument in the conflict between Palestinians and Jews was not invented by Palestinians.
Since the Balfour declaration in 1917, several Zionist groups have been responsible for massacres committed towards Palestinian Arabs and British soldiers, Britain being the mandate holder of Palestine. There are far too many cases of Jewish terrorist acts committed towards Palestinians to be enumerated here. Only a few months before the official creation of the State of Israel more than 250 Palestinians were killed by Zionist terrorists. Jewish perpetrators “riddled many corpses with batons as they disemboweled about thirty pregnant women”.3
Barbaric acts were practiced in Palestine a long time before it had become possible to show decapitated persons on social media. Images of molested Jewish civilians massacred by Hamas on October 7 only reinforced the sentiments of pity felt by a great part of the international community, especially in North America and Europe, towards Jews of whom images were kept on their way to extermination in concentration camps in Poland and other European countries. In the context of millions of Jews being killed at the hands of Nazi Germany, the world came to accept Jewish terrorism as an approach to pave the way for a Jewish homeland, regardless of the suffering it inflicted upon innocent Palestinian civilians and British rulers of Mandatory Palestine. The objective of Zionist militant groups was to expel Palestinians so that their land could be taken over by Jewish immigrants. The Western powers, led by the British and the Americans, partitioned Mandatory Palestine into two in 1948. One became Israel and the remaining became home for Palestinians, who in many cases were displaced from land taken by the Jews in the now-established Israel.
Zionist terrorists become respectable statesmen
Zionist groups used the Balfour Declaration to advance the creation of a nation-state for Jewish people. Different terrorist groups sought to advance the home state, by terrorizing the British and the Palestinian Arabs.3 The Stern Gang killed about two hundred servicemen, many of whom had fought bravely in the North African desert against Rommel’s Nazi army. In 1946, ninety-one people died in the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the site of the British administrative headquarters. Twenty-eight lives were lost, including five British soldiers, in an attack on the El Kantara express train to Haifa in 1947. Other violent campaigns of terror and ethnic cleansing were waged by other Jewish terrorist organizations, including the Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi. The Haganah was later re-branded and would eventually form the founding core of the Israeli Defense Forces. Many of the leaders of these terrorist groups would go on to become leaders, and even heads of state, in the new State of Israel. These included Menachem Begin (Irgun), Yitzḥak Shamir (Stern Gang), Ariel Sharon (Haganah), Shimon Peres (Haganah), and others, all of whom helped implement Plan D, who sought to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian population from their homeland. Many indications of the ongoing war in Gaza suggest that the coalition government of Prime Minister Netanyahu works towards this objective.4
The divine connection between Israel and the USA
Current reports from the war zones seem perplexed about how to present the strategy of the Israeli Defense Forces. The entire world, including the USA and its European Vassals, has demanded that Israel become more precise when it targets Hamas, thus avoiding hitting hospitals, schools, and residential buildings. It is obvious, though, that the Israeli government does what it likes, just as it continues to authorize the settlement of Jewish families in the West Bank.
The survival of the government of Israel and the political life of its prime minister, Netanyahu, depends on continued support from the extreme religious right. These parties aim explicitly at the establishment of a greater Israel. Hence they encourage settlements of Jews on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. Convinced that the Jews are God’s chosen people, the Jewish state of Israel feels morally justified, when ‘disobeying’ their sponsors in Washington. Israel has ignored close to 200 UN resolutions, many of which demand a full stop to settlements on occupied territory. Today more than 700.000 Jews have settled in the homeland of Palestinians in the West Bank, thus making a two-state solution to the conflict extremely difficult, if not impossible.
As God’s chosen people many Jews consider any means acceptable to obtain the ultimate goal of the reestablishment of the biblical holy land, even if it includes massacres on innocent civilians. This objective resonates intimately with the spiritual, cultural, and political connections felt by many fundamentalist Christians in the USA, especially the group of Evangelical Christians, also referred to as Christian Zionists. Evangelicals make up an influential part of the Republican party base and have a strong number in Congress. More than 100 members of the current Congress can broadly be identified as evangelical. In the 2020 election, evangelical or born-again Christians made up 28% of the overall electorate, according to CNN.4
The Evangelicals or Christian Zionists constitute a powerful lobby group to the US Government for Israeli interests. They “are the religious group most likely to express a very or somewhat favorable view of the Israeli government (68%)”.4 About 80 % of Evangelicals believe that the existence of Israel and the creation of a Greater Israel is the fulfillment of the second coming of Jesus Christ. When seen in this context the barbaric slaughter of Palestinians and the occupation of more than 75 years of Palestinian land with daily humiliation of the Palestinian population by settlers and law enforcement agents is of no importance, since these events eventually will lead to the re-establishment of the holy land, as promised in the holy scripts. It is not for the love of Jews that these Christians want the USA to support Israel. What happens to the Jews and Palestinians is, to put it very mildly, collateral damage. Christian Zionists are anticipating, and hoping for a war to end all wars and a resulting Christian world that will vanquish evil and bring peace.4 For Christian Zionists, the steady rightward shift of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's successive returns to office has been a positive development. In this interpretation, settlers' further control of the occupied West Bank, is a fulfillment of God's plan for a Jewish return to Palestine.
Palestinians are, mostly, in the words of the Israeli defense minister, simple animals. To the American right, even innocent Palestinians displaced by the war are the enemy. Following the outbreak of the war on Gaza, the Heritage Foundation urged the United States to reject any refugees from Gaza because “the Palestinian population has no interest in assimilating into American culture and governance, or in expressing loyalty to America or American allies.”5 Less than a week after Hamas attacked Israel, the Christian Zionists issued a declaration in support of Israel.5 About 2,000 pastors, theologians, and academic leaders across denominational lines signed the Declaration.
Visions of a greater Israel
Some observers believe that Israeli intelligence deliberately has chosen to ignore the signs of an imminent attack by Hamas, thus providing Israel with an excuse for a large-scale and final war against Palestinians. It is not only the official USA that ensures that Israel has a modern war machine in place to push the Palestinians out of Gaza. The Evangelicals are also very active in their advocacy for Israel. Evangelicals are hosting fundraisers and sending volunteers and supplies to the Jewish state.5
The Evangelicals are aided by another powerful group in the USA: The American Jews. While President Joe Biden is contemplating how to maintain the image of the US as the power broker in the Middle East, he is very much aware of the risk of angering the eight million Jews in the US, especially because they constitute an important group of voters for the democratic party. Biden’s re-election to the presidency in 2024 will depend on the support he can get from Christian Zionists and especially from the Jewish electorate. In this perspective, the vetoes of the US Government to resolutions condemning the ongoing war or the Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land make good sense. Why would anybody stop Israel from fulfilling the wish of God and why would any American president anger a large part of his potential Jewish and Christian Zionist electorate, when his opponent, Trump, is leading in the polls?
US European vassal states
While the nominally independent countries of the European Union make many efforts to develop a European position on global issues, it is practically impossible to discover any difference between political positions taken by the USA and those subsequently adopted by the EU. In that sense, the EU countries – except for France - are like US vassals. Two current events serve to illustrate this: The war between Ukraine and Russia and the war between Gaza and Israel.
The political leaderships in West Europe resonate with that of the American and Israeli governments without expressing any disagreement with the underlying values shared by Israel and the USA. Since the Ukraine war, Europe has rapidly accelerated the degree to which it has become economically and militarily subservient to the United States.
As an example of the relationship between a sovereign country and the position taken by the USA in the Gaza war, the Danish PM serves as an example.5 Shortly after the attacks of Hamas on civilians as well as on Israeli soldiers on October 7, the Danish PM, Mette Frederiksen, was observed laying flowers at the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen, in memory of those Israelis killed by Hamas on October 7, 2023. Upon a question from a journalist, whether she was going to do the same for the thousands of Palestinian victims killed by the Israeli armed forces, she angrily responded, that it is deeply worrisome when a Danish journalist poses that type of question since Hamas is a terrorist organization and Israel is a democratic state, which has the right to defend itself. The Danish PM expressed that the journalist lacked a historical perspective of the events of October 7.
Forced removal supported by the Supreme Rabbinical Council
For some reason, Western journalists ignore the religious context of the current war between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli Defense Forces have hardly been in any war without the blessings of the religious authorities of Judaism. Since the early beginning of the state of Israel created from the British mandate of Palestine, there has been an interchangeable reference to the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish and Democratic State of Israel. The point has been raised that a state cannot be democratic while giving preference to citizens of Jewish descent since liberal democracy as defined by Western political systems excludes privileged citizens.
Activist Noam Chomsky claims that leaders of Judaism in Israel play an important role in sanctioning military operations. Israel's Supreme Rabbinical Council gave its endorsement to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, declaring that it conformed to the religious law and that participation in the war 'in all its aspects' is a religious and holy duty. A military Rabbi in Lebanon explained the biblical sources that justify 'our being here and our opening the war; we do our Jewish religious duty by being here". Given PM Netanyahu's association with the extreme religious right.5 There are all reasons to assume that the leaders of the Judaic state religion have given their blessings to the response of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to the so-called ’unprovoked’ Hamas attack. It is also plausible to assume that the same religious authorities of Judaism are likely to aim at the establishment of a greater Israel, which in their books refers to the historic biblical borders. Currently, greater Israel covers the Jewish State of Israel, Gaza, and the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. There are many indications that greater Israel is the hidden agenda of IDF. In this perspective, Nakba takes on an added meaning to include "ethnic cleansing", which is used interchangeably with "forced removal" and "forced migration”.
The true face of the Jewish State of Israel
Mainstream Western media do an excellent job of creating delusions about the future. No attempts have been made by traditional news coverage to address the question as to who are the real terrorists and if anything at all can justify even the most terrible acts committed on innocent civilians, regardless of whether they are committed by Hamas or the Israeli Defense Forces. Terrorism is barbaric and inhuman, especially when it is applied disproportionately to obtain territorial expansion and room for settlements of Jews on the West Bank through the genocide of an entire people.
The brutality of the Zionist terrorist group Irgun against ordinary Palestinians in Deir Yassin shortly before the formal establishment of Israel in 1948 was aimed at shocking and scaring Palestinian Arabs. It was meant to force the Palestinians to leave their native lands.5 The IDF founded by terrorists has pounded the Palestinian enclave of Gaza with airstrikes, rockets, and artillery attacks for more than two months. They have killed about 20.000 people including women and children as happened in Deir Yassir and other areas in the 1940s.
Jewish settlement in the West Bank has made a two-state solution virtually impossible. A one-state solution with the two people living side by side is also ruled out since a simple demographic calculation shows that the Palestinian population within the next 30 years will have outnumbered the Jewish population, given current birth rates.
The Zionist terrorists did not finish the job in 1948 before the creation of the Jewish State. Therefore a programme of settlement of Jews has been going on for several decades, with the implicit objective of pushing the Palestinians out of the West Bank. How the IDF has moved the civilian population from the north of Gaza into the Southern part resembles “forced migration” - another way of genocide. When the majority of the Gazan population was displaced into the South new orders were issued. They were told to seek 'shelter' on the beach and next in the desert, without water, no food, and no toilets to about two million people. It is increasingly believed that the Israelis are trying to depopulate Gaza and pressuring Egypt to take the entire population into its territory. Although the Americans say that this will never be accepted, the Israelis have so far ignored any advice from the USA and the UN Security Council.5
Presently the world is witnessing two large-scale wars. The way these two wars are presented to the public underlines Western hypocrisy and the collapse of serious journalistic work. In about two months the IDF has killed more than double the number of people killed in Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia in February 2022, two years ago. During that time the war in Ukraine has caused the death of 600 children, while the number of killed Palestinian children has passed 10.000. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest order for the Russian President, when he relocated hundreds of Ukrainian children to Russia, while not a word is being said by the ICC on Israel's crime against Palestinian children. This raises the question of selective enforcement of international law based on political alliances.
The freedom fighters
As argued above, an act irrespective of its degree of violence, shall be judged upon determining its ultimate objective. An act that aims at permanently replacing and eliminating a suppressive system practiced through an apartheid administration by the Jewish State of Israel deserves support, in the absence of other approaches. The argument that the Hamas attack of Oct. 7 was unprovoked is becoming weaker by the day. It is becoming progressively difficult, if not impossible, for the official Israel to justify how it conducts its war against the 2.2 million people of the Gaza Strip. The continuous bombardment of residential areas with simultaneous attacks by settlers and IDF on Palestinians in the West Bank suggests that the State of Israel is progressing towards annexation of Palestinian territories. In this context, the designation by the Turkish President, R.T. Erdogan, of Hamas as an organization of freedom fighters becomes more understanding. Hamas’ act of terrorism has resulted in a clearer focus on the Palestinian question. It carries the possibility if seized correctly by the international community, of alternative and more permanent arrangements between Israel and Palestine. On an ethical scale, the Palestinians score higher than the State of Israel.
1 The Nakba encompasses the violent displacement and dispossession of Palestinians, and the destruction of their society, culture, identity, political rights, and national aspirations.
2 The Evil Israel Does is the Evil Israel Gets, by Chris Hedges, in Information Clearing House, December 8, 2023.
3 Jewish-Zionist Terrorism and the Establishment of Israel, by John Louis Peeke, 1977.
5 Report by the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, Dec. 15, 2023.