We all know and love the story about David and Goliath. It’s very easy to sympathize with little redhead David who stands up to the giant villain, Goliath, defeats him against all odds, and saves Israel from the wicked Philistines. But in the past few decades, it seems as though the roles have been reversed, and Israel, who was once the favorite since it was the underdog, has become the Goliath in the area, the villain that the poor Palestinians are fighting against all odds.
It’s not as if Israel is trying to slay Palestinians indiscriminately. In fact, no army has ever come close to the efforts that the IDF is doing to avoid hurting uninvolved persons. The other party, Hamas, sends rockets explicitly indiscriminately into civilian residential neighborhoods in towns and settlements all across Israel, yet the world sees only one villain in the conflict: Israel.
Is the world blind? Does all of humanity not see the truth? The world isn’t blind; it sees the truth very clearly, and precisely because of it, it sides with Hamas. Its real grievance against the State of Israel is not that we are attacking the Gaza Strip, but that we are not letting Hamas annihilate us. The world thinks that this is what we deserve, since being the most developed, we are supposed to lead the world to a better place, and since the world is not going there, it is our fault, and Hamas is only serving us a well deserved punishment.
Regrettably for us, we are not doing the one thing that will change the world’s mind about us: to lead the world to an unselfish way of life. With our selfish, egocentric manner of existence, we are causing the eruption of egoism throughout the human race, at every level and in every direction, and this is what causes all the catastrophes that the world has been experiencing.
No one consciously chooses to be antisemitic. The most developed part of anything is always its head. Since human nature is selfish to the core, as in the verse, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21), and Jews are the most developed nation, they are also the most selfish. Since the head determines what happens in the body, and the head is selfish, the whole world becomes tainted with selfishness, and it’s the fault of the head, namely the Jews. This is why from the perspective of the world, Hamas has every right to shoot at us, we have no right to shoot back, and if it kills civilian Israelis, it is doing so on behalf of all of humanity, and it is our fault that it is doing so.
If this explanation seems far-fetched, look at reality: The whole world sides with Hamas; the UN is accusing exclusively Israel of genocide; countries from around the world have already pledged to give Hamas more than a billion dollars to repair the damages from the campaign, even though Hamas stated that the damages were only 350 million dollars; and Israel’s status in the world is plunging while that of Hamas is soaring simply because it stood up to us—the David-turned-Goliath, in the eyes of the world.
It does not have to be this way. Just as we are tainting the world with egoism today by simply being egoistic, we will clean it up by not being so. And just as the nations feel that their struggles among themselves are because of the ill-will we install in them, when we are unselfish, they will feel that their spirit of friendship and care comes from us.
In antiquity, the equation was very clear: During the time of the Second Temple, around the 3rd century BC, the Jews were relatively united and got along well with one another. At that time, scholars from Greece came to learn from the prophets, Ptolemy II, King of Egypt, summoned 70 sages from Jerusalem to teach him the wisdom of the Jews and to translate the Pentateuch, and people from all the nations would flock to Jerusalem during the three annual pilgrimages when Jews would assemble there. Philosopher Philo of Alexandria wrote that people watched in awe how “in the merging of the hearts … they would find the ultimate proof of unity.”
The world is learning from us by example. If we behave like bullies toward each other, they behave like bullies toward each other and blame us for it. If we behave toward each other with care and compassion, so will all the nations treat each other and will thank us for it. This is what the rabid antisemite Vasily Shulgin meant when he wrote that if the Jews, whom he hated more than anything, “rise to the height to which they apparently climbed [in antiquity] … immediately, all nations will request, ‘Give us Jewish [instruction], wise, benevolent, leading us to the good.’”
Photo Caption –
People gather as Palestinian Hamas militants hold an anti-Israel rally in the northern Gaza Strip, May 30, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem