Essay 3 (1)

Gebler 1
Alex Gebler
Focused Inquiry 112
Professor Abelson
December 5th 2014
Examining the Ethics within the Israeli and Palestinian Conflict
In 1948, just three years after the Holocaust and turmoil of World War II, the State of
Israel was created with the help of Great Britain. Israel was established to serve as a Jewish
country and safe haven for Jews worldwide. Since the formation of Israel, the country has
engaged in constant war with Palestine, due to territorial disagreements and religious conflicts.
Recently, Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians including women and children in the name
of National Defense for their people and country. When Israel became a country in 1948, Great
Britain oversaw the transition of the land in the Gaza strip which was previously occupied by
Palestine. Jerusalem, which is the capital of Israel is pronounced as the Muslim holy land. Great
Britain is to blame for giving control of Jerusalem and the land that is now Israel's. The question
still remains, is it right that Israel kills Palestinians for National Defense purposes?
The Ethical Dilemma
An ethical issue deals with what is morally right and what is morally wrong. This conflict
deals with the ethics of humanities. The ethics of humanities deals with the treatment of human
beings. Human life is sanctified as one of the most precious things this world has to offer. When
human life is disrupted or even destroyed, a problem has occurred. The ethical problem in the
Israeli and Palestinian conflict is, if Israel's killing or destruction of Palestinian life justified
Gebler 2
through National Defense. It comes down to what is right and what is wrong. This conflict
specifically is a humanitarian ethical problem. That is why human rights activists and groups are
pleading with Israel to stop this violence.
Israeli Stance
It is right for Israel to kill Palestinians in the name of National Defense because Israel is
defending themselves and in war casualties of killing anyone will occur. Israel’s ends justify
their means. The Maharal from Prague states “during war the attacked people are allowed to
attack fiercely the people from whom the attackers came from and they do not have to check if
he personally belongs to the fighters” (Israel in Gaza). A reason Israel is killing thousands of
Palestinians is in protection of themselves. Israel’s actions of killing Palestinians is only justified
due to the fact that Palestine started this conflict. If Israel did not respond with deadly force
against the Palestinians, the Palestinians would exterminate the State of Israel if given the
chance. Israel consistently defends itself against neighboring threats wishing to destroy their way
of life. (add evidence) The reason why this is now an ethical conflict and is different from
previous Israeli conflicts is due to the facts of death on the sides of Israel and Palestine. The
death toll of Palestinians stands at 1,800 and over 10,000 wounded with more than 300 children
dead. The death toll of Israeli’s stands at 64 Israeli soldiers and 3 civilians killed. Why are these
numbers so drastically different? This is due to Israel’s advanced defense system and military.
Israel is able to cause far more damage to Palestinians with their modern military while Palestine
only can inflict minimal damage against Israel (CNN News).
Palestinian stance
Gebler 3
The land that Israel claimed when it became a country in 1948 used to be Palestinian
territory until Great Britain took that land away from Palestine. Great Britain gave Palestine's
former land to Israel to create a safe haven for Jews after the Holocaust. The main city of Israel,
Jerusalem is the holy site for Muslims and Palestinians claim that Jerusalem is the rightful city of
Palestine. Palestinians were outraged when Israel took control over this land and has refused to
recognize Israel as a state. These territorial and religious conflicts have led to the ethical
dilemma with Israel and Palestine face today (How the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Reached This
Point). Israel is wrong to kill hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians, however the
circumstances that Israel faces allows these killings to be ethically right. Before each air strike
that Israel launches against Palestine, the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) sends messages to
Palestine, informing them of where they are going to strike and to clear the area of civilians
(Why Are So Many Civilians Dying in Hamas-Israel War). Not only does Israel send warnings
to Palestine about air strikes, but Israeli commandos have found rockets being stored in local
Palestinian schools in the Gaza strip (Why Are So Many Civilians Dying in Hamas-Israel War).
If anything is ethically wrong in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict it is that Palestine is putting
its own civilians in harm's way. The fact that Palestine puts its civilians in harm's way debunks
that Israel is ethically wrong for killing Palestinian's for National -Defense.
Israeli Ethical Lens
The ethical lens that Israel is using when killing Palestinians in the name of
National-Defense is a Utilitarian Ethical Lens. A Utilitarian Ethical Lens is when you commit an
action in order to better the whole. While it is ethically and morally bad to kill in general, the
killing of Palestinian's is necessary to protect the lives of Israeli's and to protect their country.
Israel does have to deal with criticism on a global scale for killing innocent lives but this is a
Gebler 4
needed sacrifice to protect their country. In a war between two countries, civilian casualties are
going to occur between both opposing sides. Civilian causalities should not be a surprise but
should be expected during war.
Although, Palestine has suffered drastic losses of life due to the Israeli military, it
is okay that Israel kills in the name of National-Defense because they are protecting their own
people, their own country, their way of life, and Palestine is not protecting its own citizens when
Israel is giving Palestine plenty of warning. Israel is killing Palestinians to protect their country
from harm due to the Palestinian threat. Palestine is allowing its own people to die in order to
call Israel malicious killers. How can you respond without deadly force if an opposing country
wishes all of your people to be dead?
Note to the Reader
This headline piece is written from my perspective as an American-Jew and not as
an Israeli citizen. I sympathize with both Israel and Palestine in this conflict. Ethically, I believe
both countries are wrong to engage in destroying the lives of thousands of innocent people.
Palestine is justified by their claim that Israel controls land that once was in Palestine. Israel is
also justified by protecting themselves from Palestinian threats. However, Israel cannot be fully
blamed and viewed as the only country to violate humanitarian ethics. Israel does not violate any
type of ethics in defending their country and their people from harm, however, Palestine violates
humanitarian ethics by putting their own citizens in harm's way.
Works Cited
Gebler 5
" Arab Israeli Conflict. Theory of Modern War." War Theory of Arab Israeli Conflict. Ethics of
Jewish War and Conflicts. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Carter, Chelsea J., Ashley Fantz, Karl Penhaul Reported from Gaza; Chelsea J. Carter, Ashley
Fantz Reported, Wrote from Atlanta. Sara Sidner, Josh Levs, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Elise
Labott, Tim Lister, Maryam Affane, and Amir Tal. "No End in Sight: Israel, Hamas
Blame Each Other for Fighting, Casualties." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970.
Web. 30 Nov. 2014. <>.
Fantz, Ashley, Ali Younes, Karen Smith, Barbara Starr, Michael Martinez, Aliza Kassim, Josh
Levs, Kevin Flower, Tim Lister, Salma Abdelaziz, and Amir Tal. "Why Are so Many
Civilians Dying in Hamas-Israel War?" CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web.
29 Nov. 2014. <>.
"Israeli Rabbi: It's Okay to Kill Innocent Civilians and Destroy Gaza | +972 Magazine." +972
Magazine Israeli Rabbi Its Okay to Kill Innocent Civilians and Destroy Gaza Comments.
N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2014. <>."Santa Clara University." - Religion, Ethics
and Politics in Israel Palestine. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Gebler 6
"Israel in Gaza: Investigating the Ethics of a War of Choice." Shalom Rav. N.p., n.d. Web. 30
Nov. 2014. <>.
"How the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Reached This Point - The Boston
Globe." N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Evaluation of Unit 3 Essay
Is your question clear, (truly) ethical, interesting? Is it
not too big, not too small, but “just right”?
Claim, reasons,
Is your claim clear, arguable, and ethical? Are clear
ethical values established and discussed? Reasons
logical? Evidence convincing? Counterarguments
honestly considered?
Courage and
Did you take chances in the form or content of the
essay? Does it sound like a person thinking or a
canned response?
Sources: quality yes
Are quality sources used? Are sources appropriately
introduced and situated within your writing?
Is the writing clear and carefully edited?
Citation and
Does the paper follow the guidelines outlined in our
44 out of
Gebler 7
I believe that I deserve at least a 44 out of 50 for my paper. With my paper I attempted to
improve my writing based off of my Unit 2 Essay. In my Unit 2 Essay I did not use much of my
own voice. In my Unit 3 Essay I utilized my own voice and created my essay in a format of
thinking rather than a simple reasoning and response. Where I believe I could use improvement
is further development of argument. Overall, I really enjoyed writing about ethics and especially
about a topic I was passionate about.
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