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. <http://samsonblinded.org/titles/war_theory.htm>. 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. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/29/world/meast/mideast-crisis/>. 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. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/04/world/meast/gaza-israel-why-civiliandeaths/>. "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. <http://972mag.com/nstt_feeditem/israeli-rabbi-its-okayto-kill-innocent-civilians-and-destroy-gaza/>."Santa Clara University." - Religion, Ethics and Politics in Israel Palestine. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. <http://www.scu.edu/ethics-center/world-affairs/politics/By_Countries_Regions/IsraelPalestine.cfm>. Gebler 6 "Israel in Gaza: Investigating the Ethics of a War of Choice." Shalom Rav. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. <http://rabbibrant.com/2014/07/20/israel-in-gaza-investigating-the-ethics-ofa-war-of-choice/>. "How the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Reached This Point - The Boston Globe." BostonGlobe.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. <http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/09/06/how-gothere/5Npe9ungSPbZ4V6FqE9sMI/story.html>. Evaluation of Unit 3 Essay STRONG OKAY WEAK Ethical Question yes Is your question clear, (truly) ethical, interesting? Is it not too big, not too small, but “just right”? Argument: Claim, reasons, evidence, counterargument yes Is your claim clear, arguable, and ethical? Are clear ethical values established and discussed? Reasons logical? Evidence convincing? Counterarguments honestly considered? Courage and Creativity yes 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? Mechanics: Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Proofreading yes Is the writing clear and carefully edited? Citation and Format yes Does the paper follow the guidelines outlined in our handbook? TOTAL 44 out of 50 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.