Why We Hate “Israel” so much

The Palestinians have every reason to hate Israel; it is a settler-colonial apartheid state erected on the ruins of their homeland.

But why does Israel hate the Palestinians so much?

It has sadistically and systematically terrorized, blockaded and imprisoned them after taking control of their lives and livelihoods, denying them fundamental rights and freedoms

The obvious answer may not be the right answer.

Yes, Israel abhors Palestinian violence and terrorism that has touched more than a few Israelis but it is nothing compared with the wholesale violence and state-terror exacted by Israel on the Palestinians, launching vengeful and preemptive wars, as it has this past weekend.

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To my mind, Israel’s hatred of the Palestinians is shaped and driven by three basic sentiments: fear, envy and anger.

Fear is a major factor – it can be irrational but also instrumental.

It should come as no surprise that Israel has continued to fear the Palestinians well after it occupied all their lands and became a mighty regional and nuclear power.

Because its fear of the Palestinians is not merely physical or material, it is existential.

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Under the apt title: Why all Israelis are cowards, an Israeli columnist wondered in 2014 what kind of a society produces cowardly soldiers who shoot unarmed Palestinian youth from a long distance.

Some four years later, in 2018, it was indeed surreal to watch Israeli soldiers hide behind fortified defences as they shot hundreds of unarmed protesters for days on end.

Israel basically fled Gaza in fear back in 2005, imposing an inhumane blockade on the two million, mostly refugees, living there.

Israel fears all that is Palestinian steadfastness, Palestinian unity, Palestinian democracy, Palestinian poetry, and all Palestinian national symbols, including language, which it downgraded, and the flag, which it is trying to ban.

Israel especially fears Palestinian mothers bearing new babies, which it calls a “demographic threat”.

Echoing this national Israeli obsession with Palestinian procreation, a historian warned 12 years ago that demography is a threat to the survival of the Jewish state much like a nuclear Iran, for example, because in his view, Palestinians could become a majority by 2040-2050.

Fear is also instrumental for a garrison state like Israel, known as “an army with a country attached”.

Israel tells it’s citizens that all Palestinians inherently want to kill Jews. Nevermind that the Jews were not inherent to the land!

In a book summarizing his decades-long experience in Israel, an American journalist noted that: “Today’s government stirs up fears, most of them imaginary or at least wildly exaggerated, painting Israel as an isolated, lonely, threatened, little country, always on the defensive, always on the lookout for the next sign of hate somewhere, eager to overreact.”

In sum, fear generates hatred because, in the words of another Israeli observer, a state that is always afraid cannot be free; a state that is shaped by militant messianism and ugly racism, against the indigenous people of the land, cannot be truly independent either.