The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dizzyingly complicated. Tomorrow, June 12, Elan Journo — author of a new book on the conflict and America’s stake in it — looks at how intellectuals conceptualize and debate the issue, and spotlights the distinctive value of an Objectivist perspective on it.
When they read about a “wave of knife, gun and vehicular attacks targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians,” most people recognize it as murder or, broadly, terrorism. But in a fascinating report, the Washington Post underscores how “Palestinian society struggles with” how to describe such murderous assaults.
Two peoples. One piece of land. No wonder there’s a conflict, right? But what if this common perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is wrong? What if this view of the conflict obscures more than it explains? What if it distorts our understanding, rather than helps unravel the conflict?
What do Palestinians think of Israel? What do they believe about the legitimacy and efficacy of violent attacks? Daniel Polisar, a political scientist, examined more than 330 opinion surveys, carried out by reputable polling organizations, to find answers. What he pieced together is profoundly unsettling. More so than you might have supposed.
To many Americans, the spate of random stabbings and car-ramming attacks in Israel, often carried out by young Palestinians, seems unfathomable. One significant reason such attacks are hard to understand is that a lot of Americans assume that basically everyone everywhere wants the same things: a good life for themselves, a bright future for their children. But that life-affirming orientation is far from universal. Yet that assumption has shaped the common view of the Palestinian cause. The result: it subverts our ability to understand what animates that cause.
Unless you visit a college campus regularly, chances are that this may be the first time you’ve heard of the so-called boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to pressure Israel to change its policies toward Palestinians.
In his regular podcast, Leonard Peikoff addresses questions on how Objectivism applies to your everyday life, and on alternating weeks Yaron Brook sits in as the guest host addressing questions on how Objectivism applies to politics, economics and current events. This week Yaron took on the Hamas-Israel War.