Israel-Palestine: If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot

What if the roles were reversed? What if the Palestinians were a powerful and prosperous state armed to the teeth by the most powerful country in the world? What if they had state-of-the-art weaponry complete with F-16s, Merkava tanks, howitzers, armored personnel carriers, and the patriot missel defense system. What if the Palestinians controlled the airspace, all the ports, and all the economics of the occupied territories?

And what if the people of Israel were poor, weak, and oppressed? What if the Israeli people’s land was occupied, and hundreds of thousands were forced out of their homes, and off their land, and corralled into a small parcel of territory that was completely fenced-in like an urban prison or concentration camp?

How do you think the Israeli people would handle this situation? Would they be submissive obedient, and dutiful toward their minders?  Or would they fight back and resist by whatever means they have?

Fortunately, we do not have to speculate to answer these questions because modern history is full of examples to inform our thinking on this subject. We know exactly what the Israeli’s would do based on what they’ve already done.

In 1930s and 1940s, Zionist Jews had their own version of a Hamas-type-terrorist organization called Irgun, and carried out at least 60 documented attacks against British and Arab targets. Of course, Irgun saw themselves, not as a terrorist group, but as freedom fighters.

During the WW II era, the Irgun group was focused on ending the British occupation of Palestine. They bombed government immigration offices, income tax offices, the national headquarters office for British police, various police stations, and radio stations. They sabotaged oil pipelines, telephone lines, and railroad bridges. The planted landmines and explosives in markets, and bombs in hotels resulting in the killing of men, women, and children.

However, the terrorists groups most famous attack was the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 resulting in the deaths of 91 people with another 41 wounded including women and children.

As the British prepared to leave Palestine, Irgun turned its attention to terrorizing the Arab population. Its most notorious operation was the massacre in the Arab village of Deir Yassin in April of 1948 killing more than 200 people including men, women, children and the elderly. There were “reports of mutilations, rapes, and survivors being paraded through Jewish neighborhoods before being summarily executed.”

Deir Yassin was a quiet and peaceful village of about 400 people. It had signed a non-aggression act, and by all accounts had not participated in any hostilities anywhere.

Fighters from the Haganah group, another Zionist terrorist organization involved in the attack, testified to seeing Irgun troops “pillaging houses and corpses, stealing money and jewelry from the survivors, and burning corpses. There were also multiple reports of rape and mutilation.”

A few days after the massacre, Assistant Inspector-General Richard Catling of the British Palestine Police, conducted an interview with female survivors and concluded that, “Many young schoolgirls were raped and later slaughtered. Old women were also molested. One story is current concerning a case in which a young girl was literally torn in two. Many infants were also butchered and killed. I also saw one old woman who gave her age as one hundred and four who had been severely beaten about the head with rifle butts.”

Sound familiar?

Ironically, two of leaders from the terrorist groups that participated in the massacre went on to become Prime Minister of Israel: Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Shamir. After Israel was established as a state, Begin formed the right-wing Herut party in 1948.

Once Begin became Prime Minister he wanted to travel to London, but Britain refused to grant him permission to enter the country because of his participation in committing past atrocities.

In 1948, Begin was planning a trip to the United States. Upon hearing of this trip physicist Albert Einstein, political theorist Hana Arndt, and other Jewish dignitaries wrote an open letter to the New York Times protesting Begin’s visit.

The letter described Harut as “a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.” The letter went on to say that the Herut Party was a “a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.” It further described Herut as “an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”

It should be remembered that Einstein did not support the establishment of Israel as a state, and believed that it went against the “the essential nature of Judaism.”

Interestingly, the Herut Party later became the Likud party which is the party in power today in Israel under Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been the dominant ruling party in Israel for the past four decades.

So the terrorist organization Irgun became Herut, and Herut because Likud. The party has changed names, but it seems its philosophy has stayed the same. Today, Israel’s Likud Party is still terrorizing and killing Palestinians with impunity. Only now, they are doing it on an industrial scale.

Israel’s past and present conduct demonstrates that, if the shoe were on the other foot, Israel would behave in much the same way as Hamas – or maybe worse.

Jim Fitzgerald is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and a missionary in the Middle East and North Africa. His articles have appeared in American Greatness, American Thinker,, and the Aquila Report.