The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False

Oct 27, 2023 | History, Read Now

It does not accurately describe either the foundation of Israel or the tragedy of the Palestinians.

Peace in the israel-palestine conflict had already been difficult to achieve before Hamas’s barbarous October 7 attack and Israel’s military response. Now it seems almost impossible, but its essence is clearer than ever: Ultimately, a negotiation to establish a safe Israel beside a safe Palestinian state.

Whatever the enormous complexities and challenges of bringing about this future, one truth should be obvious among decent people: killing 1,400 people and kidnapping more than 200, including scores of civilians, was deeply wrong. The Hamas attack resembled a medieval Mongol raid for slaughter and human trophies—except it was recorded in real time and published to social media. Yet since October 7, Western academics, students, artists, and activists have denied, excused, or even celebrated the murders by a terrorist sect that proclaims an anti-Jewish genocidal program. Some of this is happening out in the open, some behind the masks of humanitarianism and justice, and some in code, most famously “from the river to the sea,” a chilling phrase that implicitly endorses the killing or deportation of the 9 million Israelis. It seems odd that one has to say: Killing civilians, old people, even babies, is always wrong. But today say it one must.


View the full article and supplemental readings at The Atlantic.