Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

The Hamas/ Israel war should be seen as a war not only against Israel, but also against the West. Both represent what they loathe —a democratic society where freedom of expression, religion, the rule of law, independence, women’s rights, and human dignity are fundamental to life in Israel and the West.

What the West has yet to internalize is though jihad starts with Israel, the West is their next target. How do we know? In the “Introduction to “The Charter of Allah:


The Platform of Hamas” it states “We say to this West, which does not act reasonably, and does not learn its lessons: By Allah, you will be defeated. You will be defeated in Palestine, and your defeat there has already begun. True, it is Israel that is being defeated there, but when Israel is defeated, its path is defeated, those who call to support it are defeated, and the cowards who hide behind it and support it are defeated. Israel will be defeated, and so will whoever supported or supports it.”

Historian Efraim Karsh explained this goal of universal world domination can be realized through demographic growth and conversion of the local population. Large numbers of teachers and religious leaders will be mobilized to teach Islam in every language and dialect. Should peaceful methods prove inadequate, physical force can be used. Members in the US Congress are already diligently laying the groundwork. When will we begin to connect the dots?

Perhaps Americans and Israelis should heed what journalist Jeffrey Goldberg was told. “It does not matter what the Jews do. We will not let them have peace,” declared Ibrahim Mudeiris, the imam of the Ijlin Mosque, the oldest and largest mosque in the Gaza Strip. “They can be nice to us, or they can kill us, it doesn’t matter. If we have a cease-fire with the Jews, it is only so that we can prepare ourselves for the final battle.”

Myths and Misconceptions

Tawfik Hamid, a physician, a former member of Jemaah Islamiya (an Islamist terrorist group) and now a Muslim reformer, says the transformation from being an innocent individual into a sadistic jihadist does not happen in one-day. The change is subtle, gradual and incremental. The process occurs in roughly three stages: “Hatred, Suppression of Conscience, and Desensitization (or acceptance) of Violence.”

Myths abound about the root causes of terrorism, which is why Hamid cautions about misdiagnosing the source. “Every medical doctor will assert that it is very difficult to treat a disease if it is misdiagnosed or if the disease is confused with symptoms. If we misdiagnose, then we treat the wrong illness. If we confuse the roots of the illness or superficially mask its symptoms, we cannot effect a cure. The same applies to the societal disease of terrorism.”

Among the largely popular misconceptions of why some people join terrorist groups are: poverty; lack of education; immense resentment of Western colonialism and imperialism for past injustices; frustration with the discrimination, prejudice, inequality and lack of democracy in their home countries; a desire to become a hero; and the existence of Israel in the heart of the Islamic world as a colonial outpost of Western imperialism.

Hamid rejects these explanations. “Many analysts,” he contends, “choose to ignore the fact that Islamic terrorism is primarily fueled by ideology-a solution seems unattainable when Islamist ideology permeates a religion of 1.5 billion adherents.” By attributing the issue to other causes, these experts act “like a doctor who assumed a fast-growing mass was benign because he didn’t how to treat it as if it was cancerous.” At the same time, criticism of Islam and the Muslim community by Western nations that have economic and strategic ties with Islamic states can be fraught with peril. To lessen the risk, the tendency is to absolve the religion and search for another “reason for a scapegoat.”

Hatred of Jews Among Next Generation: Nothing will Change Unless…

Human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner and Michael Susman, formerly at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, quotes psychiatrist Daphne Burdman,  who said. “Palestinian hatred of the Jews emanates from three principal socio-historical sources:  (1) Koranic and Hadith injunctions; (2) extremist Islamic militancy; and (3) the highly successful indoctrination and incitement of children established by the Palestinian Authority….”  She has correlated this dysfunctional form of childrearing with a personality disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder – considered to be an antecedent to terrorist behavior.

According to Burdman, as a result of these “strongly-held cultural belief systems and variety of deep-seated psychological mechanisms, there will be considerable difficulty reversing it [their propensity towards terrorism].”

Weiner and Susman also quote Palestinian Arab psychiatrist Dr. Shafiq Massalha who is certain that” the next generation of Palestinian Arabs will be a very murderous population full of anger and hatred. He reached this conclusion after his study found that over half the Palestinian population aged 6 to 11 dream of becoming suicide bombers.

Nothing will change Burdman assures us unless fundamental modifications in education and childrearing are instituted that “will change the predisposition of such a national culture in Palestinian society… toward the authoritarian, totalitarian, and anti-Semitic societies we witness today.” Under these circumstances, Weiner and Sussman are correct in saying that achieving “a peace agreement can only successfully end a conflict if it enjoys underlying, wide-ranging support from its respective populations….Past efforts … have failed to deal with, or even acknowledge, the deep-seated psychological mechanisms of partisanship that are endemic in Palestinian culture.

The Fear is Real

The fear about the next generation of Palestinian Arabs is very well founded. The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported that Fatah released a video in which terrorists of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, (Fatah’s terror wing,) are seen participating and boasting about their part in the October 7 slaughter of Israelis.

Many inaccurately in the West and Israel describe the Palestinian Authority as the “moderate” Palestinian Arab side, and Hamas as being the only extremists. Quite frequently it is nearly impossible to distinguish the difference between statements calling for the murder of Jews made by the spokesmen of each group as PMW continues to document.

Additionally, on the 75th anniversary of the Nakba [“catastrophe” 1948], the Ramallah based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), published the results of a survey it conducted between June 7-11 2023, in which it found: “The Palestinian public sees the WBGS [West Bank and Gaza Strip] split as the most damaging development that has happened since 1948, followed by the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967. But two-thirds of the public do not fear a repeat of the Nakba; to the contrary, two-thirds say Israel will not celebrate the centenary of its establishment, and the majority believes that the Palestinian people will be able in the future to recover Palestine and return its refugees to their homes.”

Final Note

“The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews,” observed Eric Hoffer, a former longshoreman and non-Jewish American social philosopher. “Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world…. Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover. But should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed.”

“Jews are in the forefront in the war to preserve our liberal democracy, our freedoms and our way of life Hoffer asserted. Failure to respond to assaults encourages even more attempts to destroy Western culture and civilization. Hoffer understood this connection, “I have a premonition,” he said, “that will not leave me as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the Holocaust will be upon us.”

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Dr. Alex Grobman is the senior resident scholar at the John C. Danforth Society and a member of the Council of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. He has an MA and PhD in contemporary Jewish history from The Hebrew university of Jerusalem. He lives in Jerusalem.