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What Is Complex and What Is Simple about the Israel-Hamas War

On Wednesday, October 15
, 2023, Masa invited Rabbi Michael Unterberg to speak to Jewish people around the globe. Unterberg is a Jewish educator with over three decades of experience specializing in Israel, Zionism, and Jewish history. 


Unterberg spoke on the Israel-Hamas war. The general public tend to confuse what is complex about this war and what is simple. Rabbi Unterberg gathered this group today to share his thoughts on the complexity of this conflict in the Middle East.


“We often hear people talk about how complicated this war is,” Unterberg said. “That is not necessarily true; there are some fundamental simplicities in this war that people need to understand.” 


However, there are some clear complexities. 




The question of how a country can fight their enemy when its enemy is entrenched in a civilian population is addressed with Hamas’s use of civilian areas as military bases.


On the other hand, some simple truths about this war need to be openly talked about among Americans and Israelis. 


The conflict between civilians and barbarians is simple. The attack on Israel on October 7, 2023created this divide between civilians and barbarians. 


Further, the extent of civilian casualties is simply tragic; it cannot be considered a complexity from the Israeli perspective. 


Another simple truth that needs to be accepted is that Hamas is a terrorist group. Not only that, but Hamas actively prevents development in Gaza. 


Israel living in peace with Hamas is not an option. Peace has been offered in the past and Hamaswants nothing to do with peace with Israelis. 


The final simple truth of this war is that Israel has the right and moral responsibility to exist and defend itself. 


Unterberg shares in this meeting that the confusion surrounding the simple truths regarding Israel and this war is only leading to the increased antisemitism that people are experiencing in countries around the world.


The Masa program continues to host meetings for people to learn more about this war. 


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Tags: #israel #newsanalysis #antisemitism


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